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Agnosticsherbet

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Diego/Ca/Nuevo Pacifica
Home country: U.S. of A.
Current location: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,619

Journal Archives

What Happens to Journalists When No One Wants to Print Their Words Anymore?

What Happens to Journalists When No One Wants to Print Their Words Anymore?
As newsrooms disappear, veteran older reporters are being forced from the profession. That’s bad for journalism — and democracy.
Arthur Miller’s classic 1949 Pulitzer Prize–winning 
play Death of a Salesman opens with musical direction: “A melody is heard, played upon a flute. It is small and fine, telling of grass and trees and the horizon. The curtain rises.” The play follows Willy Loman, past 60, as his grasp on life crumbles amid job troubles. When, at the end of Act II, he reaches his beaten-down end, the melody soars again, this time a requiem. “Only the music of the flute,” writes Miller, “is left on the darkening stage….”

I heard this flute’s dirge throughout last summer and fall, as I made the rounds talking with downsized journalists — men and women who had gotten hooked on the profession as young, ink-stained idealists, only to find themselves cast out in mid- or later life. These veterans spoke of forced buyouts and failed job searches — of lost purpose, lost confidence, even lost homes. I had known of the decimation of my profession: I’d read the statistics, seen the news articles, watched old friends pushed from jobs as bureau chiefs, editors, senior reporters, into the free fall of freelance. But the texture of their Lomanesque despair surprised me. There were some grim moments.

Summer 2015, the West Coast: I’m chatting with a longtime friend, a great investigative reporter who was pushed out of a big-city daily. She’s managed to land a new, well-paying job — but it’s not in journalism. A mutual colleague told me that “it’s the most hated job she never wanted to do.” I insist that my friend needs to find a way back someday, because she has stunning reportorial talent. “I don’t remember that person,” she interrupts sharply.

Early fall 2015, a bar on the East Coast: An unemployed middle-aged writer whose work I’ve admired for decades agrees to meet for a drink. I buy the first round, he gets the second. In between we talk about editors and writers we know in common, about stories nailed and those that got away. Typical journo stuff. “So what do you want?” he asks finally. I explain that I’m seeking the human angle behind the news of thousands of downsized journalists. “Am I the lead to your story?” he asks, sizing me up, tensing. 
I feel that I’m losing him. Thus a Hail Mary: “Are you depressed?” His fast retort: “Are you trying to piss me off?” He walks out, leaving a full beer on the table.

The great recovery has not been kind to the older generation. Skills developed over a lifetime are no longer wanted. It is not just journalists. After I lost my last job, I found myself competing with people 25 to 30 years younger.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sat Mar 5, 2016, 09:13 PM (7 replies)

The U.S. just sent a carrier strike group to confront China

The U.S. just sent a carrier strike group to confront China The U.S. Navy has dispatched a small armada to the South China Sea.

The carrier John C. Stennis, two destroyers, two cruisers and the 7th Fleet flagship have sailed into the disputed waters in recent days, according to military officials. The carrier strike group is the latest show of force in the tense region, with the U.S. asserting that China is militarizing the region to guard its excessive territorial claims.

Stennis is joined in the region by the cruisers Antietam and Mobile Bay, and the destroyers Chung-Hoon and Stockdale. The command ship Blue Ridge, the floating headquarters of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, is also in the area, en route to a port visit in the Philippines. Stennis deployed from Washington state on Jan. 15.

The Japan-based Antietam, officials said, was conducting a "routine patrol" separate from the Stennis, following up patrols conducted by the destroyer McCambell and the dock landing ship Ashland in late February.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Mar 4, 2016, 05:56 PM (57 replies)

I have made my decision, for Republicans, I prefer Trump to Cruz.

Trump is out for himself, and i doubt he believes in anything but Trump.

Cruz is a holy warrior. I you think living in an Oligarchy is bad, you don't want to live in a Theocracy.
With one Supreme Court Justice waiting to be appointed by the next President, and the two most liberal members of the court being among the oldest, I do not want to see Roy Moore and his clones on the bench.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Mar 4, 2016, 05:35 PM (20 replies)

Be graceful in victory? It is hard to be graceful

When every time I look up someone nails me between the eyes with a meme club.

Oh, I understand the reason for the exhortation to "let them wail and gnash their teeth. They are in grief."

I am no Job and I do not intend to be.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Mar 2, 2016, 06:23 PM (24 replies)

To everyone in a primary state, Vote.

If you know a registered voter who is sitting it out.
Invite the person to a dinner, if that person votes first. Take that person to the polls and then feed the voter.

GOTV
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Mar 1, 2016, 12:03 PM (4 replies)

Riddle me this, if Trump did not have wall to wall coverage on MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS

where would he be in the polls?

Yes, I am asking for an opinion.

I have never seen such focus by the media on a single candidate. After a survey of the news, FOX news is the only channel not fixated on Trump 24/7. (Now I need to take a bath)

the News/entertainment media generally divide their important stories and give the most important story more minutes. They've become like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

Why should Trump spend any time on ads when he is on all the time?

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:41 PM (38 replies)

This was good news...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027647875

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Feb 29, 2016, 03:46 AM (6 replies)

Inside the GOP Implosion and the War to Stop Trump

Inside the GOP Implosion and the War to Stop Trump
Here is a New York Times article you may have seen. It describes the GOP's panicked, hyperbolic and yet utterly ineffectual rush to stop the Donald Trump juggernaut. As I've said before, the GOP's Trump problem reminds me of the regional and global powers' efforts to destroy ISIS. Every party sees the problem, is terrified by the problem. And yet every player has some other angle or priority that's just a bit more pressing or important. The Saudis, Iran. The Turks, the Kurds. The US, Assad. And on and on. Yet, it goes without saying that Trump isn't the real problem. He didn't bamboozle the heads of the RNC into signing some one-sided contract they can't live with. The problem is Republican voters. Look at the polls and you see that in virtually every state in the country between 30% and 50% of GOP voters currently back Trump. And only unicorn thinking supports the idea that the 70% to 50% who do not constitute some sort "anti-Trump" faction. That's the problem, not Trump himself.

When I read the Times article, observe recent weeks as they've fluttered by and think about how things got to this point, I come back again and again to conversations I have with our chief tech, Matt Wozniak. Matt uses the metaphor of debt to describe the inevitable trade off we face building and maintaining the software that runs TPM.

If we do a project in a rough and ready way, which is often what we can manage under the time and budget constraints we face, we will build up a "debt" we'll eventually have to pay back. Basically, if we do it fast, we'll later have to go back and rework or even replace the code to make it robust enough for the long haul, interoperate with other code that runs our site or simply be truly functional as opposed just barely doing what we need it to. There's no right or wrong answer; it's simply a management challenge to know when to lean one way or the other. But if you build up too much of this debt the problem can start to grow not in a linear but an exponential fashion, until the system begins to cave in on itself with internal decay, breakdowns of interoperability and emergent failures which grow from both.

This is a fairly good description of what the media is now wrongly defining as the GOP's 'Trump problem', only in this case the problem isn't programming debt. It's a build up of what we might call 'hate debt' and 'nonsense debt' that has been growing up for years.

The phrase is "hoisted on their own petard."
They made Trump possible.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sun Feb 28, 2016, 05:16 PM (3 replies)

I found a perfect answer to all the posts that attack Clinton as being as bad or worse

than Trump.
Sanders-Clinton debate transcript: Annotating what they say
TODD: Would you unite the party by trying to pick Senator Sanders as your running mate?

CLINTON: Well, I'm certainly going to unite the party, but I'm not -- I'm not getting ahead of myself. I think that would be a little bit presumptuous. If I'm so fortunate as to be the nominee, the first person I will call to talk to about where we go and how we get it done will be Senator Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

TODD: Senator, would you consider the secretary?

SANDERS: I agree with what the secretary said. We shouldn't be getting ahead of ourselves. And as I have said many times, you know, sometimes in these campaigns, things get a little bit out of hand. I happen to respect the secretary very much, I hope it's mutual. And on our worst days, I think it is fair to say we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate.

I will use this a lot.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sun Feb 28, 2016, 02:26 PM (3 replies)

"on our worst days, I think it is fair to say we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate"

Sanders-Clinton debate transcript: Annotating what they say
TODD: Would you unite the party by trying to pick Senator Sanders as your running mate?

CLINTON: Well, I'm certainly going to unite the party, but I'm not -- I'm not getting ahead of myself. I think that would be a little bit presumptuous. If I'm so fortunate as to be the nominee, the first person I will call to talk to about where we go and how we get it done will be Senator Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

TODD: Senator, would you consider the secretary?

SANDERS: I agree with what the secretary said. We shouldn't be getting ahead of ourselves. And as I have said many times, you know, sometimes in these campaigns, things get a little bit out of hand. I happen to respect the secretary very much, I hope it's mutual. And on our worst days, I think it is fair to say we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate.

In Sanders own words, he thinks that both Hillary Clinton and he are 100 times better than any Republican Candidate. I think we can take his word for that.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sun Feb 28, 2016, 02:12 PM (43 replies)
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