Size #10

Iraqi journalist throws shoes at George Bush. Apparently it is an insult to throw shoes in Iraq.
I'm afraid the Shrub will not catch a break in his last days a Commander in Chief.


67 Years Ago

But just a thought...

This is the fiftieth anniversary of the peace sign, originally designed as the official sign for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in England in 1958.




You can hear Justice Stevens

let out a sigh of relief now that President Elect Obama has been elected.
This election was always about the Supreme Court.

President Elect Obama will have the opportunity to keep the Supreme Court somewhat in balance for the future. He will probably appoint three justices before he’s done.

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Again the New Yorker says it all in a simple image.


The King Is Back

Velo News is reporting that Lance Armstrong will race with Astana next year.


Contadore and Liepheimer don’t need the distraction of an egomaniac trying to relive his triumphs.
The only way Armstrong wins the Tour is having the entire team working for him.
That is just not fair to either Contadore and Liepheimer .

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The Tour Final Thoughts

This is a bit out of date as I was traveling but there are some things to consider after the Tour has concluded.
I think we have to put an * asterisk after this one.
Sastre deserved the win and put the hard work into the toughest climbs but another Spaniard was missing on the steep slopes.
Alberto Contador and the entire Astana Team were wrongfully left out of the Tour. No one can say what would have happened but combine Contador with Leipheimer supporting him and you have a much different race.
So now it’s time for one more race.
The Vuelta de Espana Starting the 31st of August.
They will all be there, it will answer some important questions and set the tone for the next year.

A word about the great George Hincapie .
He missed a win on Jausiers by just 24 seconds. After pounding himself for Cavandish there was no one from Team Columbia to help him.
A pity he deserved a stage. We can only hope he won’t retire yet.

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Alpe D’Huez

If you win on Alpe D’Huez you can win the Tour de France and Sastre did just that.

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Viva Sastre Viva Espana

With the ride of his career Sastre held off Cadel Evans and won the Tour de France.

Team Columbia and Team Garmin-Chipotle have done superb jobs, more on the entire day later.

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Barak Obama in Berlin

Europe knows a winner when they see one.
Listen to the speech and you will hear a man who can bring our country together and the world closer.

The speech is 26 minutes.


Viva Espana

A decisive win by Carlos Sastre on Alp D’huez put him in yellow and set up an epic time trial on Saturday between the Spaniard and Cadel Evans that will decide who will win the Tour .

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1986 Alp D'Huez

That day in 1986 was to go down in history.

We don’t know what is going to happen on Wednesday when the Tour again faces the three massive climbs culminating in Alp D’Huez but yesterday’s race put six riders inside one minute of each other and the attacks were furious.
Tomorrow is a serious climb but a down hill finish Wednesday ends going up on the penultimate classic climb.
Enjoy the video and tune in on Wednesday to history made anew.

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Double Edged Sword

Speaking of gentrification you might want to read Double Edge to Brooklyn’s Success
in the NYTimes.
It tells how the Brooklyn Brewery, Amy’s Cookies and Bagels by Bell are hard pressed to find space to expand in Brooklyn because real estate is expensive and being eaten up by residential conversions. Because of gentrification thier businesses are doing better and they need to expand and hire more people (i.e. gentrification is "good") but at the same time the success has made it harder to find space.
It would be a drag if “Brooklyn Brewery” had to make their (our?) beer in Long Island.

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The “Cobra” was caught using a new form of EPO and thrown out of the Tour. What a disgrace.
Well good riddance. The only way to take the Tour back is test, test and test some more and when some one is caught give no quarter.

What a shame that it marred a day when again the great George Hincapie led Cavendish out to take the stage.

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“Gentrification…” is good

The following is a response to a post on the Ditmas Park Blog .

With apologies to Oliver Stone and Gordon Gekko…
“Gentrification…” is good.

I know many feel new buildings should provide a percentage of the apartments as “affordable” housing but in my opinion there are too many ways to get around that and the prices are only lower in relation to the highest priced apartment in that building, not truly affordable.
So I would argue that gentrification here helps develop other less desirable neighborhoods.
I moved here five years ago from the village and the price of my apartment was astonishing compared to other parts of New York including Queens and Brooklyn. Now we are at or near market rate but still quite low compared to Manhattan or the more developed parts of Brooklyn.
What that does for those who are still looking is make them search further south or across CIA in areas that were or still are marginal. Slowly the pattern helps all the neighborhoods take a step up. Those people who bought here many years ago are rewarded for their foresight and those who own in less desirable neighborhoods will slowly see new people move in and need services like groceries and restaurants. New businesses that couldn’t exist before will find they can make a go of it.
I lived in the Village back when it was the “Village”, small Mom and Pop stores and affordable cafĂ©’s, well that’s gone but the new Village moved to East Village then down to the lower East Side. Friends who were willing walk past Tompkins Sq. Park at night in 80’s are now living in a very desirable neighborhood. Same here.
BTW – As I was being evicted from my regulated garden apartment in the Village I was traumatized, I now see it as the best thing that could have happened to me. I’m a home owner in a great neighborhood.
The artists, musicians etc. who bought these Victorian houses 10-15 years ago are seeing the neighborhood come alive. Those “pioneers” deserve their reward and we “newcomers” benefit from their courage.
The article about Jim Mamary and Allan Harding is another great example. Smith Street was not a destination to say the least when they started there. And who would have thought about putting a Bistro, of all things, in a bodega on Newkirk?
IMO - Pomme de Terre will bring major social changes to that area. By example the neighbors can see the possibilities.
The question is what happens to renters. If they are unregulated their rents will go up and they will have to either buy or move. But they will help the neighborhoods they move to by making grocery stores viable as well as other businesses.
I see gentrification to be the same as Darwinism.
Brutal? Yes in some cases but an opportunity to some that are willing to take a chance on owning their own place to live.
The one thing I think the government could and should do is help with affordable loans. The subprime beast of the unfettered capitol markets is exactly the opposite of what good government should allow and we will pay for it for a long time.

Why shouldn’t ALL of NYC eventually be a “nice” place to live?

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Well the sailing was good and I came back in time to see Ricco do it again.
The little “Cobra” again timed his attack just right and soloed the first hard stage of the Tour.
Tomorrow is a beast of a day. Two of the hardest climbs in the Pyrenees. Both the Col du Tourmalet and the Hautacam are Hors Categorie “beyond category”.
The leaders stayed close today but war will break out tomorrow.

Sorry, not much time to blog with work intruding and just making it home to see the 8 PM recap on Versus.


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Done Workin’ – Gone Sailin’

Ricco the “Cobra” has won his first stage of the Tour. He made everyone stand up and notice at the Giro when he took three mountain stages.
Today had just two category 2’s but the final 5 kilometers were steep and broke the peloton apart and Ricco timed it just right.

The real news is Kim Kirchen of Team Columbia takes the GC Yellow Jersey and also gets the Green jersey.
Amazing for our American team to hold the Yellow this early. It could be a two edged sword because now they have to defend it and tomorrow is another middle level climb then Sunday and Monday are the steepest of the first half of the race.

The weather here as taken turn for the better so I am off to Peregrine

and Oyster Bay.

Those of you that don’t have Versus can follow the Tour at Velo News and there are links to streaming video at Cycling Fans.


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George Hincapie may be the most selfless rider in the Tour. He worked for Armstrong all 7 winning years and today worked to get a young gun, Mark Cavendish, to the front for the final sprint. George was off the back of the peloton at 10 kilometers with a flat and worked himself back up to front and drove his team to control the finish. Watching him put his head down and power the entire peloton to set the pace so high that no one could run away with the finish was inspiring.
It worked Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia won the day.


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Americans in Paris

America has two strong teams in the Tour de France this year.
Team Columbia and Team Garmin-Chipotle
Not all the members of each team are American but we have Americans placed very high in the GC (General Classification)

Yesterday’s time trial pointed up just how strong the teams are.

Stage 4 Time Trial Cholet, France

American Team Members in Top 20

Stage Results
2. Kim Kirchen (LUX), Columbia, at at0:18sec
3. David Millar (GBR), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:18
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:37
9. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia, at 0:41
11. Thomas Lovkvist (SWE), Columbia 0:47
14. Danny Pate (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 1:10

Team Columbia and Team Garmin-Chipotle are evenly split in the first time trials’ top twenty. It must have been a great incentive to see Danny Pate set the early lead and hold on for his 14th place finish.
A closer look at the GC paints a picture of what Team Columbia can do in the mountains. No one knows how to put together a winning day in the mountains better than Hincapie. He wants and is due some glory for himself but his team mate Kirchen may be the key to an over all win.

Americans in today’s top twenty

8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:37
9. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia, at 0:41
14. Danny Pate (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 1:10

Americans in the top twenty (GC Today)

6. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:37
7. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia, at 0:41

There is so much racing left that today’s stats may be meaningless but the American Teams and the Americans near the top of today’s race and the GC are IMO going to stay in contention right into the last week.

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Ray Charles - America the Beautiful

For those of you that couldn't get behind Hendrix playing the anthem here is a classic, flag and all.
Happy 4th.


The Star Spangled Banner

Now you can't get anymore patriotic than that.
Is he wearing a flag lapel pin?
Enjoy the 4th.


The Reason It Matters

The Supreme Court just ended their session last week and the decisions that were handed down have pointed out why the next election is so important.
John McCain has stated he will continue to appoint conservative judges. The more moderate, some say liberal, judges are ready to retire. John Paul Stevens is 88, Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg is in her middle 70’s and has health issues and Justice Souter would like to get back to his cabin.
All of them are clinging to their seats, praying for a progressive, Democratic President so they can retire and not concede the court to the activist right.
The appointments of Alito and Roberts and the retirement of O’Conner, has tilted one of the three pillars of our government to the right in a way that is reshaping the laws of the land.
This election is, of course, about the two men running but the make up of the court will be a lasting legacy that we will have to live with for many years after the next President is long gone.


NY Waterfalls - Brooklyn Bridge

Well it is certainly more impressive from the water.


Olafur Eliasson has designed 4 waterfalls around the harbor between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
I have only seen a test from the Manhattan Bridge but IMO there isn’t enough water and too much scaffolding.
By not covering scaffolding the mechanics are too present.
I will reserve any more criticism until I’ve seen them from other angles and at night.

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Buckminster Fuller On Pollution

"Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value."

Thanks to TreeHugger

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40 Years Ago Today

Bobby(2006)-The Sound Of Silence Robert F. Kennedy

Part of a film Directed by Emilio Estevez.
As the fist black man prepares his run for president and Caroline Kennedy helps him find a V.P. the echos of what could have been are strong.


152 Days

This photo may be all that most voters need to know about the candidates.

Hopefully voters will dig a little deeper and see that today, or rather last night, was an historic moment for our country.
For one of the first time real change is staring us in the face.
Will we have the courage to reach out and take it?

Obama Wins!

Barack Obama's Victory Speech on June 3, 2008


The Internet & Symbiosis

Now that even my Mother has broadband the internet is taken for granted, to “google” has become a well used verb it has become ubiquitous like the telephone.
But every now and then the symbiosis of the computer the internet and local services comes together to amaze.
I was reading the Turkish news paper Today’s Zaman and found an article on “The Towers of Trabzon” which I had never heard of. While reading the article I decided to see the town and opened google earth and whizzed around the world to the coast of the Black Sea and zoomed in on the town and the Byzantine churches. The article mentioned a book by Rose Macaulay titled "The Towers of Trebizond".
Curious, I looked the book up in the Brooklyn library and ordered it. It is now waiting for me to pick it up at my local branch.
A wonderful combination of curiosity and the combination of services and programs took me around the world and has left me with tangible asset of the book (analog?) to read.

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From an article in the 2/25 issue of The New Yorker entitled "Big Foot" that discusses carbon footprints.

"The best known climate-change bill now before the Congress, which would manage capping carbon limits, was written by Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama and John McCain are co-sponsors."


Clinton Divides Obama Unites

The Brooklyn Optimist has endorsed Barrak Obama but decries the attacts on Mrs. Clinton . The vitriol that is hurled at Mrs. Clinton now is just the tip of the iceberg that awaits her should she become the nominee.
The attacks on her husband will look like a cake walk, and he had to face impeachment.
The fact is the Clinton’s ended their time in office as a divisive force that has the potential to rip this country apart should she win the election.
Obama, on the other hand has the potential to establish a dialogue that could bring opposing views together to argue and debate our differences in a civil manor.
IMO – Mrs. Clinton should remain in the senate and assume the Kennedy mantle of spokes person for the left and let Mr. Obama set the tone for the nation.
Either way we cannot let an evolution denier or a pandering hawk into the white house.

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Listen One More Time
August 28, 1963
Time to listen on more time



Yes folks it's just one year, and a short one at that, from today that the "SHRUB" will be shown the door and we have the chance to start undoing the damage.
Two of the three Republicans are evolution deniers and McCain wants to stay in Iraq for a hundred years.
Edwards is on his last legs and no one knows where his supporters will go.
Hilary or Obama?



Hillary don't need no stinkin' polls!

The news orgs. won tonight as they will have many hours of empty punditry to fill thier air times.


Obama Wins Iowa
No matter what happens in the general election, as of last night a black man has a chance, not a small chance a real chance, to be the leader of America.
A state of 92% white people (Iowa) has given Barak Obama a decisive victory over his Democratic opponents and the Democrats have overwhelmingly out distanced the Republican Party.
It’s time to get off the divisive issues of black vrs. white in our neighborhoods and realize that America could take a huge step toward in bringing us all together by electing the first black American, President of the United States.
I voted for Jesse Jackson in the NY primary just to keep his voice in the mix but he was never going to be elected.
Now we all have the opportunity to vote for a black man who has an honest chance to lead this country.