B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

First Day of Trump Impeachment

Trump Pinatas in The Mission District

Despite my misgivings, I ended up watching about four hours of yesterday’s impeachment procedurals, on CNN, MSNBC, and eventually CSPAN1

Dan Froomkin of Press Watch reports:

The first real day of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump was an epic exercise in raw political power. The Trump team, effectively led by Mitch McConnell, put forth no plausible arguments to support their position. But they didn’t have to. Because they had the votes.

But the media failed to tell that story.

If you were dependent on the coverage from our biggest and most influential media outlets, what you learned was mostly that there was a spirited debate and that McConnell made a concession.

And that’s just plain wrong. The debate wasn’t spirited, it was wildly unbalanced, with the Democrats making a substantial case for evidence-gathering, bolstered by facts, legal analysis, precedent, and logic – and the Republicans batting around Fox-News-style talking points that were devoid of reasoned thinking.

And McConnell’s concession was, in the greater scheme of things, a minor one. He succeeded – effortlessly – in ramming through a procedure that almost guarantees that the impeachment trial will not be encumbered by fact-finding.

(click here to continue reading Big Journalism completely fails to impart the Big Picture | Press Watch.)

It was striking to watch, and obvious that the Trump team of Republican blowhards had nothing substantial to say. A sad day for our country, putting the GOP’s Party Over Country mantra on display.

Pumpkin Boy He’s Got Seeds For Brains

Susan Glasser, The New Yorker:

It was only a couple hours into the first day of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump when Adam Schiff, the lead House manager prosecuting the case, summed up the day’s proceedings. The Senate’s proposed process for the trial, he said, was simply “ass-backwards,” requiring the House to present its case before considering whether to call witnesses and demand White House documents that Trump has been withholding.

Schiff’s edgy remark caused a jolt in the chamber. Senators who had been nodding off or staring down at their legal pads suddenly looked up. But it turns out that you can swear like that on the Senate floor. Schiff wasn’t even the first person to use the phrase, although David Vitter, the former senator from Louisiana, got in trouble back in 2008 when he did, and he had the remark stricken from the official record. Whether or not it was appropriate, in a stodgy institution that does not even allow reporters to wear denim in its hallowed chamber, Schiff’s remark certainly was incisive and to the point.

Ever since the Trump impeachment inquiry began, in September, the White House has declined to offer a formal defense, if one excludes all-caps tweets from the accused. But refusing to participate is no longer an option now that the Senate trial is actually happening. Trump’s lawyers not only showed up but very much showed their hands, offering a defense of Trump that was very much like the President himself: loud, intemperate, personally nasty, ad hominem, factually challenged, and often not even bothering to have a tenuous connection to the case at all. When the White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, addressed the Senate, the volume went up in the chamber; the tone changed. As we watched from the press gallery, it was as if we had become the audience in an entirely different play. Why should there be no witnesses or documents produced in the trial? Listening to Cipollone and Sekulow, it was hard to tell.

They barely used the word “Ukraine” or even bothered to talk much about Trump’s “perfect” phone call with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, for that matter. They mentioned the Mueller investigation—repeatedly—though that is not a subject of the impeachment articles. They made false claims, including that Republicans had been excluded from the depositions in the House “basement” that were taken by the House Intelligence Committee. Cipollone attacked Schiff by name, in personal terms, within a minute of beginning his first remarks at the trial, which was striking, if not entirely surprising, given that Cipollone is representing Trump, whose campaign is currently marketing on its Web site thirty-four-dollar T-shirts mocking Schiff as a “Pencil-Neck.”

(click here to continue reading “Ass-Backwards” and (So Far) Witness-Free, Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial Begins | The New Yorker.)

 Get Out Trump

Doyle McManus, LA Times:

 In the impeachment trial of President Trump, the House Democrats — the prosecution — are mostly pounding the facts. The heart of their brief is a well-told narrative of Trump’s efforts to muscle Ukraine into investigating Democratic rival Joe Biden, and then to cover up the details once the scheme was discovered.

Their central charge is that Trump abused the power of the presidency by asking a foreign government to help him win reelection. There’s plenty of evidence on their side.

The president’s defense lawyers, in contrast, are mostly pounding the law — their own theory of the law, that is.

Their president’s legal brief devotes only 27 pages to contesting the House’s version of the facts. Short version: “The President did nothing wrong.”

Instead, the core of Trump’s argument is a novel interpretation of the law: Whatever the president did, it’s not impeachable.

Asking Ukraine (and later China) to investigate Biden? Not impeachable. Blocking $391 million in military aid to Ukraine despite a law requiring that the aid be released? Not impeachable. Ordering everyone in his administration to refuse to cooperate with congressional investigations? Not impeachable.

Under the Trump defense team’s argument, “the president is free to conduct all manner of hypothetical abuses of the office that are not criminal in nature,” Paul Rosenzweig, a former assistant to Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton, told me.

“As I read President Trump’s theory, if he promised to pardon anybody who murdered Joe Biden, that would not itself be an impeachable offense,” Rosenzweig said. “The theory would mean that the president could choose to never appoint any Roman Catholics, and be free from fear of removal from office.”

Moreover, the concept of using impeachment to protect against a president’s abuse of power isn’t “newly invented” — far from it. Alexander Hamilton, one of the delegates at the constitutional convention, wrote in 1788 that impeachment would be a response to “the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

(click here to continue reading Column: Impeachment primer: If you have the law, pound the law. If you don’t, pound the table – Los Angeles Times.)

Impeach Trump

Footnotes:
  1. which my cable provider still provides in standard definition, not high definition, but since I was mostly listening, the blurry picture didn’t bother me, much []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 22nd, 2020 at 11:03 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher

Darth Vader

 

ProPublica reports:

Eight years ago, the IRS, tired of seeing the country’s largest corporations fearlessly stash billions in tax havens, decided to take a stand. The agency challenged what it saw as an epic case of tax dodging by one of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft. It was the biggest audit by dollar amount in the history of the agency.

Microsoft had shifted at least $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico, where the company’s tax consultants, KPMG, had persuaded the territory’s government to give Microsoft a tax rate of nearly 0%. Microsoft had justified this transfer with a ludicrous-sounding deal: It had sold its most valuable possession — its intellectual property — to an 85-person factory it owned in a small Puerto Rican city.

…Meanwhile, the numbers Microsoft had used to craft its deal were laughable, the agency concluded. In one instance, Microsoft had told investors its revenues would grow 10% to 12% but told the IRS the figure was 4%. In another, the IRS found Microsoft had understated revenues by $15 billion.

Determined to seize every advantage against a giant foe, the small team at the helm of the audit decided to be aggressive. It used special powers that the agency had shied away from using in the past. It took unprecedented steps like hiring an elite law firm to join the government’s side.

To Microsoft and its corporate allies, the nature of the audit posed a dire threat. This was not the IRS they knew. This was an agency suddenly committed to fighting and winning. If the aggression went unchecked, it would only encourage the IRS to try these tactics on other corporations.

“Most people, the 99%, they’re afraid of the IRS,” said an attorney who works on large corporate audits. “The other 1%, they’re not afraid. They make the IRS afraid of them.”

Microsoft fought back with every tool it could muster. Business organizations, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to tech trade groups, rallied, hiring attorneys to jump into the fray on Microsoft’s side in court and making their case to IRS leadership and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Soon, members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, were decrying the IRS’ tactics and introducing legislation to stop the IRS from ever taking similar steps again.

The outcome of the audit remains to be seen — the Microsoft case grinds on — but the blowback was effective. Last year, the company’s allies succeeded in changing the law, removing or limiting tools the IRS team had used against the company. The IRS, meanwhile, has become notably less bold. Drained of resources by years of punishing budget cuts, the agency has largely retreated from challenging the largest corporations. The IRS declined to comment for this article.

Recent years have been a golden age for corporate tax avoidance, with massive companies awash in profits routinely paying tax rates in the single digits, or even nothing at all. But how corporations manage to do this and keep the IRS at bay is mostly shrouded in secrecy

(click here to continue reading The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher. — ProPublica.)

Truly despicable, on many levels. Microsoft is not teetering on the edge of financial collapse, they can afford to pay their fair share of taxes. Shameful that both political parties enable this abuse, and respond by defunding/defanging the IRS from doing its job. Meanwhile, the US debt grows by leaps and bounds, and corporate profits too.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 22nd, 2020 at 9:37 am

Donald Trump Is Impeached

I find myself not wanting to watch any of the Senate trial of President Trump*. I’m saddened by the lack of character and courage of the Republican Senators, who even though they know Trump is a terrible president, and that Trump is guilty of many impeachable offenses, refuse to choose country over party, and instead enable Trump to escape justice. 

I had no expectations that 67 Senators would vote to impeach, but had hoped without reason the GOP would still conduct themselves appropriately for the situation. They are not. 

If I believed in prayer, I’d pray fervently that all of the GOP up for re-election in 2020 lost their respective races.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 21st, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with

What Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” Tells Us Now

Salman Rushdie writes about Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse-Five:

As a prisoner of war, age twenty-two, which is to say three years younger than I was when I read his story, Vonnegut was in the famously beautiful city of Dresden, locked up with other Americans in Schlachthof-Fünf, where pigs had been slaughtered before the war, and was therefore an accidental witness to one of the greatest slaughters of human beings in history, the firebombing of Dresden, in February of 1945, which flattened the whole city and killed almost everyone in it.

So it goes.

I had not remembered, until I reread “Slaughterhouse-Five,” that that famous phrase “So it goes” is used only and always as a comment on death. Sometimes a phrase from a novel or a play or a film can catch the imagination so powerfully—even when misquoted—that it lifts off from the page and acquires an independent life of its own. “Come up and see me sometime” and “Play it again, Sam” are misquotations of this type. Something of this sort has also happened to the phrase “So it goes.” The trouble is that when this kind of liftoff happens to a phrase its original context is lost. I suspect that many people who have not read Vonnegut are familiar with the phrase, but they, and also, I suspect, many people who have read Vonnegut, think of it as a kind of resigned commentary on life. Life rarely turns out in the way the living hope for, and “So it goes” has become one of the ways in which we verbally shrug our shoulders and accept what life gives us. But that is not its purpose in “Slaughterhouse-Five.” “So it goes” is not a way of accepting life but, rather, of facing death. It occurs in the text almost every single time someone dies, and only when death is evoked.

It is also deeply ironic. Beneath the apparent resignation is a sadness for which there are no words. This is the manner of the entire novel, and it has led to the novel being, in many cases, misunderstood. I am not suggesting that “Slaughterhouse-Five” has been poorly treated. Its reception was largely positive, it has sold an enormous number of copies, the Modern Library ranked it eighteenth on its list of the hundred best English-language novels of the twentieth century, and it is also on a similar list issued by Time magazine. However, there are those who have accused it of the sin of “quietism,” of a resigned acceptance, even, according to Anthony Burgess, an “evasion” of the worst things in the world. One of the reasons for this is the phrase “So it goes,” and it is clear to me from these critiques that the British novelist Julian Barnes was right when he wrote in his book “A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters” that “Irony may be defined as what people miss.”

Kurt Vonnegut is a deeply ironic writer who has sometimes been read as if he were not.

(click here to continue reading What Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” Tells Us Now | The New Yorker.)

I read all of Kurt Vonnegut’s books prior to writing an 11th grade honors English term paper. My teacher, the wonderful Mrs. Elaine Hettenhausen, had not read any of Vonnegut’s books so was reluctant to assign him to me. I ended up having to go to the University of Texas library to find some additional biographical information, and I admit that since I knew Mrs. Hett (as we affectionally called her) didn’t know anything about Vonnegut, I fudged some of the details. I remember using Vonnegut’s fictionalized mother-eating Drano to commit suicide story as real (and remember she marked my paper in red, “that’s horrible!”).  She liked my finished paper though, I got an A.

Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

And so it goes.

After reading Salman Rushdie’s essay, I want to re-read Vonnegut. It has been a long time since high school.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 20th, 2020 at 10:37 am

Posted in Books

Tagged with

Rudy Giuliani Has Long Been A Jerk

Mr Rubbishman

I disagree with the premise of this article, Giuliani has long been a disgusting human, not beloved by people in my circle, even New Yorkers, even after 9/11.

Jonathan Mahler, of The New York Times, reports:

things seem to have gotten a lot worse for Giuliani. The House has impeached the president largely on the basis of Giuliani’s work, and Giuliani himself has come under investigation for possibly serving as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. And yet he has continued to go on cable television and Twitter, making reckless statements, all the while pressing a bizarre and baseless corruption case against Joe Biden. All of this has left a lot of people puzzled. How did a man who was once — pick your former Rudy: priestly prosecutor, avenging crime-buster, America’s mayor — become this guy, ranting on TV, unapologetically pursuing debunked conspiracy theories, butt-dialing reporters, sharing photos of himself scheming in actual smoke-filled rooms? What happened?

(click here to continue reading The Fog of Rudy – Did He Change or Did America – The New York Times.) 

Steel, Ice and death

Eventually Jonathan Mahler comes to find that the current Rudy is much like the old Rudy, short on ethics, long on grand-standing.

Giuliani’s freewheeling, unconstrained-by-truth style was perhaps a little surprising to some: Was this not the principled prosecutor who made his name taming political corruption and organized crime? But while Giuliani was fighting the Mueller investigation on TV, I was researching his years as a federal prosecutor, and what I was learning about his past seemed perfectly consistent with what I was seeing in the present. As a lawyer, Giuliani had also been willing to do whatever seemed necessary to win: freezing defendants’ assets before they were proved guilty of a crime; issuing subpoenas to defense lawyers; and in one case surreptitiously recording a cooperating witness’s meeting with his opposing counsel, Thomas Puccio (who had a few years earlier served as lead prosecutor in the government’s Abscam case). He prejudiced juries, creating a spectacle in the process, by insisting that jurors be identified by numbers only for their own safety — a novel practice at the time — even when there was no evidence that they were at any risk of retaliation. He overreached, sometimes extravagantly, and then refused to back down: When a lack of evidence forced Giuliani to withdraw his insider-trading indictment of the Goldman Sachs partner Robert Freeman, he insisted that he would file another one soon, with even more counts, and in ‘‘record-breaking time.’’ Nearly two years later, Giuliani left the United States attorney’s office, and there was still no indictment. (Freeman ultimately pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud.)

The conservative writer William Safire assailed Giuliani in a 1986 column in this newspaper. ‘‘Don’t Ed Meese and Stephen Trott at the Department of Justice care about controlling political prosecutors who will do anything for publicity?’’ he wrote. ‘‘Anything does not go.’’

Did anything go? In the criminal-justice system, Giuliani’s unchecked zeal produced mixed results: He won some big cases, but not all of his victories endured; a number of his white-collar convictions were later overturned.

The first rule for a modern fog machine like Giuliani is that the more you talk, the more confusion you can create

Again, those who paid attention to the truth of Rudy, not the corporate media PR, already knew this about him.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 19th, 2020 at 1:41 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with

Trump Administration Gives Itself Participation Trophy For 100 Miles Of Border Wall

No Rush No Rush

The Hill reports:

The Trump administration earlier this month installed a plaque on a new barrier along the southern border commemorating the construction of 100 miles of President Trump’s long-sought border wall.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf traveled to Yuma, Ariz., on Jan. 10 to announce that the administration had finished building 100 miles of new barriers, calling the feat a “milestone” that deserved “celebration.”

(click here to continue reading Trump administration installs plaque marking finish of 100 miles of border wall | TheHill.)

Emolument Man

The Mexican American border is 1,954 miles (3,145 kilometers ) long, and per Trump’s repeated promises, Mexico is going to pay for a wall separating the two countries. 

Trump is awarding himself a participation trophy for completing 100 miles (160 km), or 5% of the total after being president for 3 years, and US taxpayers are footing the bill.

So much winning!

Michelle Obama on Milwaukee Avenue

Written by Seth Anderson

January 19th, 2020 at 1:27 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Lyndon Johnson Considered Dropping a Nuclear Bomb On Vietnam

Seal Of The President of The United States

As part of a longer article about “Steel rain” cluster artillery, John Ismay writes:

The Army’s first generation of artillery cluster shells was born out of the service’s bitter experience facing human wave attacks in the Korean War. A top-secret postwar program at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey raced to create a new generation of weapons it called COFRAM, for Controlled Fragmentation Munition. The idea was to design artillery shells that broke open in midair, dispensing little grenades that exploded in more uniformly sized pieces than earlier munitions did. The key, they found, was to score the inside walls of the grenade body in a crosshatch type of design. (The M67 fragmentation hand grenade still in use today is a direct descendant of the COFRAM program.) By blanketing large areas with smaller munitions, they hoped human wave attacks could be defeated.

These COFRAM munitions stayed largely under wraps until early 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson panicked over the possibility of North Vietnamese forces overrunning the Marine base at Khe Sanh. The president discussed the possibility of using small nuclear weapons with Pentagon leadership to defend the base, but his commander in Vietnam, Gen. William Westmoreland, suggested that nukes would not be necessary.

(click here to continue reading An Old Army Myth That Went Unchallenged for Too Long – The New York Times.)

I can’t say I’ve ever read that particular factoid before – that LBJ was prepared to drop a nuclear bomb on Vietnam! I’d heard of rumors of Nixon considering this, but never Johnson. Perhaps I just missed this in all the history I’ve read. Still concerning.

Robert Caro's LBJ: The Passage of Power

Written by Seth Anderson

January 18th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , , ,

Early Evening Snow Flurries was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop. Commute should be fun

embiggen by clicking
https://flic.kr/p/2igphpJ

I took Early Evening Snow Flurries on January 17, 2020 at 10:36AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 17, 2020 at 04:44PM

Written by eggplant

January 17th, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Rush Hour in the Snow was uploaded to Flickr

Commuting tonight should be fun

embiggen by clicking
https://flic.kr/p/2igmQqR

I took Rush Hour in the Snow on January 17, 2020 at 10:36AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 17, 2020 at 04:44PM

Written by eggplant

January 17th, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Nestlé pays $200 a year to bottle water from Michigan

Summer Vision

 The Guardian reported in 2017:

Despite having endured lead-laden tap water for years, Flint pays some of the highest water rates in the US. Several residents cited bills upwards of $200 per month for tap water they refuse to touch.

But just two hours away, in the tiny town of Evart, creeks lined by wildflowers run with clear water. The town is so small, the fairground, McDonald’s, high school and church are all within a block. But in a town of only 1,503 people, there are a dozen wells pumping water from the underground aquifer. This is where the beverage giant Nestlé pumps almost 100,000 times what an average Michigan resident uses into plastic bottles that are sold all over the midwest for around $1.

To use this natural resource, Nestlé pays $200 per year

(click here to continue reading Nestlé pays $200 a year to bottle water near Flint – where water is undrinkable | US news | The Guardian.)

How is this right? Nestlé should have to provide clean drinking water to Flint as part of their deal, or even better, pay to upgrade the water mains, especially since Nestlé is trying to increase the amount of water they pump out:

Now, Nestlé wants more Michigan water. In a recent permit application, the company asked to pump 210m gallons per year from Evart, a 60% increase, and for no more than it pays today.

Your Confidence Might Be Shattered

Access to clean water should be a human right, all over the world, including in Michigan. Private corporations shouldn’t be able to profit from a public good.

The fight continues:

 Michigan’s second-highest court has dealt a legal blow to Nestlé’s Ice Mountain water brand, ruling that the company’s commercial water-bottling operation is “not an essential public service” or a public water supply.

 The court of appeals ruling is a victory for Osceola township, a small mid-Michigan town that blocked Nestlé from building a pumping station that doesn’t comply with its zoning laws. But the case could also throw a wrench in Nestlé’s attempts to privatize water around the country.

 The fight to stop Nestlé from taking America’s water to sell in plastic bottles
Read more
If it is to carry out such plans, then it will need to be legally recognized as a public water source that provides an essential public service. The Michigan environmental attorney Jim Olson, who did not represent Osceola township but has previously battled Nestlé in court, said any claim that the Swiss multinational is a public water utility “is ludicrous”.

 “What this lays bare is the extent to which private water marketers like Nestlé, and others like them, go [in] their attempts to privatize sovereign public water, public water services, and the land and communities they impact,” Olson said.

 The ruling, made on Tuesday, could also lead state environmental regulators to reconsider permits that allow Nestlé to pump water in Michigan.

The Osceola case stems from Nestle’s attempt to increase the amount of water it pulls from a controversial wellhead in nearby Evart from about 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute. It needs to build the pump in a children’s campground in Osceola township to transport the increased load via a pipe system.

The township in 2017 rejected the plans based on its zoning laws, and Nestlé subsequently sued. A lower court wrote in late 2017 that water was essential for life and bottling water was an “essential public service” that met a demand, which trumped Osceola township’s zoning laws.

However, a three-judge panel in the appellate court reversed the decision.

 

(click here to continue reading Nestlé cannot claim bottled water is ‘essential public service’, court rules | Business | The Guardian.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 17th, 2020 at 9:01 am

Simplicity Not Scorn was uploaded to Flickr

Chicago River

embiggen by clicking
https://flic.kr/p/2ifW2A6

I took Simplicity Not Scorn on April 22, 2017 at 09:48AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 16, 2020 at 04:11PM

Written by eggplant

January 16th, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Installation – Cildo Meireles – How to Build Cathedrals

Cildo Meireles -How to Build Cathedrals

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1948 –
Missão/Missões [Mission/Missions] (How to Build Cathedrals), 1987
600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers, 2,000 cattle bones, 80 paving stones, and black cloth

Cildo Meireles’s installation was first commissioned for an exhibition about the history of the Jesuits in southern Brazil. The artist created a contemplative space that functions as a critique of Jesuit missions established during colonial times to contain the indigenous Tupi-Guaraní people and convert them to Catholicism. The work’s symbolic elements reveal the complicit relationship between material power (coins), spiritual power (communion wafers), and tragedy (bones), while the black shroud and overhead lighting evoke ideas of life and death. Meireles’ use of cattle bones references the importance of ranching within the region’s colonial economy. Yet the bones’ physical resemblance to the human femur also alludes to the human losses associated with forced acculturation.

Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX

I took this photo April 2nd, 2017, and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 15, 2020.

I tried a few different versions of this photo (in my darkroom), one version brought up the mom’s visibility from the shadows, but I liked this one the best. The green of the background window added some additional color contrasts.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 16th, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

We Can All Become Gods On Occasion

We Can All Become Gods On Occasion

Photographer, Lake Michigan.

(click to embiggen)

Photo taken April 9th, 2017, and processed in my digital darkroom January 15, 2020.

The day was actually quite bright, with an azure sky, and the water reflecting blue hues, instead I muted the colors (90% fade of an overlay of Fuji Pro 400H in emulation)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 16th, 2020 at 1:26 pm

Google Site Kit Installation Guide

Hallway Flopper

Via my webhost, pair, and a new Knowledge Base:

Google Site Kit is the much anticipated Google WordPress plugin. With this plugin, you can monitor your site’s visitors, see what pages they land on, how long they stay, and more!

Installing and Activating Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin

To install Google Site Kit on your WordPress site:

Open your WordPress Admin Interface
In the left sidebar, click Plugins

(click here to continue reading Google Site Kit Installation Guide | pair Knowledge Base.)

Why not? Maybe Google will help my site get slightly more traffic? In the golden age of blogging, I got 20,000 to 30,000 visits a day, with occasional spikes up to 70,000. That sort of traffic is long, long gone (didn’t help that I stopped posting frequently, and generally became a lazy blogger, also the industry changed, Facebook and Twitter became channels of communication, yadda yadda), perhaps I can recapture some of that magic?

I wonder if I should add back Google Ads? I never see them myself because I use a tracker blocker, but if they are irritating, it isn’t worth it for the amount of money it could bring in, especially if my daily traffic is less than 1,000 visitors a day.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 16th, 2020 at 11:31 am

Posted in blog

Tagged with , ,

Andrew Yang Wants To Shake Up the Supreme Court

Doorknob Optional

The New York Times editorial board sat down with Presidential candidate1 Andrew Yang. 

He makes an interesting point about the Supreme Court, I agree with the premise, why not have more Justices?

A lot of the legislative actions, you need a bit more time and a bit more buy-in from Congress, but at the Supreme Court level, I would consider appointing more justices if it was necessary to safeguard women’s reproductive rights.

Kathleen Kingsbury: You mean, you would in addition to the nine that we already have?

In addition to the nine we already have. I believe that — so if you look at the Constitution, there is nothing there that stipulates the number of Supreme Court justices. We’ve had fewer than nine, we’ve had more than nine. I think that appointing new justices would be helpful on several levels. It would help depoliticize the process, at least marginally, because if you have 17 justices and one steps down, then it’s not as much of an earthquake. Well, right now we we’re hinging our laws on the health of an octogenarian.

It would literally be rational for us to all just to follow Ruth Bader Ginsburg around and just scrub any door knob she touches. 

You know what I mean?

Jesse Wegman: You remember what happened the last time a president tried to do this, right?

Yeah. And I think in some ways, there’s some positive lessons to be drawn from that time, because there were some significant accomplishments during that era. 

We need to modernize the court. Lifetime appointments might have made sense at one point a long time ago, but when the Constitution was drafted, people did not live as long. And also, people stepped down from the Supreme Court for any of a range of reasons. They did not wait until they were at death’s door. This is not a way to run a 21st-century society.

We should have 18-year term limits, increase the number of justices, make it so it’s predictable that you lose an election, the other party might get one or two justices, and then we don’t need to literally be monitoring the health of our justices. Or, the most ridiculous thing is you’re literally looking at the age of the person you’re appointing being, “Ooh, this person will be there for 30, 40 years.” What kind of system do you want where you’re having a society decide 30 years ago what women’s rights are today? Doesn’t make any sense.

(click here to continue reading Opinion | Andrew Yang Is Listening – The New York Times.)

Nice Knocker

Term limits for all federal court judges, including the Supreme Court, and maybe doubling the amount of justices too. I’m for it.

Footnotes:
  1. and on my list of ranked candidates, not top of my list, but still on my list []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 15th, 2020 at 10:07 am