The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Safety/Irony Alert. CNBC (December 25): Your new home security system may be an open invitation to hackers to make you, and perhaps many others, unsafe.” -- CW

Vanity Fair: "... Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times chief book reviewer and Pulitzer Prize winner, who has been, by a wide margin, the most powerful book critic in the English-speaking world, is stepping down.... Kakutani said that she could neither confirm nor comment. But sources familiar with her decision, which comes a year after the Times restructured its books coverage, told me that last year’s election had triggered a desire to branch out and write more essays about culture and politics in Trump’s America." -- CW 

... Washington Post: "... investigators believe they have discovered the 'smoking gun' that would support a decades-old theory that [Amelia] Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese: a newly unearthed photograph from the National Archives that purportedly shows Earhart and Noonan — and their plane — on an atoll in the Marshall Islands.... Gary Tarpinian,  executive producer of the History documentary, told the Today show that they believe the Koshu, the Japanese merchant ship in the photo, took Earhart to Saipan, where she died in Japanese custody." -- CW 

Summer Beach Reading. James Hohmann of the Washington Post suggests Al Franken's Giant of the Senate. Hohmann's column hits some of the highlights. CW: Let us be thankful that Donald Trump is incapable of learning the lessons Franken learned from his team. If Trump were half as bright as Franken, he would be a succesful president & very effective dictator.

Politico: "MSNBC has parted ways with anchor Greta Van Susteren after just six months on air, as her show failed to live up to the network's ratings expectations. An MSNBC executive said the decision to remove the former Fox News host was purely for business reasons, based on ratings." -- CW 

Click on the picture to see larger image.... Low Society News. AP: "... Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin’s) married a Scottish actress. Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress" CW: which, if you follow Reality Chex, you will know was enhanced by some really costly baubles that remind the bride of Grace Kelly or happy times or something.

New Yorker: "In a paper in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers announced that they have pushed back the date of the earliest human remains to three hundred thousand years ago. And the specimens in question were found not in East Africa, which has become synonymous with a sort of paleoanthropological Garden of Eden, but clear on the other side of the continent — and the Sahara — in Morocco." -- CW ...

Washington Post: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took a final, bittersweet bow Sunday, staging its last three shows [in Uniondale, N.Y.,] after 146 years of entertaining American audiences with gravity-defying trapeze stunts, comically clumsy clowns and trained tigers." -- CW 

Guardian: "Pippa Middleton [sister of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge --] has married James Matthews in what has been called the society wedding of the year, in front of royalty, family and friends." -- CW

Washington Post: "Two months before Monday’s [May 8] announcement that Sinclair Broadcast Group would pay $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and add to its dominance as the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, a top executive at Sinclair beamed a short commentary piece to many of the company’s 173 stations.In the segment, which looks like it belongs in a newscast, Sinclair vice president for news Scott Livingston stands before a wall of video monitors and warns that 'some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.' He accuses the national media of publishing 'fake news stories' — a direct echo of President Trump’s frequent complaint — and then asks viewers to visit the station’s website to share 'content concerns.' The piece was a 'must-run,' meaning news directors and station managers from Baltimore to Seattle had to find room for it.... While partisan coverage is a familiar staple of cable networks — Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left — it remains mostly unheard of in broadcast TV, where it has generally been accepted that public airwaves should be used in the difficult-to-define public interest.” -- CW 

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December 22 & Etc. (Con'd.)

I can't figure out how to re-enable comments on our continuing thread, so if you want to comment, you can do so here.

Happy Holiday, Everybody! And thank you to every one of you who has contributed here over the past six months. It's been a joy.


Reader Comments (6)


Merry Christmas and a very happy Holidays to you and all the people that are yours!

Thank you for sharing your brain with us.


December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsaiah Earhart

@Marie: Many thanks for all the info that we can't get anywhere else; I'm one of those who are limited to 20 clicks per month on the NY Times, then it's pay up or get out.
@JJG: Marie gave you my Christmas song last week and I need it back. "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la. Don we now our GAY apparel, fa la la la la la". Except, not by Alvin and the chipmunks. Only by Il Divo will do. Ciao.

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

It would be interesting to know if all of us got what we wanted for the Jesus birthday holiday. I actually wanted nothing, but people keep giving stuff that is inedible (I only want ingredients) and books are also acceptable. Just as an aside, as a child, I only coveted the Easy-Bake oven that my sister got, and I got a chemistry set. She never learned to cook. I do dinners for six, eight, ten, no problemo.
She orders out. And the worst of it is, I think she's one of those Georgia republicans. Ciao.

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Pees on Earth, and in the immortal words of Frank Zappa: “Don’t eat the yellow snow”.

Evolutionary biology teaches us that, contrary to what was once thought (and is still thought in some circles), mankind is neither a deity-created unchanging presence nor some foreordained pinnacle of animal development, with an associated grant of dominion over the world.

Similarly, an honest reading of political history teaches us that, however much we might wish for a guarantee of progress in the general human condition, the arc of history guarantees only the passage of time, nothing more. As long as politics has been around, it has often been employed for the personal benefit of individuals and/or tribe, to the detriment of those much needier, and in hypocritical contravention of basic fairness and society’s supposed standards of morality. (Sometimes, the abuse of fellow man reaches extreme levels that are falsely termed “inhuman”, when in fact these abuses are all too often specifically human, simply not seen elsewhere in the animal kingdom).

Avoiding such destructive uses of politics and advancing the desirable ones requires an informed and moral citizenry, and I am thankful for sites such as this one, and for all the commenters at these sites, for helping all of us to avoid eating the “yellow snow” that is all too common in the political world.

Best wishes for the season and the New Year to everyone.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFred Drumlevitch

@Forest Morris; The song is yours, you wear it well. What's a good side dish with chipmunk stew?

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@Fred; Frank was ahead of the curve, wasn't he? AND he played a mean guitar.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJG
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