Saturday, July 20, 2019

John Fish talks about summer learning, has us guessing about his upcoming "announcement"


John Fish talks about how “Learning for Fun Could Change Your Life”.


This is a good video for summer break, and it sounds like a video that would go well with “Skillshare”.  Actually, John’s video has a sponsor of Audible.com (which would not sound consistent with speed reading of volumes of books in college.  Has he read any of mine?
  
John says he will have a major announcement next week, and has us guessing on what it is about.  Will John, from his Harvard dorm room, prove he has as much power as Mark Zuckerberg (not a good thing, maybe;  John is from Canada so he can’t ever be president).  But David Pakman (across the Cambridge river from Harvard in Boston – hint for an interview) did a video today on a new cryptocurrency startup (Pukkamex, which seems to resembled Minds), so I would guess John’s thing might be related to something like this.  John has said he is writing a book (related to a class last year) on the attention economy, which relates to social credit (maybe) and logically to cryptocurrency (maybe).

John rarely takes up politics on this channel, but last spring he did talk about the book “Moral Tribes” by Josh Greene.  About a week later, Tim Pool started using examples or scenarios from the book in his own channel.  You can follow Jordan Peterson’s personal growth advice and retain your political independence.

In some of the recent videos it looks like he is using a GoPro and getting some distorted lines and geometric proportions among objects around him as he films himself. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"No Filming on Farms": Stossel on Reason TV



I find myself having to return to Reason TV a lot, as John Stossel keeps having to cover more disconcerting situations.

A women was arrested for filming a farm in Utah from public land.  Later the charges were dropped.
  
Utah is one of several states that have “ag-gag” laws to prevent people from getting onto farms under false pretenses to film (for animal rights abuses).


It’s likely that these laws would violate the First Amendment, although possibly trespassing laws or other legal doctrines could prohibit journalists from pretending to take jobs to film.

Most workplaces don't allow the public to film their employees at work, that sounds reasonable enough. And even some bars and discos now don't allow photography inside as privacy concerns re-emerge after all the social media scandals;  ten years ago they did.  But thirty years ago people didn't want to appear on TV at gay churches or meetings. 
   
This happened with ABC and Food Lion in the 1990s.

Monday, July 15, 2019

CNN's "The Movies": "The 90's" brings back memories for me


CNN has started a new series, “The Movies”, on Sunday nights.  The 90s brought back good memories from the most interesting decade of my life.

A few of the movies discussed included Ebert favorites, many of them from Miramax.  These included “Pulp Fiction”, with its closed circle plot, “The English Patient” (a favorite of mine), and I have to remember “Fargo” (Coen Brothers).


In the 90s there was a lot of creativity, and the studios tended to be willing to try new plot ideas and new concepts rather than repeating formulas in franchises.  The decade ended, of course, with the three “Matrix” movies (WB).

There were a couple big disaster movies, “Deep Impact” (comet), and “Armageddon” (asteroid).  The comet movie had an unusual scene where people got phone calls (pre smart phone) if they were chosen to survive, a dangerous concept now. Armageddon had an odd scene where near the end Ben Affleck is driving what looks like a Hertz-rented jeep on an asteroid (very low gravity). 

Dreamworks was founded, and its first film, “The Peacemaker”, featured a collision of two trains with a nuclear explosion resulting.

Gay themes were treated with some subterfuge, as when Matt Damon appears in Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley” set in Italy in the 50s. Damon’s character didn’t invite his companion to share a bathtub, at least. Jude Law’s character looks at him on the beach and says “You’re so white.”

Another weird one was “The Truman Show”, centering around making a whole bubble world around Jim Carrey.

Bill Pullman was laughable in "Independence Day" as a US President fighting alien hives. He demanded empathy for what happens to him in "Lost Highway", from David Lynch. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Libertarian Party candidate wins county election in CA, highest elected office for a Libertarian now in the country




Jeff Hewitt is apparently the highest elected official in the Riverside County seat, elected in 2018, in ide CA.


Reason TV explains his background in swimming pool business, and his opposition to licensing of small businesses like baking cookies for bake sales (John Stossel had reported on a similar situation in Charlotte NC).

He suggests picking winnable local races and stress being socially liberal and using common sense in reducing regulation under union or protectionist impulses.
  
Wikipedia: By daveynin from United States. Cropped and color-corrected by Daniel Case prior to upload - Yucca pines near trail, CC BY 2.0, Link

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Reviewing Pakman's depiction of the alt-right


A couple years ago David Pakman did a good explanation of the alt-right, including its collectivist, authoritarian nature that in some way parallels the regressive Left.


It seems well worth viewing again.
  
This explanation came forth right after Donald Trump’s election.

Update: May 16

There is a humorous marketing video of Pakman "modeling" for a massage demonstration in 2008, when he would have been 24. It got noticed recently. How long can young men resist entropy?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fox covers the All Star game in Cleveland; boyhood memories of "The Mistake by the Lake"


I’ll note the MLB All Star game because it was played in Cleveland’s Progressive Field, main box score and writeup. The American League won, 4-3.  The only National there, Max Scherzer, did not pitch, and Anthony Rendon is letting some minor injuries heal a little more completely. 


I remember baseball games in the old Municipal Stadium by the Lake, with the symmetrical field and wire fence in center.

I didn't hear whether the extended protective netting has been placed in Progressive Field.
 
Father would be on sales trips, and mother and I would stay in Kipton (40 miles) with her mother and other relatives. So we usually went to a day game in Municipal Stadium if the Senators came to town (one time the Senators actually won when Pascual pitched a shutout, 4-0).
 
And we made cardboard or plywood stadiums and played pinball baseball in them (with wadded up aluminum foil as baseballs), at home.  We even built a real stadium with a wire fence in a farm yard (two miles from Kipton near US-20, toward Oberlin). I’ll have to relook at “Field of Dreams” and we had home run derbies and “buntorama”.

Kids learned to be creative with real life objects, making them into miniatures, before there was social media.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Reason TV reports on cities using homeowner fines and foreclosures as a major source of revenue



John Stossel on Reason TV reports a story of a man in Dunedin, FL (in the Tampa Bay area), whom the city has threatened with foreclosure for not paying massive fines associated with not mowing his lawn when called away for a death in the family.


The video suggests that some cities look at fines and foreclosures as a source of revenue.
  
These kinds of problems can occur with homeowner’s associations in townhomes and buildings. They might happen with home-based businesses that are not allowed by bylaws. For example, a woman in Austin TX was not allowed to keep a dog grooming business in her home.

Monday, July 08, 2019

"Chasing the Moon: A Place Beyond the Sky" opens a new American Experience series on PBS


Today PBS American Experience has presented the first episode of “Chasing the Moon”, titled “A Place Beyond the Sky”. 

Much of the film goes back to the early days of the space race, when the Soviets were ahead with the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 (I was in Ninth Grade) and the failure of the first Viking Launch.

Many Kennedy speeches are shown about the early days of space.
  
There is a lot of material about hiring German scientists who had worked with the Nazis.

The episode ends with the Kennedy assassination in 1963. 

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Pakman explains fantasy soccer on blockchain


David Pakman did a broadcast on Football Coin, a crypto currency that supports fantasy soccer.


The entire game is on the blockchain, which right now has set up its own token currency.  It also offers a free wallet.

Players can be traded, and there are objects that represent stadiums.

That concept for stadiums could be even more interesting for baseball in the future because outfield dimensions can vary in baseball.  I don’t know how that would fit into a blockchain paradigm.
   
Pakman is drawn to soccer because he is originally from Argentina.

Wikipedia:
   
By Hammersfan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Saturday, July 06, 2019

NBC Dateline: "Prairie Confidential": bizarre murder case in the corporate town of Minot, ND


Last night, July 5, NBC Dateline re-aired an episode “Prairie Confidential”, about a murder of a nursing student in Minot ND in 2015.

The student was the ex-wife of Richie Wilder, Jr. and second wife Cindy.  The stabbing murder seemed to be motivated by a custody battle.


Minot is in the northwestern part of the state. In 2000, ReliaStar (to become ING and then Voya), where I was working in Minneapolis at the time, opened a customer service center in Minot.  The company also had a location (a subsidiary company called PLI) in Bismarck, a town I did visit in 1998. Minot was viewed as a very stable community.
  
Richie got life without parole.  Cindy took an Alford plea in an attempt to get a lighter sentence but got a very strong lecture from the judge who also sentenced her to life without parole for her role.
   
By Bobak Ha'Eri - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Thursday, July 04, 2019

"A Capitol Fourth" 2019 on PBS


After a day of Baby Trump in the rain on the Mall, I came back home, and monitored Communists v. Proud Boys as Ford Fischer transmitted a sequence of quick videos on Twitter.

So I watched the PBS Capitol Fourth on PBS, as hosted by John Stamos.


The best song was “This Is Me” from Wicked, as I recall. 

The 1812 Overture conclusion, with chorus, was rousing as usual, followed by the patriotic marches and “God Bless America”, the favorite of Reagan.
  
Earlier in the evening, the legacy media were all so preoccupied with Trump’s Lincoln Memorial Event and military flyovers that none of them filmed the fracas in front of the White House. They will probably buy some licensed footage from Ford and News2share, because they do need to cover it.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

ABC "The View" shows songs from LGBT musical "The Prom"



Several times in recent months, ABC’s “The View” has shown excerpts from the Broadway musical “The Prom”, such as this number “You Happened”.


The musical depicts a visit to a conservative Indiana town by past Broadway actors after a lesbian high school student is denied the opportunity to bring her girl friend to the senior prom.
  
The music is by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, book by Bob Martin.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

David Pakman analyze's Trump's ignorance over forced busing issue; his video gets demonetized


The David Pakman show has recently announced it is losing ad revenue from changes in YouTube previews shown to novice visitors and in terms of demonetization of some videos.

Yesterday, Pakman analyzed a video where Donald Trump seemed not to understand the point of the controversy in the past over forced bussing and school segregation. The tone of the video resembled his Feb. 11 video where he maintained that some voters are stupid (April 3 here). 


It did not have monetization, and this tweet shows Pakman’s exasperation over the changes at YouTube. 

Pakman is a typical “elitist” (intellectual) liberal, more or less sympathetic to a mixture of Clintonism and some of Bernie Sanders, perhaps Kamala and Pete; definitely not far Left and definitely not identarian. He does not play up his background (which he says is Jewish, as he was born in Argentina) as a source of group identity.  He likes capitalism.  He talks about business models and how you work with advertisers, and how you sell things. He also has talked about anti-intellecutalism and tribalism as infecting both the far Left and ethno-alt-right. 

But he talks (as like Pool) that suddenly is isn’t woke enough.  No, he says YouTube doesn’t want to support business models of independent creators any more, at least through the partner program.  They’ll have to attract their own sponsors (Skillshare in his case) or paid subscriptions.  I would suggest the idea of bundled subscriptions across multiple channels.

Pakman followed with a similar video, "Does YouTube Want Me to Quit?"

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Fareed Zakaria presents "State of Hate" on CNN as a warning about the malignancy of white supremacy as a re-emerging ideology


Fareed Zakaria: “#State of Hate: The Explosion of White Supremacy” aired Sunday June 30 on CNN at 8 PM EDT (one hour).  Since this very disturbing documentary appears on a large mainstream cable channel, I decided to put the review on this blog than on the special “cf” blog about unusual threats.


Some of this is hard to summarize without sounding provocative to some readers who don’t understand historical introspection for its own sake. It will be good for CNN to provide more of its own summary.

I would also say that up until Charlottesville in Aug. 2017 (let alone Trump’s winning the 2016 election), I would not perceived this problem anywhere as dangerous as radical Islam (9/11, 11/13 in France) or as extreme communism (North Korea).

Fareed Zakaria explains his own documentary with this article and video on CNN.

Zakaria explains how America used to be a “white” country in the view of many, even through the Civil War and Reconstruction (the novel and classic film “Gone with the Wind”) up to the World Wars.  Immigration changed this, and many people did not perceive some groups (from Judaism, Italians, etc) as “white” when scientifically they were.  The idea of “white” melted away as new generations cared much less about than had previous people. As I grew up, my father sometimes made remarks that would sound inappropriate today, but not often, and I was not conscious of it.

Zakaria says that Trump is not a white supremacist, but his rhetoric seems to excuse that idea in tribally thinking people.

Zakaria than goes into the history of eugenics, around the turn into the 20th Century.'

Zakaria then discussed the ideas of Jared Taylor (he uses the word “alien”, which sometimes is a complement). Unlike Gary Younge, he doesn't interview Richard Spencer. 

He then discusses Timothy McVeigh (OKC) and the influence of the book “The Turner Diaries”. Zakaria says that the TD book inspired militia groups around the country as early as the 1980s (groups committed armed robberies).  The government tried to convict them of “seditious conspiracy” but could not get convictions. He then covered Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Heidi Wyrick from the Southern Poverty Law Center often speaks as Zakaria interviews here.

Zakaria also mentions the Atomwaffen plot, which was a threat to infrastructure.

He interviews Eric Foner from Columbia University. The scientific definition of “race” is presented as murky (David Pakman took this up recently and attracted controversy from the right, post Charles Murray, whose book from the 1990s is often misinterpreted). Zakaria says that the human genome is 99.9% consistent among all peoples.

He covers Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and early case of “separate but equal” which held until 1954.

Zakaria discusses Christchurch, and showed some of the “Manifesto” which New Zealand tried to quarantine.  He mentions the “great replacement” idea that came from French intellectuals. He gets into an attack in Norway in 2011 which the manifesto had mentioned. He also discusses colonialism, and then the rise of a new right in Europe as a result of the migrant crisis that exploded from Syria around 2014.
  
Zakaria talks about F. Scott FitzGerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and the writer’s attitudes in 1921. He ends the documentary with a subtle warning that the idea of an ethno state might not go away completely on its own. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Democratic presidential candidates act gingerly in approaching the tough questions on gun control, illegal immigration, and national security


It’s hard to be original talking about the first ten candidates in last night’s Democratic debate.
   
NBC (from Miami, where the Nationals beat the Marlins at the same time) did very well (with MSNBC and Telemundo) got 15.3 million viewers (10 million expected).

  
Elizabeth Warren commendably argued we had to do our math homework on the gun control debate and regard it as a public health problem.  She seemed to be answering a tweet that David Hogg had written a few minutes before she spoke.

Other speakers hinted that buyback programs of some weapons might happen.
  
O’Rourke (Beto is tall and thin and looks ready for the disco floor) said that illegal entry in the US could remain a crime, compared to Castillo who wanted to remove criminal penalties for illegal immigration, given the horrific conditions in Central America and very recent reports or horrific treatment in Mexico (as well as the kids at the border drawing attention).  No one mentioned the idea of sponsorship programs.

Warren and Di Blasio want to abolish private health insurance (?!) 
    
As to the most grave existential problem facing America, the answered varied from China, to Russia, to nuclear war with Iran, to climate change.

Update: June 28

Kamela Harris told Joe Biden that she benefited from forced busing as a girl.  That was a big deal when I was coming of age in the 60s. 

CNN's John Blake has a subtle analysis of Biden's problems and the hidden segregationism of the past. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

"EI" says straight men experience upward affiliation, George Gilder style, too



Economic Invincibility (Martin Goldberg) has a funny video “My Experience with Tinder”.


I guess that is the straight version of Grindr. The Chinese haven’t tried to take it over.

What is interesting is that Martin claims that most straight men indulge in “upward affiliation” in a manner more familiar with gay men (and so explained by George Gilder in “Men and Marriage” back in 1986).  There is the saying “Is that the best I can do?”  (Only Andrew Sullivan remembers all this.) 
   
Martin also just did a video “The Benefits of Interracial Marriage”.  But it is mostly tongue-in-cheek, deadpan. He didn’t talk about the idea that genetic intermixing is biologically a good thing (lower risk of inherited genetic diseases), whether you particularly like to see it or not. He says he has done interracial dating.  But some SJW’s see refusal to do it as “racism”.  Martin has said before he will not date a trans (male-to-female) person.  And judging from Twitter, some obvious male political liberals (David Hogg) are perfectly happy to say that actually want male pronouns applied to them.  Wokeness only goes so far.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Van Jones interviews Carlos Maza over VoxAdpocalypse; Brian Stelter looks at Facebook's content moderation


On Saturday, June 15, Van Jones, who has his own show on CNN, interviewed Vox’s “Carlos Maza”, who makes the Strikethrough videos that I have often embedded on my blogs (his interview of David Hogg is one of his best).


The heart of Maza’s comments to Jones in the transcript seem to come down to a double standard over the use of the word “queer” in social media.  On the one hand, it may, while driving clickbait and YouTube’s business model, attract harassment to gay speakers because of the huge volume of users. On the other hand, Maza insists he needs to be able to use the word himself (even to describe himself) to participate in the debate.
  
  Maza also says he is mocked as Latino, but he looks “European” and speaks with no accent and is part of the media “establishment”.  (The same can be said of Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, who focuses on health and fitness, then relationships and lifestyle for gay men, but usually stays within certain boundaries of more conservative gay culture;  the entire LGBTQ+ community is culturally divided over the idea of presentation of gender.)

But in the meantime, YouTube seems to be withdrawing from the idea that it can be an open platform for everything, especially for advertisers;  it seems to want to slim itself down to fewer videos from trusted entertainment providers, like another Netflix.  It may not be welcoming to legitimate news coverage, as of protests (like Ford Fischer's News2Share, which was demonetized).  There is fear we will see many more purges soon of smaller channels just because carrying them does fit a more constricted business model, in the face of accusations of making money off of radicalization.

On Sunday, June 23, Brian Stelter on CNN covered the work of content moderation on Facebook. Stelter interviewed a moderator from Tampa FL (as a contractor in a poorly equipped office), as covered in a major Verge article by Casey Newton. The moderator discussed large volumes of trashy material (in this case animal cruelty) which lead to PTSD, vomiting at work, and at least one heart attack. 

The interview described the auctioning off of violent content on Facebook (this would run into FOSTA, I would think).  I never run into this at all.  Because of the algorithms, a user like me won't see them unless he starts looking for them first. So regular users are unaware of the violence and of the political echo chambers.  

Saturday, June 22, 2019

"How Europe Censors What Americans Say Online" on Reason TV


Reason Magazine interviews Stanford law professor Daphne Keller in “How Europe Censors What Americans Say Online”.
  
  
The EU has much stricter laws on hate speech (much of it related to past Nazism), terror recruiting, and now prospective copyright infringement than does the US, where the First Amendment enlarges what is lawful. But although tech companies can limit what users can see by country, the practical effect is for their hate speech and other rules will be applied in the US because speech originating from the US can still incite incidents in other parts of the world.



How the EU Copyright Directive (especially the controversial Article 17, regarding quasi-mandatory filters) deserves discussion here. 

The EU also has “right to be forgotten” laws.
  
The jargon for this is “collateral censorship” (to prevent “stochastic terrorism”, a new buzzword from the Left).

Friday, June 14, 2019

CNN: "Woman of Mystery: Melania Trump"



Tonight, CNN aired “Woman of Mystery: Melania Trump”. 

This isn’t exactly a Daphne du Maurier mystery.

But Melania was always at odds with her husband, wanting to talk about stopping cyberbullying before she even became first lady.


She does not seek publicity all the time, and she doesn’t always try to set an example for other women, as on their health, as have other first ladies.

The episode reminded me of how Donald Trump ran his “Apprentice” episodes, much more logically than he has his job in the White House.  Charitable events were run reasonably well, with no hint of partisanship.
  
The episode also showed a memorable moment in the 2016 Republican primaries, when Trump still had many opponents, and did not get a big applause.  

No, I haven't been invited to Mar a Lago. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pakman: some ideas (and their crazy proponents) don't belong in serious public discussions with "the big boys"



I wanted to share another David Pakman Show video today, “Crazy People Don’t Deserve a Seat at the Table”.  This video relates to a video he made on February 11 which I reviewed here on April 3.


But is this comment based on the people, or the ideas? 

During the video, he switches (from the "crazy people") to the their ideas.   He does say this comment only applies when we are actually figuring out policy at the “Big Boy” table; he isn’t calling for deplatforming of extreme ideas. He gives a couple of examples and then discusses “The Hegelian Dialect”.

He gives some examples with extreme libertarian positions on taxes and extreme religious right positions on gay people (no they won’t be at the table) but the most interesting example he gave was on the success of Republicans in passing very extreme abortion laws in a few states with the explicit intent to challenge Roe v. Wade (which he didn’t specifically cite, but Jeffrey Toobin says this on CNN all the time.)

David is right (accidental pun), Republicans know how to move the Overton Window so that the end policy result is likely to be more conservative. The Left doesn’t do this the same way, since the Left is more “communitarian”. Well, you could ask if a position of “Abolish ICE” belongs at the Big Boy Table.

Jordan Peterson, for all his philosophical libertarianism, said there are extremes beyond what can be considered. For the Right, it’s probably wanting an ethno state. For the Left, it is less clear, but he suggests “equality of outcomes” as off the table (Tim Pool has suggested this).

I think there is another spin on this that affects bloggers like me.  My model is to consider everything so that I connect all the dots and consider all perils. But if policy makers and extremists know this, they are incentivized to continue to present extreme ideas in public, even in protests and demonstrations, if they know a gratuitous speaker like me, however journalistic his intentions, will have to give them attention.  (That reminds me of how, for one spell, AOC would make one outrageous statement every day knowing full well that Tim Pool would have to spend time making another video about what she said and giving her ideas even more circulation, however unfavorable).  If a state actually passed an extreme anti-abortion law, I have to pay attention to it.  Maybe, as a gay male, I don’t have “skin in the game” to even talk about it.   I could turn the narrative around, and say we should discuss ending Selective Service Registration if we are absolutely faithful to the sanctity of all human life.
  
This observation even affects the news coverage of extremist demonstrations and speeches in public spaces, particularly to show how extreme and sometimes violent some people are. This issue has come up very recently with the YouTube monetization (“Voxadpocalypse”) issue. Now monetization may imply the journalist is making a living with the content, that it is not gratuitous.  That may affect how we perceive the value of the journalist’s speech.  But there is the idea that knowing that indie reporters want to film them may give some extremists more incentive to demonstrate in public, and maybe the reporting moves the Overton Window.  Is this good? 
   
I personally am very reluctant to take topic off the table, because it tends to lead to censorship. But I get where David is coming from. I want to re-emphasize his previous comments on anti-intellectualism, which has grown on both the far right and far left. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

United Shades visits Milwaukee as the US's most segregated major city, a surprise


W Kamau Bell’s United Shades visited Milwaukee, WI last night (June 9, 2019) as one of the nation’s most segregated cities.

He distinguished between individual prejudice, and institutionalized racism, which tolerates individual prejudice.


The problem is that well-educated people who think they are not prejudiced in normal circumstances aren’t aware of the problem because they simply stay socially distant from it.

Bell covered the Castillo incident in Minnesota, and various incidents where ignorant people called police over silly situations.

I last visited the city over Memorial Day Weekend, 1992 (had flown to Chicago), and then again in Nov. 2000.

By Purduefb15 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link 

Sunday, June 09, 2019

David Pakman Show: Climate Change Could End Civilization by 2050




The David Pakman Show offers a video “Climate Change Could End Civilization by 2050”.


This tape was created by another producer while David is in Los Angeles.

President Trump is said to have met with Prince Charles at his hotel in Scotland, and Trump said this was not up to the US alone.

Furthermore the US has just made a huge new crude oil discovery in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

The recent report by an Australian group (International Issues, June 4) suggests that in parts of the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia (and India) daytime temperatures by 2050 may be so high 12 hours a day that humanity cannot survive outside.

The world would not be able to handle the mass migrations.

A college graduate now 22 would be only 53 in 2050.
  
This is an unprecedented moral problem for those of us who life expectancy is limited < 15 years).

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

HBO's Chernobyl finale


I won’t have time to watch all episodes of “Chernobyl” (created by Craig Mazin, directed by Johan Renck) right now, but I did watch the finale, “Vichnaya Pamyat”


The finale seems to summarize the entire series, showing the corruption, self-reinforcing, that led to confusion in the control room the night of the “test”.  Much of the episode is shown as a trial, particularly of Legasov (Jared Harris), who winds up “sentenced” to keeping his job with nothingness, the Soviet equivalent of deplatforming.

The men are shown resulting for the night shift in a clothes changing room, much like in the military. 

The epilogue shows many scenes of the destruction with statistics of cancer cases and deaths. Many people were “conscripted” into the cleanup and many of those died of radiation poisoning. Many people who volunteered, who sometimes may have been old people with less life expectancy, also died.  Fukushima in Japan has a similar problem.

The closing credits maintain that the Chernobyl accident were the real cause of the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.

Here are some comments by IGN, and Indiewire.
  
I had a friend in NYC back in 1976 through the “Understanding” group who was fanatic about opposing nuclear power and wanted to drive a van around the country for that purpose.

Wiki attribution:  By Tim Porter - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link  An increasing portion of Wikipedia illustrations are jif files and I don't know if Blogger can import them. 

Monday, June 03, 2019

"United Shades" visits Salt Lake City during its LGBTQ+ Pride Month



W Kamau Bell aired an episode from Salt Lake City on his “United Shades of America” on CNN Sunday, June 2, here.

Bell covered the partial (at least) turnaround on the attitude of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on LGBTQ persons and homosexuality and gender fluidity or variation.


He visited gay businesses and artists, and interviewed people who had left the Church.  Ten years ago, the Church was urging members to support Proposition 8 in California.  (See “8: The Mormon Proposition”, Movie reviews, June 20, 2010). 

Bell then explains how the gay community has split into many other components, which are often so diverse that conventional ideas of intersectionality don’t work.  He invents the term “LGBTQ+”.

He also covered the Mormon church’s ending of rules banning baptism of same-sex parent couples and excommunicating gays.

The theological structure of the church allows the lead prophet to have “revelations”.  But Mormons believe that the family transcends life into afterlives, and non-reproductive sexuality undermines popular confidence and satisfaction with that belief. Homophobia is often about the confidence of heterosexuals in their own performance in marriage.  

Actor and filmmaker Reid Ewing lived in Salt Lake City for the past several years as he finished college, but I’m not sure if he has returned to LA.  There were videos from his home which appeared to be on a high hill NE of downtown, overlooking the city and Salt Lake, often in snow, maybe at about 6000 feet.

Bell also mentioned the HBO film “Believers” which is available today to watch online.  I will do so.
  
Wikipedia attribution link for picture by KinkyLipids of Salt Lake Pride, CCSA 3.0 

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Language Focus: Spanish v. Italian


I’ll start out the month with one of “Paul’s” Language Focus channel videos.  They are interesting and once in a while I’ll present one.

“How Similar are Spanish and Italian?”


David Pakman had a misadventure with speaking Italian when renting a taxi at an all night wedding in Italy, when (having grown up in Argentina) he knows Spanish. Here David talks about his “language atrocities.”
  
Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, with parents from Spain but born near Washington DC and spending summers in Spain, discusses his use of the language in conversation.  You can have a Latino name and family background and be tall, thin, very white, and look like someone from Sweden, because of a Viking migration around 1000 AD.   So much for the regressive Left’s stereotypes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Harvard removes law professor as dean for representing Harvey Weinstein (Reason TV)


Harvard recently fired a residence hall dean, law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife, because the professor took on Harvey Weinstein as a client.  The mob called itself “Harvard Can Do Better”.
   
John Stossel interviews Alan Dershowitz.  John Stossel interviews law professor Alan Dershowitz ib respect for due process. 


Dershowitz argues that we have allowed the radical Left to turn society into the “oppression Olympics”. You have to belong to an oppressed group or tribe to get anywhere.

If I had to call myself a victim to succeed in life, I would just be a loser.

I wonder if Harvard undergrad John Fish, who just finished his sophomore year and who has an impressive video channel himself at 19 and is learning how to start and run little businesses already and make real money on his own, will take this one up.  It’s a hot potato.  Fish rarely talks about partisan politics (he is Canadian) but he has talked about polarization and about the problems of the Internet’s “attention currency”. 

Tim Pool (Subverse) will surely pick up this story and say it is more evidence “we are living in hell”.
  
Every day I learn something more outrageous that the regressive Left has gotten away with.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Doctor's YouTube series really does tell you when you should pay attention to chest pain


When should an adult be concerned about chest pain or upper body discomfort from referred pain?


Dr. Ken D Berry used to work as an emergency room doctor, and tells you which sorts of pains you probably don’t have to worry about, and the more subtle signs that really could be a warning of a coming infarction.  He also discusses angina.
  
This is one of the best heart disease videos I have ever seen.

The end of male body sanctity, Wiki

Monday, May 27, 2019

"United Shades" visits Washington DC, as if it were Parts Unknown



W. Kamau Bell filmed an episode of “United Shades of America” in Washington DC, for Memorial Day weekend.

Bell summarized his own episode on CNN here

He calls his episode of “Tale of Two Cities”, not exactly London and Paris in Charles Dickens’s novel (and a family book when I was growing up).

It was more about the fibbies (Congress, SCOTUS and the White House, and government departments), vs. the people who live here.


Indeed, many retrocession proposals (to Maryland) would keep a very small federal enclave.
Kamau interviewed someone who remembered the 1968 riots, and he interviewed a female Trump supporter who lived here.

He talked about the lack of adequate home rule (the “no taxation without representation” license plate) on areas like legalization of pot, and gun control.

It is also now one of the nations gayest cities, despite the fact that bars like Town get closed to make way for more gentrified apartments and condos.

Northeast is slowly improving with gentrification, and SE will eventually follow.  RFK Stadium area could be developed.

But Washington suffered with racism in the years I grew up in Arlington VA.  The Washington Senators baseball team, both versions, were bad because ownership didn’t care, in a racially sensitive city where white people led outside the city limits.

You could put Arlington and Alexandria back together (re-retorcession) with the District and have a real representation to the city (about 1.2 million then).  You could increase height limits for buildings as a way to make housing more affordable.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sharyl Attkisson "Full Measure" show connects trafficking to drug cartels and gangs in the border areas



Sharyl Attkisson covered sex-trafficking on her Full Measure program on Sinclair stations Sunday morning, especially the volunteer work of “Saved in America” and “#childsavednotsold” on the Texas border and in San Diego.


The program emphasized that this problem occurs in conjunction with drug cartels, but maintained that underage women are recruited by trolling Facebook, which would get Facebook in trouble over the FOSTA law, as if it weren’t in enough trouble already.
  
Here is here article on the story. The show has also maintained that Wikipedia is beholden to special interests, and that Americans agree with bringing Roe v Wade to the Supreme Court with strict abortion laws.  I question this.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

"One Night in Central Park" on ABC 20-20 revisits "The Central Park Five"


On Friday, May 24, 2019, ABC 2020 aired the documentary “One Night in Central Park”, link here
  
The film is a retelling of Sony’s “The Central Park Five” with Ken Burns.  This film has the narrative style of an HBO documentary.

The narrative presents the continuous viewpoint of the victim, Trisha Meili, who has raped and beaten close to death and left in a ravine on April 19, 1989.  She had a broken eye socket and almost lost the eye.  She had been working on Wall Street.


Police arrested five young black men quickly and later it turned out their confessions were coerced. The incident occurred in a time of hidden racial tensions in the City. Mayor Giuiliani would lower the crime rate in the 1990s with vigorous law enforcement.

Later, a convicted serial rapist in prison for life in upstate New York would admit to the crime, and the City would have to make wrongful conviction settlements.

Trump has drawn criticism for his ill-informed praise of the way the City handled the original case.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

O'Rourke's Iowa town hall fails in the television ratings, despite his sturdy performance and good looks



Deadline is reporting that Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke’s Town Hall on CNN, late, from Des Moines, Iowa, failed to attract good ratings, story. 


Beto looked slender and young in his suit, and tried to leverage his youth. He also argued for utilitarian pragmatism in dealing with issues like health care, and hinted that some of the European blended models might work better than Obamacare. "We don't have time for Medicare for all" (video). 
  
But O’Rourke did argue that impeachment proceedings should start against Trump-.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tim Pool's skateboarding video, "Explaining the Secret of My Success"


I must admit, Tim Pool has been in the news the past few days, with his announcement, and I’ll make a pitch shortly, but I honestly thought his little short film about skateboarding belongs here.


Apparently he ordered a miniramp kit from a specialized manufacturing company and assembled it in his back yard with the help of some friends.  I think this is somewhere in southern New Jersey.  Well, my very first job in 1970 had me working at the RCA plant in Cherry Hill, so I remember the area.
  
The video is called “Explaining the Secret to My Success.”  Call this anti-fragility, as Jonathan Haidt and Nassim Nicholas Taleb (“Skin in the Game”) explain the concepts.  Skateboarding is good for that.  I think that Daniel Gruss, the computer science professor in Austria who broke Intel, skates.
Pool has also explained that guitar playing forces you to develop calluses to protect your fingers.

Shaun White, of course, is the best known – I’ve had him on this blog before – he was born with a tetralogy of fallot and recovered with surgery – same as Jimmy Kimmel’s son. 

As for Haidt’s concept, both David Hogg and Nicholas Sandmann, as teens, demonstrate anti-fragility. Politics has nothing to do with it. But if a political enemy attacks them, they fight back and get stronger.



In 2002, young Minneapolis filmmaker Shane Nelson made “A Film in Three Parts”, about extreme shorts, especially skateboarding on narrow stairway railings.

Pictures:  Lake in Hightstown NJ, 2010; In 1970,  I had my first apartment in nearby New Windsor, at the time called the Princeton Arms, off NJ 571. Second: Minneapolis from an airplane. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Vox offers three-part documentary series on the Israeli Settlements on the West Bank (and East Jerusalem)



Ezra Klein explains “Settlements” in a two part video (18 min), “Why the Israeli settlements don’t feel like a conflict zone”, video by Johnny Harris.


That’s a change from the original settling after the 1967 war.  In Part 1, Klein explains the Oslo Accords, and the three Zones (A, B. and C, 60%).

There is a third video that explains settlers taking over East Jerusalem, one house at a time, by buying homes as they become available, and then forcing residents to accept settlement culture.

Libertarians have often criticized the settlements as immoral taking or property, but it gets more complicated, as the videos show.
  
Wikipedia attribution link for West Bank demonstration picture CCSA 3.0 

Monday, May 13, 2019

AC360 presents non-profit to teach conflict journalists to give first aid, founded by Sebastian Junger



Tonight Anderson Cooper, on AC360, spoke to author and journalist Sebastian Junger on a new non-profit he had founded, RISC, or Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, as in this summary story.

The cause is inspired by the death of journalist Tim Hetherington, who had worked with Sebastian Junger filming Restrepo in Afghanistan (Moves, July 10, 2010). Hetherington was killed in Libya in 2011 filming the fall of Gafaddi during the Arab Spring when a mortar landed near him and exploded. The shrapnel severed his femoral artery and he bled to death, with his colleagues not knowing how to save him, or knowing military first aid.


I will check soon if it is possible to donate on Facebook (or do a fundraiser for it).  I generally do most of my giving privately except for causes that are closer to what I do myself or would do, but this one hits closer home.

The two links are this for the organization, and Sebastian Junger’s.     His book “Tribe” is reviewed by me here. I met him in 1998 at a book signing in Minneapolis for "A Perfect Storm". 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"United Shades": Kamau Bell interviews the Hmong people in the Twin Cities, MN



W. Kamau Bell, on “United Shades of America”, covered the Hmong community in St. Paul MN. 

The Hmong group fought with the US during some portions of the Vietnam, especially Nixon’s controversial “secret war in Laos”. 

Somalia has also provided a large number of immigrants in the Twin Cities.


I lived in Minneapolis from 1997-2003 and recall that the Libertarian Party of Minnesota candidates did pay attention to the groups.
  
Much of the show was devoted to food, Bourdain style.  The Hmong run many of the farmer’s market stands in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

James Comey lays Trump on the line in a CNN town hall with Anderson



On Thursday night former FBI director James Comey did a townhall at George Washington University with Anderson Cooper and made several points. 

Trump may be in cahoots with the Russians.

The Russians went after the US to discredit democratic capitalism or neo-liberalism as an dexample for the rest of the world, showing that the system creates resentments between intellectuals and working people.


The Russians also wanted to get revenge on Hillary Clinton, although the Russians may have been right in that Hillary grossly mismanaged the security of her communications in the State Department and earlier, even by common standards of IT was it was twenty years ago when I was still working.

The Russians believed Donald Trump would be a populist president whom they could manipulate.
   
Comey also said he had no choice but to send a letter to Congress on Oct. 28, 2016. But the coincidences that needed to happen for the laptop to be connected to sex offense were indeed amazing.

Fox news is claiming loudly that Comey is in deep trouble legally.