Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, one of Oakland’s greatest players, dies at 77

So many baseball greats have passed away in the past couple of weeks.

Bob Gibson the Hall of Fame Pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals

Whitey Ford the Hall of Fame Pitcher for the New York Yankees

And today Joe Morgan. He was born in Texas, spent much of his career in Cincinnati but ended up playing for both the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

Joe’s most famous moment with the Giants occurred when he hit a home run on the final day of the 1982 season and knocked the hated Los Angeles Dodgers out of playoff contention.

A link to the 1982 moment follows.

Rest in Peace Joe.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.12.2020

Though Joe Morgan’s time with the San Francisco Giants was relatively short, he is responsible for one of the most memorable moments in the team’s West Coast history. In the final game of the 1982 regular season — one day after the Dodgers had eliminated the upstart Giants from playoff contention — Morgan’s three-run homer in the seventh put the Giants ahead to stay and knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason.

Joe Morgan, who rose from the baseball-rich playgrounds of Oakland to the Hall of Fame, died Sunday night at his home in Danville at the age of 77. The cause of death was non-specified polyneuropathy.

Morgan had dealt with a number of health issues in recent years.

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Joe Morgan and daughter Ashley after Gymnasium competition at Stanford – 2010

The two-time National League MVP, a second baseman and key cog in Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s, got his start playing at Brookfield Elementary in Oakland, ultimately taking his place at Cooperstown in 1990 with a first-ballot election.

Morgan became an active member, backing election reforms to allow inductees more involvement in the election process and also advocating for a steroid-free Hall.

Morgan’s 22-year big-league career ended with the A’s in 1984 and included a brief but memorable stint with the Giants. On the final day of the 1982 season, his second and last with the Giants, he hit a three-run homer off Terry Forster at Candlestick Park to beat the Dodgers and cost them the NL West title.

After retirement, Morgan launched a decades-long broadcasting career, with one season in Cincinnati. The Giants then hired him for what became an eight-year run doing play-by-play and analysis on TV.

“He had a seemingly endless supply of energy, of life, like a force of nature,” said Jon Miller, Morgan’s partner for 21 seasons on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

“I’m sort of in a state of disbelief right now.”

Retired Giants manager Bruce Bochy called the news of Morgan’s death “horrible.” Bochy was a Reds fan growing up because that was his father’s team and said he idolized players like Morgan and Johnny Bench.

In 1980, Bochy and Morgan were teammates on the division-winning Astros team that fell to the Phillies in the NLCS.

“He took me under his wing and really told me not just great stories about Cincinnati, but he taught me the game of baseball,” Bochy said. “What a great man. He was involved in so many charities and things. I felt lucky and honored to spend some time with him.”

Morgan, who was born in Bonham, Texas, on Sept. 19, 1943, got his first glove when he was 4 months old, courtesy of his father, Leonard, who had played semi-pro ball. Leonard Morgan moved the family to Oakland when Joe was 8, and he was a baseball standout as a youth, a three-time Babe Ruth League All-Star.


Trump campaign twists Fauci comment to suggest praise of the president

This is the Wall Street Journal reporting.  Things are not looking good for Trump 23 days before Election Day November 3.

Wall Street Journal 10.11.2020

I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

— Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, misleadingly quoted in a Trump campaign ad released Oct. 10

Throughout 2020, the Trump campaign has offered a master class in how to snip and cut video in misleading ways. This new Trump ad is no exception.


The ad highlights the president’s bout with covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The deaths of more than 200,000 Americans from the disease have been a huge setback to the president’s election campaign. This ad tries to argue that he took forceful action against the coronavirus, despite his constant efforts to play down the pandemic in public.

After the ad asserts, “President Trump tackled the virus head on as leaders should,” it follows with a clip of Fauci appearing to endorse that claim: “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

There is a certain irony in the Trump campaign using Fauci as a validation, as the president frequently is quite critical of the infectious-disease expert. (See our fact check of Trump’s three key complaints about Fauci.) But the biggest problem is that Fauci was not talking about Trump at all. In a March interview on Fox News with Mark Levin, Fauci was discussing the workload of the coronavirus task force. Here is the full context for his quote. The section used in the ad is highlighted in bold.

Dr. Fauci WSJ III 10.11.2020


“I have been devoting almost full time on this — almost full time. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. I’m connected by phone throughout the day and into the night and when I say night, I’m talking twelve, one, two in the morning. I’m not the only one. There’s a whole group of us that are doing that. It’s every single day. So I can’t imagine that that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more. I mean, obviously, we’re fighting a formidable enemy — this virus. This virus is a serious issue here.”

In other words, the ad misleadingly clips Fauci’s comment and takes it out of context, especially because it sets it up with voice-over narration designed to make viewers believe the popular Fauci is praising Trump.

According to The Fact Checker’s Guide to Manipulated Video, this is an example of Missing Context — Isolation. That’s when a brief clip creates a false narrative that does not reflect the event as it occurred. The little snip in the middle of Fauci’s comment indicates that the Trump campaign clearly wanted viewers to believe Fauci was talking about Trump.

But he was not.

Dr. Fauci WSJ I 10.11.2020


The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But Fauci issued the following statement to CNN: “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.”

Update: After Fauci’s statement was issued and this fact check was published, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh defended the ad: ““These are Dr. Fauci’s own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth.”

But Murtaugh is wrong. This is yet another misleading clip job by the Trump campaign. Fauci’s words are placed in the ad in a deliberate effort to mislead viewers, and he had every right to complain.

Ghislaine Maxwell Called “the Real Monster” Sordid Epstein saga continues

Have no worries about scandals in the news after Trump is tossed from office. They will just be of a different variety.

The media will be hard at work as the Ghislaine Maxwell trial draws closer in July 2021.  She, Ghislaine, was what many call the power behind Jeffrey Epstein.

People thought that when Epstein died under mysterious circumstances in the New York Correctional Facility last year the scandal would die down.  No way.

The arrest and charging of Ghislaine Maxwell earlier this year insured that the horrific story of Jeffrey Epstein will continue to lurch onward.

To have a more detailed look at this story watch the Netflix documentary Filthy Rich.

Vanity Fair 10.10.2020

While being held without bail at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, Ghislaine Maxwell has been preparing for her trial, currently scheduled for July 2021.

The socialite, who has denied all charges in relation to the case, including trafficking girls to the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has now enlisted a new lawyer, as Insider reported on Wednesday. Maxwell’s hiring of Bobbi Sternheim quickly drew attention for the attorney’s previous clients, most notably the Osama bin Laden aide Khalid al-Fawwaz, who was convicted in 2015 in connection to two 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people. Sternheim’s firm, Fasulo, Braverman & Di Maggio, didn’t immediately return Vanity Fair’s request for comment.

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Alan Dershowitz and his client Jeffrey Epstein

The news came just before federal prosecutors in Maxwell’s case asked a judge to let them delay disclosing the evidence they’ve obtained, including “school photographs” of alleged Epstein victims, as NBC News reported. The outlet pointed out that the court filings demonstrate that the Epstein trafficking investigation is still underway and that prosecutors think providing Maxwell’s lawyers with the evidence could undermine the effort. The prosecutors said that the documents in question contain identifying information for victims who aren’t expected to testify and that they would “tend to reveal to [Maxwell] the scope of and evidence gathered” in the investigation, “the details of which are not currently public.”

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Trump, Melania, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Outside court proceedings, new allegations of Maxwell’s abuse and grooming have continued to emerge. Last week Molly Skye Brown told The Sun that Maxwell tried to groom her for sexual abuse when she was a 14-year-old in Palm Beach in 1992. (One of Maxwell’s lawyers, Mark Cohen, didn’t return V.F.’s request for comment at the time.) A woman who asked the tabloid to refer to her as Samantha said in a new story published on Sunday that Maxwell sexually assaulted her and that the socialite is “the real monster” in the Epstein ring.

“They stole my whole life,” the woman said. “I had a bright future ahead of me and they took that from me.” She said she had been a 21-year-old fashion student at Parsons School of Design in New York City when she was recruited as a masseuse for Epstein. Later, Samantha said, she met Maxwell, who brought her along to find other girls for Epstein. After Maxwell yelled at Samantha, she and Epstein allegedly raped the woman. Both Sternheim’s firm and Cohen didn’t immediately return V.F.’s requests for comment.


Racist of the day. Lindsey Graham. Black people can ‘go anywhere’ if conservative

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, is the racist clown Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This ignoramous will preside over the Supreme Court hearing for Amy “Handmaid” Coney Barrett

Graham vows to push through the nomination of this, make no mistake, extreme right wing nominee.

No wonder America is coming apart at the seams.

Fasciscts, racists and ignorant clowns are running the asylum.

Excerpted from The Guardian 10.10.2020

In a televised campaign event US senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said African Americans and immigrants can “go anywhere” in his home state but they “ just need to be conservative”.

South Carolina was a Confederate state during the civil war, and later institutionalized racism during the Jim Crow era, enforcing the second-class status of African Americans.

Graham made the comment in a televised “conversation” with his political rival, former South Carolina Democratic party chair Jaime Harrison, the first African American to serve in the role.

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“Do I believe our cops are systemically racist? No. Do I believe South Carolina is a racist state? No. Let me tell you why. To young people out there, young people of color, young immigrants, this is a great state, but one thing I can say without any doubt, you can be an African American and go to the Senate but you just have to share our values.”

He went on to say: “If you’re a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal”.

The comment was in response to a question about civil unrest, and as America reckons with its long history of racism and ongoing police brutality, including the national revulsion following the killing of Black man George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Lindsey Graham VI 10.10.2020.jpg


A Children’s Story. Louise Glück – Nobel Prize for Literature

Louise Glück was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Today I received the latest copy of the The New York Review of Books. This poem, obviously published prior to announcement of the award, is in the current edition.

 In 2020, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

To ad some musical accompaniment is a link to the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song 4 + 20 from their 1970 album Déjà Vu. There is definitely a symbiosis between the poetry and the song.

New York Review of Books – 10.22.2020 Issue

Louise Glück

Tired of rural life, the king and queen
return to the city,
all the little princesses
rattling in the back of the car
singing the song of being:
I am, you are, he, she, it is
But there will be
no conjugation in the car, oh no.
Who can speak of the future? Nobody knows anything about the future,
even the planets do not know.
But the princesses will have to live in it.
What a sad day the day has become.
Outside the car, the cows and pastures are drifting away;
they look calm, but calm is not the truth.
Despair is the truth. This is what
mother and father know. All hope is lost.
We must return to where it was lost
if we want to find it again.

Yale 2020 Nobel Prize Image




Photography of Gregory Crewdson—”An Eclipse of Moths.”

In a time of non stop turmoil it is worthwhile to realize there is more to this world than the Audience of One. One day it will pass and we can engage in more peaceful pursuits.

Vanity Fair – Britt Hennemuth 10.8.2020

I’ve loved movies from day one,” says Gregory Crewdson during a phone call from his studio. “I loved movies probably more than any other art form, honestly.”

The Brooklyn-born photographer, who left New York 10 years ago for a new home in a converted church and neighboring studio in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, spent his childhood weekends visiting the Berkshires. “My family was very close friends with Pauline Kael and her daughter. At a very young age, she influenced me to understand the power of movies.” The power of Kael’s pen secured late-night private screenings at local theaters for Kael and her acolytes. “I still remember seeing [David] Lynch’s Wild at Heart and Blue Velvet.”

Since graduating from Yale Art School, Crewdson has made arresting images that suggest stories already in progress. “Even from early on, even from my first photographs, I was interested in bringing a narrative into the still image,” he says. “Then, it just grew from there. I consider myself a storyteller.”

Crewdson’s latest exhibit, “An Eclipse of Moths,” is presently running at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills until November 21. (Because of the pandemic, the gallery has made his new exhibit available virtually.) The artist is a favorite among some of Hollywood’s more esteemed collectors, including Cate Blanchett.

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The empty streets and tired civilians in the photographer’s work bear an eerie similarity to America during the pandemic. However, the series was made in 2018. “I could never have predicted that the pictures would take on this meaning. I was very aware of, while I was making them, of certain themes of brokenness, dislocation, and alienation. All the pictures are these vast landscape images with lone figures wandering through them. All my pictures, in one way or another, have a theme of alienation.”

In creating each of his images, Crewdson writes what amounts to a screenplay with his partner, Juliane Hiam. Each piece is meticulously planned with a team of production designer–like assistants, achieving a cinematic patina that can evoke the nostalgic inner monologues of Edward Hopper’s paintings, all while challenging American audiences to reflect upon our nation’s thorniest issues. “I have been working in the same general areas for many, many years now,” says Crewdson, as we virtually scroll through his images together. “The locations are really meant to be everywhere but nowhere, a coming together between the truth and fiction.”

Gregory-Crewdson VF IV 10.8.2020


In this particular series, each portrait was created in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a suburban landscape on the outskirts of a run-down industrial city. “It’s about 45 minutes from my home,” says Crewdson. “Melville wrote Moby-Dick in Pittsfield, actually. Edith Wharton and [Nathaniel] Hawthorne lived in the area. That’s not directly important to the work, but I like building on certain traditions.” Crewdson admits he is inspired by the work of Norman Rockwell, an artist who worked in a neighboring town. “I almost see myself as connected to him, but it’s the opposite, you know? Where he would create a utopian world, mine is a darker, more alienated view of the same landscape.”

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We stop on one image in particular, The Cobra. It depicts a carnival ride of the same name, which is run-down and tired in an abandoned field full of shipping containers and junk. A woman stands on The Cobra itself, almost suggestively, eying a younger man, who’s standing shyly in the doorframe of a container. “She’s performing for him. The Cobra. Then, there’s certain things that you couldn’t even imagine or plan.” He directs my eye to graffiti next to the boy. “The 69 was already written on the door. That’s all the things of reality coming together, you know?”



Big Brother in San Francisco?? Cops tapped merchants surveillance cameras

In the opening scene of “The Conversation” (1974), a Francis Ford Coppola film, a private security firm, positioned in buildings around Union Square, is taping a personal conversation in Union Square.

Fast forward to 2020 and the SF Police Department, apparently with the acquiesence of local businesses, utilized their surveillance cameras to spy on peaceful protestors.

No need to worry about the Fascist Trump in Washington. The same activity is occuring right here in allegedly progessive San Francisco.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.6.2020

“This case isn’t about a tip or even a targeted investigation, Saira Hussain, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. “It’s about SFPD harvesting a private camera network for an entire week of dragnet, real-time surveillance, in blatant violation of the law.”

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Hussain added that such dragnet police monitoring could cause a chilling effect on future demonstrations.

Civil-rights organizations and activists sued San Francisco Wednesday, alleging police illegally tapped into a network of more than 400 surveillance cameras to keep track of police-brutality protesters this spring.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, centered on the demonstrations that immediately followed the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd, when thousands in San Francisco and elsewhere took to the streets to protest police violence against Black and brown people.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys claim that between May 31 and June 7, San Francisco police accessed real-time surveillance footage from private cameras in the Union Square area, without first obtaining necessary approval from the Board of Supervisors.

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Photo atop Union Square- The Conversation (1974)

A 2019 city ordinance bans city agencies from using, borrowing or acquiring surveillance technology without prior approval from supervisors, in all but emergency circumstances. The cameras tied to the suit are all owned and operated by the same private entity, the Union Square Business Improvement District, or USBID.

Emails obtained and released by the EFF in July show how San Francisco police requested and were granted access to USBID’s web of cameras, which include remote zoom and focus capabilities. 

Hope Williams, an activist who organized a June 2 protest in San Francisco and who serves as the case’s lead plaintiff, said tapping the surveillance cameras was “a tactic to keep people from speaking out.”

Williams and two other activists suing the city are represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation — a San Francisco-based nonprofit that focuses on privacy protections — and the ACLU of Northern California.

“It makes it so that people think twice before they venture out to these protests,” she said. “It makes the job harder for organizers like Hope, who try to bring people out and get them to participate and speak up to try to end police violence against Black communities.”

Saudi female journalists I 7.18.2020

The plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages, but rather a court order that would compel police to follow the city ban surveillance technologies.

EFF’s Hussain said such dragnet police monitoring could cause a chilling effect on future demonstrations.

“It makes it so that people think twice before they venture out to these protests,” she said. “It makes the job harder for organizers like Hope, who try to bring people out and get them to participate and speak up to try to end police violence against Black communities.”

The plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages, but rather a court order that would compel police to follow the city ban surveillance technologies.

San Francisco police declined to comment on the lawsuit, deferring instead to the City Attorney’s Office. A spokesman for that office provided two letters in which San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott addresses the incident to members of the Board of Supervisors.


Hubby and wife attorneys hit with felony indictments. Pointed guns at protestors

Gun toting Americans need to be taught a lesson in tough justice.

Ironic that it’s officers of the Court, wife and husband attorneys, who face up to four years in prison. This is the couple which Trump paraded before the nation during the Republican convention last August.

It’s the best Trump can offer as an example of his soon to be exiled Make America Great Again campaign. 

These attorneys are the type people who have risen from the toxic swamp of America’s underbelly during the past four years.

Talking Points Memo 10.6.2020

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A grand jury on Tuesday indicted the St. Louis couple who displayed guns while hundreds of racial injustice protesters marched on their private street.

A police probable cause statement said protesters feared “being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor.”

The incident happened June 28 as protesters were walking toward the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson, a few blocks away. They suddenly decided to veer onto the McCloskeys’ street, prompting the confrontation that was caught on cellphone video. It showed Mark McCloskey in front of the $1.15 million home armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey with a semiautomatic handgun.

Al Watkins, an attorney for the couple, confirmed to The Associated Press the indictments against Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, 61. A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner declined comment.

Fascism and Trump II 8.26.2020

The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They argue that they were simply exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and were protected by Missouri’s castle doctrine law that allows the use of deadly force against intruders. The case has caught the attention of President Donald Trump, and Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted.

The McCloskeys also were featured speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention. They’ve accused the “leftist” Democratic St. Louis leadership for their plight.

But Gardner, a Democrat, charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon. She said the display of guns risked bloodshed at what she called an otherwise peaceful protest.

Watkins said that addition to the weapons charge, the grand jury indictment includes a tampering with evidence charge. It wasn’t clear what led to that additional count, he said.

The McCloskeys contend the protest was hardly peaceful. They say protesters came onto the private street after knocking over an iron gate and ignoring a “No Trespassing sign,” and said they felt threatened.

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Nine people involved in the protest were charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but the city counselor’s office later dropped the charges. The city counselor’s office handles lesser crimes and is not affiliated with the circuit attorney’s office.

Mark McCloskey, after a brief court hearing last week, expressed anger that he and his wife faced criminal charges while those who trespassed onto his property did not.

“Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser,” McCloskey said on Oct. 6. “They broke down our gate. They trespassed on our property. Not a single one of those people is now charged with anything. We’re charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law licenses.”

The June protest in St. Louis was among hundreds nationwide in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.


Led Zeppelin sings the right tune. Supreme Court oks “Stairway to Heaven”

Even Rock ‘n Roll can make its way to the august chambers of the US Supreme Court.

The Justices, short one with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, decided in favor of the iconic British band in its years long copyright fight over the song Stairway to Heaven. 

Deutsche Welle 10.5.2020

The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case, ending a years-long legal dispute over the classic rock song. The Led Zeppelin case has had a wide impact on other musicians facing their own copyright claims.

British rock band Led Zeppelin effectively won a long running legal battle on Monday over claims that they stole the opening guitar riff for their classic song “Stairway to Heaven.”

The US Supreme Court declined to take up a copyright case against the band, meaning that a decision made in March this year by a US appeals court will stand.  

The lower court in California court ruled that Led Zeppelin had not copied musician Randy Wolfe in the opening guitar riff to the song.

The Supreme Court’s move to not take up the case has effectively ended the legal challenge, which could have had massive effects on the music industry.

The case was originally filed in 2014 by musician Randy Wolfe’s estate, as Wolfe died in 1997 and never took legal action. Wolfe’s band, Spirit, had Led Zeppelin as an opening act during the British band’s first US tour in 1968. The song in question was written in 1971.

Led Zeppelin II 8.16.2019

Experts called by the plaintiffs in lower courts said there were substantial similarities between Spirit’s song “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.” But defensive witnesses said the chord progression in Led Zeppelin’s song was so common that copyright did not apply.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page had said in a 2016 jury trial in Los Angeles that he had not heard “Taurus” until recently.