Archaeology News Network: Ancient shipwreck unlocks secrets of Maritime Silk Road.
Great. You can click the pix to make ‘em larger.
PS Blog: Why Walter Iooss’ Streak of 50 Super Bowls Could End.
The big grab by Time, again. You’re going to see worse and worse photography. Question is, will anyone actually notice. When I see the gallons of HDR beshat upon so many pictures these days ...
naked cap: Gaius Publius - The Pressure on Warren to Support Hillary Clinton.
Of interest. Stick to your guns, Liz.
Atlantic: Clinton and Sanders Fight Over How to Tame Big Business.
Worthy read. Though I can’t help thinking articles like this award more historical background and altruistic motivation than actually exists - we saw this with the deep analyses of Obama’s policies, pre-election. No great shakes, in retrospect.
Philly.com: ‘Cold Mountain’ opera ready to be scaled at Academy of Music.
“The open-air Santa Fe Opera is one of the most beloved venues in the country. But one hears of comments about not having to compete with Mother Nature, and how singing after stage combat is easier when not at a 7,199-foot elevation.” Wimps. (wink)
Guardian.UK: Flamenco superstar Sara Baras - ‘If you don’t feel it, you can’t do it’.
“ Older flamenco dancers can perform with a strength that you will not find in other dance genres. But the most important thing in flamenco is passion. It is not about technique, but about emotion – if you don’t feel it, you can’t do it.”
ArtDaily: Artcurial achieves record price for a car sold at auction; Ferrari sells for 35,711,359.
Told you this one would be spectacular.
ArtDaily: New Mexico Museum of Art opens “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare”.
SF Reporter: Too Much Prosecution?
Oh, joy ... the Koch brothers in New Mexico. How to make my day.
Thoughts on the Democratic debate, 2/4/16.
I held my nose and dove into the political quagmire a little earlier than I wanted to, because last night’s debate was touted as “likely one of the more substantial debates”. Alas, substance was lacking, as was real debate. Given what I’ve read over the past weeks, the same old porridge served up with a new topping.
First, the debate moderators. Maddow and Todd had great questions, but did not police the debate well enough. Sure, these are famous people. But they’re people. You can tell them to shut up, or you turn off their microphone. The A/V guys would love to do it. Disrespectful? Not as disrespectful as outstaying your welcome verbally. Skilled debaters thrive on limitation, the same as children. So exercise your authority.
The two candidates overall. Oh, how I’m let down. I’d like to get excited this election season; these two are a rum lot. I suppose because Clinton was considered such a strong candidate going into this contest, no really fine Democrats would throw their hat in. After all, because of ’08 she’s “owed” the nomination, right? Wrong. I’ve mentioned the Bob Dole nomination as a previous model. I find significant flaws in both Sanders and Clinton, flaws strong enough to give Republicans a reasonable chance.
Candidate Sanders first. He’s been my favorite, not because I believe he can win, but because there’s nothing wrong with having a leftward candidate to push the likely nominee to make leftward concessions in their platform. We’re allowed to dream, surely. Progressive remorse over Obama is huge and unappreciated. We desperately need some hope.
This is the first time I’ve sat through an entire debate with him, rather than just getting video bites. I am astonished at his verbatim repeats of his platforms. Instead of a One-Note Charlie, he’s like a Six- or Eight-Note Charlie. I can see why Hillary agreed to more debates. This behavior will mitigate against Bernie after one or two more events. Even the clueless media will pick up on it. They’re great notes, but he expresses them virtually identically each time.
For all his good ideas about domestic policies, the gap in his foreign policy knowledge is stark. Even moreso because he is a smart man, surely he understood this would be part of the job qualifications - and yet he STILL hasn’t got any good verbal comebacks for questions that are patently obvious. Come on, Bernie, at least baffle us with some bullshit. It’s better than tonight’s performance. It makes me question his overall judgment. More than anything else, this bothered me the most and makes me question all the fawning support.
Todd’s question about Afghanistan seemed to sail right by Sanders. I know what he was thinking, the ISIS solution of “Muslims fixing Muslim problems” would solve Afghanistan as well, but Sanders cannot assume everyone in America understands these nuances. Only on Todd’s prodding did he meld his ISIS comments with Afghanistan. This … imperviousness … alerted me to his age. I started looking for ‘senior moments’, and thought I caught the shade of a couple instances.
Sanders is what, 75? If Sanders was female, I might not worry so much. Women live longer with their wits intact. Yeah, yeah … reverse sexism on my part. But for men, 75-80 can see a lot of decline. Some might call it inappropriate to point it out, but it is important. That flexibility of mind and opinion can disappear quickly.
I won’t belabor his good points. You’ve heard them a hundred times already thanks to your friends (or former friends) on FB.
Last thing. This whole “I won’t attack Hillary” schtick. Oh, it gets applause. And my derision. He won’t attack her over email, but goes after her for not being a progressive? Drop the BS. Gloves on, or gloves off. Make up your mind, and take the lumps for your choice. Clinton accused you of a smear, and in the doubletalk you took advantage of an ill-chosen ‘out’ she provided you with, and changed the subject to ‘issues.’ I side with Clinton here. Say it, don’t spray it. You claim to be a man of integrity. You ducked this; I never would have. And I judge you wanting for this.
Candidate Clinton. After all these years in the public eye, you would think she would have achieved some eloquence. I can feel her fighting for words (remember, I was a teleprompter for years). Nodding her head, eyes cycling, trying to tack words together (oh so slowly) so as not to sound like a fool. Painful. At some points it felt like English was her second language. If nothing else, these debates (if she uses them wisely) can hone her vocal instrument. Last night was NOT a good performance.
You’ve seen the articles condemning her “shouting”, “shrill.” I suspect, given the Sanders speaking style, she feels she needs to surmount his volume in order to avoid being perceived as ‘weak.’ It seems to be totally throwing her off her game. She can be an ‘alpha dog’ without the testosterone, very simply. Well-timed quiet, considered responses would be amazing as answers to many of Sanders’ bellowed statements, and she still hasn’t twigged to that. I expect, given her personality, she feels she knows best and wouldn’t give the time of day to a speech-coach. She’s not going to come off well enough against a withering, foghorn Trump or a debate-skilled sniping Cruz. Rubio and she would end up waffling at each other, leaving us with another 50/50 tossup in the fall.
So her delivery of information is staccato, flawed … and reflects what comes across as terrible low self-esteem. Every Sanders answer, at the beginning of the debate, she wedged herself in with the “I did’s”. Nothing gets me more angry than a pushy interrupter. I find her current persona smarmy and insincere. And for what? A laundry list is a laundry list. Boring. Forgettable. TELL A STORY and ONE REMARKABLE, MEMORABLE ANECDOTE that indicates how your experience and knowledge overcomes Sanders’ lack (hopefully not ‘the sniper story’). Learn from Reagan (oh, the irony), it’s what people expect right now. In her flurry of “I did’s”, she made me realize how many cockups of the past she’s been around for (NAFTA, Iraq, financial crises, Benghazi, emails). She needs to seriously rethink how she relates her resume in debates. [For entertainment, check the ‘history’ tab on her Wikipedia page. Busy, busy revisionism. Frankly, I’m surprised Cruz hasn’t started a carpet-bombing campaign in the entry.]
Some quick comments: As was expressed to me by a young lady, once upon a time at a political event in ‘08 - ‘just because you have a vagina does not mean you are a progressive.’ You were against gay marriage before you were for it. Explain why. Be forthright for once. Shock us. You seriously get mad about being called ‘establishment’, and then you use Kissinger as a reference for the job? Kissinger. And not ‘establishment’. Kissinger?!! Am I in a time warp, parallel universe or something?
Then, is being called a moderate so bad, that you attack someone else and accuse them of a ‘smear’? Do you know how idiotic that sounds? All elections are won over turnout and who casts the widest net - towards the center. She wants far left support sans concessions so damned bad she’s willing to throw the middle under the bus? Fodder for the enemy. Terrible strategizing, if she’s doing any at all. And don’t start this “low blow” or “he’s being harsh” stuff. Either you’re a tough broad, or you’re not. Choose. Now.
A point that gave me hope of Clinton subtlety (a seemingly rare beast, and as such, should be appreciated even if mythical) - I was wondering why the hell she referenced Oklahoma City and McVeigh. That seemed a very weird instance to bring up. Very old - dating her own political history. Trying to avoid blaming Obama for in-country ISIS events? Then it dawned on me - could she be making a veiled threat towards the militia types here in America? Woe be to them if they try taking over more Federal lands under Clinton’s watch, methinks. Thatcher may have been the “Iron Lady”, but she’ll be history’s Rousey to Hillary’s Holm, if my assumption is correct.
I threw wadded-up socks at the television over this: “Wall Street guys trying to stop me”. Nice! A few days after a fundraiser WITH those Wall Street guys. I almost shut the TV off.
Loved Todd’s question about releasing the transcripts of the speeches for Goldman Sachs. Bang-zoom! Her face. If eyes could be lasers. She’s not a think-on-your-feet person, either. She could have turned this aside with, “Well, whether I talked to Goldman Sachs or the American Breast Cancer Association, I may have mentioned proprietary information which can’t be made public. Any release is up to them.” How neat that would have been! The irony here is … she complained of retroactive classification in the State Department. She’s retroactively classifying HER OWN SPEECHES now. Pot. Kettle. Black.
My sad conclusion: The Democratic Party offers us also-rans, the Republicans a circus side-show. I suppose we’ll have to settle for Clinton as our nominee eventually. She has too much clout behind her, and she’s been calling in markers like crazy all over media, entertainment and political circles. Even the NY Times is retweeting her talking points during the broadcast, as their editorialists cast doubts upon Sanders. I’m afraid New Hampshire will be Sanders’ high point, downhill from there. The whole ‘endorsement’ brouhaha. Too many new people, too fast, without enough organization. You can throw a lot of money at someone, but it doesn’t mean that someone will use it to best effect.
Sanders’ contention that the only way any of this matters - by throwing out the monied interests, bodily riding them out of the Beltway on a rail - is the true bottom line of this debate. And one of the few in which Clinton did NOT wedge herself in with a rejoinder. Her silence here spoke volumes. Very establishment GOP.
Here’s hoping she hires a speech coach. Now I have to get a barf bag out and sample a Republican debate, and write a similar piece.
Have a great evening. I need a drink.
Later: Suggested study material for Ms Clinton.
And our van blew its parts all over the highway on my way to the first client meet.
So my day’s sort of nuked. Links, commentary *if* I can today. Sorry!
Meetings this morning, but a commentary on the debates coming later.
I held my nose and dove into the Democratic debate last evening. One of those situations where my thoughts are dragging me kicking and screaming to the keyboard in order to mind-dump. See you all a bit later.
NY Times: Hillary Clinton Raises Her Voice, and a Debate Over Speech and Sexism Rages.
East of the Sun(set), West of the Moon.
Techdirt Deals: ZenMate VPN - Lifetime Premium Subscription.
Excellent price. But are they any good?
Designer News: It’s time Sketch fixed their font issues.
Des Moines Register Editorial: Something smells in the Democratic Party.
“Work with all the campaigns to audit results. Break silly party tradition and release the raw vote totals. Provide a list of each precinct coin flip and its outcome, as well as other information sought by the Register. Be transparent.” The fact the state’s leading paper says something is rotten, makes me look askance at the result.
The Nation: Elizabeth Warren Blasts a Republican Plan to Protect White-Collar Criminals.
“ Banks or payment processors would no longer be held criminally responsible for simply aiding fraudulent activity involving customer accounts, since the fraud was not primarily conducted by the bank, nor against it.” What the bloody hell? Mattresses, not banks. Mattresses. I’m convinced.
Political Wire: Bush Begs Audience to Clap.
I hope history remembers this. How far the Establishment GOP fell due to their encouragement of the sensationalist fringe. In spite of my observation from the other side of the aisle, I can’t help but feel sad. Better to oppose a dullard than quasi-fascists.
NPR: No Comment From Grinning Martin Shkreli At House Hearing On Drug Prices.
Everything that’s wrong with capitalism, in one human waste.
Dazed: Meet Hijarbie, the world’s first hijab-wearing Barbie.
“I’m filling a gap and hoping to create a positive awareness for the Muslim girl [snip] I want her to be inspired. This is about creating an alternative and having toys that look like you, which, at the end of the day, leads to better self-esteem.”
naked cap: Trump’s Neofascism Isn’t Going Away, Even if Trump Does.
“What is worrisome about Trump is two things. First, what should be clear about politics is that the public desperately wants a full employment economy. Trump is promising that. And second, Trump is building institutional links with at least one natural conservative force that hasn’t until recently been considered particularly political: the police.” Oh baby Jesus. And you know I’m no conspiracy theorist. Read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Seriously. Let’s hope Trump will, in his short-attention-span lifestyle, just abandon his political career. Greater concern - other elements have surely noticed. And have started planning, I’m sure.
Playboy: Get to Know Miss March 2016 Dree Hemingway, Our First Non-Nude Playmate.
[Link probably NSFW] Nudity is overrated. Our modern culture seems to promote gynecological exams as beauty. I speak for myself and my readers when I say seduction and mystery are infinitely preferable. Longing is given too short a shrift. Does anyone ‘moon’ over their desired ones anymore? It will be so ironic if Playboy is a catalyist to restore taste to our culture.
The color shots are distinctly reminiscent of David Hamilton’s work [look him up, also NSFW].
Italian Ways: A theater of symbols in Valva’s Villa d’Ayala.
I really need to integrate some classical statuary into my landscape. Not sure how they’ll work with cactus and stucco ...