Category: News Media (page 1 of 1)

Movie Night: Born Yesterday


Four.5.Stars

From 1950, it’s the wonderful Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford, William Holden gem, Born Yesterday. (No, not that 1993 crapfest of the same name … how dare they try to “improve” on Judy and Broderick with —gasp— Melanie Griffith, John Goodman, and Don Johnson!)

The « synopsis » of the original, best Born Yesterday, is, per The Movie Database (TMDb):

“Uncouth, loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock descends upon Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two, bringing with him his mistress, ex-showgirl Billie Dawn.”

TMDb

IMDb has a « a shorter and poorer way of putting it »:

“A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette, with unexpected results.”

IMDb

Born Yesterday is pretty fabulous and much, much more that those paltry synopses reveal. Or it is at least until it sinks in to today’s audience that it’s just as fresh and applicable today (especially today!) as it was in 1950. In that year, the movie warned against the unAmerican activiteis of the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, which ultimately wrecked many lives, but failed, while today it pointedly shows that Broderick Crawford’s Harry Brock is in charge of the country, the Senate, and the judiciary and is sitting in the White House rage-tweeting.

In fact, the current ugly age of our country is the alternate ending to Born Yesterday with Judy Holliday silenced, threatened with death and manblamed and William Holden dead or emasculated while Harry Brock gleefully and dementedly flies around destroying the country.

Just as an aside: How much influence did the flying circus that was HUAC have over the 50s? Here’s some tidbits from the era, because what was going on with HUAC deserves some attention:

“TEACHER FIRED
“San Mateo, Nov. 17—Thomas D. Hardwick, Burlingame high school journalism teacher, has been fired from his job for refusing to sign the state’s new loyalty oath.”

San Mateo Times, Nov. 17, 1950

And still this stuff was going on 7 years later. This time, the human toll of stamping out ghostly “un-American activities” is more fully highlighted, especially the ordeal of teacher Hardwick, who had to become a factory worker to survive:

“SAN FRANCISCO UPI – Cameras continued to focus today on the House un-American activities committee hearing despite House Speaker Sam Rayburn’s flat announcement in Washington there would be no more television broadcasts. Chairman Francis Walter (D.-Penn.) of the subcommittee shrugged his shoulders and threw up his hands when asked about Rayburn’s announcement. And the TV cameras continued to grind away.

San Mateo Times

“SAN FRANCISCO UPI – Congressmen turned from teachers to other professions today in an un-American activities inquiry already marked by the suicide of a subpoenaed Stanford Scientist and suspension of a radio broadcaster from his job for refusing to testify. A Richmond factory worker who taught in Burlingame High school seven years ago was a reluctant witness yesterday before the House sub-committee on Un-American activities.
“But he had a quick reply when asked about the testimony of another witness that he had been a Communist. Thomas Hardwick, 49, declined to answer when asked if he was aware from 1946 up to the present day of a secret Communist group in San Francisco and elsewhere known as the “Professional Cell.” Hardwick said he believed the question was “in an area where Congress is forbidden to legislate” under the First (free press and speech) and the Fifth (self-incrimination) amendments.
“Hardwick was dismissed m 1950 from the Burlingame High school faculty for refusing to sign a loyalty oath.
“Yesterday’s reluctant witnesses included a San Francisco radio broadcaster, Louis Hartman, 42, also known as Jim Grady, and a television and radio engineer. Hartman, a free lance man on radio station KCBS, refused to answer when asked whether there was a Communist Party professional cell active at Berkeley.

San Mateo Times | Thursday, June 20, 1957

But I digress (but only a little bit): New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther « loved Judy Holliday and the movie, and used Broderick Crawford’s performance to sound a warning that is incredibly prescient about our current political predicament »:

“Just in time to make itself evident as one of the best pictures of this fading year is Columbia’s trenchant screen version of the stage play, “Born Yesterday.” More firm in its social implications than ever it was on the stage and blessed with a priceless performance by rocketing Judy Holliday, this beautifully integrated compound of character study and farce made a resounding entry at the Victoria yesterday.

“On the strength of this one appearance, there is no doubt that Miss Holliday will leap into popularity as a leading American movie star—a spot to which she was predestined by her previous minor triumph in “Adam’s Rib” as the tender young lady from Brooklyn who shot her husband (and stole the show). For there isn’t the slightest question that Miss Holiday brings to the screen a talent for characterization that is as sweetly refreshing as it is rare.

“Playing the wondrous ignoramus that she created on the stage—the lady to whom her crude companion rather lightly refers as a “dumb broad” this marvelously clever young actress so richly conveys the attitudes and the vocal intonations of a native of the sidewalks of New York that it is art. More than that, she illuminates so brightly the elemental wit and honesty of her blankly unlettered young lady that she puts pathos and respect into the role.

“But it must be said in the next breath that Miss Holliday doesn’t steal this show—at least, not without a major tussle—for there is a lot of show here to steal. Not only has the original stage play of Garson Kanin been preserved by Screenwriter Albert Mannheimer in all of its flavorsome detail—and that, we might add, is a triumph of candor and real adapting skill—but George Cukor has directed with regard for both the humor and the moral. And Broderick Crawford has contributed a performance as the merchant of junk who would build himself up as a tycoon that fairly makes the hair stand on end.

“Where this role was given some humor and even sympathy on the stage, in the memorable performance of Paul Douglas, Mr. Crawford endows it with such sting—such evident evil, corruption, cruelty and arrogance—that there is nothing amusing or appealing about this willful, brutish man. He is, indeed, a formidable symbol of the menace of acquisitive power and greed against which democratic peoples must always be alert. And that’s why his thorough comeuppance, contrived by his newly enlightened “broad” amid the monuments of serene and beautiful Washington, is so winning and wonderful. In short, a more serious connotation has been given the role on the screen and Mr. Crawford plays it in a brilliantly cold and forceful style.”

The New York Times

“He is, indeed, a formidable symbol of the menace of acquisitive power and greed against which democratic peoples must always be alert.” A perfect description of Born Yesterday‘s villain … and Donald Trump both.

At any rate, I highly recommend this one. I took off half a star for the flag-waving, O Beautiful, misty-eyed crap here and there; but it actually doesn’t detract much, it just points out how much we’ve lost.

The Associated Press review « isn’t much of a review, but notes the movie’s success »::

“Born Yesterday,” another Academy entry, was previewed before the usual starstudded audience this week. It is a faithful adaptation of the Garson Kanin play about the junk dealer’s babe who gets educated by a newspaperman. The story should be familiar to a large segment of the public by now and it is enhanced by some scenes of Washington landmarks. The show comes off as one of the best comedies in recent seasons. This is largely due to a sparkling portrayal of Judy Holliday as the dumb blonde. She is wonderfully funny. Only drawback is that her lines are sometimes inaudible. Broderick Crawford plays the junk man with full voice all the way and William Holden is a quietly competent view of the newspaperman.”

Bob Thomas, the Associated Press

Born Yesterday Lobby Card
Another Lobby Card

Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford and William Holden … stickin’ it to the Man.

Best quotes:

Paul: A world full of ignorant people is too dangerous to live in.

Born Yesterday

Billie Dawn: He always used to say, “Never do nothing you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of The New York Times.”

Ibid

Harry Brock: What’s a peninsula?
Billie Dawn: Shhhh.
Harry Brock: Don’t gimme that “shush.” You think you’re so smart, huh – what’s a peninsula?
Paul Verrall: It’s a…
Harry Brock: Not you, her.
Billie Dawn: It’s that new medicine…

Ibid

Billie: Because when ya steal from the government, you’re stealing from yourself, ya dumb ox.

Ibid

Congressman Norval Hedges: I said to Sam only last week this country will soon to have to decide if the people are going to run the government, or the government is going to run the people.

Ibid

Harry Brock: WHAT’S GOIN’ ON AROUND HERE?
Jim Devery: A revolution.

Ibid

Harry Brock: How d’ya like that! He could’ve had a hundred grand. She could’ve had me. Both wind up with nothin’… Dumb chump!… Crazy broad!
Jim Devery: [raises a glass as a toast] To all the dumb chumps and all the crazy broads, past, present, and future, who thirst for knowledge and search for truth… who fight for justice and civilize each other… and make it so tough for crooks like you…
[Harry stares at him angrily]
Jim Devery: …and me.

Ibid

Harry Brock: Shut up! You ain’t gonna be tellin’ nobody nothin’ pretty soon!
Billie Dawn: DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Right?
Paul Verrall: Right.

Ibid

Billie: Would you do me a favor, Harry?
Harry Brock: What?
Billie: Drop dead!

Ibid

Four.5.Stars

Born Yesterday. 1950. TCM. English. George Cukor (d). Garson Kanin, Albert Mannheimer (w). Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford, William Holden, Howard St. John, Frank Otto, Larry Oliver, Barbara Brown, Grandon Rhodes, Claire Carleton. (p). Friedrich Hollaender (m). Joseph Walker (c).


What We Hath Wrought

The Beeb is reporting that « Turkey and its allies are (“allegedly”) committing war crimes, especially against Kurdish women » in Syria:

“Turkish-backed forces fighting Kurdish militias in north-east Syria have been accused of committing war crimes, with acts of brutality surfacing on mobile phone footage.

“The UN has warned that Turkey could be held responsible for the actions of its allies, while Turkey has promised to investigate.

“Bearded men shout ‘Allahu Akbar [God is the Greatest]’. One captures the scene on his smartphone and says: ‘We are mujahedeen [holy warriors] from Faylaq Al-Majd [Glory Corps] battalion.’ In the background are the corpses of Kurdish fighters.

“Further away, a group of men plant their feet on a woman’s bloodied body. One says she is a ‘whore’.

‘The gruesome footage is much like that produced by the ultra-violent Islamic State (IS) group.

“Yet the men in this video are not IS militants, but rather fighters for a rebel alliance known as the Syrian National Army, trained, equipped and paid for by a Nato member, Turkey. They are under the command of the Turkish army.

‘The video was filmed on 21 October in northern Syria. The woman beneath the fighters’ feet is Amara Renas, a member of an all-woman unit of Kurdish fighters, the YPJ, a force that played a significant role in defeating IS in Syria.

BBC

Notice how the BBC calls the video “brutal” and “gruesome,” words which are not in quotes or alleged. The video is not allegedly brutal and gruesome, it IS brutal and gruesome, says the BBC. Yet they get nervous about calling Turkish jihadist allies war criminals, even though the crimes are very much graphically shown in the brutal, gruesome video.

More importantly than all this, these war crimes are being committed against Kurdish women fighters specifically, and against our Kurdish allies generally. After the mobster-in-chief in the White House unleashed all this.

Not only should he and his administration be impeached and removed for high crimes and misdemeanors, he should also be held personally responsible for these war crimes. Impeachment is certain, but removal is unlikely, and seeing him tried for war crimes is a fantasy.

After all, the last time we had a chief executive who unleashed war crimes (remember Abu Graib anyone?), nothing happened. That president is just sitting around painting pictures of hot dogs while lolling in his bathtub.

Still, there is value in keeping a chronicle of crimes and never forgetting them. This current stain on a house that is never free of stains in some form needs to be remembered and prevented. And we should all start using quotes when referring to executive mansion: The “White” House has been various shades of blood red from its inception.

RIP Amara Renas and all the other unknown women and men and children who fought on our behalf as well as their own. May you haunt our collective memory forever.

Movie Night: The Big Clock


Five Stars!

From 1948: That fabulous film noir, The Big Clock with Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester and Harry Morgan.

The « synopsis »:

“Stroud, a crime magazine’s crusading editor, has to postpone a vacation with his wife (again) when a glamorous blonde is murdered and he is assigned by his publishing boss Janoth to find the killer. As the investigation proceeds to its conclusion, Stroud must try to disrupt his ordinarily brilliant investigative team as they increasingly build evidence (albeit wrong) that he is the killer.”

TMDb

IMDb, (which is, as I always say, one of the many tentacles of the suffocating Amazonia totalitarian state in which we live), has «a slightly different way of putting it»:

“When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man whose identity he doesn’t know but who just happens to have contact with the murder victim. That man is a close associate on his magazine whom he enlists to trap this ‘killer’ — George Stroud. It’s up to George to continue to ‘help’ Janoth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janoth’s guilt.”

IMDb

The New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther was « impressed and urged people to see it and pay close attention »:

“… For this is a dandy clue-chaser of the modern chromium-plated type, but it is also an entertainment which requires close attention from the start.

“Actually, in the manner of the best detective fiction these days, it isn’t a stiff and stark whodunit activated around some stalking cop. Nary a wise-guy policeman clutters up the death-room or the clues. As a matter of fact, the policemen are not called in until the end. And the fellow who does the murder is known by the audience all along.

“He’s a dynamic publishing magnate, ruler of a realm of magazines and a double-dyed rogue who runs his business on the split-tick of a huge electric clock. In a mad, jealous moment, he kills his sweetie, a not very temperate young thing, and then calls upon the cagey editor of his crime magazine to find the man. Two circumstances make this ticklish. The clues have been rigged to make it look as though the murderer were another fellow. And the other fellow is—the editor.

“Out of this cozy situation of a guy trying to square himself, even though he is thoroughly innocent and knows perfectly who the murderer is, Scriptwriter Jonathan Latimer and Director John Farrow have fetched a film which is fast-moving, humorous, atmospheric and cumulative of suspense. No doubt there are holes in the fabric—even a rip or two, perhaps—and the really precision-minded are likely to spot them the first time around. But the plot moves so rapidly over them and provides such absorbing by-play that this not-too-gullible observer can’t precisely put his finger upon one. (That’s why we urge your close attention—just to see if there is anything to catch.)

“As the self-protection clue-collector, Ray Milland does a beautiful job of being a well-tailored smoothie and a desperate hunted man at the same time. Charles Laughton is characteristically odious as the sadistic publisher and George Macready is sleek as his henchman, while Maureen O’Sullivan is sweet as Ray’s nice wife. Exceptional, however, are several people who play small but electric character roles: Elsa Lanchester as a crack-pot painter and Douglas Spencer as a barman, best of all. Miss Lanchester is truly delicious with her mad pace and her wild, eccentric laugh.”

The New York Times

It is, indeed, a wonderful picture and Charles Laughton and his wife Elsa Lanchester are fabulous.


The Big Clock (1948) Lobby Card
The Big Clock (1948) Lobby Card

The Big Clock (1948) Stolen from Burt's Place
The Big Clock (1948) Stolen from Burt’s Place

Best quotes:

Earl Janoth: [talking on intercom to Steve Hagen] “On the fourth floor – in the broom closet – a bulb has been burning for several days. Find the man responsible, dock his pay.”

The Big Clock

Louise Patterson: [after George Stroud outbids her for a picture] “Isn’t it a pity… the wrong people always have money.”

Don Klausmeyer: “I’m Don Klausmeyer, from Artways magazine.”
Louise Patterson: “Yes. [giggles] Oh, yes. Didn’t you review my show in ’41?”
Don Klausmeyer: “I think I did.”
Louise Patterson: “Oh, come in, Mr. Klausmann.”
Don Klausmeyer: “KlausMEYER.”
Louise Patterson: [laughs gleefully] “I’ve been planning to kill you for years.”
Don Klausmeyer: “Our organization, the Janoth Publications, is trying to find someone, possibly a collector of your pictures.”
Louise Patterson: “So have I for fifteen years.”

IBID

Pauline York: “You know, Earl has a passion for obscurity. He won’t even have his biography in ‘Who’s Who’.”
George Stroud: “Sure. He doesn’t want to let his left hand know whose pocket the right one is picking.”

IBID

George Stroud: “You’re the only blonde in my life.”
Georgette Stroud: “I’m a brunette.”
George Stroud: “And you’re the only brunette too.”

IBID

Five Stars!

The Big Clock. 1948. TCM. English. John Farrow (d). Kenneth Fearing, Jonathan Latimer, Harold Goldman (w). Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Sullivan, George Macready, Rita Johnson, Elsa Lanchester, Harold Vermilyea, Dan Tobin, Harry Morgan, Richard Webb, Elaine Riley, Frank Orth, Lloyd Corrigan, Theresa Harris. (p). Victor Young (m). Daniel L. Fapp, John F. Seitz (c).


Movie Night: Desk Set

["Curfew shall not ring tonight!" Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Desk Set. A RomCom about 30somethings played by 50somethings falling in love under the benevolent gaze of EMERAC.]

4 ¾ Stars!

From 1957: «Desk Set», my personal favorite among the nine Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy films. Not only is it hilarious, it has fabulous midcentury (ugh, that word) interiors, jokes only librarian/book/research nerds understand, an awesome supporting cast including EMERAC and Kate gets to get blotto and talk about the “Mexican Avenue Bus” (the Lexington Avenue Bus, that is).

The synopsis:

“A computer expert tries to prove his electronic brain can replace a television network’s research staff.” TMDb

TMDb

I’m beginning to think The MovieDb folks need better synopsis writers.

Movie Metropolis‘ James Plath «wrote this review» in 2013:

“Desk Set catches them 15 years into their affair and 10 years before Tracy’s death. You can sense their level of comfort with each other—something that actually works against them in a romantic comedy in which opposites and antagonists are supposed to eventually attract. Tracy plays Mr. Sumner, an efficiency expert hired by the Federal Broadcasting Company to find departments in which his new-fangled computers (the size of a room, by the way) might save work-hours. Hepburn is Bunny Watson, who runs the research department rather than the always-absent boss (Gig Young) with whom she’s been having a seven-year relationship … waiting for a ring and running out of patience. … “The formula is pretty basic, but it’s the characters (and the actors) that make “Desk Set” fun to watch. It might also be one of the best films to document those legendary wild office parties from the ‘50s and ‘60s, with everyone imbibing so much Christmas cheer that they all start to get a bit of a Rudolph nose. “Desk Set” weaves machines vs. humans and gender-role themes into a pleasant battle-of-the-sexes film that feels more leisurely than most gender bender scripts that come out of Hollywood. This adapted screenplay, interestingly enough, comes from the pens of Henry and Phoebe Ephron, whose daughter, Nora, would receive Oscar nominations for her own work (“Silkwood,” When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle”). The script gives Tracy and Hepburn just enough to work with, and whatever charm that “Desk Set” has comes from the two stars and their interaction with each other and a decent supporting cast. Joan Blondell is particularly funny as Bunny’s sometimes abrasive co-worker, with Dina Merrill and Sue Randall also cutting up in the research department.”

James Plath, Movie Metropolis

Joan Blondell is fabulous as always and the film marks an appearance by Sue Randall, who would later play Beaver’s teacher on Leave It to Beaver. Neva Patterson is awesomely uptight and Dina Merrill is far too glamorous to be a research assistant, but it works. The would-be pairing of Gig Young and Katharine Hepburn is a bit far-fetched, and both Kate and Spencer seemed just a little long in the tooth for a RomCom, but those are quibbles. It works and works raucously well.

A short bit about a rainstorm and a guy from legal and his wife, kids and mother-in-law is hilarious and reminds you of I Love Lucy. But the best bit is a silent one by Ida Moore, an unnamed “Old Lady” who wanders in from time-to-time, checking out a book or enjoying the spiked punch at the office Christmas party. Supposedly, she was, way back in the day, the original model for the giant sculpture which is Federal’s logo, and she has had the run of the place ever since. Ida Moore does this with such aplomb and excellence that even Kate seems to be in her shade.


Best quotes:

Besides the “Mexican Avenue Bus,” there are many great lines/bits:

Bunny Watson: “Have some tequila, Peg.”

Peg Costello: “I don’t think I should. There are 85 calories in a glass of champagne.”

Bunny Watson: “I have a little place in my neighborhood where I can get it for 65.”

Desk Set

Richard Sumner: “Hello? Santa Claus’s reindeer? Uh, why yes I can… let’s see, there’s Dopey, Sneezy, Grouchy, Happy, Sleepy, uh Rudolph, and Blitzen! You’re welcome!”

Ibid

Bunny Watson: “Just for kicks. You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to. I mean, don’t dwell on the question, but I warn you there’s a trick in it: If six Chinamen get off a train at Las Vegas, and two of them are found floating face down in a goldfish bowl, and the only thing they can find to identify them are two telephone numbers – one, Plaza Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh, and the other, Columbus Oh-1492 – what time did the train get to Palm Springs?”

Richard Sumner: “Nine o’clock.”

Bunny Watson: “Now, would you mind telling me how you happened to get that?”

Richard Sumner: “Well, there are eleven letters in Palm Springs. You take away two Chinamen, that leaves nine.”

Bunny Watson: “You’re a sketch, Mr. Sumner.”

Richard Sumner: “You’re not so bad yourself.”

Ibid

Bunny Watson: “I don’t smoke, I only drink champagne when I’m lucky enough to get it, my hair is naturally natural, I live alone… and so do you.”

Richard Sumner: “How do you know that?”

Bunny Watson: “Because you’re wearing one brown sock and one black sock.”

Ibid

And of course my personal favorite, Curfew Shall Not a-Ring Tonight!:

Richard Sumner: [Watching the computer result on “Corfu”, which is mistaken as “curfew”] What the devil is this?

Bunny Watson: [Also having a look] It’s the poem, “Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight.” Isn’t that nice? [reciting] “Cromwell will not come till sunset, and her lips grew strangely white… as she breathed the husky whisper, curfew must not a-ring tonight.”

Miss Warriner: [while Bunny goes on] Mr. Sumner, what can I do?

Richard Sumner: Nothing. You know you can’t interrupt her [the computer] in the middle of a sequence.

Miss Warriner: Yes, but, Mr. Sumner…

Richard Sumner: Quiet! Just listen.

Bunny Watson: “She had listened while the judges read, without a tear or sigh, at the ringing of the curfew, Basil Underwood must die.”

Richard Sumner: Uh, how long does this go on?

Bunny Watson: That old poem has about 80 stanzas to it.

Richard Sumner: Where are we now?

Bunny Watson: “She has reached the topmost ladder. O’er her hangs the great dark bell, awful is the gloom beneath her like the pathway down to hell. Lo, the ponderous tongue is swinging. ‘Tis the hour of curfew now, and the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath and paled her brow.”

[telephone rings]

Bunny Watson: “Shall she let it ring? No, never! Flash her eyes with sudden light, as she springs and grasps it firmly…

[answers the phone]

Bunny Watson: …curfew shall not ring tonight!”

[audible click]

Bunny Watson: They hung up. And I know another one! “Out she swung, far out, the city seemed a speck of light…”

Ibid

My rating: 4 3/4 stars for, ironically, casting.

Desk Set. 1957. TCM. English. Walter Lang (d); Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron, William Marchant (w) Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill, Sue Randall, Neva Patterson, Henry Ellerbe, Nicholas Joy, Diane Jergens, Merry Anders, Ida Moore, Rachel Stephens, Don Porter, Sammy Ogg (p). Cyril J. Mockridge (m). Leon Shamroy (c).


Corporate Power

Is corporate power absolute yet? Or just overwhelming? Maybe … it’s just … mestastizing? There’s a fascinating documentary over at Deutsche Welle:

“The Wallonia region in Belgium triggered a Europe-wide crisis in the fall of 2016 by refusing to sign the CETA free trade agreement with Canada, as millions of EU citizens took to the streets to protest against the agreement. The CETA negotiations had turned the spotlight on the system of private arbitration courts. … Many states whose sovereignty is threatened are now finally waking up to the danger. But is it perhaps already too late to do anything about the seemingly over-mighty corporations?”

Deutsche Welle

Every Building

I’ve always loved maps and could spend hours poring over them. From the old gas station maps at my father’s Malco station in Roswell to Google Earth, there’s always something fascinating in maps and data and all that.

The New York Times recently posted«a map of every building in America» and it’s worth many hours of your time. Awesome stuff! Have a look.

“On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States. Why did we make such a thing? We did it as an opportunity for you to connect with the country’s cities and explore them in detail. To find the familiar, and to discover the unfamiliar. So … look. Every black speck on the map below is a building, reflecting the built legacy of the United States.”

Golden stuff for map/data nerds like me.

Squeezed to Death

If you have to evacuate an airliner in a hurry, can you get out of your extremely cramped seat and row fast enough? Probably not. And then you have to dodge all the idiots trying to save all their luggage and personal electronic devices at glacial paces.

But it’s the ever-shrinking seat and row size that will probably be the deadliest problem if there’s a problem with the over-stuffed aluminum tube in which you’re squeezed because most of the country is too damn cheap to pay more than $29 to get from Dubuque to Miami. « At least one editorial » (which was probably ignored and forgotten faster than that flight took to get from Dubuque to Miami) sounded an alarm:

“Given how passengers have grown in inverse proportion to the spaciousness of airliner seats, anything like ‘expeditious’ evacuation of an entire airliner seems doubtful. … Under such constraints, can today’s jets be evacuated in the 90 seconds mandated by the F.A.A.? Not according to passenger advocacy groups like Flyers Rights, which has repeatedly and unsuccessfully petitioned the F.A.A. to use its rule-making authority to stop airlines from shrinking seats and passenger space. Not according to Representatives Peter DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon, and Rick Larsen, Democrat of Washington, who have asked the Transportation Department’s inspector general to investigate F.A.A. safety standards that haven’t been updated in decades. Incredibly, it will require an act of Congress to ensure that the F.A.A. does something, because the agency has denied that seat sizes and body mass index are factors in emergencies. The agency has even denied that it has the authority to regulate airliner seat size.”

The New York Times

As always in this country, it will take a massive tragedy and lots of unnecessarily burned/maimed/dead people before we do something about this. Pity.

The Conscience Stirs

A gem I wrote on FB on 28-Feb-2010:

“My Facebook account is being deleted (allegedly) as of this morning. It takes 14 days for the deletion to go through, during which time they beg and plead for you to come back (mainly by trying to guilt trip you: “Your friend, John X, will miss you!”) and sending you spam begging for your presence on their totally messed up, nonsensical, aggravating, unsafe, unsecure, grossly indecent to privacy site, with its hideous navigation, crippled by the company’s inability to comprehend basic navigability and usability and its stuffed-up with San Francisco-centric IT/corporate culture snobbery permanently sticking its cube dwellers behind an impregnable wall which protects them from actually having to communicate with their users.

“Yeah, all that: gone. And I feel good. So very much better. Didn’t need the aggravation. Didn’t need to deal with the kind of things I dealt with working in San Francisco in that environment myself. Didn’t need to justify my life to distant people with political agendas.

“It was nice to hear from and reconnect (briefly) with high school friends/acquaintances. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in real life, away from that god-awful FB interface. But the rest of it … no, don’t need it.

“Relief. Sweet.”
________________

28-Feb-10, Author

Fast forward to eight-and-a-half years later: I still stand behind my rant from 2010. And am half tempted to repeat the experience.

I originally joined Facebook in 2004, when only college students in certain schools could do so. It was really supposed to just hook up various combinations of random, mostly romantic, relationships for college students. It was a hook up site, plain and simple. It was designed to get you a returned phone call, a date, and hopefully, ultimately get you laid. Sorry, but that’s what it was.

I was in grad school at Michigan, an approved school, and had an .edu email address, which was required, so I could sign up. Seemed like a good idea, although I was not interested in hook up apps or college culture, just cutting edge tech and if it could be used in the classroom.

But. The way this thing has developed since 2004 from a hookup site/innovative curiousity into a force of nature which does only one good thing (makes it somewhat easy for you to keep up with far-flung friends and family) and many, many, many, very many, very bad things.

It rips into your brain, vacuums up any and every thing about you and then commodifies and monetizes the pieces that make up “you” billions of times over. This makes a few people incredibly wealthy. It leaves the rest of us stripped naked of our identities and essences, our food/clothing/shelter choices, our deepest thoughts and most superficial desires.

Worst, it is a force combined with others like it that has this century turned the country from a publicly accountable democracy into a privatized unimpeachable corporate kleptocracy. And what that new sociopolitical system does best is steal us from us and fence us on a black market, allow lying demagogues to assume power and distort the meaning of truth in our universe.

I pretty much wish I had remained disconnected from FB while also being innovative enough to stay connected to the real people in my life without Facebook’s corrupting middle man kleptocracy. I sense that there is another housecleaning coming; my involvement will need to be further curtailed. I’m thinking of what we can do next … there are far better possibilities, surely, than this unholy mess of greed and venality.

Now don’t even get me started about Twitter …

A Final “Hangin’ Out the Warsh”

«This is Bill’s final column» out of countless ones he wrote over 71 years for the Falls City Journal.

With this column, he said farewell; the Journal has been sold and moved to a much smaller space in downtown Falls City which it had occupied until 1950.

It’s all extremely symbolic of the state of small-town journalism in the wayward America of the 21st century.

He wrote about one memory that I can personally relate to very much from my time at the Duncan Banner:

“A man came into the office and was pondering over the counter. Finally, he said, ‘I guess I’ll keep on another year. It ain’t the best paper in the world, but it is something to read.’ Another time a man brought an ad in for placement in the Journal and when he was told the price he said, ‘The old man gave me a better price.’ The clerk said, ‘Who’s the old man?’ He said ‘Bill Schock.'”

Falls City Journal

Shuttling Between Failures


Turning Sows’ Ears into Silk Purses

This one truth we know: 2017 was disastrous on many levels, including in commercial aviation. Airline corporate boards’ are ever ramping up on their war on passengers, pilots and cabin crew. But there was a very tiny yet significant bright spot noted in The Washington Post and elsewhere: « 2017 was the first year since the advent of passenger air travel that no one died in a commercial airline accident ».

“The Aviation Safety Network estimated there were nearly 37 million flights in 2017, more than any year in history, meaning that aircraft mishaps are declining even as the number of flights continues to rise. The last commercial jet airline crash in which more than 100 people were killed was Oct. 31, 2015, when 224 lives were lost after a flight from Russia broke apart in Egypt. The ASN, which tracks crashes using different metrics from those to70 uses, showed 10 recorded crashes involving small propeller planes and cargo aircraft, killing 44 passengers and 35 people on the ground in 2017. In 2016, the group counted 16 accidents with 303 dead.”
—The Washington Post, 2-Jan-18

But in true 2017-was-an-asshole form, even that tiny bright spot was tarnished when the Personality-in-Chief who shuttles between golf courses and Pennsylvania Avenue on a pimped-out Boeing 747 at considerable taxpayer expense, took credit for last year’s remarkable airline safety record. Urk.

For the Golfer-in-Chief to take credit for this is beyond offensive and insensitive and a lie. It blackens the names of people like Eastern 304’s Grant Newby and Braniff 250’s Don Pauley and Jim Hilliker and Ruth and Mitchell Kuhr and USAirways 1549’s Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles and those dead and injured on Southern 242 and Delta 191 and Air Florida 90, plus all the CAB/NTSB investigators, FAA enforcers and weather experts like Dr. Ted Fujita and Dr. Fernando Caracena … and on and on. And especially all the flight crews who thousands of times a day implement what was learned in the past and get us safely to Lawton and Houston and Milwaukee and Paris and Hong Kong and Lagos.

Let’s be clear: The Ego-in-Chief had absolutely nothing to do with the absence of death on the airways last year. And it was a slap in the face and highly offensive to the memories of all the people who died and all the people who worked so hard to prevent future recurrences. Their great sacrifices are the real reason why we can fly from Dubuque to Fort Myers … Without. Dying. In. A. Plane. Crash. Now you are admittedly shoved into a tiny space with little air and subject to appalling treatment, but you are more likely to be killed by being beaten up by rogue security forces (or being shot by a toddler with Granny’s gun) than you are from Dying. In. A. Plane. Crash. Airlines, airports, police and corporate boards have much work to do on the ground to equal the safety record in the air.

In fact, the record of the former deadbeat owner of the “Trump Shuttle” is pretty clearly the opposite of admirable airline operation, safety and responsibility. The Boston Globe did « a very through review in 2016 » of how the pioneering Eastern Airlines Shuttle was destroyed by Frank Lorenzo and the man who appears to be the current incarnation of P.T. Barnum.

These two Vandals have the same egos and desire to destroy, but Lorenzo actually had some brains to carry it out. Unlike his business partner.

The story is sordid and long, but the details were made clear by Matt Viser’s excellent Globe piece. To wit: Lorenzo sold the Donald the Eastern Shuttle for an overvalued $365 million (if DT had created a brand-new shuttle from the ground up with brand-new planes, not old worn-out 727s, estimates were that he could have done it for $300 million.) Of course, the money was all borrowed. It was 1989; Eastern (and Continental) were already almost dead from Lorenzo’s sledgehammer and the economy was tanking. Pan Am 103 was bombed, the first Gulf War was about to begin. It was incredibly bad judgement to overpay a bunch of other peoples’ money for something that was guaranteed to tank.

The now-decades-old D.T. playbook was followed from the beginning. D.T. started his airline foray by … snarking about Pan American, which had put in more hard work and suffering and pioneering effort into air travel than D.T. would ever be capable of mustering:

“He suggested Pan Am’s flights were unsafe, that the company was strapped for cash and couldn’t spend as much to maintain planes as Trump Shuttle.”
—The Boston Globe, 27-May-16

And, heavy foreshadowing here, true professionals expressed their disgust over his statement, which, both then and now, is like pissing in the wind:

“We said, ‘Donald, don’t ever do that again,'” recalled Henry Harteveldt, who was the company’s marketing director. “It was wrong. We had no proof to back that up. And there’s an unwritten rule in the airline business that you don’t attack someone else’s safety record. There but for the grace of God go I.”
—Ibid

In other words, D.T. (and countless weak attempts to contain his insanity) has never changed. He was just given 21st century tools to broadcast his uninformed and misguided vitriol to a wider audience, i.e. Twitter. And this time, he has nuclear annihilation capabilities instead of a piddly little failing airline.

But back to 1989. As Harteveldt stated, “There but for the grace of God go I.” The Shuttle was pretty crappy safety-wise from the beginning, and he did nothing to improve it, partly because he had zero aviation experience. The grace of God was apparently withdrawn:

“And Trump’s unfounded remarks about Pan Am safety? They almost immediately came back to bite him. Trump’s own airline was struck by a near-tragedy within its first three months, when the nose gear failed on one of his jets and forced a crash landing at Logan.”
—Ibid

As is noted, investigators found the nose gear failure cause: A “mechanic had used the wrong part in the gear mechanism, and it eventually disintegrated and locked the gear in place,” a safety failure that had happened under Lorenzo’s watch.

“Trump — who weeks earlier had made claims that he would send all of his own planes through X-rays to make sure they were safe — turned on the TV and watched as CNN showed a Trump Shuttle flight circling the air. “After several attempts to jar the nose gear loose, and after circling around to burn fuel, the pilot landed on the back two wheels, slowing the plane down as much as possible before lowering the nose of the plane onto the runway.”
—Ibid

He then flew up to Boston on a Trump Shuttle flight. Hilariously tragic: He “was kind of a nervous flier” and asked one of his airline executives, “Is this thing safe?” I can’t think of a more perfect illustration of his public-huckster/private-doofus personality … and oh, the foreshadowing!

Once in Boston, he praised the “maestro” pilot who sucessfully landed the flight, Robert Smith. And in another bit of foreshadowing, Smith loved D.T. right back:

“The ‘maestro’ that day, pilot Robert Smith, said Trump had been advised not to come up — so as not to draw attention to the crash — but Trump disregarded it. “He was very happy with the crew,” said Smith, who after decades in the airline industry called Trump “the best boss I’ve ever had.” “And I think he was very happy with the exposure he got that day. He handled it beautifully.”
—Ibid

I smell Stockholm Syndrome and future Trumpista voters; you know, the ones who voted for him but who will bear the full brunt of his destructive con. But I digress. I love the followup to “He handled it beautifully”:

“One of the passengers on that flight — who recalls sliding out the aircraft and into a pile of foam — was Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush and his super PAC to try to defeat Trump. “Afterward,” he said, “all I got was a form letter and a drink coupon.”
—Ibid

While Murphy is, like myself, biased against him (or rather his con jobs and inability to grasp reality), facts are facts. A drink coupon for an emergency evac is hardly handling things “beautifully.”

In fact, his own marketing executive at the Shuttle summed up this “beautifully handled” situation:

“‘He certainly was a man known for his bravado. He promised people a diamond in the sky when we had 21 of some of the oldest, worst maintained 727s then flying,’ said Harteveldt, the marketing director. ‘He’s giving a press conference promising a diamond in the sky. I’m saying, “You may have to settle for cubic zirconium to start.””
—Ibid

Perhaps if he had “x-rayed” (!) all those 727s and found the gear part problem the whole situation would not have had to be “beautifully managed” in the first place.

Ultimately, the shuttle was “successful enough to cover operating costs but not enough to pay down the debt.” Meanwhile, D.T. was divorcing his wife and marrying his mistress, something which happened twice, but does not bother the opportunistic evangelicals flitting around his head. But I digress.

After just 12 months, he fired an executive (who had insisted that the 727 needs two pilots and a flight engineer, even though D.T. wanted to fly them with just two pilots to save money) and laid off 100 employees. After 18 months, the shuttle lost $128 million dollars. After 30 months, he golden parachuted out:

“In late 1991, about 2½ years after Trump had purchased the airline, Trump gave up control of his prize in order to get out from a pile of debt. As part of the deal, Trump was no longer responsible for some $245 million in loans left on the shuttle airline. In addition, out of the $135 million that Trump had personally guaranteed, at least $100 million was forgiven, according to news reports at the time.”
—Ibid

Absolved from $245 million in loans and welshing on $100 million which he had “personally guaranteed.” He was out only $35 million while banks and others were left holding the bag. Said he: “I felt successful. The market had crashed. I didn’t lose anything. It was a good thing,” he said.

A very good thing for him indeed. The human wreckage he left? Not so much.

Apologies to The Globe and Matt Viser for so extensively quoting from the article, but it needs rebroadcasting to as many people as possible. Kudos.

But instead of focusing on D.T.’s usual nonsense, we should focus on remembering and honoring the memory of the thousands of casualties and millions of worrkers who made 2017 the safest commercial aviation year in history. May 2018 continue the trend.

[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Rob Potter via Unsplash]

They Don’t Like the New ‘America First’ As Much As They Did the Lindbergh Version


Deutsche Welle reports that “a new survey published by German public broadcaster ARD shows Germans trust Russia more than the US.” Or to be specific: “28 percent of respondents felt Moscow was a reliable partner, compared to 25 percent for Washington …. More than 90 percent said Paris was a reliable partner, while more than 60 percent said Britain …”

So let’s see if I’ve got this. Germany, a country in which there are still many women alive who were raped by invading Russian Red Army soldiers and in which the human products of those rapes are still living, now trust … Russia more than the United States.

Yes, I hear you. I too am sick of all the Winning and Greatness we have achieved Again.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 3-Dec-17


Globaloneyism?

What we learned this week:

• The wheels of justice grind very, very slow, but they are grinding towards folks who allegedly but probably committed treason against the country, but who will almost certainly not do jail time, much less pay the ultimate penalty historically paid by traitors.

• Speaking of future criminals, perhaps they might wish to take instruction from the example of Slobodan Praljak.

• Terry Crews can tell you that it is currently acceptable to be a sexual assault victim … unless you’re a black male. Then people adopt a “meh” attitude. I.e., #MeToo is quite trendy at the moment, but is likely to become passé rather quickly.

• Gronk probably needs to be reined in and it’s probably already too late.

• Life is about to get particularly hellish; CVS is buying Aetna and Disney is buying (part) of Fox. Also, Congress’ War on Everyone Except Their Donors is nearing one of its biggest successes of the last 40 years.

• A would-be blacksmith saw a show on tv that instructed him how to make something weapon-ish, which undoubtedly included a post-ironic “don’t try this at home” small print warning; he then tried that at home, burning down three downtown blocks of buildings in a town near Albany, NY.

• Alabamians (whether it’s a majority of them will be seen on 12-Dec) have no problem with pedophilia rationalization, especially while the Elephant Tides or whatever their stupid name is are winning. There is no surprise here at this reality.

• Nazis are just “the normal people next door” and nothing bad should happen to either them or the New York Times for pointing this out, says The New York Times.

And I’m not linking to any of that because … reasons. Google what you don’t understand.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by “FreeStocksDotOrg” via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 17-Nov-17


The Diddler’s Club

What we learned this week:

• Al Franken is the latest member of the “People Who Diddled People Who Didn’t Want to be Diddled” Club. This Diddlers Club, of which we’re all so very proud, officially now consists of the nation’s President; at least two former presidents; two or three sitting United States Senators and lord knows how many more; a Supreme Court Justice; god knows how many Members of the House of Representatives and their staffs; governors of various states; members of various state legislatures, including a member in Ohio who was exercising his member with another man’s member, cheating on his wife as he attempted to pass virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation; the impeached Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who may become a United States Senator next month; journalists of various stripes; sports figures and commentators; Catholic priests and Protestant preachers; college professors; doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs and at least one family member. It’s quite a roster, very inclusive.

• In other words, we learned what women have been trying to tell us about the lives they have to lead because they have something every heteronormative man seems to badly want: a vagina. Also some men, because they have what every homonormative man wants: a penis.

• What’s the matter with Kansas? The hypersecretive autocratic government which took power over the last ten years operates incompetently and in «extremely secretive, weird ways».

• I missed this back in September, but one acolyte of “Christian” nutbag autocratic Bill Gothard, who has platinum status in the Diddler’s Club (and he’s in his eighties) is in trouble in Arkansas. «Kenneth L. Dewitt applied Gothard’s principles of Godly behavior while running a prison ministry for imprisoned Arkansas women. The Godly principle apparently involved Dewitt having incarcerated women come in under his “umbrella of authority” and submit to God’s plan for women: repeated diddling because … men. Dewitt is “is currently serving a five-year sentence at the Ouachita River Unit after pleading guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault of prisoners.” Gothard couldn’t be reached for comment; he was probably unreachable in a private jet giving private dictation to one of the shapely arrows in his Quiver.

• If you don’t recall the sordid details of Reality TV stars The Duggars, who were Gothard’s proudest achievement and America’s favorite voyeuristic targets (19 blond white kids, what’s not to like?!), «here’s a link from 2015 that pretty well explains the entire wreckage of Gothard’s slimy trail, stretching back to the 1950s. [Full disclosure: My parents ponied up to pay for me to go to a Gothard Basic Seminar and an Advanced Seminar back in high school. Family members have been fully involved in the “ministry” and continue to angrily defend the old goat even now that’s he’s been sued by, what, 30 or so?, abused men and diddled women. IF we were still talking to each other and IF I was masochistic enough to be there for Thanksgiving dinner, Gothard would be a topic that would have to be avoided ere blood was shed on the turkey carcass. /End disclosure.]

• One more piece of recent Gothard news: IBLP, Gothard’s “former” ministry from which he has disassociated with just like Trump, cachinged last month on the sale of a property they owned in Australia. «They scored $9.5 million U.S. dollars on a property valued at just $6 million». And they won’t even have to practice the usual offshore tax haven chicanery to avoid a hefty tax bill; they’re an American “church” and therefore exempt from taxation. Maybe they’ll have a come-to-Jesus moment and repent and spread the money among Gothard’s Diddlers Club targets. Right after the Holy Spirit heeds their prayers and pigs fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Aside: I love how the Aussie press just tells it like it is in this case: “US religious cult.” You have NO idea, my Aussie friends!

• I said only one more Gothard piece. I lied. There’s an article in The New Republic that discusses the … politics and peccadilloes, shall we say … of Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie fame. I mention it because Gothardites and other similar evangelical fellow travelers have always had a very weird (at least to me) fetish for the 19th century, and their worship of Wilder and Little House is repeated in a million ways over everything from Gunsmoke and John Wayne to learning how to cook like pioneer women. Some of them even submit to the kind of abuse meted out by 19th century husbands, but that’s a different paragraph. «Little House, Small Government» is a nice starter primer to this phenomenon, although it’s sadly too short to be able to explore the evangelical connection or the fetishization of dying on the Oregon Trail.

• Turning to more uplifting in the face of bigotry, abuse and violence news, there’s a fascinating account in a publication I’d never read called Emergency Physician’s Monthly. «It’s the story of what happened to one hospital’s ER team the night the NRA slaughtered some folks» listening to what now passes for “country” music. It’s a highly recommended read, as are the other articles on the site.

• Speaking of the wild frontier, the usually lily-white Outside magazine actually printed «a lament from a young man who went west» to work some seasonal jobs at Montana resorts. Why did he not have a great season? His skin color wasn’t up to snuff. (Which of course meant he worked in “housekeeping.”) The article explores his experience with the casual “lighten up” (har har, get it?) type of racism from coworkers and guests which finally wore him down and sent him packing back east to relative safety. Remarkably, his white coworkers calling each other “ni—-s” as a “joke” was about the worst that happened to him. It’s amazing he wasn’t shot or jailed; it’s even more amazing that Outside printed the report. I grieve for his loss of innocence, and hope he has all the success in life he wants. I’d also like to shake his hand; he’s braver than I.

• Closing with one Diddlers Club story that’s so fun. Ohio state rep. Wes Goodman, family values warrior and, of course, Republican, resigned his seat after he was caught using his state office for some consensual diddling with a person who was not his wife and not a woman. Yes, yet another one of those “Fags must die! If you agree, meet me in my car at the local park for some cocksucking followed by the signing of a petition demanding the death penalty for fag kissing!” kind of people, as usual, hoisted on his own petard, or his boyfriend’s whatever. As someone quipped on Twitter, “Goodman’s wife is probably so pissed, he’s having to move into a log cabin!” (Get it? Log Cabin Republicans are the gay ones who haven’t figured out yet that they support a party which has members who seriously, sincerely, would go Leviticus on their gay, rich asses given half a chance. Goodman’s website has been scrubbed today; but the good old friend, the Wayback Machine, is providing nice clear copies of things the good man has written. Unfortunately, his Twitter account has been locked down, but that’s not a barrier either. Here’s Wes’ priceless take on the Family: “Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness. The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.” Oh, how fun. Don’t you love closet cases who talk about “vibrant, thriving” committed natural marriages when the only thing that’s actually “vibrant and thriving” is their relationship to their boyfriends’ cocks? Little Wes is a cutie. He and Aaron Schock, if that old gym queen manages to avoid prison, should totally get together. They’d make a truly hot, power Log Cabin Republican partnership. I hope Wes is a bottom, ’cause I doubt Aaron lets just anyone go balls-deep on his bleached ass.

• And, oh yeah, there was another NRA nutbag gun attack. It is now officially news if a mass shooting does NOT occur on any given day.

So, ain’t our America nation grand? After reading all this stuff (and then writing about it) I feel extremely … greasy. Like the country has gone much bukkake all over my gay face. I need a bath and some penicillin. And this country is 100%, pure Grade A, psycho nuts insane, from the demented consummate con man in the White House to … well just about everyone else. Not at ALL what I thought living in the U.S. during my middle age would be like. Can’t wait to become elderly. ‘Cause that shit is also seriously fucked up in major ways too.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash.]

The Own Us

Take Back Our Voter Data

The CBC « reports on Professor David Carroll » and the fight to get Cambridge Analytical to tell us what is in our “psychographical” profiles. It’s all a sordid mess and they need to be yanked hard.

“They claim to have figured out how to project our voting behavior based on our consumer behavior. So it’s important for citizens to be able to understand this because it would affect our ability to understand how we’re being targeted by campaigns and how the messages that we’re seeing on Facebook and television are being directed at us to manipulate us.”

—CBC Canada

Nothing will happen here, though; these people gave us the current government and our legislatures are not on our side.

But you can be on Prof. Carroll’s side by « following his Twitter feed » or support his « Crowd Justice pledge » to “take back our voter data.”

To the Editor (2017)

In which we in the future answer “Letters to the Editor” of the Chicago Tribune written during the past that was called World War Two.

“Globaloney Stamps.
“Chicago, June 1. — Today I received the shock of my life when I went to mail a package to my boy in service. I needed 20 cents in stamps and was given four 5 cent stamps with the red flag of Albania spread almost across the entire surface. Just what is this country coming to?
“Mrs. H.V.”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10”


Methinks I smells the grandmother of a future Trump supporter!

Actually, “Mrs. H.V.”, on 6-June-1944, “what this country had come to” was the liberation of the European continent from Nazism and Fascism, which it did along with 22 other nations (hence the term “Allies”) and an “associated power,” Albania, which at the time of your “Letter to the Editor” was occupied by forces of the German Wehrmacht.

By the way, Albania’s designation as an associated power was formally recognized at the 1946 Paris conference. Albania officially signed the treaty ending World War II between the “Allied and Associated Powers” and Italy in Paris, on 10 February 1947. Albania had been occupied by Fascist Italy then Germany; it was quickly subjugated to communist party rule and suffered under Enver Hoxha for the next five decades.

Finally, “what this country had come to” on D-Day 1944 was to recognize on a five-cent postage stamp that it wasn’t winning the war alone, was not in the war alone, and was not suffering in the war alone.

I hope your “boy in the service” was able to hold on to his U.S. Postal Service five-cent Albanian flag stamps. They’s probably worth some moneys today. [And thank him for his service.]


“Four More Years of War
“Mankato, Minn., June 1. — I wonder how many people now earning big money, more money thant they have ever handled before, and who will vote a certain way thinking to insure a continuation of this income, ever pause to think what another four years will bring?
“Among the many unpleasant things that are to me a foregone conclusion is that Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he? It is the perfect solution of unemployment, a problem he failed to solve until we managed to become embroiled in war. Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.
“He has a mania for spending and giving and war allows him privileges which peace would curtail, we hope. So, I say vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.
“Reader”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10


Is that you, Erle P. Halliburton? No? Are you Fred Drumpf? Ah! I suspected so. It’s the 1944 version of a Twitter storm (ask your son, he’ll explain).

Where to start, where to start.

1. “What will another four years bring?” Oh, honey, you have no idea. You should just suspend time and stay safe and quiet in 1944, baby. You don’t really wanna know the answers to this question. Lessee. Hitler? Dead. Mussolini? Hangs lifelessly from a lamp post. Tojo? Incompletely suicides, resurrects, then is executed. Roosevelt? Dead. A National Security State is born. We have to start hand-feeding everyone in Berlin. Truman gets pissed over a negative review of one of his daughter’s piano recitals. We fuck up in Korea causing … some very bad shit to be set into perpetual motion. China turns red. Japan turns black, largely from just two very large bombs. Lots of soldiers come back from all points of the globe and take your job, discontinuing your own income.

2. “… Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he?” The war will continue for one year and three more months. Roosevelt won’t drag the war out because he’ll be dead in ten months.

3. “… unemployment, a problem he failed to solve …” Unemployment was nearly 25% in 1933 when Roosevelt took office; in 1941 it had fallen to 10%; and when he died in 1945, economists considered the country at “full employment,” with less than 2% of the nation’s workforce unemployed. You’re just being deliberately idiotic here, my friend.

4. “… until we managed to become embroiled in war.” The United States was not attacked by Franklin Roosevelt; war was declared by the Empire of Japan on 7-December-1941 with the launching of a surprise attack on military installations near Honolulu, Hawaii. War on the United States was declared by Germany the next day. The United States Congress “embroiled” us in the war by declaring war in Public Law 77-328, 55 STAT 795 on 8-Dec-1941. After Germany declared war on the U.S., the Congress reacted with a declaration of war on Germany in Pub. Law 77–331, Sess. 1, ch. 564, 55 Stat. 796. The “embroiling” would seem to be, then, a joint act of Japan, Germany and the United States Congress, the parties with power to declare, embroil and conduct warfare.

5. “Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.” Dear “Reader,” am I to extrapolate from this sentence that you wish to conduct the most massive conflict in human history involving most of the peoples and locations of the planet, the object of certain parties (see #4 above) being to destroy the United States and dozens of other countries … that you wish to conduct this war “on the cheap”? The Congress has appropriated funds necessary to forestall the aim of aforementioned parties and it is the duty of the President to use those funds to defend the country to the utmost against, again, parties which wish us destroyed. And you’re taking exception? Oh, sweetie, wait until a certain actor whom you’ve seen in “Bedtime for Bonzo” seizes the presidency and spends over $700 a piece for hammers for the armed forces, which will partially explain trillion-dollar-deficits. Then we’ll get back to you and ask your opinion. Surely we can count on that opinion being, shall we say, apoplectic? Or is it just Mr. Roosevelt who gets under your skin? Enquiring minds wish to know.

6. “… vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.” A vote in November 1944 six months hence will, dear “Reader,” get you nine more months, not years, of war, and just about one month of a Roosevelt fourth term.

So buck up, dear “Reader”! The end is nigh. Now go sit by the radio and let General Eisenhower entertain you with tales from a place called Omaha Beach. And then write back and tell us how much money you would have allocated to the D-Day Invasion of German-occupied Europe, the largest military invasion in human history. Give us a hint. $100,000? $200,000? Can’t wait for your fascinating reply!

To the Editor

In which we in the future answer “Letters to the Editor” of the Chicago Tribune written during the past that was called World War Two.

“Globaloney Stamps.
“Chicago, June 1. — Today I received the shock of my life when I went to mail a package to my boy in service. I needed 20 cents in stamps and was given four 5 cent stamps with the red flag of Albania spread almost across the entire surface. Just what is this country coming to?
“Mrs. H.V.”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10


Methinks I smells the grandmother of a future Trump supporter!

Actually, “Mrs. H.V.”, on 6-June-1944, “what this country had come to” was the liberation of the European continent from Nazism and Fascism, which it did along with 22 other nations (hence the term “Allies”) and an “associated power,” Albania, which at the time of your “Letter to the Editor” was occupied by forces of the German Wehrmacht.

By the way, Albania’s designation as an associated power was formally recognized at the 1946 Paris conference. Albania officially signed the treaty ending World War II between the “Allied and Associated Powers” and Italy in Paris, on 10 February 1947. Albania had been occupied by Fascist Italy then Germany; it was quickly subjugated to communist party rule and suffered under Enver Hoxha for the next five decades.

Finally, “what this country had come to” on D-Day 1944 was to recognize on a five-cent postage stamp that it wasn’t winning the war alone, was not in the war alone, and was not suffering in the war alone.

I hope your “boy in the service” was able to hold on to his U.S. Postal Service five-cent Albanian flag stamps. They’s probably worth some moneys today. [And thank him for his service.]


“Four More Years of War
“Mankato, Minn., June 1. — I wonder how many people now earning big money, more money thant they have ever handled before, and who will vote a certain way thinking to insure a continuation of this income, ever pause to think what another four years will bring?
“Among the many unpleasant things that are to me a foregone conclusion is that Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he? It is the perfect solution of unemployment, a problem he failed to solve until we managed to become embroiled in war. Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.
“He has a mania for spending and giving and war allows him privileges which peace would curtail, we hope. So, I say vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.
“Reader”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10


Is that you, Erle P. Halliburton? No? Are you Fred Drumpf? Ah! I suspected so. It’s the 1944 version of a Twitter storm (ask your son, he’ll explain).

Where to start, where to start.

1. “What will another four years bring?” Oh, honey, you have no idea. You should just suspend time and stay safe and quiet in 1944, baby. You don’t really wanna know the answers to this question. Lessee. Hitler? Dead. Mussolini? Hangs lifelessly from a lamp post. Tojo? Incompletely suicides, resurrects, then is executed. Roosevelt? Dead. A National Security State is born. We have to start hand-feeding everyone in Berlin. Truman gets pissed over a negative review of one of his daughter’s piano recitals. We fuck up in Korea causing … some very bad shit to be set into perpetual motion. China turns red. Japan turns black, largely from just two very large bombs. Lots of soldiers come back from all points of the globe and take your job, discontinuing your own income.

2. “… Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he?” The war will continue for one year and three more months. Roosevelt won’t drag the war out because he’ll be dead in ten months.

3. “… unemployment, a problem he failed to solve …” Unemployment was nearly 25% in 1933 when Roosevelt took office; in 1941 it had fallen to 10%; and when he died in 1945, economists considered the country at “full employment,” with less than 2% of the nation’s workforce unemployed. You’re just being deliberately idiotic here, my friend.

4. “… until we managed to become embroiled in war.” The United States was not attacked by Franklin Roosevelt; war was declared by the Empire of Japan on 7-December-1941 with the launching of a surprise attack on military installations near Honolulu, Hawaii. War on the United States was declared by Germany the next day. The United States Congress “embroiled” us in the war by declaring war in Public Law 77-328, 55 STAT 795 on 8-Dec-1941. After Germany declared war on the U.S., the Congress reacted with a declaration of war on Germany in Pub. Law 77–331, Sess. 1, ch. 564, 55 Stat. 796. The “embroiling” would seem to be, then, a joint act of Japan, Germany and the United States Congress, the parties with power to declare, embroil and conduct warfare.

5. “Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.” Dear “Reader,” am I to extrapolate from this sentence that you wish to conduct the most massive conflict in human history involving most of the peoples and locations of the planet, the object of certain parties (see #4 above) being to destroy the United States and dozens of other countries … that you wish to conduct this war “on the cheap”? The Congress has appropriated funds necessary to forestall the aim of aforementioned parties and it is the duty of the President to use those funds to defend the country to the utmost against, again, parties which wish us destroyed. And you’re taking exception? Oh, sweetie, wait until a certain actor whom you’ve seen in “Bedtime for Bonzo” seizes the presidency and spends over $700 a piece for hammers for the armed forces, which will partially explain trillion-dollar-deficits. Then we’ll get back to you and ask your opinion. Surely we can count on that opinion being, shall we say, apoplectic? Or is it just Mr. Roosevelt who gets under your skin? Enquiring minds wish to know.

6. “… vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.” A vote in November 1944 six months hence will, dear “Reader,” get you nine more months, not years, of war, and just about one month of a Roosevelt fourth term.

So buck up, dear “Reader“! The end is nigh. Now go sit by the radio and let General Eisenhower entertain you with tales from a place called Omaha Beach. And then write back and tell us how much money you would have allocated to the D-Day Invasion of German-occupied Europe, the largest military invasion in human history. Give us a hint. $100,000? $200,000? Can’t wait for your fascinating reply!

The Final Passing of American Journalism

“And that’s the way it is …”

Walter Cronkite

It feels as if the last bit of actual journalism in America is now dead.

In «What We Lose With Cronkite’s Death», Bruce Maiman sums it up pretty well:

“… it’s a reminder, too, that the broadcasting style and journalistic credibility that Cronkite represents also seems to be fading into history. Cronkite’s death was inevitable rather than sad, but what is sad is that no one has picked up his mantle to deliver the news in a fashion that doesn’t glorify something or someone, or trash something or someone. Cronkite set a standard for conveying the news that was at once warm, measured, dignified, good humored and uncompromising.”

He also notes one of my favorite stories about Cronkite:

&#8220In her autobiography, «A Desperate Passion», physician and Nuclear Freeze activist Helen Caldicott tells the story of when she met Cronkite and his wife Betsy at a dinner one night: “Walter amazed me by saying that if he had his way, he would remove all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe. “What would the Russians do then, roll over people with their tanks?” he asked. I said: “The American people love you, Walter. Why don’t you tell them that?” He laughed and replied, “I’m only loved because they don’t know what I think.””

The ever-excellent Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, touches on all of this in «Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did»:

“Tellingly, his most celebrated and significant moment — Greg Mitchell says “this broadcast would help save many thousands of lives, U.S. and Vietnamese, perhaps even a million” — was when he stood up and announced that Americans shouldn’t trust the statements being made about the war by the U.S. Government and military, and that the specific claims they were making were almost certainly false. In other words, Cronkite’s best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do — directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won’t even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.”

Cronkite, and the pathetic remains of American journalism, will be laid to rest on Thursday.

And THAT, my friends, is the way it is, on this Sunday, 20-Jul-09, the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing.

The Mark Morford and The Morning Fix Saga (2001)

1-Apr-01 (but no, it’s no April Fool’s joke)

The Article That Set Me Off: « SFGate.com Suspends Three Staffers Over Column »

My E-Mail to the offender and many other Bay Area Media staffers:

An open letter:

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Robert Cauthorn
Vice President, Digital Media
San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com
San Francisco, CA

Mr. Cauthorn:

Regarding the article, 3 Staffers Suspended Over SF Gate Column, written by Dan Fost on SFGate.com, March 28, 2001 (with advance apologies for the length of this missive – but I have a lot to say):

The article states: ”[Mark] Morford writes an edgy column called Morning Fix that appears daily on the Web site and goes out to about 13,000 people via e-mail.

“The column typically offers humorous and controversial takes on offbeat news stories culled from The Chronicle and wire services.”

The article reports the fact that you indefinitely suspended Mr. Morford because he wrote an edition of the newsletter that you personally found offensive. You also suspended (without pay) two other staffers who prepared and approved the column for publication, even though they apparently had nothing to do with its creation.

With all due respect, sir, as a professional journalist and communicator (not to mention one of 13,000 Morning Fix subscribers and 250,000 SFGate readers), I am much alarmed at the spectacle of a corporate vice president not only censoring one of his professional staff journalists, but also indefinitely suspending him, as well as two other members of his staff who did not apparently share the executive’s personal concerns regarding Mr. Morford’s writing. And not only that, but also publicly and in print castigating Mr. Morford, while not allowing the readership to view the column in question, referring to his work as “grotesque.”

SFGate keeps me up-to-date several times a day on anything worth knowing about the Bay Area. I am a faithful reader of it and the Morning Fix. I will not defend or condemn Mr. Morford’s column; due to your censorship, I am unable to read it and judge it for myself. He’s written other things in the past that I think are more “edgy” than what the offending, censored column is alleged to contain.

Yes, Mr. Morford does indeed sometimes skirt the edge of propriety, as he himself acknowledges. A newsflash for you: That’s the point of the whole exercise! Mr. Morford crafts well-written, amusing and sometimes thought-provoking articles that do indeed push some boundaries. And that’s what makes the Morning Fix_special, unique and a de rigeur daily read. That same sort of style is also what makes _SFGate a unique, entertaining and worthwhile source of information, as opposed to dry, formal, “straight-up” writing found on other news sites. It keeps me coming back for more. And that, Mr. Cauthorn, is, after all, the real measure of success for your SFGate staffers.

What concerns me, however, is the rather extreme actions taken against three excellent staff members – actions which have the appearance, according to your own news article, of being wholly out of proportion to the offense. While I do, in fact, agree with you that Mr. Morford needs to mix freedom of expression with a commensurate level of responsibility, this is pretty ridiculous.

I was taught that the journalistic process goes something like this (greatly simplified):

1. Writer writes something.
2. Editors proofread and correct the copy, and use their judgement and discretion to decide to publish it or send it back to the writer for redrafting. If there is some question as to appropriateness/legality, others in the organization can be consulted, i.e., lawyers.
3. If the decision is made to not publish the article, the article is not published. Or, a rewrite is submitted, edited and published.

You’ll notice that nowhere in this description is there any mention of a process where, if a writer’s submission is considered inappropriate, that writer is not allowed a resubmission or told “don’t do that again,” but is instead suspended, his publication cancelled, and the writing criticized in public as “grotesque” by an executive of the company.

Are you just experiencing a failure of courage? Or is there something else going on here that we don’t know and that you didn’t print? If so, why did you give us just part of the story? With all due respect, you do an outrageous disservice to your readers, sir. If the content was inappropriate (and it may well have been – how do I know? You won’t let us read it), you should have allowed Mr. Morford to rewrite the column, or choose another subject to “riff” on. Or even, horrors!, allow the readers to decide for themselves. The majority of Morning Fix readers are smarter and more reasonable than you appear to think, and quite capable of deciding if we wish to applaud Mr. Morford effort, send him a canned ham in appreciation, delete it in disgust, write him an outraged, condemning e-mail, cancel our Morning Fix subscription or burn him in effigy on the steps of City Hall. Having the courage to allow the readers to make journalists accountable — what a concept!

If you get nothing else from this e-mail, please understand my main point: American journalism is increasingly co-opted and taken over by corporate interests which rarely coincide with public interests, or even with subscriber interests. (And, as an aside, I deny that a corporation should have the right to free speech – Supreme Court decision of 1886 be damned!) The Morford Matter is symptomatic of greater American journalistic disease and decline. Case in point (from the San Jose Mercury-News): “Jay T. Harris resigned… as publisher of the Mercury News, saying he feared that corporate budget demands could result in ‘significant and lasting harm’ to the newspaper and the community it serves.” Journalism is now considered simply a product to be pushed by executives who hop from industry to industry – the equivalent of toilet paper, toothpaste, a ‘plane ticket or a Big Mac.

Whether the press is liberal-biased or slanted-right is a smokescreen; Journalism, in fact, with rare exceptions, is now corporate PR, in most egregious and insulting form. And that, sir, is highly offensive, outrageous, dangerous and unacceptable for American democracy and society. If drawing a parallel between your Mark Morford decision and the decline of free press and journalism in America makes you laugh and think I’m overwrought, then you’ve proven my point and I rest my case and thank-you-very-much.

Please explain to myself and the 12,999 other Morning Fix_subscribers and 249,999 other_SFGate readers (preferably in print on SFGate) how your actions serve the causes of free speech, and creative, engaging journalistic free expression – as opposed to “Oh my god! Somebody might sue us or cancel an ad or subscription or be offended!” – i.e., corporate interests. Are you trying to protect me from something? If so, how did you know that I needed to be protected? Did I participate in market research of which I was unaware? When I subscribed to the Fix, did I thereby give my implied consent to place myself under your protection and abdicate my responsibility and privilege to think for myself? Funny. I missed getting the memo on that. Do I owe you a “Thanks for protecting my fragile little mind?”

Finally (aren’t you relieved), I must say I am not surprised by the Morford censorship/suspension, however. My colleagues and I have a long-standing bet about when A.) Morning Fix would be censored by the Chronicle_and even outright cancelled; and B.) When the fresh, original and funny writing on the front page of _SFGate would go corporate – dry, serious, disengaging and not worth a visit. It is with bittersweet feelings that I report that my guess of “sometime in the first half of 2001” appears to be coming true.

Pity.

And shame on you.

Free (and Un-Gag) the Morford Three! Save the Gate!

Sincerely, Steve Pollock, San Francisco

(Note: I would be more than happy to give you my address and phone number for verification purposes, should you desire. Please reply by e-mail if you wish to have the information. And thanks for reading.)

Mark Morford’s Response to My E-Mail:

Incredible piece of work, Steve. Can’t thank you enough for your powerful and pointed defense. You’ve articulated a myriad of vital points not just about me and my columns, but about media and its spurious and often sinister corporate relationships in general. Marvellous. I thank you.

Remains to be seen how this mini-saga will shake out, whether or not my columns will survive. But with support like yours, I sure as hell know I’m on the right side of the debate.

Mark Morford

Carl Hall ’s Response to My E-Mail:

‘Hello and thanks for sending me a copy of your note to Gate management. You make some cogent points.

I am a staff writer at the Chronicle and also president of the Northern California local of the Newspaper Guild, which represents Chronicle employees and, by virtue of a new agreement with the Hearst coporation, most Gate employees. I just wanted to let you know that we will not rest until any and all injustices done in connection with this matter are corrected. You might already have noted in the Chronicle story that our member is not suffering any loss in pay.’

Robert Cauthorn’s Response to My E-Mail:

‘From: “Robert S. Cauthorn”
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 00:34:05 -0700
To: AirBeagle
Subject: Re: Mark Morford and The Morning Fix

‘Mr. Pollack, [he misspells my last name]

Thanks for taking the time to write at such length about this incident.

For obvious reasons, I can’t discuss the details of staff issues with people outside this organization. However, please understand that I would never take such a step lightly and the column involved presented a serious problem.

It provides you any comfort with respect to your effort to cast me as some kind of soulless corporate hack — and from message I’m inclined to doubt that it shall — I happen come from the editorial side of the house and have worked as a writer and editor for more than 20 years.

Your description of the process is in part true, however it ignores aspects of the reality of web publishing. In normal publishing cycles before the page lands in your lap literally scores of people have seen it and vetted it. Web publishing’s accelerated pace means that sometimes no more than three people might have seen a piece before it hits the web. In this climate, matters of judgment become critically important.

I feel it would be a mistake to read too much into this with respect to the future approach of the Gate. The Gate’s unique voice and, indeed, its distinct flavor with respect to the Chronicle, is something we all savor.

Being edgy and risk-taking isn‚Äöt a binary condition it‚Äös not all or nothing. It just happens that in this case, the column went beyond the pale. Incidentally, unlike most _Fix_columns, this one was not intended as humor – it took an advocacy position and what was being advocated proved to be deeply problematic.

Best wishes,
Bob
Robert S. Cauthorn
VP Digital Media
San Francisco Chronicle

Frank’s Response to Bob’s E-Mail:

‘Typical corporate response, albeit a very slickly crafted one. It is the Special Variation 1A of the standard corporate response, that is, the "market populist deniability" response: I am not really a corporate hack, because I say I am not. Ergo, I am not. I am Big Brother, but I am not Big Brother, because I say I am not. Right = Wrong; Greed = Beneficence; War = Peace; et cetera.
He could be a speechwriter for Gray Davis. I.e.: from Davis’s remarks before the state party convention yesterday:
‘Davis promised convention delegates that if a rate hike proves to be necessary, ‘You can be sure of one thing from this governor: I’ll fight to protect those least able to pay, reward those who conserve the most, and motivate those who are the biggest guzzlers to cut back.’’" <LA Times, 4/2/01>

And finally, Mark has the last word on April 5:

MARK’S NOTES & ERRATA
Where opinion meets benign syntax abuse …

So it wasn’t really a vacation and it wasn’t really all that desirable a break but it all worked out in the end, I suppose, more or less, onward and upward, and for those who are interested in the Fix’s odd publishing lapse lo these past couple of weeks it was detailed in our very own SF Chronicleright here and noted again today here and for the record it was all rather enlightening and unfortunate and ethically sticky and not all that much fun, really, just like a thorny little journalistic brouhaha should be.

Overall a surprising and somewhat frothy, morally pregnant incident involving the Fix which was also picked up by various media outlets, everyone from KCBS to Romanesko’s Media News to the AP to the American Journalism Review and what a strange surprising mini-tempest it was, and me without my umbrella.

A rather tame and borderline pitiable fifteen minutes of fame for yours truly, and it ain’t exactly warming the heart of my cockles to think that a semi-scandalous blip regarding one of my columns may be the apex of the Fix’s rise to ticklish infamy and shimmery glory and free saki shots at area sushi bars, but what can you do.

But we’re all back on track now, more or less, and jiggling onward with one notable change for Fix readers, and it is this: the Notes & Errata column normally running every day in this space will now only run twice a week, to give the column more time for depth-plumbing and quality control and perhaps actual research now and again, with the other three days to be filled with obscure cookie recipes or bad teen poetry or whatever I can think of, or perhaps nothing, considering the rich panoply of glorious lickables the Fix already proffers. Ahem.

In sum: Morning Fix five days a week; Notes & Errata centerpiece column included twice a week (also running separately on the Gate). Edge and wryness and happyfun journalistic blasphemy fully intact, hopefully, only better and richer and more pointed but with the same grammatical gyrations and quirky innuendo and disparaging verbiage directed at the pope and Shrub and Jennifer Lopez, simultaneously. Thoughts, comments, who-the-hell-cares? Let me know.’