Darkness Is Good is gone, though no one seems able to figure how that came to be: 1,040,000 Google results pronounce HE'S FIRED while 1,360,000 Google results suggest he resigned - twice (the first time effective Aug. 14th, but in the uproar over Charlottesville I guess he forgot to take himself out the door, though it sounds like once things calmed down Kelly reminded him to pack his bags).
Though my title invites him to switch sides and come swing from the branches with us, we're more likely to collectively win Powerball tomorrow night - without buying tickets - than for him to switch sides, so yeah, surely I jest. Anyhow, he claims he's not racist and Orangado likes to echo him on that for whatever reason (they'd poll better as avowed and even belligerent "racists" with their be-all, end-all base, don'tcha think?) but with the mouth on him he's got, he can go pound sand.
He who indirectly brought an entire right-wing, white nationalist so-called "news" agency into the Oval Office - along with the first program to ever essentially automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes - surely won't be too sorely missed, and while I'll let bygones be bygones, I won't forget his every-weekend mayhem-wrecking of earlier this year, and neither will the liquor store where I get the vodka I started drinking because of it.
On "the first program to ever automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes", thank Bannon for working with - and for Trump being funded by - billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Cambridge Analytica does more damage to the Republican electorate - as low-information, conspiracy-embracing, false-danger-sensing and Faux Noize-prone as it is - than they could do to themselves.
And Bannon used it - this is my personal belief - to shape and script Trump's every public engagement, no matter how big or small. The general gist of his words was given to him daily by Bannon, after he distilled CA's results down into bullet points which he fed to Trump along with his well-done steaks and McDonald's.
That's my theory. But I have a strong hunch - beyond a hunch, I'd say I'm almost certain - that it's so, after Bannon's last words on that (and trust me, they were on that): "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over". Does he say why? No. Does he drop hints? Sure. Try this (emphasis mine): "[...] that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over" and: ""There's about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill" — a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood."
When "asked what the turning point was" he blamed moderate Republicans, but the truth is without the messaging Cambridge Analytica gave him to advise Trump with, to keep the dude "on point" with his base, Trump will be like a little boy who can't find his way back home for the lost puppy he keeps chasing after in the woods.
To see why, you need only know how Cambridge Analytica works*: it uses deep data mining and polls social media for "likes" (the ubiquitous "thumbs-up"), then matches those data points against a "predictive personality model" to find its preferred targets. Right now it prefers right-leaning targets, but it could just as easily be programmed to prefer leftists or florists or Jehovah's Witnesses. As it finds new targets, it learns what each of them wants to see, watch, read and think about, then carefully spoons them more of the same, after tailoring it to their specific interests down to the most granular level. Think a bespoke Facebook or bespoke Twitter.
Which is how just one right-winger browsing Facebook might see video of a man arrested for flying a kite over, say, his state's (Democratic) governor's mansion last week that none of his Facebook friends will ever see because he in particular has shown a strong passion for kites, a strong dislike of Democrats, and happens to live in the same state where the criminal kite-flying occurred.
What CA does is reinforce each target's existing beliefs with more of the same until their thought processes are impossible to budge...almost like learning by rote. The end result is you take the base you want, shape it into the one you find the easiest to handle with the least amount of massaging, then use what you receive from the echo chamber you've created to target it even more repeatedly from within the Oval Office, on Twitter and Facebook, at rallies and pressers, or wherever. It's a brilliant, though insidiously awful, product.
And I'm making it sort of easy to grasp (I've read between 5-10 hours worth of articles over the last year in order to distill it down this much) but the sausage-making that goes into Cambridge Analytica is actually crazy-complicated, though suffice it to say, it works. It works almost too well. It's a form of AI which Mercer money - basically endless - has built into one of the best content and message-tailoring platforms on Earth.
Without it - assuming Bannon used it to influence Trump as much as I suspect he did, and that he pulled it for use in the Oval Office shortly before he was canned or resigned - Orangado will indeed soon be up the proverbial creek without his most precise, content-targeting paddle. But just as he said of Bannon: "We'll see what happens!"
*: Updated this paragraph shortly after posting to describe a bit better how Cambridge Analytica works.
This is the first of two installments about saved comments from January 2016. I was traveling during the first two weeks of the month, so I saved my comments on my laptop, then transferred them to my desktop. Good thing I did; apparently the video card on that has failed. On the one hand, it confirms my feelings of urgency about posting my saved comments here, as they were driven by anxieties of hardware failure. On the other, I was hoping the laptop would remain functional longer so that I could post the comments I saved on it. Sigh.
I'm going to keep my comment on "Link round-up for 3 January 2016" at Infidel 753 above the cut, as it has a wider appeal for my readers here on Dreamwidth than the comments behind the cut. That's because it's about all three trilogies of the Star Wars saga.The New Republic is right about the Star Wars saga being a multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family. However, I wouldn't call it bad parenting, at least in the first two trilogies. I'd call it absentee parenting combined with bad foster parenting (except in the case of Leia; I think the Organas were actually good parents). Obi-Wan screwed up with Anakin and was supplanted by Palpatine, who was even worse. Lars tried, but he wasn't suited to deal with his nephew by marriage, who had the family curse of being destined for greatness.
It wasn't until the current movie that a combination of an unruly child with parenting not up to the task became apparent. Leia, Han, and Luke all tried with Kylo Ren, and all failed. Smoke (sp.?) took over the Palpatine role and ended up being the evil foster parent. Thank you, J.J. Abrams for making crystal clear what George Lucas only implied.
The good news is that the foster parents can redeem themselves. Obi-Wan, with Yoda's help, succeed with Luke where they failed with his father. Anakin himself finally did the right thing by his son, although it took Palpatine doing his best to kill Luke to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and Leia do the same for Kylo Ren and Rey by the final film of this trilogy. There is a formula to these films, after all.
( Comments from Kunstler's and Greers blogs plus the old Michigan Liberal about energy, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )
- Wed 8/16 @ 11:43 – @alexvtunzelmann @UrsulaV Does it work the same with other colors? Or for men with non-natural hair colors? in reply to alexvtunzelmann
- Wed 8/16 @ 21:12 – RT @karencheee: How to be hopeful & energized to fight in the darkest of timesfrom Howard Zinn’s ‘You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train’…
- Wed 8/16 @ 23:27 – “Better Off Ted” realized this was a problem in *2008*! https://t.co/APhi8gbKhF
- Thu 8/17 @ 10:25 – @jonrog1 I’m a fan of the idea floating around to remove the soldiers but leave the horses – it wasn’t their fault. in reply to jonrog1
- Thu 8/17 @ 14:16 – RT @UrsulaV: The arc of Art History is long, but it bends toward justice. https://t.co/WtNY4WTwvD
- Thu 8/17 @ 14:23 – Our Spirit store just popped up this week as well. https://t.co/kBsmxMPn9W
- Thu 8/17 @ 15:10 – @WolfBaginski @UrsulaV There was an episode of “McMillan & Wife” that had that plot. in reply to WolfBaginski
Mirrored from Frenzied Theatre.
Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, of Sayre, Oklahoma, is accused of trying to detonate a 1,000-pound vehicle bomb in downtown Oklahoma City, an attack he wanted to claim with a Facebook message proclaiming that “the time for revolution is now.”
Pretty sure he has “mental issues”, was teased at school and emotionally abused by his parents, who refused to buy him a new gaming system.
I live in Tulsa and remember the OKC bombing very well. How horrifying it was to see the firemen and other rescue workers carrying dead and dying CHILDREN out of the rubble.
So this is really frightening.
I want to point out a couple things though.
From what I understand, the feds were on to this guy, the bomb was fake and thanks to the feds, who DID do their jobs here, there was never any risk to the public. He was under close surveillance all the way and only picked up after he pushed the button he thought would detonate it, so that he can receive the maximum sentence possible.
That said, he didn’t actually blow anything up, and so the crime carries only a five to twenty year sentence, meaning this meth-fueled sack of shit will be back on the streets pretty quickly, so … that’s not great.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2v7kdY7
Veggie Caesar: This is a mixture of edamame beans, cheddar cheese bruschetta, and sour cream and onion half-popped corn kernels. It has 120 calories. This is savory and a little salty and lots of crunchy. I think it’s a nice combination, though I have to admit it isn’t really clear what it has to do with Caesar.
Peanut Butter & Jelly: This is a mixture of salted peanuts, raspberry strings, and vanilla fudge. It has 220 calories. This is a nice combination of sweet and salty. It is, of course, best to eat all of the components together. You wouldn’t want to run out of fruit strings and still have lots of the less interesting peanuts left, after all.
Vietnamese Pho: This consists of a moderately spicy broth paste (which you reconstitute with hot water) plus dried shiitake mushroom slices, rice noodle pieces, and sesame seeds. It has 60 calories. It’s not really very pho-like and the broth is definitely dominated by the flavor of star anise (which, admittedly, tends to be a flavor I find dominant in any quantity). It’s not terrible, but it’s not something I’d want as often as I seem to get it.
Chia Coconut Cookie with Special Blend Black Tea: The tea is just tea, with a little bergamot (not as much as in most Earl Grey tea) but the coconut chia cookies (you get two) are the heart of this. They have 120 calories. I like both the flavor and the slightly crumbly texture of these cookies. I’m not a big fan of coconut, but it isn’t too dominant here. They’re mostly buttery and not particularly sweet. Overall, an excellent snack – one of my favorites.
Eleanor’s Apple Crumble: This consists of soft apple pieces, raisins, and caramelized honey and cinnamon almonds. It has 110 calories. The almonds are especially tasty. Eating all the components together does taste something like an apple crisp. A reasonably good sweet, but not overly sweet, snack.
Peach Cobbler (new): This consists of almond slivers, peach fruit drops, yogurt-coated sunflower seeds, and amaretti drops. It has 160 calories. The peach drops are amazing. I wish there were more of them and fewer almond slivers. This doesn’t taste much like a peach cobbler, but is good anyway.
Sweet Memphis Barbecue: This is a mix of barbecue peas, salsa peanuts, and wild rice sticks. It has 190 calories. This has a lot of flavor, without being too spicy or too weird. That makes it a good savory snack.
I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:
And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!
(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)
Yesterday Cloudflare, a service that increases reliability (and speed?) of web sites, shut down the Daily Stormer web site. Daily Stormer, if you haven't heard, is the site for the a hate group with broad impact in the US, most recently in the violence and murder in Charlottsville.
Their CEO's blog post announcing the termination isn't just a "they're evil and they're gone" announcement like you sometimes see. It's a thoughtful post that explains the dilemmas faced by the organizations that, by and large, make the Internet work, and what dangers this decision opens up.
Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare.
Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it's so dangerous.
[...] Someone on our team asked after I announced we were going to terminate the Daily Stormer: "Is this the day the Internet dies?" He was half joking, but only half. He's no fan of the Daily Stormer or sites like it. But he does realize the risks of a company like Cloudflare getting into content policing.
I also found this tidbit interesting:
In fact, in the case of the Daily Stormer, the initial requests we received to terminate their service came from hackers who literally said: "Get out of the way so we can DDoS this site off the Internet."
After finding that post I found this post on Gizmodo that, among things, quotes from internal email he sent.
This was my decision. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d had enough.
Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. I called our legal team and told them what we were going to do. I called our Trust & Safety team and had them stop the service. It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company. [...] No one should have that power.
I don't have a coherent opinion yet. On the one hand, policing content is a dangerous game and why I support net neutrality. On the other hand, private companies (and individuals) should be free to act (legally) in their own interests; companies have been refusing service to unacceptable customers on a case-by-case basis for years. On the third hand, there are differences between competitive markets and monopoly markets. (Within monopolies there are government-sponsored ones and we're-big-and-drove-everybody-out ones too.) Balancing all of that is hard.
Last month, I posted here about the Teen Choice Awards nominees recognizing speculative fiction in movies and television. The awards were given out Sunday, so it's time to post about the winners. Here are the links to entries about the winners at Crazy Eddie's Motie News and the descriptions I used to promote them.
'Beauty and the Beast' the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards as speculative fiction dominates the movie categories
"Beauty and the Beast" won five awards, Choice Fantasy Film, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress for Emma Watson, Choice Movie Villain for Luke Evans, and Choice Movie Ship and Choice Liplock for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Emma Watson also won Choice Drama Movie Actress for her role in the thriller "The Circle."
'Riverdale' leads television shows with seven Teen Choice Awards
"Riverdale" was the most honored show last Sunday, earning seven surfboards: Choice Drama TV Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse, Choice Breakout TV Show, Choice Breakout TV Star for Lili Reinhart, Choice TV Ship for Sprouse and Reinhart, Choice Hissy Fit for Madelaine Petsch, and Choice Scene Stealer for Camila Mendes.
The mishna begins a chapter with an overview of how civil and capital cases are conducted:
Both civil and capital cases require inquiry and examination of witnesses. (This is done by the judges; there are no lawyers.)
Civil cases are tried by a court of three; capital cases are tried by a court of 23.
When the judges deliberate on civil cases, they may begin with arguments for either acquittal or condemnation. When they deliberate on capital cases, they must begin with arguments for acquittal.
Civil cases may be decided by a majority of one; capital cases may be decided by a majority of one for acquittal, but require a majority of at least two for condemnation.
In civil cases the decision may be reversed in either direction (for example upon the discovery of an error). In capital cases the decision may be reversed from condemnation to acquittal but not the other way around.
In civil cases, all present (including the pupils who are observing) may argue for or against the defendant. In capital cases, anybody may argue for acquittal but only the judges may argue for condemnation.
In civil cases, one who has previously argued for either acquittal or condemnation may then argue for the other side (for example because he realized his argument was faulty). In capital cases, one who has argued for condemnation may then argue for acquittal but not the other way around.
Civil cases are tried by day and concluded by night if necessary.
Capital cases are tried by day and must be concluded by day. Civil cases can be concluded on the same day (either way); capital cases can be concluded on the same day for acquittal but not until the following day for condemnation. Therefore trials are not held on the eve of Shabbat or a festival.
In civil cases we begin with the opinion of the most eminent of the judges; in capital cases we begin with the opinion of the least ("those on the side benches").
All types of Jews (presumably they mean men) are eligible to try civil cases, but converts and bastards cannot judge capital cases.
(32a, which begins chapter 4)
Poor conservatives, they've got it so tough: they just want to finish ruining life for Poors and the already-gutted middle class but the chief citrus fruit juggler just keeps getting in the way.
Hell they care about some neo-Nazi/KKK fluff, they've got healthcare to eviscerate, taxes to delete for the rich, a minimum wage to abolish, and an environment to finish fucking up, and you wanna talk to them about white nationalism when the hell they care. They are white nationalism. Enough said.
Stepping back into my usual form (I'm about to lose it again, so no worries) you all know how I've hammered on and on and on and on and and on in post after post how Trump voters are just one big, closeted pile of slithering, slimy, silent majority racists? And how at least a few of you, how many times now, inwardly clucked to yourselves that I'm wrong and this could not possibly be the case because like, white people want low taxes, too, so how exactly does that make somebody a fucking racist again?
Fine. Like the head orange peeler, I'm feeling a bit on edge tonight myself, so let's go:
A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after the Charlottesville unrest (but before Mr Trump's Tuesday press conference) could also give clues as to why conservatives are taking pause. Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough" to condemn white nationalist violence in Charlottesville. Two-thirds of them had no problem with the president's delay in mentioning neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name.
Perhaps most remarkably, 48% of Trump voters think the Charlottesville white nationalists either "have a point" (37%) or were "mostly right" (11%). And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US.
Let's look at this again: "Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough"" to condemn white nationalist violence. So almost 80% of the citrus-eating electorate thinks saying both sides are to blame was like him getting on his knees in contrition for what haters of all stripes think they should do in his name. In other words, they just don't care.
And two-thirds (66%) thought it was fine he waited two days to get tired of Ivanka berating him over the nasty thing he said over the weekend, so to appease her, since they can't (but he definitely wishes they could) do the nasty, he read from a dry and meaningless statement that he didn't write, didn't think over beforehand, and didn't give one flying leap about - not to judge by his brain-dead delivery of it on Monday that - while condemning neo-Nazis and KKK because Ivanka and Jared are probably about ready to flee the country, still failed to condemn the very hate rally ringleaders responsible for what happened.
There was just enough to make Ivanka smile again. No more, no less. Just enough.
But that's cool: 66% of those low-information and truth-aversive enough to vote for him thought waiting two days to make an appease-the-left fake offering was great, because why should he have to pander to fuckin' libruls anyhow? How's Murca gonna be great again if we gotta kiss the asses of every fucking ___ and ___ and _____ and ___ in this country every time we just wanna exercise our free rights to speech? See, Bessy, that's why we gotta keep our guns at hand, you know Bummer almost took 'em away before those FEMA camps he was runnin' got shut down...yeah, woman, that's right - coulda been us, that's what I'm sayin'... *swigs beer*
He also quite glaringly failed to condemn himself for making such a brooding atmosphere of hate possible, an atmosphere that would've receded back into the shadows where it fucking belongs had he simply not had a victory which the entire intelligence community blames on Russian interference - not sufficient votes necessary to win - Russian interference, making him the first and only illegitimate orange drink this country's ever had.
And 48% of our Google manifesto-supporting friends think "white nationalists" - rabid non-white haters, to use the normal English term here - "have a point" or "are mostly right". About what? A monument? Violence against non-white/non-Nazi/non-KKK/non-male demonstrators? Shouting Jewish, racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs? Did shouting slurs at people who don't look like, or have the same parts or tendencies as them prove their "point"? If so, what was it? "We hate anyone who isn't a white man", was that it? Whatever it might be, 48% of people think they agree with it. Presumably they're not all white or men, so go orange eaters, upholding the palest of patriarchies nor for any good reason, but simply because they can.
"And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US." And I'll bet about 70% of them voted for Trump! So tell me again why these motherfuckers aren't racists, and didn't vote for him simply because they are, while I stop my ears up with my fingers and sing "La la la la I'm not listening" like a two year old, because fuck you, that's why.
You'll need to create a Dreamwidth account to PM (private message) me (you can find the private message link on my profile page after you join Dreamwidth - it will turn from grey to red once your account is active).
I can't unscreen your comment without it becoming public, and I doubt you'd want that. I can't reply on the page, as you commented anonymously, so you can't see my replies unless I unscreen them, which would also make this a public affair. Also, you asked me to contact you, but you left me no contact information.
Also-also, doesn't surprise me there's (at least) two of us! Would love to hear more on this. :)