william.scherk

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About william.scherk

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    William Scott Scherk
  • Birthday 01/24/1958

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    William Scott Scherk
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    Poet and gadfly, WSS has been: - HR manager of a year-round silviculture company in the great white north - singer. songwriter, frontman - painter - sculptor - reporter - cook - janitor - editor - filmmaker - actor - amateur psychologist - web maven May he be all these things
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Fringe beliefs, pseudoscience, pseudophilosophy, fringe psychology, moral panics, cognitive neuroscience, Dusty Springfield, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, satanic ritual abuse/recovered memory therapy controversy, True Believers, cult dynamics, urban planning, 80s music, urban transportation, Grand Guignol, snarkiness . . .

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  1. "The Media" is in full Grand Hoopla formation. From Memeorandum.com: Ashley Parker / New York Times: Donald Trump Calls on Russia to Find Hillary Clinton's Missing Emails — DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton's email, essentially encouraging an adversarial foreign power's cyberspying on a secretary of state's correspondence. – Discussion: Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs: In Which Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Spy on the US Zack Beauchamp / Vox: The controversy over Donald Trump's ties to Russia, explained James Fallows / The Atlantic: Trump Time Capsule #59: 'I Hope Putin Has Hillary's Emails' Jonathan Freedland / Guardian: Trump doesn't have to be Putin's agent. It's bad enough that he is a fan Brandon Valeriano / Washington Post: The DNC email hack didn't tell us much. Here's why cyberattacks have limited punch. Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams: Trump Basically Encourages Russia to Hack Clinton Emails Media Matters for America: Trump Campaign Adopts Right-Wing Media's Clinton Server Canard To Deflect From Trump's Alleged Russian Ties Associated Press: The Latest: Paul Ryan Spokesman Calls Putin a ‘Devious Thug’ Benjamin Hardy / Arkansas Blog, Arkansas Times: GOP presidential nominee encourages Russia to spy on former secretary of state Bethania Palma Markus / Raw Story: These conservatives are freaking out about Trump calling for Russian ‘cyber warfare’ against the US Bryan Clark / The Next Web: Did Trump really just encourage Russia to hack the US government? Rod Dreher / The American Conservative: Trump Has A Point On Russia Hack Saagar Enjeti / The Daily Caller: Pence Breaks With Trump On Russian Hacking Andy Towle / Towleroad: Donald Trump Tells Russia to Find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 Missing Emails: WATCH John Aravosis / AMERICAblog NewsAMERICAblog News: Trump just urged Putin to steal American classified intelligence to help his campaign France 24: An embarrassing leak of Democrat emails ahead of their party's … Sophie Kleeman / Gizmodo: Donald Trump Just Asked Russia to Hack Hillary Clinton's Emails Steve M. / No More Mister Nice Blog: TRUMP CRANKS THE TREASON TO 11, WHILE OLD MEDIA HABITS DIE HARD The Daily Beast: Pence: If Russia Hacked DNC, They Must Face Consequences David Colon / Gothamist: Trump Publicly Asks Russia To Hack Hillary Clinton Jeva Lange / The Week: Obama, Biden to speak at Democratic convention Day 3 David Rutz / Washington Free Beacon: Obama on Trump Potentially Beating Clinton: ‘Anything Is Possible’ Julia Ioffe / Foreign Policy: Is Trump a Russian Stooge? Nick Gass / Politico: Trump: ‘I have ZERO investments in Russia’ Upyernoz / rubber hose: For the history books Lily Hay Newman / Slate: Was Russia Behind the DNC Leaks? It Sure Seems Like It. » All Related Discussion RELATED: Jesse Byrnes / The Hill: Aide: Trump ‘will not be releasing’ taxes — said Wednesday that the Republican presidential nominee “will not be releasing” his taxes. — “Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told “CBS This Morning.” Discussion: Politico, Hot Air, Washington Post, Daily Wire, Hit & Run, RedState, Daily Kos,Mediaite, alan.com, The Right Scoop, Fox News Insider, RealClearPolitics, Suburban Guerrilla …,ABC News and Raw Story CBS Miami: CBS4 News Exclusive: Trump Denies Ties To Russia — DORAL - In his most extensive remarks on allegations that Russia is attempting to influence the presidential election in his favor, Republican nominee Donald Trump flatly denied any ties to the Russian government or Russian investors. Discussion: Mediaite, The Daily Beast, Talking Points Memo, The Hill, Politicus USA, Raw Story,Politico, CBS New York and Naked Politics New York Times: Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked D.N.C. — WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee … Discussion: Washington Post, The Moderate Voice, The Huffington Post, CNN, Blue Virginia,ThinkProgress, The Hill, AOL, Guardian, AMERICAblog NewsAMERICAblog …, CNBC, Balloon Juice, Towleroad, The Daily Caller, New York Magazine, Associated Press, Medium, Jezebel,Talking Points Memo, Defense One, Vocativ and ABC News Tyler Pager / Politico: Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton's email — Donald Trump invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails on Wednesday, asking them to find “the 30,000 emails that are missing” from the personal server she used during her time as secretary of state. — “It would be interesting to see … Discussion: Washington Post, Business Insider and PoliPundit.com Sean Davis / The Federalist: Donald Trump Just Got Hillary Clinton To Admit Her E-mails Are A ‘National Security Issue’ Discussion: Politico, National Review, Daily Wire and The San Diego Union … Ali Vitali / NBC News: Trump Calls on Russia to ‘Find’ Missing Clinton Emails Sara Jerde / Talking Points Memo: Trump Now Says He Never Met Putin After Bragging About Chats With Him Discussion: The Atlantic and The Daily Caller Morgan Winsor / ABC News: Trump Says He Hopes Russia Finds Clinton's Deleted Emails Discussion: Gawker, Politico, Associated Press, Lawyers, Guns & Money and Washington Post Carole King / CBS News: Donald Trump: “I have nothing to do with Russia”NEW! Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo David Mack / BuzzFeed: Trump Expressly Asks Russia To Hack Clinton's Emails10 minutes ago Discussion: RedState, Raw Story, Hot Air, The San Diego Union …, Mediaite and The Right Scoop CNN: Donald Trump encourages Russia to hack Hillary Clinton20 minutes ago Discussion: Talking Points Memo, The Moderate Voice, The Federalist, Vox, RedState, Right Wing Watch, WPRI-TV, WTVR-TV, Mediaite, CBS New York, The Verge, Refinery29, FOX31 Denver,The Daily Caller, fox13now.com and Fox 59 Tarini Parti / BuzzFeed: Paul Ryan Spokesman: “Putin Should Stay Out Of This Election” Discussion: Vox, Hot Air, New York Times and Washington Post Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post: Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton's emails Discussion: Washington Monthly, Telegraph, Vocativ, Townhall.com, Business Insider, Daily Kos andAssociated Press Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo: Manafort: Trump Still Not Going To Release His Tax Returns Discussion: Warren Throckmorton Charlie Savage / New York Times: Assange Timed WikiLeaks Release of Democratic Emails to Harm Hillary Clinton Discussion: Salon, Hullabaloo, PinkNews, Politico, Daily Kos, Independent Journal Review,Business Insider, Mediaite, Daily Wire, CNN, Washington Post, Liberty Unyielding, Vox and Latino Rebels Max Fisher / New York Times: Why Security Experts Think Russia Was Behind the D.N.C. Breach20 minutes ago Discussion: Washington Post, Mashable, Media Matters for America, The Moderate Voice, The Federalist, CNN, Guardian, War on the Rocks, The Hill, Newsweek, Hot Air and Liberty Unyielding
  2. The Trump-Russia File [updated]

    A weird story that will probably continue to simmer for the remaining months of the 2106 Presidential election: what are Donald J Trump's ties to Russian interests? How can the purported ties be established in fact? Is there any record that can be examined? Would Trump tax returns show something hinky or surprising in this regard? The biggest headline is that experts named and un-named have found the fingerprints of the Russian state on the Wikileaked DNC emails. That the supposedly "Romanian" 'Guccifer' was a Russian FSB agent. That is no surprise. What is surprising is how common-sense rational inquiry flies out the window, and how unusual are Mr Trump's policies in contrast to the bipartisan stance that views Russia as a non-democracy opposed to Western values. The Russian "Connection" with Trump takes three main forms: Russian Investment in Trump's real-estate ventures (rumoured and real) Russian Interests represented by Ash Carter, a close Trump advisor on foreign policy/Paul Manafort's oligarchy-lobbying in DC USA/Russian policy changes under a Trump promise (ie, most significantly on NATO). A few things stick out in my mind: the very specific way Mr Trump denied he has investments in Russia (without the corollary "I have no Russian-money investment in any of my projects and plans")**; the actual NATO/Russia policy changes Mr Trump has promised to put in action. The common-sense understanding that this is a weakness for the Trump campaign, not a winner. A slow drip kind of weakness. A funny side-issue is Mr Trump's nomination for a Pulitzer Prize to the National Enquirer. Put that worthy news magazine's attention on Ted Cruz's father's involvement in the JFK assassination in perspective. Today, multiple lines of evidence suggest a corruption in the Trump machine, a back-door 'understanding' with the Russian point of view. It's the stuff of tabloids, and yet it could shake out true. If the roles were reversed (a Russian 'nod' to a Democratic candidate, etc), the drips would be Front Page News. That a Democrat refused to clear up the record by releasing tax returns would be scandalous, if not proof of the corruption of/meddling in American democracy by foreign interests. [a CBS4 News 'exclusive' may not appear in all browsers. Here is the link to the breaking interview with Mr Trump: CBS4 News Exclusive: Trump Denies Ties To Russia July 27, 2016 1:09 AM By Jim DeFede ] ____________ ** '“Is that the theory? I haven’t heard that at all,” Trump told the Miami station. “I mean I haven’t heard that. But I have nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do, I never met Putin, I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.” Trump went on to say he has no outstanding loans with Russian banks or Russian investors. “Absolutely not,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”' I predict this issue will hang and hang and drip and drip and become a millstone about The Candidate's Neck. His suggestion today that the FSB continue to probe US computer networks is not the kind of thing we have heard before in an election campaign. I will of course revisit my prediction in the months to come. I smell smoke. Is Trump a Russian Stooge?
  3. From a story at the Daily Caller:
  4. Boldly, boringly on two remnant misunderstandings. I don't know what you quite mean by coincidence -- and I am not clear if your question in context suggests you might believe that the reported shouts of Allahu Akbar are not coincidence. Would you be saying "Killer's shouts of 'God is Great' are also not coincidental"? And if you would say that, then what does the shout signify to you? (My first guess is that this reported shout [taken in isolation from other information] signifies to you a motive or the motive -- the attacker was [purely?] motivated by allegiance to Islam/jihad/ISIS) Since when have you ever been rhetoric challenged? You are one of the most rhetoric-nuanced people I know. Dodge. William, Ha! Of course the Full Story is not obvious to me. I'm glad it's not obvious to you, either. But the General Gist Story is pretty much in everyone's face. The gist of the Munich Massacre ... [to Add In] Is this a 'true fact'? "We did it! We did it!" by ISIS fanboys claims the massacre as "ours" or perhaps claims it happened as part of an ISIS plan -- after the fact of the shootings. The "apeshit screaming" in itself is not dispositive. It does not in itself let us make a firm conclusion as to whether he was directed by ISIS, sympathized with ISIS, or was 'inspired' by ISIS. How have you decided the level of involvement in reality, Michael -- if the link is quite clear in your mind? In other words, in other words, explain your 'findings' ... indicate clear connections to ISIS. I mean, if you care to explain your research. More correctly, the NBC story quoted state authorities. A passive 'in their right mind' construction in question form obscures the point (for me) and is more likely misunderstood. Yes, of the ISIS-Link facts of Munich Massacre, at the time of the NBC report, one fact is that state authorities investigating and reporting to the German public had found no compelling 'link.' I must guess or infer that you did not believe there was reliable information in the authorities' reports. That German authorities were lying or covering up or being 'politically correct' in detailing motivation. That there is an obvious ISIS connection [ie, ISIS supplied a) inspiration; b) planning support; c) direction from ISIS 'handlers'; d) funding and materiel acquisition help ...] Here's my angle in our Munich exchanges: I must guess what your argument is ... and in guessing I run the risk of error. Far simpler for you to lay out a coherent Story of the shooter's enmeshment within the ISIS orbit.. The How ISIS recruited, the Why ISIS contacted, the When the ISIS plan was conceived and given to the shooter, the Who were the ISIS ''controllers" or arm-suppliers, the What form of necessary support from ISIS led to the massacre. The When 'official ISIS organs' claimed the attack as their act, in furtherance of their goals. -- I think that the recent ISIS-controlled/supported/inspired atrocities in France and Germany are of a different type than the shooting atrocity in Munich. In the throat-slashing, in the truck-ramming, in the ax-wielding train attack, in the suicide explosion -- a clear and present connection to the death-cult ISIS was teased out of onrushing 'fact' quite quickly. All I would ask you or any other rational inquirer to do, Michael, is to investigate, compare and contrast Typing. '"The Media" and the "Political Agenda"' is a fine subject header. It could lead a fine article, a persuasive argument, a rational analysis built on hard mental work. As for the persuasiveness of suggestive points regarding the Munich Massacre, I will keep my mind open. It's still unclear to me what you believe. I guess you could give us a psychological/motivational portrait of the shooter, accounting for all reliable information gleaned in your research. This sort of slides off into the swamp of generalization. Talk about desperation (in and of "The Media") -- yes. Yes talk about relevant particulars and principles, motives and history, facts and 'factoids.' Talk about a media (a person, a group/entity, network, editorial board, leadership, 'stance,' track record of reliability, track record of bias, propaganda, 'party line'). Contrast defective instance with reliable instance. As I remarked above in my 'strategic' and historical understanding of the great war in Syria/Iraq, there is an undeniable evil in ISIS, a grotesque evil, a sociopathic evil. The 'war on the West' is the real and dangerous policy of ISIS. In the military playbook and in its second-order playbooks (Dabiq, etc) terror attacks in/on the West, on soft civilian targets, with utmost brutality -- these are war/policy/religious directives. It is supposed to bleed into the consciousness of psychological 'marks' in the West, especially in the closest West, the most 'mixed' West, where Muslims are a significant minority. Those marks are inducted by 'quasi-cells' or informal networks of ISIS sympathizers, agents, recruiters, and enter the maw of the war to be trained to martyrdom by various means. If not dispatched to Raqqah, if not selected and groomed, if not able to get to the cockpit of death, a ringer or plant or 'inspired' local will follow the playbooks. The penultimate goal of the sociopathic state is to break the compact Europe has made with Islam. Islamic State wants to break any bonds of co-existence that have taken root in Europe (in the USA, in Canada/Australia/former British dependencies). Wherever there is co-existence in liberty, there is the field for atrocity, for terror, for opening and deepening divisions, for destroying a sense of safety and community cohesion. Acts like the church atrocity are designed to ultimately break a host society's matrix of co-existence, to 'call the ummah home' to the End Times capital. I go on about 'motivation' in the case of Munich on a couple of narrow points. The ISIS-led/planned/executed/supported/inspired attacks I mention above are of a type -- acts of terror designed to help usher in Day of the Boxcars. Whether Bataclan, a Catholic cleric throat slit in France, or the atrocity in Nice, or the axe and machete attacks in Germany, the aim is the same: to deepen anxiety and suspicion between the 'host' and its 'Islam.' Terrorism works. My other small issue was that there will be mass slaughter events that do not fit the simple single I-Type I sketch above. These outliers are not 'of a type,' in my mind. These do not obviate disgust and anger over death-cult "religious war" "civilizational war" "end-times war" attacks. I mean, I feel as sick at heart over Type One ISIS-inflected terror attacks with undeniable roots in radical Islamic terrorism. I will leave this emotional subject until the next Breaking News where 'Design' is not-immediately Typed --a possible 'outlier' where motivations are unclear in the first hours, especially where the particulars do not fall in line with ISIS 'design.' These are massacres that have the same physical effect and effect of dread and grief and rage in the aftermath (Gabby Gifford, the Charleston massacre, a generic school shoot-up, a 'rampage killing' / deranged shooter, workplace revenge, 'personal' targets, and so on). Michael, dear leader, you will boldly go forth as always, as is good. My point of view is not meant to hobble you, but to help consolidate reliable information. It isn't always immediately apparent that a Type One or Type Two (or Type S to Z) mass killing has occurred. I share a little bit of your cynicism and negativism as regards the blob term The Media. We both keep our tools sharp. I don't believe the Munich Massacre fits the bill of a Type One attack. It is still unclear to me what Type you fit on the horrific crime. Let me be clear. I immediately judge Type ISIS events as horrific 'Islamic' crimes, fully cognizant to shockwaves of emotion. I also type a higher crime design category in my moral universe, a crime against humankind, a war crime, a crime against humanity itself, a crime against the most vulnerable and in need of protection. All the ISIS criminal atrocities in the West are thus additionally crimes against humanity to my mind. They revolt me in a depth-charge kind of way. If I were a god, I would get involved. I would terminate the gardeners of evil. So I almost kind of understand Bob's autistic lurch into ethnic cleansing theorist. We all probably have horrific revenge fantasies unshared. The seeds of evil are sowed in war.
  5. A disappointing end to the Newcomer/Intruder's slop-and-dodge attack on Nathaniel's concepts and pro-active practical tools. In re-reading LYA's claims and doctrinal beliefs, it seemed to me that he/she did not argue rationally and to his point. He failed to back up some sweeping assertions -- and chose to misunderstand points made by his 'antagonists.' In my mind, LYA showed cultish behaviour, or at least a crank's determination to never give up an inch of reigning conclusions (in the 'cult' of TMT). Most disappointing is no common-ground rational appeal (to reasonable standards of discussion and persuasion): opportunity to provide warrants for claims ignored. This is to me one hallmark of incorrigibility. There are hundreds of "studies" validating AGW. These are arguable points. I would argue that pointing to something offsite, without actually naming or linking or providing an introduction or search terms for other people to follow -- this means the evidence or warrants are 'unexaminable.' That is a dead end for the assessment brigade here. Sliding momentarily onto Brant's topic -- the 'veracity' is something that can be assessed inch by column inch. Since LYA did not develop an argument beyond waving at 'literature,' did not embed it in a logical, warranted framework, we don't get to the point of assessing 'veracity' or the important qualities of validity and reliability. TMT floats like a cult leader portrait above the line of sight. And yet none given. Yes, this has been extensively tested. And yet nothing given. It just is not good enough to labberate about the quality of 'the literature' (on either side, Brant's or LYA's, or mine). You have to be able to cite and construct a reasonable proposition: not declaim that all conclusions are in, but offstage, and you have to be able to offer an argument at all levels -- providing warrants and reasonable habits. I figure the procedural habits of science and other rational inquiry can help. Plodding, but corrective. Bit by bit, level by level, we push back ignorance. I really wish LYA had not been so corralled by his wall of stone-hard-truths. There was an opportunity to push some notions of self-esteem around the board and go deeper into the literature with comparative analysis. We all excel at that here (with few exceptions) when scoping out new-to-us information. It makes me think of the Heat Dome, and the Arctic summer; Not light years away but in the here and there and now. I include a heat graphic and imagine to myself that Light Years Away has crashed into some non-local Gas Giant and fused. We will never see this person again. Back to the self-esteem issue. I found a nice graphic depiction and a few sites that do their best to summarize and defend the views of Nathaniel Branden. Here's a couple instances for those newcomers/intruders who might catch this post and its intent (clickable image). I am sort of a newcomer myself, not having read the seminal book until prodded by events recently. And a video, which is touted as an animated book review. And the man himself: Tony gives me an opportunity to show my philosophical naivete. I am a pretty coarse and lazy general philosopher sometimes, or a pragmatist, or a Haackist on the Big Questions. To this question I have to use fudge connotation to cover over my conceptual grasp of conscious will/volition/choice (within the 'debate' Vs hard-ass Ba'alian cosmological/physical in/determinism). I tend to smudge over any clash in my mind by thinking of volition as a kind of determining factor in equations of common-sense determinism. Volition (in its ambit) is part of a deterministic universe of forces. I tend to think of human 'motive' and 'assessment' tools as an emergent effect of consciousness evolution in the human line of life. an active intelligent super-sapient 'will' in the universe on the grandest scale we have yet to experience. Marvelous to behold in its mysteries. Will? Yes. Your will determines your life in the field of its own ambit. Actual logic gates and information processing in a chemical dance of electricity and atomic force states ... make a decisive computer in flesh. Another determinant, a new contingency to calculations of law, cause, and effect. In this way I can be seen as crypto-Nietzschean Haackist. [Raw draft not yet clarified or pruned at 1:28 PM Pacific. Gotta run.]
  6. Fun with election forecasts ... "(I'm just posting this in this way to mess with William, our dear WSS. )" Well, to my mind, no. The methodology has not been changed since 538 unveiled their 2016 forecast products, as I am sure you understand, if not from the Business Insider article. There are three kinds of 'forecasts' that 538 releases. Today's is an example of a "Now-cast," and the other two are examples of "polls-only" and "polls plus." You can read about the differences here. You can't always get what you want. Curious folks and unhappy analytical folks dig into the details of stories, query the 'facts,' assemble a coherent narrative informed by the interrogation. If someone will claim that 538 has changed its methodology on the fly -- I will wonder if that that someone understands the methodologies in the first place. It suggests someone is incurious or has long finished interrogating 538's nuts and bolts. A 'fixed mindset'? Perhaps. I think Bob (in between shifts on the Muslim Boxcar Barge) is trying to underline the 'inputs' from newest scientific polls are, well, put into the 538 models (in other words, in other words -- models are designed on Bayesian principles). The way I understand the issue, the three models have not changed in underlying methodology since the three forecast models were unveiled. Does that make sense? "Becoming more objective" is a great personal goal. One wonderful thing about good faith forum discussion is that mistakes can be corrected, misapprehensions brought in line with reality; discussants can fix error, fill gaps in knowledge -- and each move on smarter or better-informed. Here, to round out the 538 offerings, are the updated-by-fresh-data Polls-plus forecast and the Polls-only forecast in graphic form, to supplement the If Held Today 'Now-cast' ... Polls-plus: Polls-only: Click on each image above to go to the corresponding 538 page, each of which has a wealth of information in interactive form (ie, drill down into the state stats, drill down into contributory polls). And it pays to remember the Consumer's Guide to Election Polls.
  7. great man fantasy

    PDF of the full Trump acceptance speech, including all 282 footnotes: https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/DJT_Acceptance_Speech.pdf
  8. great man fantasy

    A couple of interesting gambits, in light of the Cleveland Convention ... Trump's influence on the Republican Party platform was all over the news a little while back. And the committee behind that thing was infested with people who absolutely hate him. They didn't get what they wanted except for a minor point here and there. Trump did. And when they balked about minority sex rights and managed to keep it out, Trump put it in his speech, saying the term "LGBTQ" loudly several times. And the conservative crowd at the convention went wild over it. TBR If this, The Trump Organization, doesn't convince you that he gets the job done with vision, I doubt anything will. TBC TBP
  9. A tale of three tweets
  10. Do you think it's all that Machiavellian, Michael? ? Maybe nothing else is cooking for real but his goose. 40 million dollar goose eggs. But the inner workings of FoxNews are so deeply occluded at times that Secret Plots and circle-within-circle power ploys are fun to consider. Here's the way I see it: the Alpha management of FoxNews falls to temporary head Murdoch the Elder. Scuttlebutt says one of his two partner-sons was appalled at the smirch on the network being uncontained (Cosby! Clinton!), leaving a Gretchen Carlson bomb ticking, and was disgusted that the network retreated behind a wall of denial and testimonials. It was seen as a slow bleed following the first bomb. Now, the sexual harassment bomb defusion in re Carlson is underway a full step apart from the network. The top roost is cleaned. It was this son that insisted on an 'independent' inquiry, to which contributed other women in and of FoxNews -- not the on-air claque backing Ailes who swore his innocence, but in-house credible voices (otherwise stilled by contract confidentiality or non-disparagement fine print), or former reporters who had been cowed by the legal arms of FoxNews. The inquiry found truth enough to seal Ailes' fate. Will this make a difference to the FoxNews machinery between now and Inauguration Day? I wonder. I can't see any large changes or even medium changes. I don't see resignations or revolutions or anything like that. Why change anything this successful? (perhaps skirts will lengthen, pant-suits on ladies will appear here and there. But) -- will it make a difference in the nitty-gritty? Well, Ailes is rightly appreciated for his strong message management, his day-to-day thoroughness in tactics and strategy, his nimble and forceful governance of the 'angle of attack' in each story block becoming news. Will we see a discordance or a confusion or a drift away from central goals in news-gathering and reporting and editorial? I don't think so, but Michael might be right that under the surface (sources said) high drama percolates and grand plots are afoot. I do note that Ailes' departure buy-out agreement included a wall-to-wall restriction on 'competing' with FoxNews. He will simply get jowlier and snakier and retreat to the shadows, I imagine, his network career wrecked. Inside the Trump camp, no doubt a calculation on whether to tie themselves formally to Ailes in any way. My political cortex says: Much good Red Hat news that Ailes has Trump's ear, and can offer his tactical/strategic 'issues' genius on the QT. That will offer political Viagra in the short term as he figures out how to settle with Carlson. Well, who? And why should Has Enough Money bother? Why not stick with existing moneymakers? I expect you suppose the FoxNews talent will begin jumping at some point. I would say after the election, if ever. Apropos ... Ruthless! Here's a sad and instructive piece that quotes from a disgruntled former (let-go) FoxNews employee who gained 600,000+ smackers by settling a complaint against the network sex-me-up, go-places ethos. In the end, the mediator ruled in Bakhtiar’s favor, instructing Fox to pay the $670,000 remaining on the three-year contract she signed with the network on July 13, 2006. Additionally, Fox had to cover Bakhtiar’s legal fees, “which were enormous,” she says. Even if wholly untrue, this behind-the-scenes fuckme unpleasantness, and larger stains like Ailes smuty-slick can stick. But not to Trump. And here is some naggy, naggy, nasty, 'insider-Not' grousing and kvetching that might show some of The Plots ...if not The Deal. From the infuriated-all-the-time folks at RAWstory and the slightly less enraged Slate. They disagree with me, the churls. Slate: Many people see Fox News as a cynical production of people who know better. But you seem to be saying that people believe in what they are doing or their leader. Maybe those aren’t exclusive— No, they aren’t mutually exclusive. The culture of sexual harassment is widely known at Fox News. The whole idea that it is a family values network is incredibly cynical, and everyone knows that. But the fear and psychological control that Ailes had over his employees—if he says the sky is green and not blue, even very intelligent people, maybe even liberals, tend to start believing it. He has this charismatic, cultlike power to shape a corporation in his image. And that’s why Fox, whatever it becomes, is going to be very different. There is no executive in American media and politics who has that charisma and that ruthlessness, and, as these allegations have shown, the kind of darkness of his mind to control women and people. [...] For people who have only heard of James Murdoch through his role in the phone hacking scandal, to see him as, relatively speaking and aside from the women who came forward, the good person in this thing is striking. What do you think drove him: hatred of Ailes, fear of the company’s reputation, or actually some sort of moral revulsion? I think a combination of all of those. James Murdoch is, by my reporting, extremely turned off and horrified by the concept of a Trump presidency, and he sees the politics of the right-wing populism fueled by Fox News as a catalyst that allowed Trump to become the Republican nominee. He’s been wanting to get Ailes out. [...] What do your sources tell you on the state of the Trump-Ailes relationship? You recently reported that Trump was advising Ailes. The relationship is close. It’s complicated, but it’s close. The two guys have known each other for decades. They are both New York media power brokers who have gone way back. And, you know, they have had tension. Roger Ailes is used to controlling events and when he doesn’t control events, he gets very angry. When the Trump­–Megyn Kelly feud happened last summer, Ailes couldn’t control Trump. That’s why Ailes and him clashed; it wasn’t about ideology. The point is that their relationship is still good. They speak, by my reporting, very regularly. Yes, Trump did talk to Roger Ailes after Carlson filed her lawsuit and gave him advice on how he should navigate the crisis. RAWs: I get messages all the time from people who have known Ailes for decades who say that when they hear a Trump speech they hear so many echoes of Ailes. There is a scenario where Ailes could advise Trump and be on the phone with him, giving him talking points and media strategy, and he wouldn’t have to take a formal role. There are two things. Does Roger Ailes want a comeback? If he hitches himself to Trump and Trump loses, does he want his epitaph to be that he was kicked out of his company amidst a wave of really disturbing and frankly gross sexual harassment allegations and hitched himself to a potentially losing presidential campaign? Or does he want to go away quietly, hope this blows over, and maybe in a couple years write a book or do something to try to rehabilitate himself?
  11. For those who just have to laugh.
  12. Would I be rooting or groaning? Yes. Rooting for Johnson to do well. Rooting for the exposure of libertarian principles. Groaning when he behaves like a lightweight. Groaning when he lets himself be trapped again and again by Trump, Hillary or a moderator on silly anti-libertarian jabs (like his pot use, or like making him out to be an isolationist). Further to discussion of the Johnson campaign, he is at the least getting some long-form attention in national/liberal media. Here's some excerpts from a lengthy New Yorker piece. Love the top quote. Let's see if this leaves you groaning, Steve, at least at the notion Johnson will poach Democratic votes and help swerve the outcome. I am looking twice at my first take -- that Johnson's candidacy will be irrelevant. Who knows what lurks in the hearts of November voters when our calendars say July 24?