WaPo: Nobody involved in the Albright-Steinem-Clinton flap has much to be proud of.
But get this - “Take a moment to look closely at the chart below, pulled from a 2015 report compiled by the Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics and the Higher Heights Foundation. Note the fact that a majority of white women — and white women alone — have backed the Republican presidential candidate each election since 2000.” My surprised italics.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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”.
NY Times: Hillary Clinton Raises Her Voice, and a Debate Over Speech and Sexism Rages.
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.
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 ...
NY Times Opinion/Kristof: 2 Questions for Bernie Sanders.
“When voters are polled today about how they would vote in a general election, Sanders does pretty well. For example, he beats Ted Cruz in the RealClearPolitics average, while Clinton loses to Cruz. But at this stage that’s almost meaningless: Republicans are blasting Clinton while ignoring Sanders. If he were the nominee, he would be savaged.” Well, a little misleading. Republicans aren’t really blasting anyone yet. Kristof, remember the ‘90’s? No doubt Sanders will catch incredible amounts of hell for ‘socialism.’ The question is, can they dial up Clinton/Obama-level hatred for Sanders? His record is pretty much out there. Socialism seems to be the only lever they’ve got. They can’t attack his heritage/religion (without offending Israel). His record is pretty benign. Easy to attack big plans from a person who’s never passed major legislation. Yet if he had, I imagine he’d make a bigger target. I remain skeptical that Sanders could win nationally against a Rubio, unless his message withstands more serious volleys. Love the man, love his message. Just waiting and watching.
New Yorker: Bernie Sanders and the New Populism.
“Clinton, although she retains a great deal of support in the Democratic Party, has so far failed to inspire the young. As I noted following the Iowa caucus, her response to the Sanders phenomenon sometimes seems to be ‘No, we can’t.’”
ScienceDaily: Discovery of ‘Jurassic butterflies’.
Not to rain on the parade, but can I express that I was hoping for five foot wingspans? (wink)
naked cap: Clinton Campaign Goes on Tilt as a Result of Dead Heat With Sanders in Iowa.
“Clinton’s favorability ratings have kept falling the more she has campaigned. [snip] Indeed, as of about two weeks ago, Clinton’s approval ratings among black voters in South Carolina had fallen from 79% to 54%. As of then, Sanders had not turned this decline into conversions to his campaign, but small focus groups suggest those voters are receptive to his message. So South Carolina could be more in play than it appears on the surface.” Must-read, esp. for resistant Hillary supporters. If Hillary wants to win, she has to recognize and deal with what Sanders is saying, what his supporters are energized by, rather than just deal with him as an annoying insect. Problem is, of course, we fully expect her to run Center-Left and move further Right than Obama has. Promises and piecrusts. There’s a screed going around on Facebook, the ALLCAPS rant. You’ve probably seen it. I’ve seen it about 12 times in my feed now (‘yay’, he says, with no enthusiasm). It sets up a very convenient straw-woman. If you run across it, give it a few minutes. We’re apparently supposed to give ol’ Hill our support because she’s being unfairly beaten on because she’s a woman. Not quite. I wonder what ISIS and Putin will do, send her a set of fluffy slippers? She sat on the board of Walmart, for Christ’s sake, and didn’t stand up for unions. She’s actively promoted fracking (and her policy site skims over the issue, conveniently) both here and abroad. She was just feted by fracking financiers, just before the caucus. Looking at all the issues she’s been against/for and vice-versa, she makes my head spin. I have not been able to predict what her platform would be from year to year.
My opposition is based on her [temporary] stances and flip-flops on important issues to my local area. If you want me to comment on her pantsuits and hair, I will. I gave Gore hell for not getting into better physical shape for his run, nothing sexist about it. One shouldn’t look like an oiled sea lion when running for office. And, I still have a bad taste in my mouth over Hillary’s run for the Senate. She was a clear carpetbagger in the NY Senate race. She announced her intent to run for the position four days after the impeachment ruling for her husband, and seven months before she ever had a domicile in the state. This whole concept of entitlement smacks of the Bob Dole run. Well-respected, “owed”. That was a huge success, right?
Quartz: The US bet big on American oil and now the whole global economy is paying the price.
FishbowlNY: Reporter Double-Checks Story Ahead of Cindy Crawford Interview.
Youtube: A Day in Pompeii.
Advice ... don’t watch while eating toast.