Sunday, September 30, 2018

"The Good Doctor" starts Season 2 as Shaun helps the homeless



The Good Doctor” Season 2 resumed Monday Sept. 24, with an episode called “Hello”. I was out of town and the timing conflicts with PBS POV and NBC “Manifest” which I will have to catch up with. 

But I did watch this episode through my cable provider.  Shaun visits skid row to give medical treatment, and becomes very determined to help one man who shows signs of a brain tumor, after a colleague (Neil, played by Nicholas Gonzalez) first suspects meningitis. The man has forgotten who he was and after leaving home when his wife forced him to leave because of sudden domestic abuse.  At the end he is reunited with his wife.

  
Shaun faces social pressure to spend time with his mentor Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff).
   
The doctors also do a piggyback heart transplant.  I’ve never heard of that before.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

CNN Heroes releases preview of work by woman for victims of sex trafficking


CNN has provided a preview of its “CNN Heroes” awards, with a short clip on Susan Munsey’s efforts to help victims of sex trafficking, CNN story here.  The story is by Allie Togan.

Among her efforts includes setting up a shelter in San Diego.

Munsey has worked on a “We Do Better” bill in California.
  
But the clip did not mentioned the controversial FOSTA/SESTA law regarding downstream liability on the Internet early this year.  But Susan does mention the idea that a lot of trafficking is facilitated through the Internet. No one starts out wanting to do sex for money, she says. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

AC360: how an impromptu confrontation between an individual voter and Jeff Flake changed everything today in the Kavanaugh confirmation mess



The confrontation between Ana Maria Achila and Jeff Flake at the Capitol shortly after 9 AM today, which I saw live on CNN, seems to have changed the course of the confirmation hearings on Brett Cavanaugh.


As most visitors know, Jeff Flake spearheaded an effort to delay the vote until the FBI did an investigation on Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. President Trump agreed to allow the investigation, and Mitch McConnell has no practical choice but to allow it if he wants the confirmation.

Anderson Cooper interviewed Ana tonight on AC360.
  
She reminds me of Ana Navarro.

Ford Fischer and News2Share also have a video of a protest that resulted in 70 arrests today, here

Monday, September 24, 2018

"Alternative Influencer: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube"



Here’s a good broadcast by Tim Pool, Timcast, 30 minutes:

Alternative Influencer: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube


The video has a research chart that links “influencers” together.   I wonder if I belong on it.  Milo Yiannopolous is near the bottom.  Tim is in the middle.

Tim says he is not a "conservative" although many of his broadcasts tear apart illogical thinking on the far Left.  He is very liberal on social issues like gay marriage, but more from a libertarian idea of equality before the law. He believes some common sense needs to prevail in health care, climate change. etc.  

Tim was at a "Mythconpanel in Milwaukee Saturday at the Pabst Theater that was canceled because of threats. 

Check out the Vox story on YouTube and the reactionary right. Here's a bio of Jordan Peterson and the irony of some of his threatened lawsuits. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

HLN "True Crime" describes Williams Brothers hate crime spree in 1999, 2001



On Tuesday, September 18, 2010, HLN “True Crime” covered the spree in 1999 of the white supremacist Williams brothers (Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams), who killed a gay couple – Gary Matson and Winfried Mowder, near Sacramento, Advocate story

In 2001 they set fire to synagogues and an abortion clinic.  Another story describes their rearing by an ultrafundamentalist sects. 


But in some ways their spree reminds one of Andrew Cunanan in 1987.
  
Their crimes were also depicted in the “Not in Our Town” series.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Armenia, on Bourdain's final Parts Unknown episodes


Sunday night, CNN aired “Armenia” on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown final episode series.

The former Soviet Republic is known for its own tragic history with the Genocide, and now some strains with Turkey. Most Armenians weren’t born there.


But the most interesting observation is that chess is taught in the schools as an essential “life skill”.  I guess you need to play rook and pawn endings well, or understand the nuances of openings like the Archangelsk Ruy Lopez (a couple thousand miles to the north).
  
By anonymous German traveler - Published by the American red cross, it was first published in the United States prior to January 1, 1923. [Aus: Politisches Archiv des deutschen Auswärtigen Amtes. Bestand: Konstantinopel 169.] , Public Domain, Link

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dayton, Ohio, "Left Behind, America", on PBS Frontline and Pro Publica



PBS Frontline, on Sept 11, aired another episode of “Left Behind America” focusing on Dayton, Ohio, link.

Alec Macgillis from Pro Publica narrates.

The broadcast showed multiple shots of dilapidated homes in the city, compared to the nice downtown, with broad boulevards almost empty.

The computer manufacturer NCR (which at one time was in the mainframe business) has left for Georgia.


The broadcast emphasized that the reason for economic depression is low wages that don’t pay enough to live on and stay out of debt. Yet some companies, especially a box company, say they have trouble finding workers who aren’t opioid or drug addicts.  There are jobs in newer companies that deal with imports.  Trump’s protectionism doesn’t seem to have worked very well.

The slide in wages seems to have gotten much worse after the “bailouts” of banks following the 2008 financial crisis. But globalization and technology have made many jobs less valuable.

The documentary showed a large food pantry, which needed many volunteers to operate and distribute food, with some attention to needs like diabetes. This one of the largest food security charities I’ve ever seen in the media.  In the DC area, Food and Friends does this for HIV and cancer patients. Arlington Food Assistance and Mt Olivet Methodist Church’s community assistance look much smaller by comparison.

Wright-Patterson Air Force base is nearby.

This episode should be appreciated in connection with a long New York Times "booklet" story today by Nelson D. Schwartz: "The Recovery that Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz". 

Wikipedia attribution link for photo of Mutual Office Building by Greg Hume, under CCSA 3.0 

Sunday, September 09, 2018

"The Mysterious Case of George Padapoulos" on CNN



The Mysterious Case of George Padapopoulos” on CNN Saturday night.

It seems so easy for young adults who helped Donald Trump to get into trouble innocently.  George, who at 31 has no furrows, was stopped at the airport returning from Europe and taken into custody for lying to the FBI about earlier dealings with the Russians for Trump.


He spent two weeks in jail.  He is the first to go to jail over the Mueller probe.
  
George Stephanopoulos interviewed him with his wife Sunday morning.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Dateline: "The Match": evidence from hypnosis, and a possibly troubling plea bargain




Dateline NBC carried the ratings Friday night with “The Match”, a two hour episode in which victim Brittani Marcell was put under hypnosis to identify her attacked in a shovel attack, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 


The prosecutors used DNA evidence from the blood to indict the attacker before his identity was known, so his name could be added later.  ABC News has a detailed story

But what seems disturbing at the end is the plea bargain with Justin Hansen. He plead no contest to reduce his maximum sentence so he could some day see his four children. He got 18 years, the maximum, from the judge. He would not admit guilt. So what seems a little disturbing is the use of forensic hypnosis.  Is this a reliable tool?

I can remember we played around with hypnosis in the dorm at KU in grad school around 1967.  
 v 
By Asaavedra32 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Thursday, September 06, 2018

"What Happens at the Edge of the Universe?" PBS





What Happens at the Edge of the Universe? 


PBS Digital Studios explains “proper distance” and cosmic distance.  But essentially the expansion fo space (faster than light) makes it impossible to make any progress toward getting toward any observablr edge.  There will ways be galaxies that we could never get any information from.

Here’s a supplementary piece on the geometry of space from the University of Texas. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Timcast assesses Milo Yiannopoulos





“Activist Journalists Day Milo Is Gone but Keep Writing About Him”.  The latest Timcast looks at whether tech-company deplatforming of "conservatives" really "works". That's appropriate given the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings of Facebook and Twitter executives on CSPAN today (Fox and CNN were taken up with Kavanaugh). 

Tim Pool discusses Milo Yiannopoulos, post Twitter.


Yup, Milo has kept his Facebook followers and gets tens of thousands of shares just for making a breakfast yogurt dish.

And Pool says that journalists normally hang out on Twitter, not Facebook.

Pool also says he never saw Milo target Leslie Jones, which supposedly got him banned from Twitter in 2016.  Milo denies he targeted her in his book.

And, by the way, even though his language is colorful, and maybe narcissistic (Why ___ hates me) his book really is not that radical.  It pretty much says what my own three “Do Ask, Do Tell” books say, and not so far from the “Skin in the Game” theory of Nicholas Taleb.
  
Frankly, on most things, Pool,  Fischer, Milo, EI, and myself, aren’t so far apart. We all think the radical Left is slouching toward not only Marxism but maybe even Stalinism or Maoism.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

NBC Washington does special on DC "Mansion Murders" as trial of Wint begins



Tonight NBCWashington (NBC4) aired, at 6:28 PM, a 32-minute special report on the Mansion Murders in Washington DC in May 2015.  The primary link is here. This broadcast occurred during the normal local news. 

Jury selection for the trial is beginning now and the trial of Daron Wint, who has plead not guilty, is expected to last at least two months.


Much of the panel discussion focused on whether the evidence that could indicate an accomplice was properly processed.  There was also a lot of discussion of the defendant’s likely motives. 
This would make a good update report for NBC Dateline. ABC2020 and Dateline have done reports in the past.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

EI critiques John McCain, discussed the feminization of American men



I thought I would cover a couple more videos from EI, “Economic Invincibility”, that seem especially provocative.

The most recent one, today, is “Don’t Be Like John McCain”. 


EI wears red white and blue and speaks into his oversized mike. He interprets John McCain’s bipartisanship as obstructionism for his not getting what he wanted: someone like Trump won the presidency, when McCain could not.  OK, agreed, McCain made a foolish choice of Sarah Palin.

EI also accuses McCain of war mongering or military intervensionism, and seems comfortable that Trump is avoiding getting into wars.  Now, I know that Trump was close to a dangerous bloody nose attack on North Korea in February, and some private talk from some of his supporters convinced him to take a diplomatic course after all.  Of course, the situation now in North Korea is certainly tenuous, as Singapore is unraveling.  I am well aware of the criticism of Trump’s behavior, and of an emphatic concern about Trump’s authoritarian talk about other people and especially the press, and his denial of facts.  I’m aware of the baby balloons and the “Poopiepants” nickname on Facebook.  And what I care about it that Congress can get its act together and do its job (fix DACA, fix the family separation issue, fix the legal immigration issues, and fix Obamacare).  The Republican Party could fix these constructively if it did its math first.

EI ventures into talking about James Stockdale, who was Perot’s running mate in 1992 if I remember right.  Perot, who founded EDS and ran it almost as a military operation until the early 1980s (and rescued his own people from Iran), as certainly interesting.  Stockdale supposedly disfigured himself when a POW.



The other video I want to mention dates from December 2017, and it sounds like George Gilder’s “Sexual Suicide” (or even like my own “Do Ask Do Tell II” book from 2002, post 9/11). It’s “Why Modern Men Are so Effeminate”.

EI gives several reasons.  He starts out with diet (soy as well as meat), antibiotics in food, and water minerals, as reducing testosterone.  Maybe.  That’s the old saltpeter rumor from dorms in the 1960s. Then he correctly notes the lack of fathers in so many households.  Many men grow up not prepared to support a family and leave.  Yes, many boys don’t have male companionship growing up. But then he gets into cultural attacks on cis-male masculinity for its own sake.  Toward the end, he criticizes the Boy Scouts, in which he grew up, for having to admit women and trans (it doesn’t seem that cis gay men unnerve him). He also notes that modern culture wants to view all male bonding as with “David and Jonathan” in the Bible as homosexual, when it is platonic, and serves a spiritual but not specifically sexual aim.  He makes the interesting comment that the trend toward reducing the value of masculinity is dangerous if men do get caught in a geopolitical crisis and have to serve “like men” in the military.  That brings up the conscription issue, and whether women could be drafted, in my own mind, at least.  But don’t forget – Lady Valor (now a transgender woman) had been a Navy Seal. It would be interesting to hear him discuss  Trump on the transgender military ban now, and McCain's changing attitude at the end on repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell".   
  
Let’s also add, that in discos and bars, most gay men want to find other cis gay men as partners, not gender fluid or transgender people.  This hard fact is generating almost some civil war within he leadership of gay rights groups. 
  
One other thing -- "feminized men" (Patricia Sexton's concerns) seem more risk averse. What about the idea that American football has this terrible karma problem with concussions. 

Saturday, September 01, 2018

ABC 20-20 "Behind the Closed Door" about an Alabama campus rape already brings out the conservative conspiracy theories



On Aug. 31, ABC 20-20 aired “Behind the Closed Door” (link requires cable subscription), about a rape of a young woman (“Savannah”) at an Alabama campus (Spanish Fort, near Mobile) after underage drinking.

ABC has a text summary of the episode here.   One of the most curious parts of the story is that the perpetrator made a secret plea agreement as a juvenile. It’s unclear why the Alabama prosecutor demand secrecy.  Cameron Harrison is said to have received considerable community support for his side of the story. As in the horrific hazing death case in Pennsylvania, the 21-year-old drinking age seems to be ignored.


It’s quite striking to me, that the “young people will win” campaign against gun violence has worked because the teens running it seem so disciplined (as to staying away from drugs and alcohol).
  
There is at least one story ((“The Human Frequency”) on YouTube claiming she is transgender.   But this video links to another video whose account was terminated.  Is this a conservative conspiracy theory about “actors”?  The heterosexual couple here says it has nothing against transgender people when out in the open, but they feel put off by gender fluidity and by feminine-looking men and masculine women.