2016-12-29

AT (After Trump) To-Do List 2. Bring Back Real Investigative Reporting


DONATE TO TYT'S WATCHERS ON THE WALL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER CAMPAIGN




The Young Turks, an online news channel that I have been watching since 2006 is trying to raise $2 Million dollars to fund hiring 4 new investigative reporting teams.  That is $500,000 a piece, for one investigative reporter. the necessary support staff, and legal fees necessary to sustain the effort for a year. That might sound like a lot of money to you and me but did you know that Rachel Maddow makes just under $20,000/day?  Or that Megyn Kelly is looking for $20 Million/Year for her next contract?  That's just under $55,000/day!  Have either of these people ever broke a story?  Rachel says "I'm not trying to change things, I'm trying to cover them."  What does that get us?

If you need to see what one person can do on a shoestring TYT budget take a look at the three playlists at the bottom of this post done by Jordan Chariton.  The Young Turks' first reporter?  So far he has brought the flint water crisis to the forefront and now the water crisis in East Chicago Indiana, provided the best coverage of the DAPL protests, and took down a CNN anchor Donna Brazile for giving Hillary Clinton town hall questions in advance of the event.

If you were are a Bernie supporter  you know that the mainstream media had a virtual blackout on his campaign, if you are a progressive you know that no mainstream media outlets gave more than a few minutes to the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest.  If you are a conservative you know that the mainstream media gave Hillary a pass on many issues that deserved to be addressed.  It is starting to become common knowledge that the corporation-owned mainstream media outlets only serve the interests of their master and they make untold fortunes every election season in ad money thanks to a corrupt system that they have no interest in reforming; why would they?

I donated $55.55 to the campaign, it's not much but it is symbolic in many ways.

"5" the number of total investigative reporters TYT will have (counting Jordan Chariton) if they raise the full $2 million.

The number 5 four times, they need $500,000 for a total of four new reporters.

Yesterday they reached their first $500,000 milestone and announced the first reporter watch below to learn more about Nomiki Konst.  I can't wait to see see what stories she uncovers and watch her and Jordan hold the establishment's feet to the fire.  I am proud to have played a part in her being hired.

Image Source: The National Herald





And watch the following playlists to sample some of the product that TYT has produced with their one and only investigative reporter Jordan Chariton and his team.





2016-12-24

The Cali' Experience: Baby It's Cold Outside


I haves said it before and I'll say it again, it is super cool that Zach Braff and Donald Faison are friends in real life.  Being that I am also currently enjoying "winter" in California, how could I not share this music video they put together for the holidays!



Enjoy the contrast of them singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" while in suits in the sun with LA in the back ground and no snow to be seen.


2016-12-15

Music: AI Attempts to Write a Christmas Carol


I found this in on the AV Club:

Their description is hilarious!

Now, researchers in Toronto have used a technology called “neural karaoke” to teach a computer to write a song after looking at a photo - The karaoke technology first listened to 100 hours of Christmas music to figure out a simple melody, to which it then added chords and drums. It then viewed pictures and composes lyrics based on the words associated with those pictures. Then, if you’re lucky, it will sing those words to you - and the little carol  it penned after viewing a festive Christmas tree is an absolutely horrifying display of what these things think of us. Why the fuck is there music coming from the hall? Who is out there, and what are they doing? Why will “you” always be here, singer? These are not lyrics, they are the moans of the damned, trapped between this world and something beyond it, just conscious enough to know they are not at rest.





System Ops: Clark W. Griswold's Electric Bill



Distractify first Brought this to my attention a few days ago and I thought it was something that I would like to share via my System Ops section of my blog.  Distractify is doing much the same as I am and re-sharing the work that Estately did with some interesting graphics.  Here are their calculations:

25,000 bulbs * 0.08 watts/bulb = 2,000 watts.
2,000 watts * (1 kilowatt / 1,000 watt) = 2 kilowatts
2 kilowatts * 5 hours per day = 10 kwh per day
10kwh * 31 days = 310 kwh
310kwh * each state’s average price per kwh

You can find the breakdown per state on their blog post I'll just share the pretty info-graphic.

Image Source: Estately

Another blog Updates From The Night Shift (where I sourced the top image from) used a different method to calculate the Clark's bill back in 2014:

"In the 41 frames, or 1.7 seconds, that this is shown, the tens dial spins around two and a half times, meaning that 250 kilowatt-hours were used in this amount of time. That’s a lot of power! How much? Well, if you divide by 1.7, and then multiply by the conversion factor for kWh/s to watts (or the number of seconds in an hour times 1000), it turns out that these imported Italian twinkle lights are using five hundred and twenty-nine Megawatts.

No wonder the rest of the city lost power. In 1989, the year of the movie’s release, Chicago had a population of 2.7 million, using perhaps 2.25 GW of electrical power residentially. That means the local electrical grid saw a sudden load increase of almost 25%. I’m impressed it handled it as well as it did."

His blog also goes into some insights into the real-world effects that such values would have had and it wouldn't have been pretty.  It turns out, "Aunt Bethany was right all along."

 Image Source: Popkey

2016-12-04

Current Events: A Win in the Short Term for #NODAPL but a Win None-the-less

Photo Source: TYT Politics

I first wrote about the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) back in mid-September just after the pipeline security guards used attack dogs on the Native American protesters.

At one point I was someone who would share every little environmental, political, progressive flavor of the week on my Facebook feed spamming everyone I know with what I thought was necessary to make the world a better place.  My belief that shouting things into the collective void that is the internet will make a difference was shattered during the Act-10 protests and subsequent failed recall effort against Scott Walker in Wisconsin.  Furthermore in that same period, any hope that discussing anything that would differ politically with my friends would sway their beliefs at all was shattered as well.  So for the most part what I do share that has a political slant is from a sarcastic "told you so" place after the fact.

Photo Source: Democracy Now

Seeing attack dogs dogs used on Native Americans stirred something in me that I hadn't felt since that time, the need to share the story of their mistreatment, the need to do something even though I know without a doubt that it would likely fall on deaf ears and fixed minds.  Everything I saw from that point on regarding the NODAPL movement and the law enforcement's treatment of the protesters disturbed my moral fiber to the core.

Photo Source: TYT Politics

On Thanksgiving I shared a second post hoping to encourage people to call representatives in a hope that someone would stop the mistreatment of the people and stop the pipeline.  Then the next day another post detailing how the government wanted to close the site that the protesters were occupying the day after 2000+ veterans were scheduled to arrive to protect the Water Protectors from the Police. It seemed that things were going to come to a head in a very bad way.


It would seem that on the day of the Veterans arrival at Standing Rock, President Obama has instructed The Army Corps of Engineers to deny the trilling easement and instead conduct an environmental impact review (that amazingly had not been done up to this point) of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River. Some hope that pushing the completion date past January 1st will kill the project all together, others are not so sure.  One thing that we (read myself or anyone who happens to read this and care) have to do is remain vigilant.  This story caught my eye not because of the pipeline -seriously we do not need it- but because if brought to light the plight of the Native Americans.  We need to do so much more for our indigenous hosts.  Not only do we owe it to them, but we can stand to learn many things from them as well.



"Of all the contributions America has made to the world, the idea of freedom from a social hierarchy has been the greatest. It was fought for in the American Revolution and confirmed in the Civil War. To this day it's still the most powerful, compelling ideal holding the whole nation together.

And yet, although Jefferson called this doctrine of social equality "self evident," it is not at all self-evident. Scientific evidence and the social evidence of history indicate the opposite is self-evident. There is no "self-evidence" in European history that all men are created equal. There's no nation in Europe that doesn't trace it's history to a time when it was "self-evident" that all men are created unequal. Jean Jacques Rousseau, who is sometimes given credit for this doctrine, certainly didn't get it from the history of Europe or Asia or Africa. He got it from the impact of the New World upon Europe and from the contemplation or one particular kind of individual who lived in the New World, the person he called the "Noble Savage."

The idea that "all men are created equal" is a gift to the world from the American Indian. Europeans who settle here only transmitted it as doctrine that they sometimes followed and sometimes did not. The real source was someone for whose social equality was no mere doctrine, who had equality built into his bones. To him it was inconceivable that the world could be any other way. For him there was no other way of life."

~Robert M. Pirsig (Lila-An Inquiry Into Morals)

Music: Something to Make You Feel Good on a Sunday (Seafret - Wildfire)


The social experiment was based on a similar one by psychologist Arthur Aron, who conducted an experiment to see if it was possible for strangers to fall in love simply by answering 36 questions while in each other’s presence.
Seafret followed the same thought process and got a group of single volunteers to agree to be put in pairs, and then to answer the same 36 questions. At the end of it, they had to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes.



2016-12-02

AT (After Trump): Alt-Right Cannot Be Normalized


In a previous post I wrote the following:

It needs to be made clear in no uncertain terms that:
Alt-right = white supremacism
Alt-right = Islamophobia
Alt-right = antifeminism
Alt-right = homophobia
Alt-right = antisemitism
Alt-right = Neo-Nazism

The main-stream media is not going to do this job it is up to us.

Three days before I wrote that post the Los Angeles published an article on the National Policy Institute's convention which at the very top before any of their own words the posted a video of an interviewer asking the group president richard spencer 

Why do you believe in a white state and how is that different than the KKK?

His response to the question which I will take the liberty to sum up is:  I am raising consciousness, doing interviews, communicating with people with the immediate goal of influencing politics and culture to create a large "state for all Europeans" (read: an all white state). I see this as a long term-strategy something I hope my great grandchildren will enjoy, I believe that Trump will help promote this vision.

You would think that the next followup question, since he didn't answer the first one would have been something like this:

"So to clarify you share the same beliefs as and want the same results as the KKK, you're just willing to wait a little longer?"

But that was not to be, the reporter segued into his next question about Trump allowing spencer to effectively bypass his first answer and continue to normalize and spreading his message of hate and intolerance.

As I mentioned before, not only did they do a bad job reporting they put the video at the top of the page, I wish I was wrong but most people don't even take the time to read the article so what they end up presenting to the general public is a video with this man presenting his message in a nearly unfettered manner directly underneath the banner of the Los Angeles Times.

The article itself has presents facts but also places them next to the assertions from the alt-right with little effort to refute them which blurring the lines between the two.  Only one of the six beliefs that I called out the alt-right for perpetuating (white supremacism) is mentioned at all and it is not attached to the movement at all: 

"Sitting around conference tables, the formally dressed men more resembled Washington lobbyists than the robed Ku Klux Klansmen or skinhead toughs that often represent white supremacists, though they share many familiar views."

"Trump has said he “disavowed” support from white supremacists, but many in the alt-right believe his tough talk on immigrants and Muslims shows that their efforts to preserve a white majority in the United States are ready for a wider audience."

The article then reaches a climax of hypocrisy working to normalize spencer and the alt-right at the end of the article after quoting Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center:

“This is how you sneak these ideas into the mainstream,” she said. “The guys in the suits are the ones we have to worry about.”

This article was brought to my attention because of a video that political comedian Jimmy Dore shared on his show recently and he is speaking to my beliefs as well that the mainstream press is asleep at the switch on the alt-right.


The video focuses on tweets from the Los Angeles Times:


And Mother Jones (since pulled):


So once again to close:

It needs to be made clear in no uncertain terms that:
Alt-right = white supremacism
Alt-right = Islamophobia
Alt-right = antifeminism
Alt-right = homophobia
Alt-right = antisemitism
Alt-right = Neo-Nazism

The main-stream media is not going to do this job it is up to us.