Archive for July, 2016





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Just now heard that Trump has asked Russia to find Hillary’s “missing e-mails.”

Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that Trump has now committed treason.  (I’ll get back to that point when I calm down).

Let’s get clear about these missing (ie deleted) e-mails: Hillary claimed they were personal, involving planning for her daughter’s wedding, among other things.  Now I grant that this mess could have been avoided had Hillary set up a separate system for work-related e-mails when she was Secretary of State. Her bad.

But who does that? From about 1990 until I retired in 2008, I used the e-mail services provided to me by the several universities for which I worked during that period.  It never occurred to me to keep a separate account (and a different machine?) for “personal” correspondence.  Aside from the inconvenience of maintaining two systems, how can I make the distinction between personal and professional when corresponding with a student who wants advice because she  is being harassed?  When writing to a colleague who is unhappy with an administrator and who has contacted me for advice about what to do?

In such cases one must trust both that the system is relatively secure and that people with whom one works are not interested in snooping in each other’s business, personal or professional. When I got new computers or left an institution, I copied the stuff I wanted to keep, deleted the rest, and then got help from tech people to make sure traces of everything had disappeared from the hard drives.  Some institutions, in fact, insist on this.

Now I realize that Hillary’s professional e-mail was often sensitive. From what I understand, though, her system was no more, nor no less, impervious to serious hackers than was the system in use at the State department. The federal government has been starved of money necessary to upgrade security for years (by the Rethugs of course). If this is true, Hillary was wise to set up a separate server, JUST AS COLIN POWELL AND CONDOLEEZA RICE HAD DONE BEFORE HER. IOW, this was common practice among Secretaries of State.

So one can only be suspicious of Hillary’s deleted e-mails if (a) he thinks that she was engaged in something nefarious while she was Secretary of State or (b) he is an entitled nincompoop who knows nothing about how offices work. I’ll give Trump the benefit of the doubt (here) and pick “a,” assuming he’s on a fishing expedition. The press seem to be shocked by his claim. Let’s hope it stays that way, and that the only people who are taken in by his outrageous babble are the rubes he has already got on his side.




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Pout and Shout

The delegates who supported Bernie are trying to disrupt the Dem convention by shouting louder than anyone else, drowning out the speakers.

I wonder how long these entitled little shits would have held out when Mayor Daley unleashed his baton-wielding cops and attack dogs.

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Can You Imagine?


Somewhere on the net this morning I read that Trump is promising his followers a racist welfare state. Sorry I forgot the source, because she (or he) has accurately caught Trump’s appeal. People who support him want the return of white male supremacy, and they want that to be shored up by tax relief along with ample government subsidies for housing, health care, education, and retirement.

That’s what “Make America Great Again” actually means. Trump is selling the redneck’s wet dream: free beer for everyone except THOSE people, who need to get in the back of the bus or outside trimming the hedges.

Also from the net I learn that Michael Moore is taking shit because he thinks Trump will win in November (you can read his argument at his website). I think Moore is right to be ringing the alarm bell. I still can’t believe that the American people voted in 2004 to put Bush the younger back in office after 9/11 and Iraq (Katrina and The Crash were yet to come). The day after the 2004 election I was at my hairdressers’ and I asked the women assembled there, all of whom had voted for Bush, why they had done so. Not one could give me a reason. They professed not to know why they had cast their vote for a ninny.

Moore is right: never overestimate the wisdom of the American electorate. Particularly Rethugs, who vote with their id rather than their brains. Trump isn’t very smart, but he is a consummate con man who can work a mark when he sees one–as he demonstrated last week at the Thug convention.

And if Josh Marshall is correct, our wannabe Il Duce has ties to Vladimir Putin. Which is scary as hell. Apparently no American banks will lend Trump money anymore, so financing for his deals now has to come from overseas. If Trump is as deeply in debt as some economists suspect, our next president might become a pawn for any tinpot dictator who has him on a leash.  Or an emphatically non-tinpot leader like Putin, for that matter.

Yeah I know.  Michael Moore and I are conspiracy nuts who worry too much, and Hillary will win in a walk. Sure.

But even if we are nuts, the fact remains that those of us who vote with our brains need to get out and work hard for clear-eyed candidates up and down the ballot this fall. And vote! And get our friends and relatives to vote!  (Unless they are Rethugs, of course. Those folks can stay home on election day and watch whatever anchors are still working for Faux News have collective a meltdown).

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Hello Red Falcon


Say hello to my new Falcon DRX laptop.

I’ve wanted one of these for thirty years, since I first learned about Falcon computers. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile you know I’ve had three Falcon desktops.  Falcon builds their computers to order and the service is outstanding. Their machines are fast, fast, fast, because Falcon makes only high-end gaming machines. (You can browse their beautiful creations at falcon-northwest.com).

The hand-painted candy red color is of course mandatory for a Cornhusker fan.  We talked about painting a big black “N” on the cover but after I saw a mock-up I decided that the Falcon logo was sexier.

Here is the DRX keeping company with its very own backpack:


The computer has two SS drives and a portable Blu-ray player, 16GB of memory, and a a high-end NVIDIA video card.  I can’t wait to get it up and running, so TA!

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It Is To Laugh

Just heard Chris Christie say that Hillary is “ethically compromised.”

Isn’t there something in the Christian bible about motes and eyes?

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I am a rhetorician, formerly by trade and eternally by inclination. So I loves me some oratory, particularly when it is powerful and persuasive. Because of this I also love political conventions, at least when the speakers are talented. Followers of this blog may recall my ecstatic post about speeches delivered at the Democratic convention in September 2012 (you can look it up in the list alongside).

Democrats tend to be great speakers. Look at the roll call in 2012: Julian Chavez, Bill Clinton, Tammy Duckworth, John Lewis, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Elizabeth Warren, and many others.

The other part of conventions I find interesting is the roll call of states, mostly because their representatives usually tell us something interesting or colorful about their state (its champion sports teams, its scenery, or what it produces–Fords, the only drinkable bourbon, the tastiest potatoes).

At the moment I’m watching the Rethug roll call of the states, in the vain hope that something cool might happen–like a no-Trump rebellion. But I forgot–Rethugs fall in line, so it appears there will be no verbal fireworks of any sort. Only the Colorado delegation (so far) has exhibited the tiniest bit of resistance–to no avail, as they were immediately quashed by the chair. My most vivid impression is how white all these people are–even the ones who live in places like California and Guam.



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