Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Antifa or Intifada:
Next U.S. civil war
Between extremists

BETWEEN THE RIGHT WING extremists and the left wing extremists, America is heading for a second civil war.

Thinking Americans will be caught in the middle and may end up as “collateral damage.”

It won’t be Blue vs. Grey and there will be no honor on either side. Honor requires respect and, from what America has seen of late, the extremists have no respect for anyone who is not fully in their camp.

The Left will blame everything on President Trump; the Right will blame everything on ex-president Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom have encouraged the extreme Left’s antifa insurrection.

More than “anti-fascist,” these people behave like servants of an intifada; right down to the black pajamas and cowardly facemasks.

THESE LEFTIST EXTREMISTS are no better than the people they claim to hate — nazis, the klan, white extremists.

Ben Garrison, Grrrgaphics.com

The American intifada is a combined effort of Black Lives Matter (white lives don’t?), anti-Semites (including many liberal, self-hating Jews), BDS and other Israel haters (most who know nothing about the country or its people — including Christians, Muslims, and “others”), LGBT groups (who won’t accept Jews in their gay parades), several “professors,” and any foes of democratic government and free speech (other than their own).

Their banner is, or should be, as offensive to civilized Americans as nazi or kkk pennants.

The antifa are anarchists. Encouraged by political has-beens who cannot accept the people’s decision, they are determined to attack, and DO attack, anyone who may express an opinion different from theirs.

The Liberal intifada eventually, probably sooner rather than later, will have its shahids, martyrs. It made a martyr of Heather D. Heyer who was murdered when a right wing extremist from Ohio drove his car into a crowd of leftist protestors.

Sadly, the less militant liberals — I know there are some — refuse to listen to anything except their own words. If a middle-of-the-road person criticizes the intifada, the liberal, even a moderate liberal, quickly changes the subject. An email sent to a liberal acquaintance challenged him on the antifas’ attack in Berkeley CA. His reply was a tirade about Trump’s immigration policies. When previous immigration policies were pointed out in response — including those of Obama — they were ignored with more diatribe against the president.

The majority of the lengthy list of web sites below the horizontal line focus on just one recent incident in Berkeley CA. UC-Berkeley has, for decades, been a flash point for radicals, anarchists, and haters of many things.

URLs worth visiting

Two views of the “antifa” movement

    Who are the antifa? (Washington Post - "analysis") https://tinyurl.com/y823dupu

    Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement (CNN) https://tinyurl.com/y6vzxerf

Is it possible that ALL of the following are lying tools of the right?

Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley (Washington Post) https://tinyurl.com/y7y3cpzd

Antifa anarchists attack peaceful right-wing Berkeley rally (Fox News) https://tinyurl.com/y73jkbc7

Berkeley proves liberals are enabling Antifa violence (Washington Examiner) https://tinyurl.com/y98t75z3

ANTIFA Terrorists At It Again In Berkeley, CA 8/27/2017 https://tinyurl.com/y99epuxo

Masked Anarchists Attack Pro-Trump Demonstrators in Berkeley (Slate) https://tinyurl.com/ydcc3jpr

Antifa anarchists attack peaceful right-wing Berkeley rally (Fox News) https://tinyurl.com/y8yehnks

Female Fox2 News Reporter Physically Attacked by Violent Antifa in Berkeley **UPDATE** Antifa Arrested (Gateway) https://tinyurl.com/ybzgu92p

Scarborough Rips Berkeley College For Failing To Defend Free Speech (Daily Caller) https://tinyurl.com/ya8y57uz

URLs above generated using tinyurl.com, a free application.


PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.


Comments on Next Civil War

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Fallacy of polls

A RECENT POLL by the ABC News/Washington Post determined that

    Nearly one in 10 Americans say it is “acceptable” to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

    The survey found that 13 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of respondents supporting President Donald Trump deemed neo-Nazi views as acceptable.

See http://tinyurl.com/ydx3ux7q for full article

The poll was conducted in English and Spanish via landline and cellphone calls from Aug. 16-20 a few days after the confrontation in Charlottesville.

Having been on the creation end of surveys for a number of years, I know full well that a well-thought out survey ALWAYS can produce whatever results the survey developer desires.

    The old “proof” was asking a person Are you still beating your spouse? No matter what the answer, one spouse is admitting that he/she beat the other spouse.

An easy trick is to preface the questions with If you were a (whatever), what would you do/think/say?

How about All *** are extremists and all extremists need to be separated from good people. Do you agree? Depending on who is being asked, change the three asterisks to whatever group to be disparaged.

It’s even simpler if the surveyors can pick the people to question.

If a surveyor asked a group of — say — Hillary Clinton supporters if they believe Donald Trump could do a good job in Washington, the response would be (almost) 100%, a resounding NO! Turn that around and ask a bunch of people wearing Make America Great Again shirts or hats: Should Hillary Clinton be investigated for her illegal server (or Benghazi)? and, again, almost 100% of the responses will be YES!.

Unless we can see the pollsters’ questions and the demographics of the people polled, it is highly unwise to put any stock in a poll’s results.

Some people think statistics can as easily be manipulated as polls. Since I am not a statistician, I can’t — won’t — offer an opinion.

I DO know polls and, as a pollster in my newspaper days, I can say without apology that I don’t trust polls even when they support my point of view.

‘Course I also don’t trust today’s media — print, digital, audio, or visual (tv).

There was a time when I thought most of what I read was accurate; at least if my byline was over the story. As an editor, I challenged my reporters on their facts — just as my editors had challenged me.

Those were the days when reporters had to attribute everything. Apparently — from what I see on the web today — that requirement has been long forgotten. No source? No matter. “An unnamed source said…” satisfies the editors. (Who is the “unnamed source?” The person one desk away.)


PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In my opinion

Whatever happened
To honest, unbiased

WHEN I AS A YOUNGER man I worked for newspapers.

First in backshops (Orlando and Cocoa FL) as a stoneman, later as a reporter and editor (Ely NV, Gillette WY, Harrisburg PA, Peru IN, Red Bluff CA, Titusville FL, Trenton NJ).

In the latter I covered a variety of “beats,” including cops, courts, government, industry (n-power, transportation, banking, etc.), “society,” sports, and more.

I also wrote editorials.

I made every effort to keep my reporting editorial-free. No slants. No bias. As Jack Webb’s Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts.”

When I worked in Red Bluff CA one of my “beats” was the courthouse.

A guy was arrested for a serious crime and the apprentice editor put the story on Page 1 above the fold under a 60-point headline. (60 points is slightly less than one inch.) The guy went to court and was found innocent. (Good reporters “translated” the courts “not guilty” to “innocent” to avoid the word “not” since that word frequently got “dropped;” failed to be printed/read.)

When the case was dismised, the same apprentice editor wanted to bury the story on an inside page.

Pillory a person above the fold on Page 1 and announce his innocence on page 6 under a 24-point head? Since I wrote both articles, I was satisfied with the accuracy, but I was outraged by the “play.” I complained to the real editor, a gentleman by the name of Lou Walther, and he agreed that the second article should get the same play as the first. And so it was.

I confess that on one occasion I let editorializing creep into a news article. The year was 1968 in Ely NV and I let my feelings about Vietnam get in the way of an otherwise straight news article. My readers let me know in no uncertain terms that I was out of line. They were right and I learned a lesson I remember to this day.

Most of the reporters and editors with whom I worked wrote without bias.

That didn’t mean they did HAVE a personal bias; most of us do. It meant that we controlled ourselves and confined our writing to the news.

There was, at least in Harrisburg PA, pressure from “on high” to treat some special interests with kid gloves. I tried to do a story about the local manager of a national charity. He was highly aggrieved when I asked him about his wages, so aggrieved that he called my boss’ boss and I was disabused of the idea that the readers should know how much the super-boss’ pal pulled out of the donations, The story died before being written.

In all the years I worked in editorial, that is the only time that I am aware of a story of mine being “spiked” before it was written.

When I worked the desk on metro dailies (Harrisburg PA, Trenton NJ) — usually as a copy editor — I remember challenging reporters’ facts and insisting that statements were attributed.

Reporters report the news, they don’t have the luxury of making the news; ergo, everything must have attribution. (If you read other blog entries on this site you will find that I still cite my sources. It is ingrained; a habit I hold dear.

Unless a source is well known, e.g., POTUS or a famous (or infamous) person, the attribution has to include why the person is considered quotable. Jo Smyth, manager of highway maintenance for XYZ county tells readers (now listeners) why Jo Smyth’s comment is worth reading/hearing.

    An aside: When I was about to start my first editorial gig (Peru IN) I asked a very senior reporter/rewrite man Buck Lidel (Cocoa FL) what I needed to know to succeed. “One: Spell a person’s name correctly. Two: Keep the leedcq (paragraph) to 10 words or less.” The 10 words-or-less applied to news copy, not features.

I covered many, many stories; each one was important to someone. Even obits and photo cutlines (captions) have importance to someone. (‘Course you can’t “clip” an obit of photo from tv “news.”)

There were stories I did not want to write, and there were stories that had me steaming at what I considered untruths from the person being interviewed, but — with the one exception in Ely NV — I kept my opinion to myself. MY readers were intelligent people who thought for themselves. Perhaps people who depend on tv “news” lack that ability.

I’m glad I’m out of the newspaper business. Now I can, and sometimes do, share my opinion, but I still try to attribute everything and let both of my readers make their own decisions.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Dear AT(&)T, pop-ups
Force me to find
New internet provider

AT(&)T KEEPS ASKING ME how I like its internet service.

They ask using pop-ups that take over the screen I’m viewing — most often a news report.

The pop-ups are full screen; were they small corner pop-ups that could be easily be closed or opened in a new tab or window, I probably would not complain (as much).

They are not unobtrusive.

OVER THE YEARS I have reduced my dependency on Ma Bell. I took my cell phone business to another carrier and I took my home phone (landline) to a cell-phone provider via a ZTE WF7211 that converts cell service to work with landline phones (both hard wired and cordless). The only thing I lost by dumping AT(&)T was facsimile transfer. I rarely have need to send or receive a fax, and even if I do need to send/receive a fax, there are low-cost options for one-time transmissions.

There ARE other internet providers I can use.

Comcast’s Xfinity promises me faster download time for about the same price I am paying AT(&)T. The only “got’cha” with Comcast is that it wants me to rent a modem/router combo. I had a cable internet provider in Virginia and I bought my own modem/router. Comcast, when I checked, told me my cable device was too old to work with current Comcast gear.

I don’t want — nor intend — to rent a modem/router; I’ll buy my own. An Xfinity compatible modem/router at a local store is on sale for $60. That’s less than I would pay to rent a modem from Comcast.

The house in which I reside is fully cabled, so getting service into the home office is a no brainer.

There is another option: satellite dish. HughesNet2 This is a great option for anyone who can’t get other service, but I wonder: What about inclement weather?

Apparently weather is not a concern for others. My neighborhood has more satellite dishes for tv reception than Carter had Little Liver Pills3.

As long as internet providers are franchised, there is little hope for real, same type, competition. Things were supposed to open up, but that never happened.

For all that, there ARE alternatives to AT(&)T. The telco’s pop-ups are driving me to investigate those alternatives.


    1.   http://tinyurl.com/y8e647x8
    (also see http://tinyurl.com/y9759h4c)

    2.  http://tinyurl.com/y9759h4c

    3.  http://tinyurl.com/y9uzodgy

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Don’t ALL lives matter?
Bringing thinking liberals
And conservatives together

A ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER” rally at Texas A&M1 was cancelled due to fears of violence.

My initial reaction was: “Don’t white lives matter, too?”

Then I read the related article and discovered who was sponsoring the rally and I understood why the school and local authorities pushed back. The sponsors were white supremistsf

I BELIEVE IN FREEDOM OF SPEECH, but I don’t believe in freedom of HATE speech, or speech that inflames or incites people to hurt other people or to damage property.

It makes no difference if the speaker is liberal or conservative, black, white, or “other, male, female, or “other,” or any religion under the sun — or lack thereof. Speeches promoting hate, speeches encouraging one person to attack another person for any reason is not protected by the Constitution or its Amendments. The courts got it right this time.

Political mud-slinging is nothing new in America; it goes back to colonial times.

Disagreements between this group and that also are nothing new in America, Our ancestors fought wars over those disagreements … and thousands of patriots on both sides of the dispute gave their lives for their beliefs.

But do we need another civil war?

And if there IS another civil war, how many innocent bystanders will be considered “collateral damage”?

I have an email acquaintance who is a thinking liberal. The word “thinking” is a critical attribute since my experience with many liberals is that they know they are right and they won’t consider — or even hear — another’s opinion. I have another liberal email acquaintance, an educated woman, who rather than consider an opinion that differs from hers politely asked me to keep my emails to myself — at least when the subject concerns opinions that might offend her sensibilities. I suspect she is, at heart, an ostrich; I doubt she (wo)mans a picket or protest line.

My thinking liberal correspondent, replying to an email from this scrivener, doubted we’d have a civil war between liberals and conservatives. Rather he thinks the war — and unless something is done to mitigate rancor, it is on the horizon — will be between extremists on the left and on the right.

Liberals, he opined, are (present tense) arming themselves. Think about it: liberals are arming themselves. To my Edward Bear mind, “liberal” equates to “gun control” that, in truth, means banning firearms.

Many conservatives already are armed, but, contrary to many liberals’ belief, an armed conservative does not automatically mean an NRA membership or membership in a white supremist, neo-nazi, KKK, or other “hate our neighbor” organization. Lest we forget, there are black hate groups2, too, including Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, New Black Panther Party, Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, and not a few anti-white black preachers in churches such as the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ3.

Perhaps — it seems far fetched, but perhaps — if liberals arm themselves, not only can thinking liberals and thoughtful conservatives find common ground, that common ground could be at a firing range — firing at targets, not each other. Imagine.

I didn’t come up with the idea; it sprang from my thinking liberal’s correspondence.

Extremists are forcing both thinking liberals and thoughtful conservatives to join forces to save the nation.

Web resources

    1. http://tinyurl.com/y83uc7tm
    2. http://tinyurl.com/y887p87x
    3. http://tinyurl.com/yd8wggxq

    PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

    Comments on (entry name)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Failure to maintain
Employee paperwork
Can prove expensive

ONCE AGAIN, HUMAN RESOURCES (a/k/a Personnel) is identified as a major financial risk for all organizations.

Everyone should already know about the I-9 form1 required by U.S. Customs & Immigration Services, and the penalties the government can access if there are undocumented (e.g., sans I-9 forms) employees. (Never mind that it is all too easy to create phony documents to “prove” a person is eligible to work in the U.S.)

Now, employers need to assure all employee records are maintained

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won sanctions against JBS USA LLC2 for its “failure to preserve and produce records.”

According to Seyfarth Shaw LLP, a law practice, An employer’s likelihood of defeating a workplace class action is often dependent on its ability maintain and preserve thorough employment records. Here, the employer’s failure to preserve records that ultimately could have helped establish an affirmative defense resulted in the Court limiting the employer from using certain types of evidence in its defense of the litigation. This sanction should serve as a cautionary tale for employers in regards to complying with the written discovery process, as employers are best-positioned to defeat workplace class actions when they have as many defenses as possible in their arsenal.

While this instance is one of production vs. religious practices, the core issue is documentation.

Lack of documentation in the JBS US case led to unspecified (in the Seyfarth Shaw document) sanctions against the meat packing company.

Documentation also needs top be maintained if an organization (of any type) has business interruption insurance.

In order to successfully file a claim, the organization must produce detailed records showing past activities on which it is seeking reimbursement.

No documentation equals no reimbursement. (Check the policy’s terms and conditions carefully.)

If Google messes up the links above, copy and paste the links below into your browser of choice.

    1. https://www.uscis.gov/i-9

    2. http://tinyurl.com/y9er5ba3

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments on Employee Paperwork

Monday, August 14, 2017


Place time limit
On filing complaint
Of criminal actions

I LIKE ADVISEN Front Page News (FPN). It lands in my email five days-a-week, and it almost always has something thought provoking for an enterprise risk management practitioner, even though Advisen FPN is targeted to the insurance industry.

Today’s edition (Monday, August 14, 2017) caused me to think about harassment — sexual and otherwise — including bullying and hazing in schools and on the job and all the claims finding their way into the media and into courts.

It should be clear to everyone, albeit probably not the perpetrators, that harassment in any form at any venue is illegal.

    I am against laws prohibiting harassment against this group or that, and laws that protect this group or that. There should be one (1) law that prohibits and protects all people of all groups without exception. Harassment is illegal. Discrimination is illegal. Specifying this group or that waters down the law — if it’s illegal to discriminate against women, then it is equally illegal to discriminate against men (yes, men often are victims of discrimination), infirm, seniors, etc. and et al. If it is illegal to harass a person at work, it equally is illegal to harass (bully) a person at school.

We all know that discrimination and harassment exist, and most would agree that the perpetrators should pay a price for their actions.

However, the victims of the attacks have some “due diligence” obligations.

There is a “statute of limitations” for most crimes. That’s fine and, unless you are a victim of the crime, the limitation probably seems legitimate.

I believe there should be a statute of limitations on reporting the crime.

For example, if a person is raped, unless that person is incapacitated or held captive, the crime should be reported promptly — within 24 hours. The same with harassment and discrimination.

By failing to report the crime within a reasonable time — that does not mean 20 years after the crime allegedly took place — the violated person loses the right to make a complaint.

    This does NOT apply to a child whose parents or guardian failed to report a crime; a child must be allowed to file a complaint within a reasonable time once reaching adulthood — say by age 25.

The courts are seeing too many claims of sexual misconduct dating back 15, 20, or more years ago, claims that are only now being lodged. The Bill Cosby accusations are but one example.

I am NOT suggesting criminals should escape punishment. All I am suggesting that there should be a statute of limitations on REPORTING a crime. Promptly reporting gives law enforcement a far better chance of apprehending the culprit.

Common sense forces most reasonable people to look askance on complaints filed 20 years after the fact (again, with the caveat that the statute of limitations for crimes against minors is a much longer).

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments on Limitations

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Dear TR, Petty
Tyrant unafraid
Of the Big Stick

THOSE OF US OLD ENOUGH to have read history in school know the story of Theo. (Teddy) Roosevelt and his Great White Fleet. (Lest anyone be offended, the ships were painted white; ergo “The Great White Fleet.” See http://tinyurl.com/bpwybcu)

Battleship USS Maine

Teddy — “TR” — sent the battle group around the globe to impress other’s with America’s naval might. The journey lasted a little more than a year. This was long before air power, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, America’s military might failed to discourage Austria-Hungary from decaling war against Serbia (July 28, 1914) and Germany following by declaring war against Russia (August 1, 1914), France (August 3, 1914), and Belgium (August 4, 1914) to start World War 1, the “war to end war.” (See http://tinyurl.com/y88765m7)

A BIT MORE THAN A CENTURY LATER, Kim Jung-on, South Korea’s dictator, following in his father’s footsteps, is starving his people in order to develop ICBMs that, armed with mini-nuclear warheads, threaten the U.S. and its interests (e.g., Guam).

In the so-called “Cold War” era, when the U.S. and the then Soviet Union threatened “mutual destruction” on each other — and not a few countries in the way — both government’s leadership knew it was better to pick up a “red phone” connecting D.C. to the Kremlin than to push the red button that could destroy much of mankind. Sanity prevailed.

Now, dealing with North Korea’s megalomaniac Kim, sanity has become a thing of the past. Unfortunately for Kim, he is not dealing with a weak Obama but a man who insists on “putting America first.” Fortunately, so far — and inspite of of Kim’s missile tests and photo ops with a sphere said to be a mini-nuclear bomb, the only war is a war of words.

    While Varvel’s cartoon portrays Trump and Kim and as two little boys in a sandbox, it pays to remember that words too frequently turn into unacceptable actions, e.g., war.

The problem for the U.S. is China.

During the UN’s Korean “policing action” — not a “war,” understand, although thousands of Americans died — Gen. Douglas MacArthur wanted to invade China which was providing troops and materials to the North Koreans. The then Soviet Union ostensibly controlled North Korea.

President Harry S Truman, not prepared for World War 3, told MacArthur to cancel invasion plans. MacArthur insisted on going ahead and Truman recalled, and fired, MacArthur. Right decision? Wrong decision? Either way, Americans were tired of war. (The U.S. has been in some level of combat almost consistently since the end of World War 2, regardless of political party in power.)

China has, since World War 2, developed a modern military force on land, sea, and air. It has a global presence. Moreover, the U.S. is indebted to China; it holds billions of dollars of U.S. IOUs.

China is North Korea’s backer — possibly it’s only political friend.

If the U.S. attacks North Korea in a preventive strike — surely justified based on Kim’s rhetoric and actions— even if as surgically precise as Israel’s attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the question is: “How will China react?”

Unlike the Soviet era, and now the Russian Federation era, Kim’s actions, and the inaction of the Chinese to reign him in, indicate that a threat of “mutual destruction” a non-issue.

Realistically, what can the U.S. do to temper Kim’s bellicose behavior? Sanctions are in place — with UN (including China) support — but what impact will they have on Kim. By most accounts, his people already are starving. Kim, on the other hand, looks well fed and clothed. Sanctions? They only will hurt his people.

Will China really join in the sanctions? Time will tell.

Will the UN-approved sanctions be observed by other nations and the EU? Even before Obama backed off sanctions on Iran, some EU countries already were trading with the ayatollah. North Korea, not surprisingly, was trading nuclear information with Iran as if sanctions did not exist.

    Who is crazier: the ayatollah or Kim? They both are cut from the same cloth?

President Trump’s blustering may — or may not — be appropriate. Certainly it is not “presidential” in the eyes of the leftists in the U.S. and around the world. But how else could Trump respond to Kim?

A pre-emptive strike?

Or be like Franklin D. Roosevelt (TR’s cousin) and ignore the threat until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and thousands of American’s died, or behave, as Trump’s predecessor did with Iran, and pretend it will all go away?

With Kim, the U.S. is “between a rock and a hard place.” No action is not an option; sanctions don’t directly impact Kim so they are of little value.

China holds the answer. It has it within its power to prevent a disaster for not just North Korea and the U.S. but the world — nuclear fall-out respects no borders.

Trump’s blustering may only be for show while diplomatic language is used with China’s leadership.

If the links fail to work, see http://tinyurl.com/y82lye4d to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments on Big Stick


Tuesday, August 8, 2017


A boy, a wolf,
And fake news:
No one believes

THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH ‘FAKE NEWS” since a non-politico ran for office that now almost everyone who thinks suspects ALL news of being “fake news.”

It brings to mind Aesop’s ”The Boy Who Cried Wolf” story. Lest you have forgotten a bored shepherd boy several times cried “Wolf !” when no wolf was present. When a wolf DID appear and he cried “Wolf !,” no one believed him.

The purveyors of fake news and the boy who cried wolf are now in the same situation: who will believe them?

There always has been “yellow journalism,” but the term started with New York papers owned by Wm. Randolph Hearst and Jos. Pulitzer II. (A level-headed background can be read at http://preview.tinyurl.com/yccolshd.) The Hearst-Pulitzer wars were well before the “supermarket tabloids” of today although some well-known media outlets are keeping the Hearst-Pulitzer tradition alive and well.

The Public Domain Review agrees that “fake news” is as old as history.

    It is perhaps not so surprising to hear that the problem of “fake news” — media outlets adopting sensationalism to the point of fantasy — is nothing new. Although, as Robert Darnton explained in the NYRB recently, the peddling of public lies for political gain (or simply financial profit) can be found in most periods of history dating back to antiquity, it is in the late 19th-century phenomenon of “Yellow Journalism” that it first seems to reach the widespread outcry and fever pitch of scandal familiar today.

Uncle Sam's dream of conquest and carnage - caused by reading the Jingo newspapers by Udo Keppler Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA (ppmsca 28959 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.28959)

There WAS a time in America when the major outlets were more or less trusted. Those days are long gone, ancient history.

Back in the day of two newspapers in every big city, readers had a choice: right leaning editorials or left leaning editorials. Reporters — and I once was one — were instructed that to keep their jobs, they reported facts, not fiction or wishful thinking. (That does not mean reporters lacked political feelings, they simply kept them on the editorial page.)

Apparently — I am not in a newsroom to state this as fact — today, reporters are told to pitch their copy to the right or left, depending on the advertising manager’s whim — what sells advertisements — since ad sales are what pays for the media, be it print or video. (Anyone still remember radio — the tv sans picture?)

Editorial cartoons used to be topical. Today most are political. Even the comics are political. To find an artist whose editorial cartoons are either topical or balanced is difficult — Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star is one of the few.

To find a balanced daily newspaper, news magazine, or tv “news” is almost an exercise in futility. Perhaps home town shoppers are the best bet for unbiased local news.

The only thing left for anyone wanting “balanced” news is to take to the Internet and read both the media on the left and the media on the right. In the District, readers need to look at both the Times and the Post — as well as Politico. Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha once opined that if two sources fail to agree, find a third source; it surely will agree with one or the other.

There used to be (1956-1963) a tv show called “Who Do You Trust.” In 2017, the answer, sadly, is “no one,” certainly not the media.

If the links fail to work, see http://tinyurl.com/y82lye4d to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments on Fake News

Monday, August 7, 2017


Whirlpool µwave

I DON’T NORMALLY write product reviews on the blog. (An exception was my experience with Consumer Cellular and the ZTE conversion box.)

This exercise is about Whirlpool’s WMH31017F* over the range microwave.

The new unit replaced a Whirlpool 1.6 cu foot over the range microwave manufactured in 1998 (!) that finally gave out nearly 17 years after date of manufacturer.

Installation was DIY — the “Y” meaning “son-in-law.”

There were two (2) reasons I opted for the Whirlpool.

One: The unit manufactured in August 1998 lasted until August 2017. That in itself is a great recommendation.

Two: Price. BestBuy had the unit listed for $209, but then when it came time to commit, the price dropped another $50, making it almost the lowest-price unit. (I compared many; put everything on a sortable spreadsheet, and asked the spouse what she thought.)

BestBuy had the box delivered by UPS in short order — it arrived before the expected date.

My Son-In-Law, hereafter SIL, is an industrial engineer (resume upon request) who volunteered — yes, actually volunteered — to help his po’ old father-in-law swap out the over the range microwaves.

I checked with Whirlpool before buying the WMH31017F* unit: is the mounting (on the wall above the range) the same as the old machine? It was not. That put Whirlpool closer to other units in its price range, in particular GE/Hotpoint. I think the Whirlpool has a better overall consumer rating.

ANYWAY, SIL got the old unit dismounted. It had a mounting about the size of the back of the old unit. That, too, came out.

The new unit is both deeper and higher than the old unit. I wasn’t concerned with deeper and I didn’t give enough consideration to height. It caused extra work in the end.

The kitchen has a tile splash guard that rises perhaps 18” above the kitchen countertop. The previous unit’s base was 18.10 inches about the countertop.

Once we read the installation instructions and used — as directed — the templates that came with the new unit, SIL had to drill holes in the ceramic tiles for the new support.

We also had to find something to put behind the new unit near the top of the back of the unit. A piece of the shipping cardboard sufficed to make the wall as “thick” as the tiles-on-the-wall.

SIL put wall anchors into each hole and secured the mounting.

We then put the WMH31017F* on the mounting and secured it with two screws though the cabinet about the unit. Naturally the new unit’s holes were different than the removed unit’s.

    Lesson learned. The two receptacles for the two (2) screws in the top are held in place by two “wings” that spread over the microwave’s top. One was not secured well (poor QA/QC) and it fell into the unit. SIL had to remove maybe a dozen screws before he could get under the unit's skin and remove the screw receptacle. He succeeded, we made certain the wings were fully spread, then SIL reinstalled all the previously removed screws. Fortunately we have both battery and AC drills.

We lifted the unit onto the mounting and discovered that the mounting needed more securing screws. The unit was put on a kitchen island and SIL added more securing screws to the mount.

Once more onto the mounting. The Spouse threaded the power cord through the same hole used by the old unit, making certain the cord didn’t get crimped.

This time was “charm.” The unit was flush to the back; the securing screws from the top went in and were tightened, and the new microwave plugged in.

Rating the INSTALLLATION documentation and templates: Very good.

HOWEVER the User Guide left a lot to be desired.

The Guide several times refers to “the vent grill at the top of the microwave oven.” There is no indication where the “vent grill” is located and here is no indication which two (2) screws must be removed to

    a. Change the charcoal filter
    b. Change the cavity light bulb
A graphic would be appreciated. Why should I need a step ladder to change a filter or bulb. Filter replacement is recommended every 6 months; with that frequency, it should be more easily accessible.

    Fortunately, there is a good video showing how to change the filter. There is another good video that shows how to replace both the cavity bulb and the under-the-unit bulb.

A magnetic screwdriver is recommended. In one of the videos, the tech cautions not to over-tighten the two (2) screws securing the vent grill cover.

The User Guide also is silent about the “Add 30 sec” and “Hold 3 sec” buttons on the control panel.

As a former writer of both commercial and mil-spec documentation I would give the User Guide maybe a C minus; it never would pass muster on the mil-spec side.

Would I recommend the Whirlpool WMH31017F*? Based on my experience with Whirlpool — range and microwave — I think it’s probably as good any; the range works to spec and I trust the microwave also will work to spec. The only question is “for how long.”

If the links fail to work, see http://tinyurl.com/y82lye4d to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.

* WMH31017F* where “*” represents the unit’s color, e.g., W=white, S=Stainless, B=black

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017


POTUS’ mistake:
English a barrier
To immigration?


This scrivener lives in south Florida where Spanish seems to be the primary language. There are merchants in Dade County (Miami) who only do business in Spanish.

In retail and in all customer-facing positions, including civil service jobs, a command of Spanish is a basic requirement, even if English Is not.

This scrivener has a second language. I went overseas to learn it, working half-a-day to pay for the half-day lessons. I later worked in the country and learned a lot more. (My adult daughter did the same thing. We both returned with spouses and children.)

This scrivener’s mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, speaks very little of the local language; she’s lived in a “language ghetto” since she arrived in country. We barely can communicate (but we manage).

Finally, a quick check of the Internet for ”Free ESL classes in south Florida” turns up dozens of FREE English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. (Substitute “south Florida” for your area.)

Bottom line: Unless a person comes to America at age 90 and has a learning disability, there is no reason a potential immigrant cannot learn basic, “survival skills” English.

But does a potential immigrant absolutely need English to immigrate?

I don’t think so.

Knowing a few words in English beyond “please,” “thank you” and “where’s the bathroom” should be enough to get started.

It takes about five years to go from immigrant to citizen in the U.S. and that certainly is sufficient time to the citizen-to-be to learn rudimentary English; survival level English, enough to shop at a supermarket, to read road signs (that are in many cases international pictographs), to ask — and comprehend — directions, be they for driving from place to place or to perform a job.

For once I agree with the liberals. I don’t think a potential immigrant should be turned away simply because he or she does not speak English. LEARNING English should be a requisite for all immigrants (with very limited exceptions).

Learning English, as thousands of immigrants learned over the years, is the key to becoming “an American.” They worked a job — usually with others who spoke their native language — and learned English when not working.

English IS a difficult language. It’s structure is “strange” when compared to other languages. Most languages I know about put the subject first and the modifiers after, e.g., House. White, Big, while English would be Big White House. Rearranging a sentence’s structure sometimes still gives me pause.

There is a trade-off of sorts. English does away with gender. “You” is neutral, as are most nouns. (I still like “hostess” and “actress”; “host” and “actor” for the distaff side seems strange. I gave up “mailman” for “letter carrier” and “policeman” for “cop” (except for the one I call “son”).

My personal bottom line is that I think POTUS made a mistake with his “immigrants must know English” requirement. From what I have seen, read, and heard from Mr. Trump, the gentleman hardly has a command of the language on a par with Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. or Wm. F. Buckley Jr. — providing two opposing — but civil — political points of view.

What about, I have to ask, the person who lacks any opportunity to learn any English before coming to America’s shores? There are countries that learning English can be a severe handicap — sorry, that’s not “PC,” acceptable terminology is presented by the National Disability Authority, a private organization. Seeking out an English teacher in North Korea may not be a wise thing to do. Listening to Voice of America or BBC on shortwave radio and listening to pop music — the way many people learned their first English words — may not be an option.

In my opinion, survival level English should be a requisite for citizenship and it should be a requisite for a driver’s license (despite internationalization of road signs some still require English comprehension), but the lack of English should NOT be a barrier to immigration.

Mr. President, you blew this call.

If the links fail to work, see http://tinyurl.com/y82lye4d to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments on Immigrants and English