Sunday, December 31, 2017

Litton's Weekend Adventure visits Belize

Saturday morning, Dec. 30, Litton’s Weekend Adventure aired something interesting because of what I’ve covered before.  They aired two half-hour segments on ABC shot in Belize, which I have talked about before with regard to a local church “Mission in Belize”.

This time the first segment showed film jaguars and ocelots, setting up items to attract them.  The females showed up with their young.  Earlier National Geographic films have shown that wild big cats sometimes start to accept humans beings around them to film them;  in one case a wildlife photographer consoled an aging female leopard as she passed away.

The second segment showed sea turtles of the coast of Belize. It was hard to see how they (as reptiles) could stay underwater so long.
Wikipedia attribution link for Mata pyramid in Belize, CCSA 2.0, by Ian Mackenzie. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"Putin's Power: A Journey Inside Russia" on ABC Nightline

Late Wednesday night Dec. 20 ABC Nightline presented “Putin’s Power: A Journey Inside Russia”.

The report showed mounting demonstrations in St. Petersburg by youthful supporters of one of Putin’s political rivals, as well as they heavy handed police actions against political opponents.

The broadcast then moved to Siberia, showing squalor, and then to the growing HIV epidemic among drug users in Russia.  There was a scene in a home for mothers with HIV and their kids.
Putin has put out a message of heterosexual monogamy, but not been willing to talk about condoms.
Putin has also been trying to get families to have more kids and to repopulate rural areas in Siberia. Make Russia great again?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Putin's Revenge Part 2" on PBS Frontline

PBS Frontline aired “Putin’s Revenge Part II” tonight, Tuesday, December 19, 2017 (link).

The documentary traces Putin’s anger at Hillary Clinton to her remarks in 2013 supporting Russian dissidents.

Putin experimented with his disinformation and hacking campaigns in Ukraine in 2014, leading to a bloodless seizure of the Crimea.

Then the hack on the DNC in 2016 led to the tension between Sanders supporters and Clinton at the 2016 Democratic convention.

A media bombshell on Russian hacking in October would be immediately supplanted with Trump’s Access Hollywood fiasco, and then a slow burn from a Wikileaks release from the Russians 

Monday, December 18, 2017

CNN Heroes 2017

Sunday night, CNN, hosted by Anderson Cooper, hosted its annual CNN Heroes. The presentation ran past midnight. 
Here is the link giving the top ten heroes.  

The lineup starts with Stan Hays and barbecuing to feed hurricane victims in Florida and Texas.

Most of the heroes were recognized for meeting personal needs close-up, and mostly for people who cannot fend for themselves, sometimes medical or inherited disability, or often adverse circumstances.

My own talents would have to be much more specialized if I went in this direction.  For example, I could assist with chess tournaments (they happen in low income areas) or with helping people deal with Internet scams or viruses. But the needs here seem to be much more basic.

The Red Cross has been trying to recruit volunteers to install smoke detectors.
Do journalists like Anderson do this themselves? How could they have time?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Omarosa, of course; CNN nasty to OAN for Moore glitch

I remember Omarosa Manigault Newman in Season 1 of Trump’s “The Apprentice”.  She got fired, but Trump seemed to like her, and it was mutual, as she apparently had the run of the White House for her invented job as a liaison to the African American community.

So here is the story of her second firing. “He is not a racist” she says.

She had a problem getting along with Chief of Staff Kelly.

OAN reporter Trey Yingst tweeted that he called and after she put him off she hung up.

My own sense was that Omarosa did make a Trump presidency less menacing at first. She used to be the heart of Trump's reality world. 

There was another story about Roy Moore’s loss to Jones in Alabama.  OAN supposedly called the election for Moore and then retracted the story,  CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted (in a retweet of Jon Levine) “This is bad and/but also shows how irrelevant “One America News” is.”  Seems inappropriate for a mainstream “liberal” network to call a conservative network “irrelevant” on a mistake.  All the networks blew it calling Florida too early in the 2000 election. 
Trey did ask a pointed question about the ending of network neutrality in the White House Briefing today.  I was home and reconnected to cable just in time to hear if after a scheduled maintenance power outage in my building.
Whatever happened to Troy McClain, who let his legs get waxed to “take one for the team”? Trump mentions him in “How to Get Rich”. 

Omarosa will be interviewed Thursday night on ABC Nightline, video here.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Three way interview with the gay love triangle on "Days of our Lives"

Freddie Smith (Sonny), Chandler Massey (Will) and Christopher Sean (Paul) do a jam with Michael Fairman of “Days of our Lives”. 

Chandler Massey has returned as the character Will has re-appeared;  he wasn’t dead after Ben strangled him, but was given a new identity. 

Will has amnesia, but his old gay self returns as he suddenly kisses Paul (the baseball pitcher).
Sonny pulled a stunt with Ben (breaking out of jail) to reenact the strangling so Will would remember.

In the meantime JJ (Casey Moss) tries to get his head back together after shooting the autistic Theo before recognizing him, after the Dimera’s put Theo up to a robbery.  JJ, now a cop, has evolved into the straight version of Will.

Sonny even got his chest hair back one more time. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Singapore" on Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown

On Dec. 10, Anthony Boudain reran his Episode 1 for this season. “Singapore”, which apparently I had not covered before (best link). 

As for the individual behavioral rules, “there are many” he says.  Much like other Asian societies (especially China) there is an idea of rightsizing of the individual so that the less well-off have some reason to have faith in the system. And the strict behavior rules on some things are thought to make the city-state safer.

But Singapore is also a bit of a nanny state, with some specific rules to guarantee ethnic diversity in housing complexes.

Quora has an interesting set of answers on Singapore’s authoritarianism, which has evolved from the rule of Lee Kuan Yew, a one-party system that seems more benevolent and workable than most.  
Harvard points out, however, that Sinagpore believes in controlling individual speech, as with its sedition act. 

Compare to Josh Garcia's coverage March 13, 2017.
By Socksiong - Own work., GFDL, Link

Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Justice for Jessica": horrific crime in Mississippi, trial has just started

Justice for Jessica” is a one-hour special on CNN, narrated by Randi Kaye, about the murder of Jessica Chambers at the end of 2014.  

The documentary traced her movements after leaving a gas station. She was found walking while burning, but she died at the hospital soon thereafter.


There is plenty of circumstantial evidence against the accused. 

Saturday, December 09, 2017

"The Mystery of Michael Flynn" on CNN

On Friday, Dec, 9, CNN aired “The Mystery of Michael Flynn” (one hour, 10 PM, EST)  CNN’s own best link seems to be this article by Manu Ranju and Jeremy Herb, about discrepancies between testimony of Flynn’s aide and court documents. Or try-catch this story about ripping up Russia sanctions, by Ramju and Polantz.

CNN, unlike PBS Frontline, often does not provide specific url’s to track its special reports. 

Flynn  was the U.S.'s s 25th National Security Advisor.

The report went back to the time when Flynn contradicted Obama on Obama’s cheery progress on getting out of not only Iraq (a vacuum leading to ISIS) and eventually Afghanistan.


Then it covers Flynn’s speech at the GOP convention in 2016 (“lock her up”) and the events that led to Flynn’s firing early after Trump’s inauguration.  Flynn attracted attention in the first days when Steve Bannon was invited to be on the security team. 
Trump's erratic national security "leadership" may have proved tempting to Kim Jong Un. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Shaun has meltdown in 2017 finale of "The Good Doctor"

Episode 10 of Season 1, “Sacrifice”, concludes “The Good Doctor” for 2017 and has us wondering if Shaun will return as a surgeon in 2018.

Shaun finds a sarcoma in a Hispanic athlete’s forearm after an injury, and then finds that it spread to his brain.  As usual, Shaun is the only one who can figure out how to save his life. The athlete engages Saun about his autism and lack of personal competitiveness.

Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) hires a female therapist as Shaun’s life coach.  At the end of the episode, Shaun has as a meltdown over his loss of independence, and runs off, leaving us hanging as to what happens on Jan. 8.
I’d like to see Shaun’s cat from Wyoming show up. Shaun probably communicates with animals.

Picture: Palm Springs, 2012 (mine). 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Brian Ross suspension from ABC underscores how important fact checking is now on network news

An indication that major media outlets are now implementing zero tolerance of missteps by their own high profile personalities comes with ABC News four-week suspension without pay of Brian Ross, 69, announced Saturday.

Ross reportedly announced that, according to an anonymous source, Trump had told Flynn to contact the Russians while still a candidate in 2016. Later it was learned that this contact happened after the election and appears to have been legitimate legally.  This seems to have been a simple oversight in the procedure of fact checking.

CNN Money has a provocative story here;  CNN reports it pressured ABC to come clean on the matter.

The New York Times has a story here.

ABC News offers its statement on Michael Flynn here.  For the record, here is ABC’s account of Flynn’s charge, with a PDF of the charging documents.  Flynn plead guilty on Friday December 1.

Trump tweeted pleasure at the suspension.   The stock market dropped suddenly (then recovered) and Trump claimed investors should sue ABC News.

Brian Ross is known for investigative journalism on series like ABC 20-20.  I would think he would be able to review a problem like electric power grid security (with respect to solar storms and now North Korea), as to the “facts” regarding utility and tech company preparedness.