Friday: Sinnerman

In this roundup: A look outside the U.S.’ borders — TTIP’s end, Turkey at risk, Chile and women’s reproductive rights, more.

Featured jazz artist today is Eunice Waymon, known best by her stage name Nina Simone. Recognized for her powerful political work, Mississippi Goddamn, Simone was an incredibly gifted pianist trained at Juilliard with a predilection for the works and method of Johann Sebastian Bach. She became a singer only after nightclubs for which she performed insisted she must sing and play piano together.

Two of my favorites apart from Sinnerman shared here are Feeling Good and I Put a Spell on You. I’ll always have a warm, fuzzy place for Ain’t Got No/I Got Life medley, a variation of the song from the 1960s Broadway musical Hair. I can remember singing along to this recording during long road trips.

Why Nina Simone today? Because of Sinnerman, which seems particularly appropriate during this election season.

Looking away from our nation’s navel

  • Op-ed: Is Turkey nearing civil war? (Süddeutsche Zeitung) — Guest contributor Yavuz Baydar reviews developments in Turkey after the so-called coup attempt, including calls to arm citizens, reestablish an Ottoman caliphate, and create militarized youth groups attached to mosques. Turkish media, operating with the blessing of President Tayyip Erdoğan, has shown maps featuring Mosul and parts of northern Greece as part of a Turkish empire.
  • TTIP may be in death throes, but resuscitation attempted (euronews) — This article quotes a Spanish automotive partmaker who complains the need to inspect parts both on export and import is expensive, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement would eliminate the costly redundancy. Except the existing duplicative inspections didn’t prevent Volkswagen Group and its vendor Bosch from shipping fraudulent vehicles and parts, did it? Yeah. Not so much…in spite of TTIP’s near-death, the US and EU met earlier this month to regroup and try to force TTIP through before the end of President Obama’s term.
  • Chile’s president aims to change restrictive anti-abortion laws (NPR) — Chile is among the five most restrictive countries in the world, outlawing abortion even to save the life of the mother. President Michelle Bachelet made it her goal to change the laws; the country’s lower house has already approved legislation to allow abortion in case of rape, to save the mother, or in case of mortal fetal defect. Chile’s senate must yet vote to approve this legislation before it becomes law. In the mean time, women must travel abroad to obtain abortions or risk jail if they attempt it in Chile on their own.
  • Radical Ukrainian nationalists rising (euronews) — Members of far-right groups Azo regiment and the Right Sector recently marched through Kyiv to celebrate Ukrainian patriotism while protesting pro-Russian separatists.

Tech Debris
Here’s a collection of odd technology bits I’ve run across recently worth a read:

  • Dutch researchers working on anti-hacking technology (euronews) — They’re working on unique identifiers for devices attached to the internet, like the myriad Internet of Things (webcams, baby monitors, so on). This seems like a waste of time given every device should already have an ID assigned by a network. Keep an eye on this; it’d certainly make surveillance easier. Ahem.
  • Troubling case of Facebook v. Vachani (NPR) — Fluffy overview of the suit filed against Steven Vachani whose portal site product pissed off Facebook greatly. But you should read the op-ed from July by Orin Kerr about this case — brace yourself for your freak out.
  • From the archives: Interview with John Arquilla on cyberwarfare (FRONTLINE) — Perspective on the origins of current cyberwarfare policies arising from Bush administration post-9/11. As you read this, keep in mind Arquilla is a proponent of preemptive warfare and the use of cyberwarfare against terrorism.
  • Twitter as a government tool against the people (Bloomberg) — We take for granted we can type anything we want in social media. Not so in much of the rest of the world, and Twitter is an example of social media with both great potential to inform while putting users at risk where speech is not free. Although after the recent revelations Twitter sold data to a U.S. intelligence front, speech isn’t exactly free on Twitter for U.S. citizens, either.

Longread: Did newspapers screw up?
We’ve watched the decline of newspapers for over a decade as its analog business model met the reality of a digital age. Jack Shafer wrote about the possibility newspapers may have made a critical error during the generational shift to online media — perhaps the seasoned existing outlets should have remained firmly committed to print. Two key problems with this analysis: 1) printing and distribution remains as expensive as all other factors in producing a newspaper, and 2) the population consuming newspaper content is changing, from a print-only to digital-only audience. This must be acknowledged or newspapers will continue to struggle, and large papers will continue to pursue consolidation in order to reduce costs to operate.

With that in mind, I still don’t understand why The Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, hasn’t opted to offer a Kindle to subscribers willing to pay for a full print subscription a year in advance. A low-level Kindle is cheaper than the cost to print. Ditto to The New York Times; why hasn’t it considered a tie up with Kobo or another e-reader manufacturer?

That’s it for this week; have a good weekend!

11 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    As to the print newspaper:  I can’t see ever going back to that—until I’m stuck in the nursing home with two hours a day of attentiveness left in me.  The Internet provides so much more “news”, whenever I want it, day or night.  And I’m good enough at both (1) selecting and finding what I want to read and (b) being exposed to other stuff (no Facebook feed here).  What am I going to do with a giant pile of yesterday’s happenings?  Me, I marvel at how some people can spend all their time with their faces buried in their smartphones—but am I just as bad as them, simply using technology to a different end?
    In the “intersection of transportation and technology” sector:  Swedish scientists have found that the common swift can stay aloft for up to ten (10) months at a time.  They (the birds, not the scientists) eat, drink, sleep, all those things, up in the air (not with Vera Farmiga, though).  Sometimes, don’t you wish you could spend your days just doing stuff like those researchers do?  I’ll bet that like most jobs it’s 80% dog work, but still, there can’t be THAT much bad news and other crap to have to deal with.  (Search for “common swift” in Google News.)

    • Rayne says:

      Moon of Alabama has based their claim on a flawed premise — that the Zika strain in the countries in the one chart are the same. They are not all the same; Brazil has had at least 11 mutations of the virus since it was first documented.

      Further, the virus directly caused neuro tissue damage in the lab in at least two studies. See my previous post on this topic and the research cited in it.

      Russia has dick-doodley-squat to do with Zika virus. Stupidity and crappy logic do, however, ensure its continued damage.

    • martin says:

      Any comments on attorney Mumford being tasered in court after oregon occupy verdict?

      Yeah. First off, as far as I could tell, the MSM was ordered to not cover that aspect of the trial. After all, their scumsucking PoliceState brothers in North Dakota were doing the same thing. Can’t have a nationwide exposure of the nature of the USPoliceState nationwide now, can we. Otherwise, the rest of the citizens might start getting the wrong idea.  At least according to the 1% who control what they think is the masses.  I’ve got news for them. 4th Gen warfare is coming to their front door wheather you, or them, or any of those that prosper at the expense of human lives, like it or not.  After all.. Piketty warned you.

  2. P J Evans says:

    greengiant says: October 28, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I read about the lawyers – he apparently was arguing about how the release should be done. I suspect he got the judge mad.
    As for the verdict – I don’t know what the jurors were thinking, or even if they were thinking. The statements by #4 are not making much sense.

  3. lefty665 says:

    Zika ain’t benign. Zika hysteria has been way overblown, but you’re right it is capable at the wrong moment of early fetal development of causing very bad outcomes.

    The incidence of Zika related microcephaly in northeast Brazil is still at least an order of magnitude higher than anywhere else. Something else is at work there, as public health folks are beginning to recognize. The likelyhood that it is Pyriproxifen insecticide that was put in the drinking water is high. Curiously, as Zika has spread in Brazil the birth defect rate has not increased as it did in northeast Brazil. That pretty much rules out Zika mutations as the cause. Here’s a recent Washpost article:

    The attractiveness of the Washpost and Times giving away kindles or the like still revolves around the continued inability of the papers to replace the revenue lost from print space ads.  Giving away ereaders would just accelerate the papers death.


    • Rayne says:

      I’m going to elaborate exactly one more time in this thread about Zika because you keep pushing that pesticide-done-it bullshit.

      At least TWO different studies using fetal neuro tissue, conducted by researchers nearly half the world apart, in completely different languages, found Zika was mutagenic and teratogenic WITHOUT PESTICIDES PRESENT DURING TESTING.

      (Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick, I even included damned photos of the tissues to make this easier to understand. But no, let’s hang on to the bloody hobby horse of stupid…)

      In at least one previous post I pointed out that the Argentines who rashly said pesticides were causal backtracked on their claims — they had no evidence to support their claims. I also posted about a Brazilian municipal health official who said the use of the pesticide by area did NOT match the occurrence of birth defects — population data does NOT support the pesticide-done-it claim. But because so much of the research and the original bullshit claims about pesticides were made in languages other than English, too few people have followed up just as they haven’t followed up on research conducted in Portuguese and Mandarin.

      Maybe if people actually got off their dead asses and read the research they’d clue in, but no, it’s easier to just cherry pick the crap other poorly informed people have concentrated into pretty charts.


      • lefty665 says:

        Ya  know, I was supporting your comment that Zika is not harmless. Moon of Alabama is off on a frolic on this. But you don’t seem to be able to take support kindly.

        What you say about the potential bad neurological effects of Zika is undoubtedly so. However, that has no relationship to the 10-15 to 1 excess cases of microcephaly in northeast Brazil. That incidence has not happened anywhere else in the world. Something different happened there, and it is at least coincident with widespread use of microcephaly causing pesticide in the water supply.

        While you deny that pesticide is the cause of that spike, you have posited not a damn thing that would explain it.  The Brazilian you quote was obfuscating between a city and the surrounding area that go by the same name.

        Some of us have made the effort to be informed and have not succumbed to the Zika hysteria you are so enamored of.  If you read the Wash post article I linked above you will see that no one has yet positively identified what happened in northeast Brazil. Insecticide as well as other potential causes are all on the table. The research you have cited, while valuable and germane to the underlying 1% rate of Zika caused neurological defects, does not explain the localized order of magnitude spike.

        There are real possibilities that the “cure” caused 10-15 times more defects in parts of Brazil than Zika did. Denying that possibility, as you consistently do, contributes to Zika hysteria but not to understanding what happened.


  4. wayoutwest says:

    I suppose there is no end to the specious propaganda printed about Turkey. The fact that Turks flooded the streets and died defending Turkish democracy from the Gulenist cult embedded throughout their society is dismissed as a so-called coup but they prevailed and appear to be united behind their elected government as never before. The fact that the military is under elected civilian control for the first time has already shown positive results especially on their southern border.

    Everyone should celebrate the defeat of a military coup based on cult terror but some people are so frightened by Cosmopolitan Islam based on democratic principles that they regress to these Guinea Worm like attacks.  The fantasies about Sultan Erdogan  marching on Damascus or Mosul may stir the lizard brains of the weak minded but they seem to neglect the fact that the Russians are in one path and Turkey’s allies the Iraqi Kurds have plans for Mosul.

    • Rayne says:

      I wonder how you flip the coin on which tack to take on a topic; do you just pick the opposite of whatever is posted?

      It’s hardly democratic to fire nearly all judges and prosecutors, remove educators, jail media, shut down social media outlets, target citizens who dissent for prosecution — but because an elected president did it, this is all okay? How Nixonian of you.

      Were you okay with Bush firing the U.S. attorneys general en masse because they were too liberal on one or more topics including LGBT rights?

      Were you okay with Bush/Cheney administration misrepresenting what they were doing as pro-democracy?

      Don’t bother to explain the disparity. Your actions say enough.

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