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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles
Home country: US
Current location: East of East L.A.
Member since: Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
Number of posts: 15,300

Journal Archives

Abuse of satire

from a talk by Gary Trudeau:

Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean. . . . It’s not easy figuring out where the red line is for satire anymore. But it’s always worth asking this question: Is anyone, anyone at all, laughing? If not, maybe you crossed it.


First candidate to pay 6 figures to take over Twitter’s top trending topic:

9:10 pm ET - Oct 13, 2015 2016 - "Bernie Sanders Makes Big Twitter Purchase"

Ahead of the Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first 2016 presidential candidate on Tuesday to pay six-figures to take over Twitter’s top trending topic.

Twitter users watching the debate via their smart phones will see the hashtag #DebatewithBernie at the top of the national trending topics – above the hashtag for the debate and other popular items for the day.

A spokesman for Twitter confirmed the Sanders campaign purchased the top trending hashtag, but declined to say the exact cost. In the past, Twitter has charged $200,000 for similar campaigns.

The promoted hashtag is one of Twitter’s most expensive ad options. It allows the campaign to choose which links users see when they click on the hashtag – in order to avoid spam or unsavory tweets “taking over” the hashtag. In this case, the Sanders campaign chose a tweet from Mr. Sanders’ account that asks users to sign up to say good luck to the candidate.


I imagine that helps.

He appears to have suffered a meme malfunction.

That happens.

Sanders takes heat for ignoring VA problems

This came up in Sanders' CNN interview this morning:
October 14, 2015

(CNN) Sen. Bernie Sanders touted his record on veterans' issues during Tuesday's debate, citing his position as the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs when Congress provided billions of extra dollars to boost healthcare for veterans last year.


Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said Sanders largely ignored the appeals of organizations like his during a time when media and government reports exposed how veterans were waiting months for appointments and VA officials were covering up the delays.

"For far too long he was apologizing for the VA. He was refusing to acknowledge the severity. He was positioning it as a smaller issue than it was while veterans were dying waiting for care," Rieckhoff told CNN.


Rieckhoff says Sanders had to be ignoring what was happening on the other side of the Capitol during this time, when House Committee on Veterans Affairs investigators were digging up records, swearing in whistleblowers and exposing the massive scandal.


Could be problematic.

Rest easy little brother

For a while it looked like Sanders was going to be King Lear, and split the party and leave Cordelia SOL on Nov 8, but then came the debate and he turned out to be the real McCoy, who roars like a lion but is gentle as a lamb:

So all's well that ends well.

Paris Review Editor Says Literary Bad Boy Houellebecq's Book Misunderstood

The latest novel by Michel Houellebecq, the bad boy of French letters, has been called everything from an Islamophobic rant to a “French literary suicide.” Imagining the election of a Muslim president in France, “Submission” struck a raw nerve when it came out this year on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Paris Review Editor Says New Houellebecq Book Misunderstood


The latest novel by Michel Houellebecq, the bad boy of French letters, has been called everything from an Islamophobic rant to a "French literary suicide." Imagining the election of a Muslim president in France, "Submission" struck a raw nerve when it came out this year on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

But its English translator Lorin Stein — editor of the celebrated Paris Review literary journal — relishes something in the novel he says many critics miss: humor.

"It struck me as a much funnier book than the one they were describing," Stein, a noted literary critic, told The Associated Press.

"Submission," published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is released in the U.S. on Tuesday. A French best-seller with 650,000 copies sold, Houellebecq's sixth novel has divided opinions in France more than any of his previous books. That's no small accomplishment given the oeuvre's mixture of explicit sex and politically incorrect opinions, and the author's own past erratic behavior — antics that include passing out drunk during an interview and holding a press conference in a grocery store.

more: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/paris-review-editor-houellebecq-book-misunderstood-34553592

Soumission and Charlie Hebdo:

In a tragically ironic twist, "Submission" went on sale in January the very day that Islamic extremist gunmen attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo" — the start of a killing spree that left 20 people dead. One of Houellebecq's friends was among those killed at the newspaper, and the author immediately scrapped a promotional tour and went under police protection.

Houellebecq was pictured on the cover of the edition that went on sale that day:

David Talbot's book on Allen Dulles is out!

I just came across this Democracy Now interview and remember Octafish mentioning that it was in the works. I remember buying Talbot's Brothers in the Denver airport a few years back and reading the entire thing on the flight home. Best JFK book ever. Apparently this is part 2:

A CIA Tie to JFK Assassination? Book on Ex-Director Allen Dulles Questions Agency's Role

OCTOBER 19, 2015

David Talbot, author of "The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government," re-examines what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and looks at John F. Kennedy’s relationship with his former CIA director. "The weekend of Kennedy’s assassination, Allen Dulles is not at home watching television like the rest of America," Talbot said. "He’s at a remote CIA facility, two years after being pushed out of the agency by Kennedy, called The Farm, in northern Virginia, that he used when he was director of the CIA as a kind of an alternate command post." Talbot also asks why the agency has refused to publicly release travel documents of CIA officials who have been identified for having a possible role in Kennedy’s death.


Louise et Léo prénoms préférés des Français pour leurs bébés en 2015

Par LEXPRESS.fr , publié le 14/10/2015

En 2015, les Français ont plébiscité Louise, Emma et Chloé pour les filles. Léo, Gabriel et Adam pour les garçons.

Louise pour les filles. Léo pour les garçons. Voici les prénoms préférés des Français en 2015, révèle Le Parisien. Chaque année, L'Officiel des prénoms, qui est publié le 15 octobre, dévoile le palmarès.

La méthode: son auteur Stéphanie Rapoport "scanne, croise et épluche les données statistiques nationales et celles des états civils d'une trentaine de grandes villes."

Louise plus forte qu'Emma chez les filles.
Louise succède à Emma en pôle position. Viennent ensuite:

2. Emma

3. Chloé

4. Lola

5. Inès

6. Manon

7. Jade

8. Alice

9. Lina

10. Léa

11. Camille

12. Juliette

13. Sarah

15. Lilou

16. Eva

17. Zoé

18. Anna

19. Adèle, Rose

20. Mila

Léo plus fort que Gabriel chez les garçons
Léo, troisième en 2014, détrône Gabriel. Viennent ensuite:

2. Gabriel

3. Adam

4. Timéo

5. Raphaël

6. Louis

7. Lucas

8. Arthur

9. Nathan

10. Hugo

11. Nolan

12. Enzo

13. Jules

14. Liam

15. Ethan

16. Noah

17. Sacha

18. Tom

19. Théo

20. Gabin, Maël


Air France workers rip shirts from executives after airline cuts 2,900 jobs

This happened on Monday, Oct. 5, outside Paris. English report: UK Guardian; Repubblica (Italy), País (Spain), & FT screenshots: Le Monde. Video at Guardian link:

Staff storm board meeting at Charles de Gaulle airport and force executives to flee, with one clambering over fence half-naked

Striking staff at Air France have taken demonstrating their anger with direct action to a shocking new level. Approximately 100 workers forced their way into a meeting of the airline’s senior management and ripped the shirts from the backs of the executives.

The airline filed a criminal complaint after the employees stormed its headquarters, near Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, in what was condemned as a “scandalous” outbreak of violence.

Photographs showed one ashen-faced director being led through a baying crowd, his clothes torn to shreds. In another picture, the deputy head of human resources, Xavier Broseta, left bare-chested after workers ripped off his shirt and jacket, is photographed being pushed to safety over a fence.

Tensions between management and workers at France’s loss-making flagship carrier had been building over the weekend in the runup to a meeting aimed at finalising a controversial “restructuring plan” involving 2,900 redundancies between now and 2017. The proposed job losses involve 1,700 ground staff, 900 cabin crew and 300 pilots.



Declaration of party membership is required of all Vermont state candidates

per statute:

If no party is indicated, the word “Independent” will be printed on the ballot. No candidate appearing on the ballot as a candidate of an organized political party can appear on the ballot as an “Independent.” 17 V.S.A. 2403

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