SocraticGadfly

October 01, 2022

Hurricane Ian showing the worst of social media

First, there's an "influencer" asking for help for her family in Fort Myers. 

I did count, if not to 10, at least to 7 before offering the following quote tweet, which I then counted to 10 before posting here, rather than just copying my original quote tweet text and pasting, because context is needed.

She responded.

I did not respond back.

Instead, I offer this two-tweet thread of:

And, by influencer, this link on her Twitter bio should say enough.  (Well, not quite. See below.)

Looking through her feed (surprisingly, she didn't block me) she tags ABC in another tweet, then four or five presumably local meteorologists in another. So, my reaction to seeing Fox tagged in particular may have been overblown, but ...

So, the second tweet:

There's plenty of others out there asking for help for their relatives, even if not "thoughts and prayers." Not all of them may be at-ting local TV stations and meteorologists in their callouts, but nonetheless. 

And, maybe her relatives in Naples ran out of time (though the warning that Ian was shifting further south came a full 24 hours or so before landfall), the lady herself had time to keep hawking earlier in the week:

Oy. 

To extend some humaste to her, her husband is in the Florida National Guard and has been called up. I hope he and the rest of your family are safe, Kelly. To ask you to extend the humaste back? Ask for help for some rando on Twitter and do so without offering to sell them something from Amazon, after Naples settles down in a month. And, next time a hurricane is going to hit Floriduh, if I see you hawking influencer shit, I'll report you.

Here's another, not an influencer, but:

Oh, she lives in Naples herself. Why didn't you have your 78-year-old mom with you, Beth? 

And, actually, if you're a CEO of two different (boutique, I presume) PR firms? And, running an Amazon store, per your website? No, you're an influencer, too.

I've never been in a hurricane, but 19 months ago, I slept in my office for two nights during Winter Storm Uri because intermittent electricity there was better than none at home.

As for the rhetorical question? On people asking for medical help, as in fundraising for bills? Seriously? If I don't know you in person, or have a strong, and personal, online connection to you (like the late Leo Lincourt as an example) I'm not giving you money. Nor (per the person I quote tweeted having 80x more followers than me and about 10x more following) am I going to want to watch someone like you  move to the front of the social media herd.

And, that second tweet of the above pair of tweets leads to:

And, that's enough.

On that one? What if one of the firefighters drops a tool in the storm surge waters? Will we get to see that? Oh, also, what's the guy or gal who's doing the live video doing? Obviously NOT helping unload the half-submerged fire truck.

And, there's the exhibitionism of people swimming in the storm surge, which I'm not even going to post. 

That said, I reported to Twitter a couple of people posting the fake shark bullshit.

September 30, 2022

How Mozilla screwed the pooch on Firefox, in my opinion

And, everybody knows they DID, but, per Wiki and others, it's fallen off the cliff. 

Let's start with the nice big graphic Wiki has from Stat Counter. It is only through 2020, so no Brave.

 


The biggie is the spike in Chrome, even more than the drop in Firefox. 

What about smartphones? Well, Android is counted separate from Chrome. As for smartphones vs. desktop and laptop computers? They got the majority of browser share in November 2016 and haven't looked back.

I first thought that was the problem, but, Firefox's sagging starting in 2011. That said, not anticipating a Google-based option to an iPhone didn't help.

Given how buggy, and how insecure, an Android phone is, something cheaper than an iPhone, possibly cheaper than an Android, and maybe "locked" like an iPhone with some narrow, specific apps could have taken off like hotcakes. I would have bought one when my last flip phone, or "dumbphone," crapped out and Sprint told me smartphones were all it had available.

A second graph has more food for thought:


As you can see on it, mobile passed both Firefox and IE in 2013.

Had Mozilla put out an APB by the end of 2014, it probably could have had something to market by 2016. Partner with Samsung or someone else that got into Android smartphones early. Maybe try to resurrect a Nokia from the semi-dead by getting it to reverse engineer an Android.

But, after that, it might have been too late. By the end of 2016, Firefox was at 15 percent (and IE dying at 10 percent).

But, nobody sounded the "all hands in deck" in 2014 or even 2015.

Instead, in early 2022, we get Mozilla trying to backdoor paid search on us if we use the nav bar for searching, until it got busted at that.

Mozilla might take consolation in having a steady 10 percent of users. Should it?

The browser is a bigger memory whore than Chrome or Safari. (Never used Edge. Haven't used IE for 15 years. Opera is not as much a whore either. Haven't used Brave; downloaded but didn't install after its early kerfuffles.)

From what I've heard from friends (I haven't used it in years) recent iterations of Mozilla's email client, Thunderbird, are even more craptacular.

All of this should make you wonder how much of a player the Mozilla Foundation will be in the future world of the internet in general.

September 29, 2022

Judge Pitman just fucked over third-party candidates in Texas

Per the federal lawsuit filed by Texas Libertarians, Texas Greens, and other third parties and independent candidates in 2019, blogged about by me at the time, in depth, here ...

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman officially fucked over the plaintiffs. Summary judgment for Texas Secretary of State (then Ruth Hughs) on all but one item, per the ruling. Via Ballot Access News, and contra the first commenter, allowing petition e-signatures is NOT significant, whether this is the first such ruling or not.

The meat of the ruling starts on page 18 of the 28 page ruling. Pitman says the signature amounts required are not unduly burdensome, first. He then notes Greens have only had to do that once in the past 16 years and not at all since 2002 for Libertarians, therefore claiming, in essence, that this is nugatory. He then says that lesser third parties who were plaintiffs aren't "active," so, in essence, they don't count. 

Starting on page 24, he rejects that the new filing fees are unduly burdensome. He doesn't even wrestle with the issue of minor parties not being convention-nominating parties. Related to that, on 25ff Pitman rejects the idea that the differential ballot access violates the Equal Protection Clause. He says that's because candidates can do the petition route instead. He did allow the e-signatures, yes, but did not strike down the amount required after saying it's not burdensome and insinuating it's nugatory.

As for details of his ruling on e-signatures? The SoS will likely adopt the most restrictive version possible, meaning, we'll be back in court. And, next year's Lege may, with e-sigs being allowed, decide to up the number of signatures required to, say, 1.5 percent or even a full 2 percent. It's got Pitman's blessing, pretty much. Let's also remember that Pitman did nothing about the restrictive time frame for signing such petitions.

And this is why, contra commenter Mark, I don't consider the e-signatures that big of a deal. In my response, I think I said "due process." I meant the Equal Protection Clause. There's no way, unless he was a total hack like Judge Cannon, that Pitman could have ruled any other way on that issue. Everything else, he told the state of Texas to "carry on." So, if it wants to raise signature requirements or something? It will.

Russia-Ukraine, Week 22: Americans want diplomacy

Not just the Goldlocks Three Bears of Hank the Knife Kissinger, the NYT editorial board, and duopoly leftist Noam Chomsky, at all of whom many #BlueAnon / #TeamBlue / #VoteBlueNoMatterWho the grifter is / etc. warmongers scoff.

Not just NATO-barking opposer Pope Francis, whom the above ignore, also cited in that blog post. (I guess Joe Biden is a neoliberal warmonger Cafeteria Catholic.)

More and more of "We the People," now a majority of polled Americans, want diplomacy pushed harder by War Status Quo Joe, says the Quincy Institute.

Here's the biggie:

According to a poll conducted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Data for Progress, 57% of likely voters strongly or somewhat support the US pursuing diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible to end the war in Ukraine, even if it requires Ukraine making compromises with Russia. Just 32% of respondents were strongly or somewhat opposed to this.

Note that "even if" at the end.

Period. 

Hank the Knife may have been thinking of this in part when he recommended negotiations. 

As for the Nat-Sec Nutsacks™ wanting to fight Putin to the last Ukrainian and/or the last high-dollar US weapons system, especially those in the triple revolving door between gummint, think tanks and defense contractors? Inflation's going to keep rearing its head, if nothing else? Remember Vietnam? The "guns and butter" applies if inflation's already happening, even if we're not directly fighting.

In fact, the poll addresses that issue, too:

The poll also found 58% of Americans somewhat somewhat or strongly oppose the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if there are higher gas prices and a higher cost of goods in the US, while just 33% somewhat or strongly support continuing aid if this occurs.

Duh!

A similar question:

And nearly half of the respondents (47%) said they only support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine if the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy to end the war, while 41% said they support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine whether the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy or not.

Are you listening, AOC, Ilhan, and the rest of The Fraud, I mean, The Squad?

Finally, a "push for diplomacy" means direct US action, also per a plurality.

The Biden administration and Congress need to do more diplomatically to help end the war, according to 49% of likely voters, while 37% said they have done enough in this regard, the poll showed.

Are you listening, Warmonger Joe? Team Blue?

Remember: You're almost certainly going to lose the House. Especially if you lose the Senate as well, some yahoo like Gym Jordan is raising Hunter Biden's laptop as an issue.

Here's Quncy's talking points:

"Americans recognize what many in Washington don't: Russia's war in Ukraine is more likely to end at the negotiating table than on the battlefield. And there is a brewing skepticism of Washington's approach to this war, which has been heavy on tough talk and military aid, but light on diplomatic strategy and engagement," said Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute. 
"'As long as it takes' isn't a strategy, it's a recipe for years of disastrous and destructive war — conflict that will likely bring us no closer to the goal of securing a prosperous, independent Ukraine. US leaders need to show their work: explain to the American people how you plan to use your considerable diplomatic leverage to bring this war to an end," Parsi added.

What else is there to say?

Well, there's Chomsky himself, renewing his call for negotiations, before the war becomes more drawn out, and before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asks Biden for weapons to reach Russia one too many times, and Remove Putin Joe caves in. Per Noam, will European NATO countries (looking at you, energy depleted Germany, looking at you, France's Macron, to find Gaullist independence) get the balls to push for negotiations on their own? 

Anatol Lieven, linked by Chomsky, and himself writing at Quincy's Responsible Statecraft, also calls for peace talks, warning that if Biden doesn't move, the sham-annexed areas risk becoming a new Kashmir. Lieven also notes how Putin carefully did not try to incorporate Donetsk and Luhansk after the Maidan, but instead accepted the Minsk (II) Agreements negotiated by France and Germany, but, after eight years of non-action by Ukraine, prodded by the US and UK, he eventually grew tired of negotiations that were going nowhere. Finally, given the Shanghai Cooperative talks in Samarkand, Lieven doubts that Putin would be sticking his neck out without some backup from Xi Jinping, no matter what he said for public consumption there.

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Update 1: Stop misusing "Munich," warmongers. Jonathan Katz has your number. And, Anne Applebaum's.

Update 2: Ross Douthat has a column that's worth a read, setting aside his "pivot to China" push.

Update 3: Speaking of China and Applebaum, she comes off as pathetic in appealing to China against Putin. She also talks about how more than 16,400 Russians have been detained for protesting. Gee, Anne, how many Americans were "detained for protesting" during Vietnam?

September 28, 2022

A couple of things that suck about Substack

And that's beyond their tilt toward wingnuts and disinformation.

Rather, it's about Substack as a medium.

The first, that I only realized a couple of weeks ago, is that you can't block people period. You can ban them from commenting on YOUR Substack blog (let's call it what it is) but you CANNOT do a generic ban, like if you're commenting on someone else's site and then some wingnut-squared asswipe makes a response to you that on Twitter, Medium or Disqus, would get an immediate block.

You can't do it at Substack.

One big thing brought this up.

I had an asswipe on a third party Substack. And, I didn't know this until after I said "bye, the normal social media way." Oops after I got six more responses from someone bigger into "owning the libs" than Trump himself.

The second is, contra Blogger and Wordpress, there's no advance content moderation controls, whether for asswipes or spammers, especially Indian or Chinese link spammers.

Those two right there devalue it as a medium. I mean, speaking of mediums, Medium lets you set up subscriber-only posts. So does Patreon. (It, too, has comment moderation IIRC; don't think Medium does.)

What brought THIS up is being banned from Jessica Wildfire's Substack blog.

And, in turn, that leads to something else that sucks.

After being banned, I hit the "unsub" button three times within the first four days, the second and third because I got additional OK Doomer fearmongering (for bucks?) posts after hitting "unsub" the first time.

That one may be on Google, though. The first, and I think, the second time, I was hitting an unsub button that popped up within my Gmail on browser. Thanks, Google.

Anyway, the fact that you can't block people across the board on Substack is, I'm sure, deliberate.

September 27, 2022

Texas Progressives talk vaccine boosters, elections, Cheney, more

SocraticGadfly talks about "vaccine losers" as the new "bivalent" boosters roll out. 

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Off the Kuff published interviews with Democratic Congressional candidates Robin Fulford and Laura Jones.

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John Scott, with his county vote audits, has officially reaped the whirlwind.

As for the hand-counted ballot ideas? I wouldn't mind that, but per what Scott notes, the wingnuts will NOT want national election control, like in France. (Sidebar: Great argument for direct popular vote election of president, with no electoral college; it then by default becomes a national election, with all that implies.)

Nor would they want the expense of that, especially with all the items in a state ballot. America is allegedly the cradle of (modern) democracy, but in practice, we are cheap bastiches about that.

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Liz Cheney promises to leave the GOP if necessary to stop Trump. How long before #BlueMAGA finishes normalizing her? I mean, her Daddykins, Darth Cheney, became Veep because of the Brooks Brothers "riot" combined with a helping hand from SCOTUS, and also abetted by stupidity by Al Gorhythm. (NOT Ralph Nader.)

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Turd Blossom thinks the new Tex-ass abortion law is too strict. That said, who in the Texas GOP who has their hands on the levers of power listens to Rove any more? I mean, isn't any Rethug appearing at the Trib Fest automatically suspect? That said, Dade Phelan has talked about revisiting the law. On the Senate side, Bob Nichols has. But, without Danny Goeb's buy-in, all that means nothing.

That said, at least one Republican DA joined some Democratic colleagues in saying that prosecutions under the abortion law would be onerous. That would, in theory, undercut wingnut Briscoe Cain's alleged plans in the next bill to allow cross-jurisdictional DA prosecutions on abortion.

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#NotMeToo — Mayra Flores may not have her story straight on Aaron Peña.

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The idea that Tex-ass needs to elect enough new judges (Dems, as Libertarians have faded from their decade-old or whatever peak of state candidates and Greens are basically moribund) to use the state constitution's enshrinement of a right to privacy to protect abortion rights is noble. The reality, as in the possibility of that happening this November? Semi-laughable.

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Big Guns, like Big Tobacco, is seeking kids to hook on its deadly product. Speaking of moribund Greens, this is why I'm not voting for Second Amendment absolutist Delilah Barrios, and I'm calling on other Greens to undervote her, too.

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Steve Vladeck explains why the appellate court ruling about top secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago was so devastating to Trump.

Amanda Marcotte analyzes how fascists recruit high school and college boys by appealing to their sexual insecurities.

Mark Pitcavage talks sovereign citizens and their use of harassing liens.

The Texas Jail Project would like you to know that the most commonly arrested charge resulting in cash bail is Possession Less Than a Gram.

Keri Blakinger tells a Texas prisoner’s story of incompetence and brutality after a high-profile escape.

The Bloggess gives her perspective as an indie book ship owner of the book banning hysteria.