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.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

John Stossel: "The Rise of Citizen Journalists" presents Tim Pool

John Stossel reports on “The Rise of Citizen Journalists” on Reason TV.

He focuses on Tim Pool, and covers Pool’s trip to Sweden, paid for by a conservative activist, and Pool found little evidence of “no go zones”.

Stossel also credits Pool for helping bust the mainstream media in misreporting on the Covington Kids and Nathan Phillps in January, which has gotten several media outlets sued.
Pool owns a company called (possibly with others).  Ford Fischer has a company called News2Share which emphasizes protests.  My own brand is called “”. 
Maybe there should be some synergy.  

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Culture wars and extremes face off, on "United Shades of America"

W. Kamau Bell, on Sunday night May 5,in the second 2019 episode of “United Shades of America”,  examined protesters on both sides of the political spectrums facing off, in a variety of cities such as Portland OR.
An important part of the broadcast was an interview with co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza. “Being woke isn’t enough” was one of the themes of the broadcast. 

There is also a link to a related Daily Kos story of “red-pilling” of a certain subset of working class white men in the south or Midwest.

Generally, mainstream Americans don’t believe in conspiracy theories or don’t take the taunts and hyperboles from some conservatives very literally.  But a small but dangerous vulnerable minority does, as we saw with Comet Ping Pong in December 2016.