Monday, January 7, 2019

Google+ import boundary

The posts prior to this, below, are all imports from Google+, may it rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Have I mentioned...

Have I mentioned how much I have come to personally dislike Bernie Sanders? This is not a matter of his stated political positions, many of which I agree with on a general level. I just dislike him as a human being...

Originally shared by Shava Nerad

David Sirota's war against media critical thinking
Bernie, Beto, and the Streisand Effect

If there's anything I despise more than an attack on the electorate from foreign influence, from right wing media, from corporate mainstream media, it's a left media figure using everything we know about propaganda and media criticism, distortion and influence, to punch left.

David Sirota was Bernie Sanders' first office lead in the 90s, when Vermont sent Bernie to DC to mess with Speaker Newt Gingrich's head. It was David's first big break in DC from the looks of his VC, and I'm sure that the relationship means a lot.

Right up to New Hampshire, I was pretty gleeful about Sanders' run. I was really troubled when he hired Tad Devine and displaced his Vermont staff. I defended Bernie with teeth bared when his staff lifted the Clinton campaign annotated voter file (yes, in the modern way of blurring social engineering and hacking, you can call that hacking) and the DNC threatened -- quite justifiably -- to shut their asses down.

Later I ended up regretting it as the campaign grew more and more anti-community. I imagined another Dean campaign -- bottom up, participatory, integrated with the party to the point of taking over the counties, breathing a via positiva of lifeblood into the progressives -- to use an abused term? Hope.

What we got was Bernie Bros that presaged #metoo politics, and a level of hostility and lack of civic and political understanding of how political insurgencies work in a two party system that was crippling, all around.

Well, oops, it's happening again.

This time, instead of Tad, we've got David Sirota as our snake in the garden, the designated whisperer of insinuations to drip poison into ears and divide.

He's fun. Let me take this apart for you. I'm going to write this up as a reference for fellow journalists. It's going to be tl;dr, long, opinionated but well documented, and I'm going to add to it over the course of days.


Who the hell is Beto O'Rourke?

I'd heard the name. There's even some lunatic with Mass plates on my street here in Cambridge who has a Beto bumper sticker. Early adopter, I guess.

But as I've written here I'm not favoring anyone at this point in 2020. It's too early.

Still, the first week in December, I saw retweets of Sirota "exposing" Beto for various insinuated sins against progressive politics. The major charges have been that he has:

o - voted "with the GOP" 167 times.
o - accepted at least one maxed out donation from a CEO of an oil/gas corporation

Now, I'm going to go through and take these apart in depth with full footnotes, but this preamble is just to explain why this rang such an off note with me.

Voting "with the GOP" means you are not voting party line Democrat. There are lots of reasons for this. One of the most common in recent years is that you live in a rural state. Yo? This is part of how we got the Cheeto.

Plus, Politico has reported that Sanders votes with the Dems about 95% of the time. He has been in office a very long time. I don't have a full tally, but David has included procedural votes in his 167 that Beto's joined the evil pachyderms. How many hundreds or thousands more votes has our independent from Vermont registered since the 90s?

David illustrated Beto's receiving "oil money" from the CEO of a small business in Texas. Right SIC code, $2700 donation. Instructed people to decide what they thought of it -- after framing that we can't afford more money in politics supporting global warming that is going to kill us all. Nice.

Remember, this stuff pretty much starts with Stalin, and he was a lefty. We've all studied him. ;)

The example he uses is a guy who is a long time Democratic donor, the widower of a Human Rights Campaign activist. The two men were married in the Unitarian Universalist church. Now he's raising two kids as a single dad.

I honestly doubt he was buying Beto's vote for big oil.

Beto's a Texas politician. Over 375,000 people in Texas fall directly under the oil/gas SIC code, and more -- likely millions -- in the many industries that support and profit from the extraction and refining.

What is Bernie afraid of?

I'm not the only one -- probably not even the only one who didn't know crap about Beto -- for whom David Sirota is managing to bring a spotlight to the Texan and shade to the Vermonter with his tactics.

Streisand Effect.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Netflix Review: "Memories of the Alhambra"

Just finished Episode 6 of the new Korean language Netflix series "Memories of the Alhambra", and now I have to wait a week for the next one. At this point there are only a few possible explanations: 1) the protagonist is actually crazy; 2) magic; 3) alien super science; 4) deal with the devil; 5) the writers are so caught up in the story that they simply don't care about reality. I favor the later at this point -- I'm so caught up in the story that I don't care, either. :-)