Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Books: "Wendell Berry: Port William Novels & Stories (The Postwar Years)"


Wendell Berry: Port Williams Novels & Stories (The Postwar Years) - The Memory of Old Jack, Remembering, Stories

Edited by Jack Shoemaker

Library of America; hardcover, 800 pages; $40.00; available today, Tuesday, July 16th

Wendell Berry created a portrait of rural America, as seen through the lens of Port William, Kentucky, that is one of the most fully imagined narratives in American literature. It is a river town that is home to generations of Coulters, Catletts, Feltners, and other families that was collectively known as the Membership, women and men whose stories show the richness of life in community.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

What Has Made The Mets, Winners of Five Straight, A Playoff Team At All-Star Break


Luis Torrens (high socks) and Ben Gamel greeted by Francisco Lindor after scoring on Jeff McNeil's double in the second inning Saturday. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets have had one of the wildest starts to a season in their history, one that has them flying high, as they won their fifth in a row, 7-3 over the Colorado Rockies, at Citi Field on Saturday evening.

NYCFC Scoreless In Chicago


NYCFC's Santiago Rodriguez battling Chicago's Mauricio Pineda. @ChicagoFire.

The New York City Football Club and Chicago Fire FC played to a scoreless draw on Saturday night at Soldier Field.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

RFK Jr. Update On Indiana & Colorado Ballot Access


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at a food pantry in Queens this past February. Photo by Jason Schott.

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign on Thursday announced news about their petition efforts in Indiana and Colorado.

Books: "World on the Brink" By Dmitri Alperovitch


World on the Brink: How American Can Beat China in the Race for the 21st Century

By Dmitri Alperovitch, with Garrett M. Graff

PublicAffairs; hardcover, 400 pages; $32.50

Dmitri Alperovitch is one of the leading international thinkers on geopolitcs and national security who is the co-founder and executive chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator. This think tank focuses on policy solutions in national security, trade and industrial security, and ecological and economic security. He also co-founded one of the leading cybersecutiry companies, CrowdStrike Inc. In addition, Alperovitch serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council of the Department of Homeland Security, and as a founding board member of US Government's Cyber Safety Review Board.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Kennedy’s Signatures Validated By NY State Board of Elections; Georgia Update

Robert F. Kennedy in Brooklyn on May 1. Photo by Jason Schott. 

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign announced on Wednesday that the New York State Board of Elections has found that it submitted 108,680 valid signatures for ballot access in the Empire State, more than double the 45,000 that were required. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Books: "Thrilling Cities" By Ian Fleming


Thrilling Cities: Fourteen Cities Seen Through The Eyes of Ian Fleming, the Creator of James Bond

By Ian Fleming

William Morrow Paperbacks; paperback, 304 pages; $18.99

Ian Lancaster Fleming is best known for creating one of the most famous characters of all time, James Bond, with the first novel on the super spy, Casino Royale, published in 1953. He went on to write 13 other Bond books, which earned praise from Raymond Chandler, who called Fleming "the most forceful and driving writer of thrillers in England," and President John F. Kennedy, who cited From Russia with Love as one of his favorite books. He was a natural to write a character like Bond because he worked in Naval Intelligence during World War II, which came after he worked at the Reuters news agency and a brief stint as a stockbroker. Fleming also wrote the children's classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Books: "The Longest Con" By Joe Conason


The Longest Con: How Grifters, Swindlers, and Frauds Hijacked American Conservatism

By Joe Conasonl; Foreword by George T. Conway III

St. Martin's Press; hardcover, 320 pages; $30.00; available today, Tuesday, July 9th

Joe Conason is one of the most respected American journalists, author, and liberal political commentator. He has covered every presidential election since 1980, and his articles have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The New York Observer, and the Guardian. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts The Truth.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

St. John's Star Jenkins Signs Contract With Pistons

Daniss Jenkins draining a three-pointer against Butler on December 20, 2023 against Butler. Photo by Jason Schott.


Daniss Jenkins, one of St. John's biggest stars who made the All-Big East Second Team last season, signed a two-way contract with the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Yankees Host Red Sox This Weekend, Hoping To Reverse What Last Meeting Wrought


Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes striking out Boston’s Jarren Duran to open Friday night’s game. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, and the circumstances could mud be more different than when they met at Fenway Park three weeks ago.

Entering that series on Friday, June 14, the Yankees held the best record in Major League Baseball, at 49-22. The Red Sox were a scuffling team that hung around.500, as they were 35-34 and on the periphery of the Wild Card race.

The Red Sox took two of three games from the Yankees that weekend, and that - along with taking two of three from the Phillies in the preceding series - has propelled them to go 12-5 since June 14 and take over the third Wild Card spot in the American League with a record of 47-39.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have gone a near-reverse 5-13, and that has caused them to cede their division lead to the Baltimore Orioles. 

The Yankees are now 54-35, and they hold the first Wild Card berth, while Aldi still holding the fourth-best record in baseball behind the Phillies (57-30), Cleveland (54-31), and Baltimore (55-32).

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone was asked, in his pregame press conference on Friday afternoon, if he views this series as a way that it can turn the page on the past few weeks, like bookend the Boston series, and he said, “I hope so. We’ll see; you can always look back at the end of things and say, ‘this, that, or the other,’ but we know we’ve got to play better, and the hope is that starts tonight, and that’s the expectation, but you’ve got to do it, so, in the big picture, you’ve got to play well over an extended period of time, so that’s what we’re focused on as well.”

On how concerned Boone is about his team, and if there were any specifics, he said, “I think everything, we’ve just got to play better, you know. Our starting pitching kind of has been the tone-setter for us this entire season, you know, to varying degrees. Every guy’s a little bit different, we’ve had our struggles a few times through the rotation, you know, and some of that is, you know, pitch decision, execution, some of it’s a little unfortunate, that, you know, balls that are mistakes that turn into homers, you know, slug a lot, and that’s kind of hurt us, and even in some outings where I feel like we’ve thrown the ball really well, like the long ball’s kind of wrecked an outing a bit, and sometimes that’s ‘tip your cap to the other side, they hit a pitch,’ you know, sometimes it’s, ‘did we throw the right pitch?,’ ‘we get it to the right spot,’ ‘are we making good decisions?’ - all those things you kind of evaluate.

“And then, you know, on the flip side of it, just trying to get some certain guys going that have hit a little slow patch for a few weeks, which is not uncommon, but we have everything in there to turn this around.”

In Friday night's game, Nestor Cortes delivered a solid outing, as he went six innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk, with eight strikeouts, and he lowered his ERA (earned run average) to 3.41.

The Yankees' offense gave him the lead in the fourth inning, as they got to Boston starter Taylor Houck the second time through the order.

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge walked to open the frame, and then with one out, Gleyber Torres beat a throw from shortstop Ceddanne Rafaela at first base to earn a single and load the bases. However, Torres would leave the game with what was characterized later as a groin issue. Oswaldo Cabrera came in to run for him and then take over at second base in the field.

Austin Wells then hit one to second baseman Enmanuel Valdez, and he threw it away at second trying to get the out there, and that allowed Soto to come on in and make it 1-0.

Anthony Volpe then drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in another run, and that was it for Houck.

Bailey Horn came out of the Sox bullpen, and he got Trent Grisham to bounce a groundout to second that brought in Cabrera to make it 3-0. DJ LeMahieu also grounded out to second to end the inning.

Boston got one of those runs back in the fifth when Romy Gonzalez blasted one to left field that hit the seats to the left of the Sox bullpen, and that made it 3-1.

It stayed right there, as Horn pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, as he scattered two hits and no walks, while striking out three. 

Cam Booser followed him with two innings, in which he allowed no runs, one hit, one walk, and struck out one.

After Luke Weaver pitched a scoreless two innings for the Yankees, and they turned to their closer, Clay Holmes, for the ninth.

Rafael Devers opened the frame with a ten-pitch at-bat that ended with him bouncing one back to Holmes for the first out. Connor Wong then bounced a grounder to Volpe at shortstop for the second out.

Dominic Smith, the former Met, was then up as a pinch-hitter for Gonzalez,and he laced a single to right field to keep Boston alive.

Masataka Yoshida then battled Holmes in another lengthy at-bat, and on the eighth pitch, he took a sinker and deposited it in the right field seats for a two-run home run to tie the game.

Masataka Yoshida approaches home plate after hitting a home run off Clay Holmes, at the mound, to tie the game. Photo by Jason Schott.

Justin Slaten then came on for Boston, and he pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth, needing just six pitches to strike out Grisham, get LeMahieu to ground out to third base, and have Ben Rice pop out to shortstop.

Tommy Kahnle came on for the Yankees in the tenth, and practically immediately, Rafaela drilled a home run to center field, a two-run shot (thanks ghost runner), and suddenly, Boston was up 5-3. It was Rafaela's 10th home run of the season, and he now also has 49 RBI.

Ceddanne Rafaela rounding third base as the Boston dugout cheers him on after his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

In the bottom of the 10th, Juan Soto led off with a single off Boston closer Kenley Jansen, which gave the Yankees two on and none out for Aaron Judge.

On the first pitch Judge saw, he skied one down the left field line that Boston third baseman Rafael Devers tracked down a step or two in front of the fence for the first out.

Then, Alex Verdugo took the first pitch he saw, and he popped out to Smith, who took over at first base, and then, Cabrera (in Torres' spot) bounced one to Smith to end the game, and the Sox walked out with the improbable 5-3 win.

Dom Smith about to touch first base on the grounder by Oswaldo Cabrera that ended the game. Photo by Jason Schott.

Kenley Jansen about to shake hands with catcher Connor Wang, as Oswaldo Cabrera heads to the dugout. Photo by Jason Schott.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of the loss, "Yeah, a tough one, I mean, obviously, you know, especially considering what we're going through right now. To have them take it and then pile on there in the extra frame, you know, it's a difficult time, we've got to dig down, and quick turnaround tomorrow, get ready to play, and find out what we're made of. You know, you're going to be tested all the time, with tough spots in the season, which clearly we are right now, and then obviously, extremely tough losses when you're going through it, and this falls under that category."

This was the fourth straight loss for the Yankees on this homestand, which started with a three-game sweep by the Cincinnati Reds, and they fell to 54-36. Boston has now won five in a row, and they improve to 48-39, just 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

RFK Jr. Officially On New Mexico Ballot; Nevada Victory On Access Battle


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Brooklyn on May 1. Photo by Jason Schott.

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign announced on Friday that he is officially on the ballot in New Mexico after Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver certified the Bureau of Elections has reviewed the submitted paperwork and determined it’s “in proper order.” 

Kennedy Campaign Senior Counsel Paul Rossi, said, We appreciate Secretary Oliver’s efficiency in certifying the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket in New Mexico. It’s refreshing for a Secretary of State to avoid the partisan interference on display by election officials in Nevada and North Carolina.”

The ticket, in which Kennedy is running with Nicole Shanahan as his Vice Presidential nominee, has now officially made the ballot in ten states, with New Mexico joining Utah, Michigan, California, Colorado, Delaware, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, and South Carolina.

There are 12 states that the Kennedy campaign has submitted signatures for ballot access - Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Alaska, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and now Nevada (more on that later in this report).

There are also five states that the Kennedy campaign has rounded up enough signatures for ballot access - Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire.

Overall, the Kennedy-Shanahan campaign has collected the signatures needed for ballot access in 27 states totaling 363 electoral votes - 67 percent of the 538 total electoral votes nationwide. 

KENNEDY SUBMITS SECOND ROUND OF SIGNATURES IN NEVADA: The Kennedy campaign also announced on Friday that it submitted the required signatures  for the second time in order to gain ballot access in Nevada after the Secretary of State attempted in March to keep Kennedy off the ballot.

“The voters of Nevada have, for a second time, demonstrated their enthusiasm and determination to place Kennedy on Nevada’s general election ballot,” Kennedy Campaign Senior Counsel Paul Rossi said. “The campaign will continue to vigorously defend the rights of Nevada voters to cast their ballots for Kennedy against the continued frivolous effort by the infirmed Biden campaign to strike us from the ballot.” 

More than 30,000 signatures were submitted on Wednesday after volunteers were forced to recollect signatures after Nevada Secretary of State, Democrat Francisco Aguilar, reinterpreted the state’s ballot access rules after the first round of petitioning had been complete. 

Nevada State Director Randall Hynes said in a statement, “Nevada voters have spoken again to put Kennedy on the ballot for President in November. Gathering signatures for a second time gave us a unique perspective. We learned many more Nevadans knew Kennedy was running. We also had hundreds of thousands of face-to-face conversations we would not have had otherwise.” 

In January, the Secretary of State’s office promptly approved Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s nomination petition to circulate without naming the vice president on the petition, but after the campaign collected over 20,000 signatures - almost 10,000 over what's required to gain ballot access in Nevada - Aguilar announced in March his office was wrong, and petitions circulated without a Vice Presidential candidate's name were invalid. 

In June, the Kennedy campaign filed a federal challenge to Aguilar’s reinterpretation of Nevada’s ballot access rules, as the campaign put it, "challenging, on equitable estoppel grounds, the right of the Secretary of State to reject any petition page circulated in reliance of the Secretary’s instruction to circulate the nomination petition without the name of Kennedy’s vice presidential candidate recorded thereon."

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Boone Loves Being “Witness” To Judge’s “Growth and his evolution as a professional”


Aaron Judge at the plate in the first inning on Wednesday night. Photo by Jason Schott.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is putting together a season that is on pace to match, if not exceed, his record-setting year in 2022.

St. John's Releases Non-Conference Schedule, Which Opens With Fordham


St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino on the sidelines at Carnesecca Arena last season. Photo by Jason Schott.

The St. John's Red Storm men's basketball team announced its non-conference schedule on Wednesday, and it features 11 games, featuring two tournaments in the Bahamas and matchups with five opponents they haven't faced in over two decades, Delaware, Harvard, Kansas State, New Mexico, and Quinnipiac.

Kennedy Campaign Announces Partnership With Colorado Libertarians


From Kennedy24.com.

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.s campaign announced on Wednesday that it is partering with the Libertarian Party of Colorado. This means the Kennedy ticket, with Vice Presidential nominee Nicole Shanahan, will be on the Colorado state ballot in November.

Monday, July 1, 2024

RFK Jr. Submits Triple The Signatures Needed To Make New Mexico Ballot


From Kennedy24.com.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign announced on Monday that it has submitted the required signatures to gain ballot access in New Mexico.