Monday, July 18, 2016

And Now It Begins...

The Republican Convention started today and already there have been reports of physical threats, intimidations, walkouts, and ejections, and that's just the first day. As of now, Trump hasn't even taken the stage. What is going to happen next?

The first vote by what delegates have not left or been ejected will be tonight, or not. Please feel free to post what you have seen or heard.

But as little relief from the emerging doomsayers, here is a photo from my recent trip to Niagara Falls. This was the view from my hotel window:
This late afternoon rainbow was not photoshopped, but breathtakingly real...


Kit said...

My review of Wolf Children is up over at the film site!

Kit said...

New discoveries about the Nice terrorist:

"Bouhlel appears to be, indeed, part of a new genre of terrorist, the instant jihadist who decides more or less suddenly to turn his shitty little life into a world-famous spectacle of death."


Anthony said...

So Trump's wife stole part of her unusually positive (by the low standards of day one of the convention) speech from Michelle Obama. I am shocked, deeply shocked.

Not a big deal, but I will laugh very hard if at the end of this fiasco this Trump admits his entire campaign was just an elaborate troll of the Republican party.

Anthony said...

The teenager who recently attacked a bunch of people on a train in Germany with an axe was an Afghani undoubtedly motivated by Islam.

He said authorities were still investigating the motive of the attack and were looking into reports that the suspect had yelled out "an exclamation" during the rampage.

He was responding to reports that some witnesses had heard the suspect shout "Allahu Akbar" ("God Is Great") during the attack.

The train was on its way from the Bavarian town of Treuchtlingen to Wuerzburg, which is about 60 miles northwest of Nuremberg.

Germany last year registered more than 1 million refugees entering the country, including more than 150,000 Afghans, but it was not immediately clear whether the suspect was among them or someone who had been in the country for a longer time.

Anthony said...

Moving on to lighter news, a hundred woman got naked outside a Trump convention as a form of protest. That is about as sane as trying to change the rules at the last minute to steal the nomination from Trump, but still pretty damn insane.

There is nothing in Trump's (or most guys') history to make us believe that naked women are to him what a cross is to a vampire.

Photographer Spencer Tunick brought the women together to take the naked photo as a way to protest Trump’s general treatment of women. Because objectifying them in a photo will show Trump he shouldn’t objectify them. Totally.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, If Biden can be a Democratic darling and his whole life is plagiarized, then I don't think they have room to talk about Melina Trump... who is hot.

AndrewPrice said...

So a group of women got naked to prove they wouldn't be objectified? Huh. Really?


You know, following the link, they aren't even that ugly. And they definitely aren't fugly like chicks like this usually are. The photograph looks like a perv though.

This is a joke right?

ScottDS said...

The funnest comment I read re: the convention popped up in my Twitter feed last night:

"I liked it better in the original German." :-)

And apparently Trump's backlit larger-than-life entrance reminded some geeks of Kirk's entrance in Wrath of Khan. Unfortunately, the phrase "no-win scenario" applies equally!

Anonymous said...

Bev; did you stay at the Minolta Tower. My wife and I went to Niagra Falls a few years ago and the view looks similar. Niagra Falls is a beautiful place.

AndrewPrice said...

They're still trying to guilt you into seeing Ghostbusters. Now the black chick has "quit twitter" after someone posted a racist comment at her. Really?

So this standup comedian, who for years has likely bitch slapped people in her routine doesn't have a thick enough skin for some supposed troll to refer to her as an "ape"? That's it. Not even the N-word. Not even a bunch of people. One random commenter.

Yeah, right.

Her idiotic comment was even, "All this because I did a movie."

Yeah, nice try.

I think Twitter should investigate. Wanna bet the troll used a Sony IP address?

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I think it was more than just one comment. And the point is that Twitter promotes itself as anti-harassment, then does nothing when someone reports actually getting harassed.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, They just updated the article I saw to say he got "many" racist comments.

In either event, I still say... so? Why is that news? What famous person doesn't have trolls?

She's also apparently not quitting anymore, she's taking a break. Still sounds like marketing to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Wanna bet me that something similar "victimhood" appears in the news related to another one of them right before the weekend?

Then there can be a "well-timed" news story on GMA about the hate they got right as the video comes out.

Think of the possibilities...

Anthony said...

Dinesh DSouza is aiming to become the next Michael Moore with Hillary's America. Be interesting to see how that works out for him.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, For fun, I actually went to check out her twitter feed. Here's what I found...

No nasty comments, not a one, until two days ago. Not even a slight criticism of the film or of her. All sycophantic love. That suggests there is no broad movement, i.e. this is not "many" people, it's one source.

Two days ago, she suddenly claims to be being attacked by racists. This draws loads of "oh how horrible you poor dear, let's all see the movie to support you" posts from her followers.

Then she decides to starts posting "examples" of the racist stuff she claims to be getting. There are about 10 examples. There are no names or twitter accounts attached to hardly any of it, and the couple that are all related to Ayn Rand... suggesting a single source meant to sound like a conservative.

The stuff she shows is very similar and comes in two themes: (1) pictures of gorillas with the word "Hamarabe" or (2) a couple short comments that use the word "nigga" or "nigra", i.e. "loud nigga." That's it.

My thoughts....

1. The way there was none of this until it suddenly started tells me this is one person. The lack of twitter names makes it really hard to verify any of this too.

2. The timing tells me this is one person too. It didn't happen when the movie opened. It didn't happen when she was making news as a "victim" of the racist/sexist/fattist fashion industry because they didn't want to dress her until forced to by the eyes of millions of Ghostbusters fans. Instead, it all started the other day after the lousy weekend returns were in. Interesting timing for a supposed group of haters to now come after her... especially as they don't mention the film's poor performance or use the film for their attacks.

3. This also looks like the work of one or two people tops because the style is too similar to be more than that. It also has a vague "out of touch" feel which makes me think it was done by someone who doesn't normally troll... like a marketing team.

4. It's remarkably harmless for what it is too. There are no allegations/attacks that could (1) hurt her career, (2) hurt her emotionally, or (3) create a lasting meme. It's the exact kind of attack that sounds bad but has no chance to inspire more attacks or leave a lasting mark. Interesting.

Even more so, the out of touch aspect makes this all the more interesting. Basically, by calling her "Hamarabe" rather than something young people would understand or "nigga" which is a positive in hip hop circles rather than "nigger" which is not, this attack guaranteew that the attack itself will never resonate with the people who are likely her audience. It would generate anger, because they would know what was meant, but it wouldn't have any long term negative impact because it gets forgotten because it doesn't relate to them. There are many simpler, better attacks to make, but they all run the risk of permanent damage.

So my conclusion stands. I think this is fake. I think this is a marketing team attack set up to let her claim victim status without any possibility of actually hurting her reputation, sparking copycat attacks, or creating a meme that sticks to her. I think, as you see, they are using this to market the film and I suspect she will incorporate this into her act where she will have some very nice shots at her ineffective, strawman attacker.

Moreover, even if this is real, it's obviously only one guy and this is the kind of stuff celebrities and even bloggers either ignore or make fun of. This is not a basis to whine and "quit" twitter. And for someone whose career is likely based on making fun of people, it is remarkably thin-skinned to let this get to her. Just block it and be done.

And why re-post it? It's not like anyone doubted her. All of her followers were super sympathetic. Suspicious.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, and I forgot one more thing. Apparently, her account was "hacked" by someone who then used it to write a homophobic attack at a conservative reviewer who didn't like the movie.

Think about that.

1. Hacking is sophisticated. The troll(s) is not sophisticated.

2. Hacking is a crime, but no attempt has been suggested to find the hacker, despite the incident being so horrible she felt the need to go to the press.

3. The attack was made against a conservative, just like the twitter names released are Ayn Rand related. Standard Hollywood boogeyman.

4. The attack was aimed at a critic of the film, not someone more meaningful to her or someone who would be upset by being attacked by her -- like a costar.

5. The attack used homophobic language, which has no relation to Jones except that the director suddenly tried the "one of our characters is gay!" push. What a coincidence that this dovetails perfectly with the marketing!

6. The hacker didn't flood her page with nasty images or the n-word or any sort of racist statement about her, as hackers always do. Any hacker is going to change her image to something offensive or post a nasty quote.

Nor did the hacker attack her co-stars, the director or the studio. The hacker stick to a very tiny approved target list and kept his attack wonderfully narrow and relevant to the marketing campaign.

It's all marketing.

AndrewPrice said...

Now, don't get me wrong. I am impressed. Not only is this is the most cynical bit of marketing since Hitler burned the Reichstag, but they correctly read that the delicates on the feminist left would be too stupid to realize they were being played and would rush out to support their sister victims. You go girls!

For that, I say Bravo... good show.

But it is rather hamfistedly done. For that, I say, boo.

Still, I had no idea Sony was so evil. Congrats to them.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

To be fair, Sony wouldn't be so evil if they had a hit franchise. But they overplayed their hand on this, they ruined SpiderMan (twice!), and all they have left are Adam Sandler movies!

(The Red Letter Media guys finally reviewed the movie - they hated it!)

I appreciate you doing some homework... but I'm still skeptical. And I know that anything I mention in my defense, you'll chalk up to either cynical marketing, or one lone asshole, or media hype, or whatever. Given my personality and my own past experiences, I tend to believe the party that's being bullied. (Though I definitely have my limits, i.e. college protestors!)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Don't get me wrong. I know there are bullies out there, and I know there are racists and the such. And I despise those people.

But I also know that people like to claim victim status for a number of reasons and all the evidence here strikes me as really clear that this is all faked or exaggerated and cynically used.

In law they say the attorney cannot act with an empty head and open heart (i.e. you can't accept a claim just because you fell for their story if a reasonable attorney would know better). That's the case here. They are preying on people like you, using your experience cynically to sell a film. You should be more cautious about letting people like this exploit your feelings.

BTW, Spiderman is coming again. Ug.

Kit said...

The plagiarism thing is a one-day story. By midnight tonight it will be old news.

That being said, it's not a one-day story any campaign, much less the Trump campaign, needs b/c it leads to a whole 24 hours of snarky jokes. :-)

It also provides another bit of evidence pointing to how utterly amateurish Trump's campaign has been.

It's a tiny cut.

Kit said...

Oh, and re the current Ailes sex harassment scandal:

Megan Kelly has been surprisingly silent during the whole mess.

Well, now New York Magazine is reporting that (1) Megan Kelly has "Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox."

Further, there are reports that Ailes will be fired if he does not resign by Aug. 1.

Kit said...

Oh, and here is the source: "Sources: Megyn Kelly Told Murdoch Investigators That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Her"

Kit said...

Also, re plagiarism thing.

It ended Biden's 1987-88 campaign for the presidency.

Barack Obama got away by claiming the speech was written by Deval Patrick's speechwriter. Whether it was true or not that caused people to shrug it off b/c they assumed the writer was recycling old material.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I suspect the Ailes thing will go south for him. Whether he did it or not, there will be multiple accusers before its over. And based on the allegations, it sounds believable and real -- not from someone who is hypersensitive.

Kit said...


I think there already are multiple accusers.
From New York Magazine, 9 July: "6 More Women Allege That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Them"

Anthony said...

Trump's wife also seems to have lied about having a college degree. I am in deeper shock than I was before.

There's no correlation between education and intelligence so its a silly thing to lie about.

In her freshman year, the 19-year old Melanija Knavs attended lectures on the following subjects: elements of architecture, fine arts, fundamentals of technical mechanics, architectural construction, descriptive geometry, mathematics, and an ideological (read “communist”) elective credit called “General Partisan Resistance and Social Self-protection”. Melanija would have made it to her sophomore year, even having failed 2 exams, but she was supposed to have gotten and held a 1-month internship and kept a journal about it.


Later, in America, after meeting Donald Trump and officially becoming his partner, Melania Knauss told the media that she got her degree in architecture and design. This was almost certainly done in consultation with Trump and his advisors, as they were desperate to give off the impression that the Slovenian model was not just beautiful, but also smart and well-educated.

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to comment early Tuesday on Melania Trump’s claim that she has a university degree.

tryanmax said...

Wow! Intense converstations!

Nekkid Wimminz: Talk about a perfectly incoherent message!

Apparently, the name of the--whatever it is--is "Everything She Says Means Everything." Sounds about right. Every time I think I understand what a woman is saying, she tells me it means the opposite. Until the next time, when it means something else. And so on. 😉

According to the website for the thing, the project represents… I--I can’t even. It's a bunch of hooey about the sacred feminine, which according to feminists is pedestal sexism, yet somehow this perv with a camera gets a pass because he has the smarts to objectify women as protest of the RNC??? I'm gonna pour me a nice glass of bleach.

Be sure to call it "research": Ooooh! Melania Trump uttered some of the same platitudes that Michelle Obama uttered eight years ago. And countless others uttered before that. I mean, c’mon.

Nice Terrorist: Doesn't that look weird in print? I know it's an English thing, but doesn't it?

In the original Klingon: Molly Ivins used that line on Pat Buchanan back in '92. ♻

I ain't afraid of no Tropes:  That should be the sentiment coming from Feig & Co., not this "boo hoo, I can't take it so Imma quit tha Twitters" nonsense. Seriously! There's even an article on about this, complete with a wholly inaccurate summary of both Milo Yiannopoulos and GamerGate in the same sentence. Point being, reality is immaterial to these nutzos.

As for the twitter trolls, this is their rocketship to momentary fame. They know they've got the celebs and the press in a double-bind. If they don't post pics or links, they're called liars. If they do, then the trolls get publicized and gain followers. The only way to truly beat the trolls is to ignore them, but celebs are too narcissistic to allow that.

One final thought: can they even tell whether these twitter trolls are in America? The internet is global but they want to say tweets are a reflection of a racist America? But we're not dealing with deep thinkers, are we?

Anthony said...

Obama made a side deal with Iran he didn't disclose to Congress.

What is news is that the Obama administration is a party to another secret side deal to the JCPOA that explicitly recognizes Iran’s plan to greatly expand its uranium-enrichment program. Other secret side deals include one that allows Iran to inspect itself on possible nuclear-weapons-related work and another that possibly weakened IAEA reporting on Iran’s nuclear program. As with the previous secret agreements, withholding this deal from Congress probably violated the Corker-Cardin Act, which required the administration to provide all JCPOA documents — including side deals — to Congress before it voted on the deal last September. According to Jahn’s report, “U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest [in the document] were briefed on its substance.” Translation: The administration did not provide this side-deal document to Congress or mention it in committee briefings. Instead, the substance of this document was briefed only to members of Congress who asked about this issue

Allena-C said...

That's a beautiful photo, Bev! Thank you! ☺️

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

I'll probably regret asking but in what way is the article inaccurate? I mean, Milo's an asshole and Breitbart's turned into a never-ending dumpster fire... but I'd be interested to know.

I think my problem is with people who are dicks just to be dicks - it takes a certain kind of sociopath to go down that road.

And yeah, Molly Ivins was mentioned in the tweet I read. Still funny. :-) (And nice Star Trek VI reference!)

tryanmax said...


First, let me set the tone. Criticizing bad reporting is not an automatic defense of what was badly reported on--though I do find Milo's puckishness amusing. Regarding GamerGate, I'm not a gamer and I'm certainly not part of the gaming community, so I come by my assessment from a detached point of view.

So, in reporting on Milo, nytimes didn't even mention Brietbart. Anyone deserving to walk through the newsroom doors ought to know to include that in his one-line bio. Basically: shoddy.

Then they summarize GamerGate as "send[ing] vile messages to women in the name of equal rights." In this case, it's hard to think of a one-line summary to capture the whole GamerGate thing, but I struggle to think of anything more lopsidedly inadequate than this. So again: shoddy.

Now, given that they can pack so much shoddiness into a single sentence (less, in fact) how should I regard the rest?

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