30 October 2014

20 Years ……… Jeebus

It's my 20th wedding anniversary tonight.

We will be celebrating it on the Hebrew calendar date, because today is my Mom's Yartzheit, and so a celebration is not in order tonight. (Yes, I lit a candle)

I am stunned.

Note that I am not stunned that Sharon is still with me, she is not the divorcing kind, but rather that she has not (yet) murdered me, because my little Cutsie Woodles IS the murdering kind.

Thank God for women with poor taste in men.

Seen on Facebook

Needs no explanation:

29 October 2014

I Think that This is an Indication that Glenn Greenwald's New Employer is Circling the Drain

First, Matt Taibbi has left First Look:
Matt Taibbi, the star magazine writer hired earlier this year to start a satirical website for billionaire Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, is on a leave of absence from the company after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar's organization, a source close to First Look confirmed today. (UPDATE: Taibbi has left the company. See statement below.)

Taibbi's abrupt disappearance from the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn.
UPDATE:  Omidyar announced on Tuesday night that Taibbi has left the company. Here's the full statement posted on FirstLook.org:
I regret to announce that after several weeks of discussions, Matt Taibbi has left First Look. We wish him well.

Our differences were never about editorial independence. We have never wavered from our pledge that journalistic content is for the journalists to decide, period.

We’re disappointed by how things have turned out. I was excited by Matt’s editorial vision and hoped to help him bring it to fruition. Now we turn our focus to exploring next steps for the talented team that has worked to create Matt’s publication.

I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the kind of independent journalism found at The Intercept and the site we were preparing to launch. As a startup, we’ll take what we’ve learned in the last several months and apply it to our efforts in the future.

Above all, we remain committed to our team and to the First Look mission.
The word for Mr. Omidyar's claim about it not being editorial independence is best described as a lie.

When this enterprise was announced, Taibbi noted in interviews it would be "focusing on financial and political corruption," while Omidyar described it as, "A new digital magazine with a satirical approach to American politics and culture."

These are not the same things, and Taibbi's understanding was that he would be going after people who are very much like Pierre Omidyar friends and business associates.

There is also the issue of Marcy Wheeler's brief tenure with First Look, which appeared to be caused by her writing about entities linked to Pierre Omidyar being linked to the coup in the Ukraine. (Though Wheeler denies that this the proximate cause of her exit.)

When all this is juxtaposed along with Omidyar's own statements about how First Look was moving from news organization to news platform, (think eBay for journalists) will leave him with very little in the way of a news organization:
I mean, I get it. Editorial is expensive. Christ, it’s so expensive… But it gets worse: Not only is editorial expensive, but nobody wants to pay for it. Readers, we’re told, don’t want to pay for it (I’ll deal with that bullshit another time). And investors certainly don’t want to pay for it… No investor of sound mind thinks he or she will make money from a magazine, any more than they think investing in restaurants or airlines is a smart move.

A platform, on the other hand… well, that’s the answer to everything. Noone ever went broke building a platform. For one thing, a platform doesn’t need to commission editorial: some other sap takes care of that — either clients (Atavist, Punch!) or Joe User (GOOD magazine).
First Look is not going to mature into an internet news org like Pro PublicaTalking Points Memo, or Pando, and I expect to see further staff defections in the not too distant future.

OK, this is Weird

Republicans like Nickelback. No Surprise.

Republicans hate the Empire State Building. So did King Kong. Coincidence? I think not.

Ronald Reagan wrote a book? Was it a coloring book?

Man the 'Phants hate Maddow.

Click for slideshow.
I was reading Kevin Drum, and he pointed me toward an article that polled people on their musical preferences and politics.

While I would expect some differences, I don't expect 'Phants to like Springsteen or the Dixie Chicks, but it turns out that conservatives hate The Beatles:
With the 2014 midterm elections approaching, we decided to take a look at the cultural similarities and differences between people who support Democrats and people who support Republicans. To do this, we looked at everyone who liked the campaign page of any Democrat or Republican running for governor, U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. We then looked at what other pages those people liked on Facebook and identified the pages that were most differentiating—that is, the pages which were disproportionately liked by the supporters of one party versus the other—and those that were most balanced.

Note: in all of the figures below, the more a page is disproportionately liked by fans of Republican candidates, the farther right the page name appears (precisely indicated by the darker line in the middle). Conversely, the more a page is disproportionately liked by fans of Democratic candidates, the farther left the page name appears. The font size of the name is proportional to the total number of people from the US who liked that page.
I have a theory, with absolutely no facts to back me up, about why Republicans hate The Beatles:  Jealousy.

You see, of all the bands listed here, none is more closely connected with the 1960s, and the changes in cultural mores, the whole sex and drugs and rock and roll thing, and the Republicans are pissed off that they spent the 60s defending "virtue" while everyone else got their piece of ass.

Of course, the children of the 60s are in their 60s now, and while most of the Republican apparatchiks are younger than that, they were brought up under the tutelage of those frustrated segment of the children of the '60s, and the rage remains.

It's kind of sick, and kind of juvenile, but it's the Republican Party,

Bad Day at the Office

The Orbital Sciences resupply mission to the International Space Station experienced what is euphemistically called "rapid disassembly" yesterday.

Thankfully, there were no casualties:

28 October 2014

You Can Tell that Colbert is a Short Timer

He no longer cares who he pisses off, as this bit about the stupidest man in Texas, Louis Gohmert.

This the most brutal I have ever seen him.

Streamlining = Enabling Fraud, Waste, and Inefficiency

I am very dubious of this proposal to, "streamline military acquisitions."

Basically, the problem is a lack of adult supervision of either the defense contractors, or the Pentagon, or the resulting revolving door, is the problem with our current system,. not excessive regulation:
The Pentagon and Congress have better odds of reaching agreement on how to streamline myriad overlapping laws that slow the process of buying military equipment and services, a top Defense Department official said.

“I am optimistic,” Andrew Hunter, a former congressional aide who helped draft many of those laws before joining the Pentagon four years ago, told reporters Thursday. He said he saw emerging consensus among industry, lawmakers and defense officials about the need for changes.

Hunter, who runs the Pentagon’s joint rapid-acquisition initiative, also has led a drive to simplify current laws, which Frank Kendall, an arms buyer for the Department of Defense, has said put “an extraordinary and unnecessarily complex burden on our program managers and staff.”

U.S. defense officials have been in talks with congressional committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and hope to submit some reform legislation as part of the fiscal 2016 budget process, said Hunter, who is moving to a job with the Center for Strategic and International Studies next month.

“We’ve come up with some proposals that we hope will be favorably received,” he said. Hunter said the goal was to build on some key legislation already in place while giving program managers more flexibility to focus on the main issues.

The Pentagon initiative dovetails with fresh efforts by the House and Senate armed services committees to reform the slow, cumbersome U.S. military acquisition process and reverse years of schedule delays, cost overruns and other challenges.
Sorry, but the problem ain't excessive regulation, it's a system which is corrupt and dysfunctional to its core.

27 October 2014

If Anyone Out There Knows How to Make Link2SD work on a Kyocera Torque, Help Would Be Appreciated

Once again, reality has conspired to make me the family's tech support, in this case for both kids.