SocraticGadfly: 6/16/13 - 6/23/13

June 22, 2013

Metroplex memories renewed


Four full years.
That’s how long it’s been
Since I last visited the Metroplex
Of my own design and on my own.
In all the time of my exile
Elsewhere in Texas
I had never gone back
Until now.

It’s still booming, no doubt of that.
The freeway construction in Fort Worth
Looked like Houston!
Still-unconnected ramps heading everywhere
To connections unsure in my mind,
Gone too long to completely visualize the plan.
And the Kimbell?
A jewel originally,
I hope the expansion leaves it
As still a jewel, albeit larger.
The Amon Carter?
Still featuring great Americana art.
Speaking of, why did the Botanical Garden
Have to be closed for an artist’s party?
Que sera, I guess.
And, hey, Ron Snider?
Was that you I saw at the Fort Worth Central Market?
It’s been nearly five years
Since I sat in the Choral Terrace seats at the Meyerson,
And you look a lot different without your timpani in front,
But it sure looked like you.

Why couldn’t I find other work in Dallas,
Or Fort Worth,
When my newspaper company closed?
Why did greedy banksters and greedy housing bubblers
Have to wreck our economy
And force me to act in fear
And become a vagabond?

Why can’t my personal connections
And acquaintances, and social networks
Get me back to the place I once belonged
To what was home?

June 22, 2013

June 21, 2013

#Popovich - worst #Spurs coaching in years

Update, June 20:  Great game 7, but I'm again going to criticize coaching genius Gregg Popovich. A few questionable substitutions and rotations, especially way too much Danny Green in the second half, when other than the 1 lucky three, he had nothing. Boris Diaw had been effective in the first; why not play him more?

Dan Wetzel gets it half right, or a bit more, in high column describing how San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's questionable substitutions and no-foul strategy at the end of regulation and during overtime of Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat cost his team the game, but I don't think even Wetzel goes far enough on the man that ESPN's Bill Simmons is ready to put up as the fourth face on the Mount Rushmore of NBA coaching genius, along with Red Auerbach, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

Let's start earlier in the fourth quarter.

Despite how Pops allegedly isn't a sentimentalist, I can't think of any other explanation for why he left Manu Ginobili in the game as long as he did earlier in the fourth. I mean, everybody else in the world could see that he had become the Miami Turnover Machine. And, related to that, why did he leave Boris Diaw on the bench as long as he did into the fourth when, unlike Manu, Boris was putting together his second consecutive solid game, and also, unlike Manu, doing a better job of "playing within himself"?

From there, then, we've set the stage for Wetzel's further analysis.

It concerns Pops' subbing in and out for Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, mainly, subbing out for Duncan and not getting him back in on two key occasions that let Chris Bosh get key rebounds.

And Wetzel won't let him off easy.
If Indiana's Frank Vogel is shredded for pulling out 7-foot Roy Hibbert and leaving the rim exposed for LeBron in a critical loss in the Eastern Conference finals, then Popovich can be questioned for going with Diaw over Duncan with the title on the line.
That said, per my thought, both Diaw and Duncan should have been in there, and Manu OUT.  

And, Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie blog points out it could have been worse, on the substitutions. It was illegal, the blog says, to put Duncan back in the game while refs were reviewing Ray Allen's shot to make sure it was a 3. My question: did Pops know that and do it anyway, know that but forget in the heat of battle, or not know that? Neither 1 nor 3 is good, if true. (And I'm guessing that's a technical if refs catch it.)

From there, it goes on to the issue of Pops refusing to foul when Miami was in a situation where it had to shoot 3s, when Bosh grabbed that offensive board late in regulation.

Pops said that is simply not his policy.

He comes off making it look like it's not macho enough to deliberately foul when you're up by 3 rather than try to play "hard-nosed," or whatever phrase he would use, defense to lock down on 3-ballers.

Well, no, it's very smart, and it's not "weak" or worse. I guess this is Pops the Air Force guy slipping through. And, if that idea of macho is going to override his brains on a regular basis, that alone is reason enough to keep him off Mount Rushmore.

And, there's good reason to say that.

Since the Spurs' last title, in 2007, as the Spurs' own Danny Green demonstrated in the first five games of the Finals, the NBA world has changed a lot, especially on the 3-ball. Therefore, if you're such an alleged genius, you should change how you defend the 3-ball. That includes using the foul as a strategic defensive tool.

Wetzel also faults Pops for not calling a time out after Miami's last points, with 8.8 ticks in overtime left. I'll expand on that and go back to my original complaint.

In addition to his poor substitutions earlier in the game, I think Pops had poor use of timeouts in trying, or not trying, to keep the Miami crowd from getting back in the game as the Heat made its comeback run. Maybe that's more "macho" by Pops. If so, it's another #fail.

Kelly Dwyer notes one other occasion when Pops could have used a time out and didn't.

He also notes that the Spurs were gassed at times in the second half, and definitely in OT. LBJ's block on Duncan is testimony to that. That "old" issue, which looked like Manu put it to rest in Game 5 and Duncan in the first half of Game 6, may be alive and kicking.

But, that too gets back to Pops. In addition to substitution questions and time out use questions in the fourth quarter, it includes game pace issues. As in slowing it down, and getting his team to recognize that.

And, no, I don't expect the Spurs to win Thursday. The 1978 Bullets were the most recent team to win a Game 7 in the Finals on the road, and that was before the current 2-3-2 games match-up. Before them, the 1969 Celtics were the only other team to do it.

So, Pops will likely have a long summer to think about tactical fouling as part of defending against 3-pointers. And, if you can't learn the right answer, then, as a coach, you're as old as Timmy D. and Manu as players, and you should retire when Duncan does. Maybe this is a small part why it's been six years since you've even been to the Finals.

The NBA's gotten a lot more 3-friendly since 2007. Green's performance in Games 1-5 shows that. And that, not just his scoring, is why LeBron was guarding Parker more. Eric Spolestra wanted to shut down his drive-and-kick, too. That's also why Manu's Miami Turnover Machine hurt so much. Half of them were off drives with inaccurate kicks. 

As for particular situations? Somebody should have hammered Bosh's ass on that end-of-regulation rebound, before he could pass to Allen. Under 30 seconds left in a game, three-point differential? Hey Pops — learn how to foul. 

This all said, let's also repeat something else.

This is also about the Spurs' age. We saw that in the second half, especially the fourth quarter and OT. Does Pops need to get the team to slow it down more? Be more selective in its running? Stall just a bit more coming out of timeouts? Stall just a bit more at the free-throw line?

Probably all of the above and more. If he wants to get back on the coaching short list for Rushmore, it would be helped by learning how to steal seconds, and do anything else he can, to make the pace better, and find more rest, for his team. 

And, I'm angry about the loss because I don't like the Heat. I haven't ever since Dwyane Wade got all the phantom foul calls against the Mavericks in 2006. I haven't liked them even more since "The Decision" to start the 2010-11 season.

And, just because Commissioner David Stern hates the Spurs, I want the last NBA trophy he presents have to go to San Antone.

And, given that no road team has ever won both Games 6 and 7 to win a Finals since we went to the 2-3-2, the Spurs' best chance was last night.

It's OK to say 'I can't'

One shouldn't say "I can't" to everything, of course. I won't disagree with the "positivity" gurus that one shouldn't have a blanket negative attitude.

But, one certainly shouldn't have a blanket positive attitude either.

For example, I can't do open-heart surgery, and I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to, either.
  1. I would have to need a certain amount of manual dexterity, first. I might have that, and I might not.
  2. I'd have to be able to operate without blanching, or worse, at the sight of blood. I might be able to, but, to be honest, I'm not at all sure about that.
  3. I'd have to be able to operate without fear of screwing up. And, given my temperament, and upbringing, I'm not at all sure about passing that hurdle.
  4. And, I'd have to graduate medical school to legally do open-heart surgery, as well as to learn about how to do it of course.
That last point is itself important. In addition to showing we all have limitations, it shows that some are externally imposed.

Because, to graduate medical school, I'd need:
  1. Some pre-med classes
  2. Money to take some pre-med classes
  3. Med school
  4. Money for med school.
I wouldn't want to spend that much of my own money, I'm sure that scholarships for someone my age aren't available, and I'm not going to borrow it. That said, that could be true of a 22-year-old minority B.A. graduate just as much as a 49-year-old single white person who's been out of school for decades.

That said, physical or mental limitations due to heredity, or due to poor educational background, are also externalities. If my hands aren't steady enough to operate, it's not my fault. Or, if I'm not a "sales-assertive" enough person, it's not (largely) my fault, even as positivity gurus still try to tell us "we're all in sales," even though I know that's not true.

And, per that, if I "can't" do something because, per Polonius in Hamlet I must "To (mine) own self be true," that's certainly not a fault or a limitation. After all, per Daniel Goldhagen in "Hitler's Willing Executioners," way too many Nazi-era Germans found that they "could," indeed, murder Jews for no other reason than that they were Jews.

But, back to the more everyday "can't."

Even if one is wrong, or overly self-pessimistic for thinking and believing this, others of us should ask why this person is saying that. Beyond the fear of failure, maybe it's a fear of lack of education or training. And, in the "we're all in sales" modern American business world, that latter concern is nothing to laugh at indeed. When many companies (especially in a business field like mine) are stretched ever thinner, and there's little to no training or support offered for new job demands, or, in other, Fortune 500 type cases, companies have the money they could offer training, continuing education, etc., but in a Social Darwinian way, instead expect you to shell out on your own, then it's a legitimate issue.

Beyond that "I can" vs. "I can't" is too black-and-white. Theoretically, Michael Jordan could hit a AA-level curve ball, but far less easily than he could dunk.

So, don't be too doubting of yourself. But, when you are reasonably doubting of either yourself, or the larger situation around you, don't be too hard, either. The world needs pessimists in general; a few more of them on Wall Street might have prevented the financial meltdown.

June 20, 2013

Politicized rice farmers blame politics for farm bill defeat

First, I'm glad the proposed farm bill lost in the House, because it cut food stamps way, way too much. (And it's sad that, even with those massive cuts, only 24 Dems would vote against it. Real liberals need to thank wingnuts for being wingnuts.) And, it had other problems, too.

Too much in deductibles support on crop insurance backups. Not enough cuts on commodity supports on some crops, much of which goes to corporate farmers, like Texas members of the USA Rice Federation. That group said:
"U.S. farmers, ranchers, rural America, taxpayers, and consumers all lost today but politics is evidently alive and well," said USA Rice Producers' Group chair Linda Raun.  "Rather than pass a bill that reduces the deficit by $40 billion while meeting the commitments of a farm bill, the country was treated to more Washington dysfunction," Raun added.  "Patience in farm country is wearing thin.  This is a sad day for rural America.  Members of Congress need to ask themselves if they want to reduce the deficit or just talk about it.  Failure to pass a farm bill leaves rural America in limbo." 
Let's get rid of all the corporate farm socialism pork in the farm bill, as part of what we do to "reduce the deficit."

In Texas, rice farmers are regularly at the hog trough, whether wanting extra water out of the Colorado during ongoing West Texas drought, or stuff like this.

June 19, 2013

Is Obama finally serious about climate change?

Update, June 19: Stop me if you've heard this before. Dear Leader says he has a proposal.

"Bold action"? Puhleeze. DL has already pushed his administration's EPA to push back implementation dates for power plant emission regulations, among other things.

So, when White House flack Jennifer Zichal says:
“The E.P.A. has been working very hard on rules that focus specifically on greenhouse gases from the coal sector,” Ms. Zichal said. “They’re doing a lot of important work in that space.”
Uhh, yeah, but your boss keeps undercutting it. Fortunately (but sadly) we non-Obamiacs know that.

And, speaking of Obamiacs, back to the original post, inspired by a huge, blind Obamiac — Jon Chait.

Chait, in talking in May about Obama's nominees for the DC Court of Appeals, and claiming they're part of a grander strategy, says DL is, this time, Matt Cooper double-secret serious about doing something about climate change.

And, Obama's political apparatus, Organizing for Action, is doing "let's focus on climate change actions" awareness events, or whatever, around the country.

That said, my "whatever" should give you an idea of what I think about this as reality vs. political theater or anything else.

First, per Glenn Greenwald's take (and that of many others to whom he links) on Obama's "let's end the War on Terror someday, but not if it inconveniences my presidential powers" speech of last week, Chait is one of those neoliberal Obamiacs always ready to see the best in Dear Leader. That's exemplified here by his ludicrous claim that Harry Reid, if the Senate GOP rejects all three of Obama's DC Court nominees, will finally, finally, end the filibuster. Third time is the Matthew Cooper double super secret charm, eh, Jon?

Even before this piece, and Glenn's, I had seen enough vapid blatherings from Chait, like his "one of the greatest presidents in history" piece last year, to know that he's once again over the top.

The reality? His speech last week left the door open to expanding drone killings. (Always, always, on a big issue like this, among American big media, wait until the folks at McClatchy weigh in, just like in this case.) Real liberals, not Obamiacs, who remember McClatchy's stellar coverage of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq should remember that.

As for OFA? First, it's going to spend its political capital and focus on Obamacare.

Second, speaking of political capital, OFA will focus on being as vague as Dear Leader himself on drone warfare while trying to still score political points. That's part of why it's tailoring its pitch to the profile of each Congressional district.

Third, it's about Dear Leader's legacy as much as anything.

So, the answer is ... an answer that will satisfy true believer Obamiacs and dishearten those further left:

"Obama is just as serious about addressing climate change as he is about ending drone warfare."

June 18, 2013

Don't give up on Pujols yet?

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports says that we should not write off the man who took baseball in St. Louis to new heights, Albert Pujols.

Brown starts by saying that Phat Albert is still not 100 percent recovered from his offseason knee surgery, even though he's not making excuses about that, and wouldn't let that keep him off the field anyway.
He knew this winter his knee would need seven to nine months to recover fully. He knew an achy knee would irritate any lingering foot issues. He knew this would be an important season.

"The only way I wouldn't play," he says, "is if you chopped my leg off."
And, he's right. Pujols came back to spring training earlier than expected. That said, even though the Angels have been giving him 50-50 time at DH vs 1B so far this year, one wonders if he doesn't need a day off a bit more often than he's been getting. Maybe like a catcher, give him off a day game after a night game. And maybe, Albert needs to accept that he's hurting both team and himself for the longer-term if he doesn't take advantage of any such decisions/offers that Mike Scioscia might make.

That said, his April stats this year were better than last year's splits. So, he's not "pressing," and he has done a lot of adjusting to AL pitching. Now, it's just a question of how much he heats up, and when.

At the same time, I think he may be done on the 40HR per year club. It does seem Anaheim may be a touch more of a pitchers' park than Busch was/is in St. Louis. Add in aging, and nagging injuries. That said, if he could have something like last year's 30 HRs and 50 doubles, but with a batting average at .300 (let alone above) and do something like that for the next 2-3 years, then he has at least partially reclaimed the mantle of his old self.

In other words, if he could bat like his 2011 St. Louis lines, albeit with fewer HRs and more doubles, and do so through 2015, the Angels would take it. Even Prince Albert might grudgingly accept it.

I think that's still reasonable. More than that doesn't seem likely.

At the same time, only once before 2011, and that was in 2007, did Pujols exhibit a "slow start." Is this a new normal? Does it show he takes a bit longer to bounce back in offseasons?

On the other hand, as I update this nearly a month after posting it, Pujols is still below .250. As Jonah Keri notes, not just a slow start, but a definite decline, may indeed be the new normal.

And, of course to my original of course, two weeks later, or less, Pujols is now above .265 and has more than 40 RBIs. He's got a shot at 30 HRs and 40 doubles, and of 100 RBIs and finishing with a higher BA than last year's .285. He also seems to have cut down on strikeouts and started taking more walks. He could get back to 2011 levels this year in at least having more BBs than Ks.

So, no, don't quite give up on him yet.

In fact, let's say that he finishes June at .272 on the season, and while he's not quite as hot for the second half of the year as he's been for this month, he bats .312 from July on.

That puts him at .292 on the season. If he pushes it a bit more, he could hit the .299 of 2011. Get his slugging for the season up to .465 by the end of the month. Give him .535 for the second half and it's .500 for the season. With more walks, give him a year-end OBP of .370. And, we have an OPS of .905 in a place that's a bit more of a pitcher's park than Busch. His RBI and run totals should at least match last year's.

So, a 2011 Pujols, in spite of his injuries, could still emerge.

In fact, Prince Albert himself says he's emerging right now. Pujols says he made a mechanical adjustment a couple of weeks ago which has taken stress off his right knee, the one that saw offseason surgery. The CBS writer is skeptical, but, maybe he shouldn't be. As I noted, he's walking a bit more and he's cut down on strikeouts. Whether that's all due to this adjustment, or part of it involves other things, I don't know.

June 17, 2013

Paleo diets - yet another #PopEvPsych failure

Hey, third time is the charm today on Scientific American stories and blogs. I found one that's actually scientific.

The writer notes several things wrong with paleo diets, such as incorrect assumptions about evolution and how it works, and, even more, the assumption that there's "one" Paleolithic diet and only one.

Man the noble hunter-gatherer, for example, informs wrong ideas in PopEvPsych and in the idea of "one," meat-heavy, Paleolithic diet. Indeed, per the chart, the Kung of "The Gods Must Be Crazy" fame only get 10 percent of their food intake from meat.

Meanwhile, both Pop Ev Psych with its noble meat-killing hunter-gatherer (already shown to be incorrect, above) and the paleo diet craze, gets a more direct smackdown. Our ancestors started eating more grasses 3.5 million years ago. The Science Daily story notes that we don't know for sure what part of those grasses were being eaten, but part that was surely seed heads, i.e. ...

GRAINS! The grains decried as unhealthy by the paleo dieters and rejected as being beyond the noble pale by Pop Ev Psychers.

Oh, and per claims (not necessarily wrong) that meat cooked on fires fueled our brain expansion, this does matter for reasons beyond what I just listed.

Per Science Daily:
"If diet has anything to do with the evolution of larger brain size and intelligence, then we are considering a diet that is very different than we were thinking about 15 years ago," when it was believed human ancestors ate mostly leaves and fruits, Cerling says.
Now, the biggest brain explosion happened later. But, it may not been quite so much due to cooked meat, as to expansion of proteins in general, and perhaps certain fats and fatty acids, too.

That said, the Scientific American author, on the first link, could have gone much further.

I believe that these, and other incorrect ideas and assumptions, are partially connected, or more than partially, to Pop Evolutionary Psychology, even though its starting point is further back in hominid history.

Because of this and other incorrectnessess, paleo diets are stupid because like anything connected in any way to Pop Ev Psych (and this halfway goes for "normal" ev psych) it's based on half-baked, largely untested, probably largely untestable ideas, and ideas that often have a good "leaven" of sexism behind them.

And, note that I applied this critique as halfway falling on "normal" evolutionary psychology, too. Because it's true. Some of its assumptions about human evolution and its pace are just ill-thought. The EEA is largely untestable. And probably will always be so. To the degree it is testable, it's at least partially refutable.

And, the sexism is heavy in the idea of man the "noble hunter-gatherer." Mankind first increased the amount of meat the species was eating by being a scavenger-gatherer, not a hunter-gatherer. That's less noble. It's also less individualistic.

And, as I recently blogged about how there's no basic difference between men and women on level of sexual drive, or on level of sexual roaming eyes outside of strict monogamy, one key tenet of such sexism has not just been refuted but crushed.

And, I'm more and more willing to say that about "legit" ev psych. Other than the idea that mind = brain, and brain evolved, therefore human psychology evolved, I think a legitimate field of evolutionary psychology needs to start from ground zero.

Update: I think paleo dieters ought to combine with breatharians, once they figure out the exact composition, by ratios of elements and CO2, of the atmosphere of the PopEvPsych EEA, and therefore, lose weight, trump conventional science, and become Social Darwinist sexists all at once!

#Snowden, snooping and Dear Leader

Note: This post will be regularly updated as we get more information about NSA whistleblower (or whatever) Edward Snowden, the accuracy of his statements, reporting on them by media and opinionators, especially Glenn Greenwald, and more.

First issue: Per a Facebook friend, he says that some of the things Edward Snowden has claimed, in his leaking so far, that some big communications/data companies have done simply isn't true. This guy is a strong civil libertarian himself, and has an IT background, so I'm not dismissing him.

That said, per this Slate story, if the National Security Agency really trusted Snowden with this  much information access, we really shouldn't trust it, for other reasons. So, let's turn that rhetorical statement on its head. Per my Facebook friend, maybe Snowden, a high-school dropout, didn't have that much access.

And, per this post about what Snowden is doing in his refuge in the supposedly freedom-loving Hong Kong, one must wonder if he's altogether "there" mentally. More on that below.

But, but, Glenn Greenwald said!

Look, I like a lot of Greenwald's writing, but he can occasionally "bite" on stuff. And, on the First Amendment, I'm not sure that he would even accept Justice Holmes' dictum about yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater.

At the same time, Dear Leader's gummint will not reveal any details of Prism to prove Snowden mistaken, wrong, or lying, if he is. So, it's up to people who care about this issue, but don't want to be played by the government, or an egotistical idealist, or all sorts of other things.

That said, per Emily Bazelon at Slate, such secretiveness, combined with our Constitututional Lawyer in Chief's previous legalese that "we're not listening to your phone conversations," means that Dear Leader still shouldn't be trusted, even if Snowden is lying or exaggerating.

Anyway, Snowden may wind up as the perfect "foil" for Dear Leader tut-tutting his opposition. Maybe he's a deliberate CIA plant, Per my FB friend, I'm almost as ready to believe that, upon further reading, as his claims in their entirety.

Update, June 10:

First, per this "10 things to know list" about Snowden, compiled by Tiger Beat on the Potomac, Snowden may have lied about his Army service. If he lied about receiving awards, I'll give 50-50 odds he's also lying about paratrooper training, and breaking both legs in so doing. And, in turn, that means he may have had a non-honorable discharge. Now, that doesn't mean that it was "dishonorable." If he's telling the truth about his legs, it could have been medical. But, even in the Reserves, I believe, there's yet other non-honorable, non-dishonorable discharges.

Based on that, even if he started at the NSA as "just" a security guard, I'll venture he lied about his military service on applications there and elsewhere.

Jeff Toobin has an interesting rhetorical question: Why the hell did he go to the NSA in the first place? Given that Politico says, in the link above, that he donated money to Ron Paul in 2012, voted for some third party presidential candidate in 2008, and that he appears to have some level of activity on Reddit, did he see himself as a "mole" from the start? More circumstantial proof of that here.

And, The Nation (with multiple links) has now joined the list of progressive sites saying Glenn got some stuff wrong. In my opinion, assuming what I've read in stories like this, what I've heard from IT friends on Facebook and more, Glenn did get wrong at least the server issue. Especially given that Snowden may may have mild credibility issues, and that the MSM is going to work to magnify them, I think it behooves Glenn and the story line to address this in a follow-up.

The infamous "PowerPoint Slide 5."
Via the NSA and my taxpayer dollars.
The "servers" issue, per a copy of the one PowerPoint slide Snowden gave to Greenwald, at left, is a big one. As I said on a friend's Facebook page, in a comment to him posting the link from The Nation:
I run a weekly newspaper, and keep eye on another. Here at the larger paper, we have a server for our office. We regularly use two FTP servers w/corporate, one for downloading ads designed at HQ, the other for uploading pages we build. It's not that hard to understand that there's different types of servers.
It's very plausible that companies in question with Prism have set up a separate server to address NSA requests for information.

Nobody's perfect. And even if one is a First Amendment absolutist, let's get all the facts squared down. Glenn can still address this server issue, while also discussing other details in the future.

And, if Glenn is that tech-clueless, then, since Snowden's the leaker and claims to be so IT-smart,  then he either needs to provide the approp riate corroboration, if this is what Glenn claims it is, or else, via the New York Times (if Glenn sticks by his story) make clear what this is NOT as well as with this is.

Besides, assuming there is no "back door," but that there may be, per Al Gore, a lockboxed server denoted to government data requests, there's still plenty of follow-up questions and details to ask about:

Details such as:
1. What does Booz Allen do in its contracting?
2. How much information can it access?
3. How vulnerable is it to Chinese hacking?
4. Who else besides Booz Allen has contracts specifically related to this, and how do questions 1-3 apply to them?

For right now, though, Greenwald is focusing on attacking Perlstein (Nation) and other critics of the "servers" issue. We'll see how he responds to Charles Pierce's take, since Pierce is bulldog enough himself. Oh, and Glenn, just because tech companies cooperated with the NSA, that doesn't mean they cooperated in the way you and Snowden claim they did. Red herring. Finally, your appearance on Chris Hayes' show does NOT address the "server" issue. In the text transcript, the word only appears twice, and in both cases, you do NOT distinguish between different types of servers.

Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? Not at all. Via a connection, as well as bits of blog interaction with him on my "More Glenn Greenwald is not a liberal" post, which followed my original "Why Glenn Greenwald is no liberal" post, I'm not at all surprised.

Glenn will not just double down on his stance while digging in his heels, he'll triple down and more.

Update, June 17: Snowden had an online Q&A with Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman of the Guardian, along with selected outsider questions. Neither GG or SA straight-out asked Snowden exactly what he meant by "servers."

This all said, I'll spin these issues off into a separate post soon enough.

Barton Gellman (l) and Glenn Greenwald (r). Politico pictures
At the same time, per the picture shown at left from this Tiger Beat story, I wouldn't trust Barton Gellman very far. Why not?

The Navy ship cap he's wearing? If you're any sort of whistleblower against the government, would you trust someone who looks like he's on "their team"? Not I. So, in his contretemps with Greenwald, I wouldn't trust his version of the story, either.

That said, this too reflects less-than-well on Snowden. Why would somebody who allegedly mistrusts the "mainstream media" that much approach somebody like Gellmann? Seeing that he contributed to Ron Paul, and voted third-party in 2008, pretty well scratches my earlier idea that he was a CIA plant. Instead, he just looks like ... well, like an idealistic, sometimes clueless, high-school dropout.

Finally, it looks like Al Franken has officially become a sellout. Getting a big "tout" on fake-liberalland Democratic Underground would be a "tell," but all we have to do is look at the quote DU lifted from a video interviev via another blog:
To summarize, he points out that as a member of the Judiciary Committee - he has availed himself of the briefings about NSA and nothing that was made public lately surprised him. He said, "There's certain things that its appropriate for me to know that its not appropriate for the 'bad guys' to know...So anything the American people know, the 'bad guys' know...I can assure you that this isn't about spying on the American people. This is about having the data available so that if there are suspicions about foreign persons or persons that have connections with terrorist organizations that we can connect the dots."
I tried to comment there, but DU, like Kos many a year ago, has suspended/blocked my account, I guess for some truly liberal nefarity (I can invent words, I'm an editor) that I wrote in the past.

And, per polls showing that a majority of Americans now favor such snooping, the IOKIYAO factor appears to be part of it. Thank doorknob I didn't vote for him, either time. And right-or-wrong Democrats who spew vitriol at me will only drive me further away, not convert me.

Update, June 13: Snowden's now changing his story (yes you are) on why he went to China. Dude, as successful as China is with hacking, it probably doesn't need you to "expose criminality." Besides, if it does really think you have things to share, you can be a hostage against your own possible extradition.

Now Snowden is starting to sound more like Julian Assange. Tinges of idealism — and tinges of a big, fat ego, too.

Another way he's sounding like Assange? This, in GG's follow-up story:
"He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them."
Like the NSA couldn't use a keystroke recognition software program or something?  I mean, if Snowden really thinks a red hood is going to stop the National Security Agency, he's got problems indeed. Let me go back to my one original idea. Maybe he is a CIA plant, designed to attack the credibility of the likes of Glenn Greenwald.

And, that's not at all unrealistic. A New York Times Opinionator column reminds us that this exact idea was discussed by a consortium of national security contractor companies, including HBGary Richard, just a couple of years ago, after a 2010 hack by LulzSec, and Greenwald's coverage of that:
Team Themis (a group that included HBGary and the private intelligence and security firms Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and Endgame Systems) was effectively brought in to find a way to undermine the credibility of WikiLeaks and the journalist Glenn Greenwald (who recently broke the story of Edward Snowden’s leak of the N.S.A.’s Prism program),  because of Greenwald’s support for WikiLeaks. Specifically, the plan called for actions to “sabotage or discredit the opposing organization” including a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error. As for Greenwald, it was argued that he would cave “if pushed” because he would “choose professional preservation over cause.” 
Of course, Greenwald didn't "cave."

That said, suppose the contractors said to themselves, "We're on the right general trail, but some of the details are wrong," and they then talked about a new idea, of feeding false documents, expecting Greenwald to double down, and then attacking his credibility.

Far-fetched? Not at all. Snowden has more to release. Suppose there are more things that are incorrect in them?

Update, June 19: Meanwhile, just because Greenwald may be digging himself a Snowden-specific hole, there's simply no call for alleged civil libertarians to go far beyond Perlstein and say "nothing to see," but David Simon decided to do just that. Even worse, since then, he's doubled down on the stupid with an abundance of self-righteousness that probably could put even Greenwald to shame. Implying that nobody's been more out in front than you in fighting against all the problems of the War on Drugs is bad enough. Using a blog post title like "The 'Nigger Wake-Up Call'" is worse. Claiming that that title wasn't gratuitous is the trifecta.

Hell, with "friends" like you, the NSA or Booz Allen Hamilton had no need to give Snowden bogus information, or let him think things that aren't true, if that is the case, per my earlier hypothesis.

No sympathy for Phil Mickelson

First of all, I just have to "love" whichever golf scribe talked about the "working class people" at Merion for the US Open were supporting the non-working class Phil Mickelson.

First, Ardmore, Pa., home of Merion Golf Club, ain't close to "working class."

Second, "working class" people don't normally have the ducats for US Open tickets. (The whole issue of live sports tickets outpacing the rate of inflation is a separate topic all its own.)

Realistically, even a Jason Duffner isn't of "working class" background. That's part of why John Daly had his appeal for so many, though. Not for me; blow your life like that, you lose sympathy, too. It's too bad there's no Lee Trevino. Notah Begay, if he'd win a few, would have a chance at that.

Second of all, the dude's got money to fly back on a fractionally-owned private jet or whatever for his daughter's eighth-grade graduation. Yes, good family man, but back to the money. (The whole subject of proliferating graduations at different elementary grades is also a topic all its own.)

Third, Phil whiffed.

It began on 18 on Saturday. He should have hit his 2-wood, or whatever his longest non-driver wood in his bag was, off the tee and not that 4-wood. That leaves him an iron to the green, biting on the green more. He gains an extra stroke there, potentially. I assume that, with my scenario, he gets a par instead of his actual bogey.

Then, "Mr. Wedges" blows two wedge shots, the first badly at 13 on Sunday.

He caps it by criticizing the USGA for its length on one of the long par 3s when he knew the day might be windy, with the wind in his face on that hole, and he chose not to play driver Sunday, but rather, five wedges.

I actually was kind of liking the possibility of him winning, just to see if, with the career Grand Slam then within his sights, he'd change how he approached the British Open.

And, while I like to watch at least the four majors, I actually relate less to golfers as people than I do in most sports. They're definitely more conservative than the national average, among other things. The only blessing is that most of them don't claim Jeebus wanted them to win, when they do.

A couple of other thoughts.

Yeah, I thought Merion would be easier than it was, but I certainly wasn't alone.

That said, I did not join the majority of golf's punditocracy in saying this course shaped up well for Tiger Woods. Frankly, I expected him to have as much, if not more, problems with finding the rough as he actually did.

As for why Phil can't win at the US Open? Cracking wise about his wedge play aside, it's his putter, in my opinion. Yeah, he's won three times at Augusta, but the Masters, while it welcomes a good putter, doesn't require it, especially if one has a good short game.

I just don't think Phil is the greatest putter, or the greatest reader of greens in general.

Looking ahead to Muirfield and the British?

First, I don't expect Tiger to do well there, either. So, Tigerholics, too bad.

I'm going to go out on a limb. The first two majors have featured "nice guy" winners.

So, if you'll allow me two options, I'll take either Lee Westwood or Luke Donald there.