Macworld: Switch from Facebook’s iOS app to Facebook on Safari to save battery life.
The Hill: Clinton hangs on in revised Iowa caucus results.
The Verge: Here’s how Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline is going to work.
“In any case, this will be the new Twitter by default — but you will be allowed to opt out of the new timeline, The Verge has confirmed.” Without some larger graphical indication of freshness, this is going to crash and burn. IMHO.
Politico: Clinton weighs staff shake-up after New Hampshire.
Told you. “Look, she’s going to be the nominee, but she’s not going to get any style points, and if she isn’t careful she is going to be a wounded nominee. And they better work this sh—out fast because whoever the Republicans pick is going to be 29 times tougher than Bernie.” Only problem is, the issues are at the top. You have to listen to your people. Thanks, GiTM.
Happy B-day, James Dean.
Is it sexist to critique Hillary’s delivery?
A person quietly emailed me and told me it was unfair that I criticize Hillary’s speaking style, and not Bernie’s. They are correct. But not for the reason they believe.
Bernie is a product of his environment. You’d be as likely to get a Brooklyn woman to change her delivery style as a Brooklyn male ... that is, not at all. Sure, he shouldn’t bellow like a bull. Can he learn not to? I don’t believe so. I worked in NYC. I know his nature. Doesn’t matter if he’s male or female. It’s a regional trait. In the same vein, old Southern gentry tend to all near-whisper [try Shelby Foote, Burns’ Civil War series]. They don’t change either, neither male nor female. But the fact I didn’t mention the above makes my comments about Hillary’s style seem sexist.
Hillary is a different story. She’s *adopted* this new style of rhetoric, and it’s a terrible fit. It is not her former method of address. I don’t have to spell it out for you, you can go look at Youtube as well as I can. See her style when addressing Congress over the original Hillarycare hearings. Then try her debate style during her Senate run (try the Buffalo debate). This is not about being female, younger or cuter. LISTEN. This is all about calm, precise delivery. She’s sharper than a razor. She could eat Reagan for lunch with that rhetoric.
That - THAT is the Hillary I want to hear. Not the current cartoon persona she’s lapsed into. What she’s doing now is going to hurt her nationally. She is going to be our likely candidate (sorry fellow Bernie fans). I simply want her to correct the mistakes she’s making in her delivery, and guarantee that we won’t have a rabid Conservative in the Presidency. I think it’s a huge deficit - we judge politicians by their speaking style. The media amplies those judgments. Think it’s minor? Ask Howard Dean. And the media’s already giving her grief over it.
Quick metaphor: If you were paying a mechanic (let’s say female, for argument’s sake) to fix your tire, and she pulls out a bent tire iron and doesn’t seem to do a good job, are you going to return to that service station? No.
I’ve run across more than one site saying to critique Hillary’s speaking is sexist by nature. I disagree strongly. The same articles go on to claim Clinton, Reagan had ‘feminine’ speaking styles. That statement alone takes the top of my head off, from someone claiming to be above the sexist fray. The goal of feminism is to make gender irrelevant (see the Steinem quote yesterday). Reagan (and you all know I disdain Reagan) at least knew how to use pauses to emphasize historical moments. In his supposedly ‘feminine’ style, he didn’t have to shout “Tear down this wall.” He raised his voice for that one point, but I wouldn’t call it a shout. Nowhere near the volume of Bernie or Hillary over rudimentary debate issues. The scale is all wrong. It’s Bernie, of course. But Hillary shouldn’t rise to that level. A quiet rejoinder would make Bernie more of an odd duck, if she’d just understand that.
As a teleprompter, the politicians I’ve supported all knew some basic things. For instance, you wait for applause to die down, you don’t raise your volume to try to talk over it. Talking softly over the diminuendo of applause is a well-worn effect to secure silence from the audience. You should have complete memory of your dossier, such that you can lose a teleprompter or written speech and sound coherent. Bernie has a limited set of points, so it’s simpler for him. Hillary’s dossier is much broader and deeper. Either she’s overrehearsed (with too much in her head), or she’s not practiced enough. She pauses, flicks those eyes looking for words. That shouldn’t be happening. The “I’s” in Hillary’s speech are sounding insincere, mixed with this head bobbing arm waving animation she’s started to fall into. These are terribly bad habits. I would suggest the Imperial “We” rather than constant “I’s”. “We - my foreign policy team and I - we approached ...” would sound much better if used ONCE in a statement. Rather than the machine-gun of “I did’s”.
Do you see why I’m doing this? I liked Hillary very much in the ‘90’s. If she’d run then, she would have had my vote. It was her laser-precision that attracted my interest. Stronger than her husband. The way she’s running today - all I can see is room for improvement. If she’s the nominee, she HAS to win. I think her speaking style is unnecessarily going to handicap her in the general race. I have no reservations that she is a very intelligent person. So, I say - the same as I tell Bernie he should never have left foreign policy such a huge black hole in his debate performance, I say similar to Hillary. Fix your speaking style. Return to the rhetorical style you once commanded - and can command again. This new persona is JUST NOT WORKING. It’s not working for me, it’s not working for many Dems I talk to. You’re hitting important points, but they’re not framed in such a way that they have enough penetration. We’re distracted by the delivery. If you stop mugging and gesticulating, we might be able to soak in a fact or three.
I say it, because I want you to be your best. Not my version of a feminist icon. Not because I want to hold you down and handicap you for being a woman.
Because if you’re running, I want you to crush the competition. Your voice is a powerful tool. Scale, volume, timbre are all parts of maximizing that tool. Use it to its fullest. You know this, I shouldn’t have to even mention it.
Mashable: Dick Nixon on the Democrats: Hillary’s weak and Bernie’s clueless
naked capitalism: Sanders v. Clinton Democratic Debate - Corruption, Health Care and Change.
“And now to compare Clinton to Sanders: Things are a lot simpler with Sanders; his net worth is $419,000. Let me break out my calculator… And so his lifetime accumulation of wealth is $256,000 less than the $675,000 Clinton made for three speeches at Goldman.” My italic emphasis. A whole lot of allegations - with back-up links - in this. It’ll take a while to parse all of it.
Register.UK: Submarine cable cut lops Terabits off Australia’s data bridge.
Oh man. That sucks.
NY Times: Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Scold Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders.
How the mighty have fallen. Replace “Hillary” in this article with “Carly” to see how silly this all is. And Steinem’s comment! One of her famous quotes from her heyday: “A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.” I believe THAT philosophy is the one young ladies today adhere to. I am not a woman, so I can’t speak for them, but among the ones I talk to ... platform, issues and character matter more than sex today. As a female friend drily related to me: “Every woman’s had a woman boss. And they’ve never forgotten it.”
Later: Steinem walks back her comments, “misinterpretation.” Will young women believe that? Doubtful.
The Republican Debate, 2/6/16.
Oh. My. God. I knew it was bad, just not this bad. They couldn’t even find their podiums at the start - obviously they couldn’t hear the announcers. Trump and Carson, waiting for the fanfare that never came, tonight’s Laurel and Hardy. And they almost forgot to introduce Kasich! ABC produced this like one would produce a boxing match. Or “Family Feud”!
Quick take, and a panacea.
The moderators encouraged infighting. The first few questions were opportunities to bash each other. Astonishing. Useless. Issues? HAH. Weird paranoiac fantasies, with invisible evildoers. Must. Use. Bombs. And. Torture. To. Protect. Millionaires. And. Defunding. Planned Parenthood. While. Saving. Unborn. To. Build. Border. Walls. Because. Tax. Cuts. Not. Immigrants. EMINENT DOMAIN!! ISIS. Gentrified. Me. Worship. Peace. In. Our. Time. Repeat.
Sorry, lost it there for a sec.
1. Jolly Kasich forgets nouns, subjects to sentences. Hard to follow, even if you’d want to.
2. Jeb Bush is old-guard GOP Sominex.
3. Marco Rubio is a Chihuahua gnawing at Obama’s ankles, as Satan eternally gnaws Judas’ ankles at the bottom of Dante’s Inferno.
4. Donald Trump is radioactively obtuse.
5. Cruz is frightening, simply frightening. Like a malfunctioning electric bread knife amongst fingers.
6. Ben Carson’s overprescribing downers to himself.
7. Christie seems to aspire to the post of Governor-in-Chief, not President.
What a sad situation for America. An embarrassing display of fermenting grey matter. I am embarrassed, international friends. Mortified. Dear God, ABC even had downloadable *bingo* cards for viewer use. Trump and Bush sounded the most reasonable out of this crew tonight ... if a group of rabid bipedal mammals can be called ‘reasonable’. Rubio had the most astute description of the ISIS situation that I’ve heard yet - from either side of the aisle. Stuck out like a sore thumb. The only moment of clearheaded sanity in the whole debate, and the only one from him. Which may only mean he’s read the same online sources I have (!).
Overall, theirs is a strange parallel universe. Their fear and insecurity seethes dangerously, my friends. They see dangers under every rock. In their zeal, the poor and disadvantaged are going to be savaged. There’s no two ways about it.
So I leave you with something to salve your soul. I need to reset my moral compass after all that, myself.
Robert Kennedy. The excerpt of his speech to South Africa in 1966, that his brother Edward read at his funeral in 1968.
There is discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation. Governments repress their people; millions are trapped in poverty while the nation grows rich and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere. These are differing evils, but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility towards the suffering of our fellows. But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers; that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men. And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again. The answer is to rely on youth - not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to the obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. They cannot be moved by those who cling to a present that is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger that come with even the most peaceful progress.
It is a revolutionary world we live in, and this generation at home and around the world has had thrust upon it a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived. Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills. Yet many of the world’s great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation; a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth; a young woman reclaimed the territory of France; and it was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the 32 year-old Thomas Jefferson who (pro)claimed that “all men are created equal.”
These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.
For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty. But they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. All of us will ultimately be judged, and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that event.
The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society. Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live.
Copyright, I assume, belongs to the Kennedy family. I hope they won’t mind. I think we all need this bit of remembrance right about now.
Not one candidate, to my knowledge, characterized either an immigrant or a Democrat as a fellow human being.
I weep very real tears for my country.
Mashable: Decrepit ocean liner bigger than the Titanic could be reborn as a luxury cruise ship.
Forgot to link this the other day. The SS United States may be reborn after all. And not as a stationary hotel/conference center.
Jacobin: Hillary Clinton’s Empowerment.
“... taking politicians’ rhetoric at face value is one of the gravest errors that a progressive can make.” Hoo boy, do we know that one. Article pretty much hashes Ms Clinton, and loses focus at the end when addressing feminism. Interesting individual links/details used as corroboration. Hefty grain of salt overall (check sourcing).
AJ America: ‘Hot Yoga’ Guru Loses Sexual-Harassment Suit.
“One witness, Sharon Clerkin, is said to have testified that Choudhury once announced at a packed training session, the majority of whose participants are usually women, that ‘I should rape more girls, it’s good for business.’”
SF New Mexican: Longtime Zia Diner owner says eatery was part of city’s zeitgeist.
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.