Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 3:44 pm by George Smith

“Trump’s twitter feed traumatizes Washington,” reads Politico. Nice alliteration!

And this is bad? Describe why.

All the important people who have led the country badly during the last fifteen plus years are being “traumatized” by pre-government through tweet.

Another new meme is how it’s so “alarming” to our “friends” and “emboldening” to our “enemies.” And, yep, maybe it will all turn out badly.

But if so it won’t be because they’ve been right about anything.

The alleged “traumatized” are an establishment that’s needed a kick in the teeth for a long time. And the millionaires in Congress and the agencies are so upset by some tweets?

Wait until the 20th. Get the tranquilizers. They just have to adjust to being lickspittles for a different crew.

Abandon ship

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, WhiteManistan at 3:36 pm by George Smith

The Democratic Party hasn’t begun to accept how badly the bottom has been ripped out.

Quotes from the New York Times, yesterday:

They are part of a growing movement in rural America that immerses many young people in a culture — not just conservative news outlets but also home and church environments — that emphasizes contemporary conservative values. It views liberals as loathsome, misinformed and weak, even dangerous …

While many blame poor decisions by Mrs. Clinton for her loss, in an environment like this, the Democratic candidate probably didn’t matter. And the Democratic Party may not for generations to come. The Republican brand is strong in rural America — perhaps even strong enough to withstand a disastrous Trump presidency.

Rural conservatives feel that their world is under siege, and that Democrats are an enemy to be feared and loathed.

Loathsome and loathed. There are no stronger words.

An interesting sidenote is that the column’s writer, Robert Leonard, references J. C. Watts, an exCongressman.

That’s Julius Ceasar Watts, an African American, who was a star football player for the Oklahoma Sooners.

There are two social tides running here, both bad for the Democratic Party.

If the Party ever sends its current staffers and stars, the people who were all inspired by Barack Obama, out to the heartland shires, they’re going to get fried. (Not literally. More a possibly permanent persona non grata-type thing, a shunning.)

Or if they think a coalition including a smaller number of the we/us college-educated whiteys from the right colleges can eke out a win if just enough of the rest of white America dies, they’re done, too.

Happy days here again. If you can’t count…

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 3:14 pm by George Smith

Your average NYTimes reporter lacks ability in arithmetic. Or is interested in distortion. Maybe it’s both. Still they earn six figures a year. It’s a good place to be.

So what’s wrong with this sentence from the NYT today?

“Leisure and hospitality workers, for example, saw hourly earnings jump 4.4 percent from a year earlier, equal to the increase enjoyed by employees in the hot technology sector.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average leisure/hospitality worker earns 15 dollars and change per hour for an average 26 hour work week.

Hot tech workers: $90,000 – 100, 000 /year. Oof!

Happy days, here again.

The reporter, Nelson D. Schwartz finds an expert to waffle it:

“Strong economic growth doesn’t really matter if it’s not widely distributed,” Ms. Swonk said. “You can have a better economy but still not good enough for people who aren’t participating at all.”

Tweeting life in the rotting superpower

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 3:04 pm by George Smith

But while Americans feel justifiably angry at alleged interference with their political process, they have also been handed a mirror, and the reflection should disturb them …

Yeltsin relied on US political strategists – including a former aide to Bill Clinton – who had a direct line back to the White House. When Yeltsin eventually won, the cover of Time magazine was “Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win”.

Without the chaos and deprivations of the US-backed Yeltsin era, Putinism would surely not have established itself.

NSA director Mike Rogers, reacting to Donald Trump’s “disparagement” of the intelligence services …


The freshest bullshit: STEMpathy

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:53 pm by George Smith

Software, artificial intelligence and robots will never have what the Tin Man eventually got (or, rather, always had) in The Wizard of Oz. It’s Tom Friedman’s newest kick only he doesn’t have the Tin Man, he has a friend you’ve never heard of, “Dov Seidman, C.E.O. of LRN, which advises companies on leadership and how to build ethical cultures ..” That’s LRN, presumably pronounced learn, only like — shorter by two letters and in ALL CAPS.

“[What] will enable us to continue to create social and economic value?” asks Friedman. “The answer, [the LRNer told him], “is the one thing machines will never have: ‘a heart.’ ”

And the people who will win the jobs of today and tomorrow will be those who know science and math and who also have heart.

You see, I have science, math, and technology but no heart, presumably. Heart is rare and up until now thought not particulary necessary as a talent or skill. Right?

“I call these STEMpathy jobs,” continues Friedman in his dig for more of just the right nose gold. “[Jobs] that combine STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills with human empathy, like the doctor who can extract the best diagnosis from IBM’s Watson on cancer and then best relate it to a patient.”

STEMpathy doctor: “You have stage IV esophageal cancer, Mr. Schmidt. IBM’s Watson has poured over the result of our scans and the literature and the average prognosis is six to eight weeks. In that time we will first use whole brain radiation to slow the growth of metastatic tumors in your head so that they don’t interfere with two weeks of subsequent chemotherapy …”

All right, that example really isn’t a good illustration.

Perhaps Friedman has an even better one up his sleeve? Well, no.

The STEMpathy workers are represented as being about or in something called Paint Nite:

No wonder one of the fastest-growing U.S. franchises today is Paint Nite, which runs paint-while-drinking classes for adults. Bloomberg Businessweek explained in a 2015 story that Paint Nite “throws after-work parties for patrons who are largely lawyers, teachers and tech workers eager for a creative hobby.”

What the fuck?!

“Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out!” it reads. “Paint Nite® invites you to create art over cocktails at a local restaurant or bar, guided by a professional artist and party host.”

What does science and math have to do with a snob drunk party with painting on the side?

Don’t try to understand it. That’s the gift of Tom Friedman, a terrible writer who uses his weekly column as a venue for a nincompoop’s vision of the future.

As Matt Taibbi put it in reviewing Friedman’s latest book:

No modern writer has been lampooned more. Hundreds if not thousands of man-hours have been spent teaching robots to produce automated Friedman-prose, in what collectively is a half-vicious, half-loving tribute to a man who raised bad writing to the level of an art form … We will remember Friedman for interviewing 76 percent of the world’s taxi drivers … and for his unmatched, God-given ability to write nonsensical metaphors …”

“Leaders, businesses and communities will still leverage technology to gain advantage, but those that put human connection at the center of everything they do — and how they do it — will be the enduring winners …”

STEMpathy at drunk amateur painter parties, innovation near you. Boy howdy!

Tom Friedman, skating along on a slippery cream pie mess that represents the future.

Tom Friedman and the full STEMpathy.

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