I generally avoid blogging unless I can’t resist it.

“I just want you to know that just like the airbrushed bodies in magazines don’t really look like that, the gorgeous rooms in the IKEA and Container Store catalogs and Houzz and House Beautiful don’t look like that in real life, or 92 days into quarantine, or three days after Christmas, or in the middle of summer vacation, or after the whole family has been down with the flu.”
The Truth About Celebrity Organizers, Magic Wands, and the Reality of Professional Organizing, by Julie Bestry, Don’t Apologize… Organize!!!, 12 June 2020

These things fascinate me.

“There is some truth to that. In a system where a close national popular vote can produce a close-but-different Electoral College outcome, a handful of electors refusing to uphold their pledges could indeed sow chaos. There is already controversy surrounding the Electoral College and its election of George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016 — neither won the popular vote. Adding in a few faithless electors who could flip the outcome of the election might pose a significant threat to the Electoral College’s continued legitimacy. Yet, the history of presidential elections is not exactly littered with faithless electors.”
If The Supreme Court Lets The Electoral College Vote However It Wants, Will Chaos Ensue?, by Josh Putnam, 538, 18 June 2020

So annoying. Just abolish the Electoral College. It’s the 21st Century afterall.

“Remember when as a server operator all you had to worry about were people scanning for open ports and then stealing secrets via telnet shells? Those were the days, eh? Things got a lot more complicated when the cloud got popular. Now, hackers are gaining access to cloud-based systems via the web, and they’re using them to mine for cryptocurrency. Microsoft just found a campaign that exploits Kubernetes to install cryptomining software in its Azure cloud. That could generate some mad coin for attackers – and cost legitimate cloud users dear.”
Microsoft Azure users leave front door open for cryptomining crooks, by Danny Bradbury, Sophos, 15 June 2020

“José Huizar has presided over Downtown Los Angeles during its emergence as a neighborhood for wealthy locals and tourists, holding more sway over what gets built than anyone else, other than, perhaps, the developers themselves. Huizar, who grew up just outside Downtown in Boyle Heights, was elected to represent both areas on the Los Angeles City Council in 2005. He has staked a large part of his legacy on making the Broadway corridor the heart of Downtown, reopening old movie palaces and attracting businesses like the Ace Hotel, which opened in 2014, and Eggslut, which opened in Grand Central Market in 2013.”
How to Bribe a Los Angeles Lawmaker, by Jenna Chandler, Curbed, 18 June 2020

Don’t look at me, I’m in the adjacent council district. However, I supported Gloria Molina when she ran agains Huizar, don’t look at me squared.

“Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, long suspected of being a target in a sweeping corruption probe involving a ‘pay-to-play’ scheme at City Hall, has been taken into custody on a federal racketeering charge.” ~snip~ “He has been charged with ‘conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act,’ federal prosecutors said in a news release, alleging he agreed to accept at least $1.5 million in bribes.” ~snip~ “The court filings offer the example of an unnamed company that schemed with Huizar to secure benefits connected to an Arts District project. The executive highlighted the ‘truly amazing’ accomplishment of minimizing affordable units in a building ‘in a wealthy opinionated hipster community.’ The executive made several donations to a political action committee linked to Huizar. Department of Justice and FBI officials stressed that their investigation into corruption at L.A. City Hall will not end with the arrest of Huizar.” Great. Let the panic begin. GM
LA Councilman Jose Huizar Arrested By FBI, Accused Of Leading ‘Criminal Enterprise’ From City Hall, by LAist Staff, LAist, 23 June 2020

Lawdy. Not surprised, but lawdy lawdy lawdy. What a year, and only half over. Also, $1.5M seems cheap for the amount of suffering the gentrification of downtown and Boyle Heights has caused. And, Huizar, you grew up in Boyle Heights; you should know better.

“With coronavirus cases surging to record levels in California and Florida, it’s understandable that some fans of Disney’s theme parks might steer clear when they reopen next month. But now there’s a critical group of park regulars who also say they’re not ready to return: the employees.”
Disney Staff Unhappy About Happiest Place on Earth, by John Horn, LAist, 23 June 2020

“The Vision Zero Network — perhaps the single most influential street safety advocacy group — has pledged to no longer recommend police enforcement as strategy to make streets safer. But many street safety advocates are still reckoning with what that might mean — especially if they’ve never been challenged to question white supremacist structures before. The statement came in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement and our national conversation about police violence against black people, particularly when that violence acts as a barrier to the free use of public space. But the statement did not provide a comprehensive framework for street safety advocates to imagine what a safe street might look like without cops.”
What ‘Abolish the Police’ Could Mean for Street Safety, by Kea Wilson, StreetsBlog, 22 June 2020

“Twitter apologized on Tuesday for sticking business clients’ billing information into browser cache – a spot where the uninvited could have had a peek, regardless of not having the right to see it. In an email to its clients, Twitter said it was “possible” that others could have accessed the sensitive information, which included email addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of clients’ credit card numbers. Any and all of that data could leave businesses vulnerable to phishing campaigns and business email compromise (BEC) – a crime that the FBI says is getting pulled off by increasingly sophisticated operators who’ve grown fond of vacuuming out payrolls. Mind you, Twitter hasn’t come across evidence that billing information was, in fact, compromised. On 20 May, Twitter updated the instructions that Twitter sends to browser cache, thereby putting a stopper in the leak. The two affected platforms are ads.twitter.com or analytics.twitter.co. If you viewed your billing information on either platform before 20 May, your billing information may have gotten stuck in browser cache.”
Twitter apologizes for leaking businesses’ financial data, by Lisa Vaas, Sophos, 25 June 2020

“The board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has announced that its longtime Executive Director Charles Brownstein has resigned. No reason has publicly been given by the CBLDF about the situation, however Heat Vision reports that was due to renewed focus on a 2005 incident of alleged assault by Brownstein.”
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director Charles Brownstein resigns, by Chris Arrant, GamesRadar, 24 June 2020

“Unless you’re under the age of 2, have a specific medical condition that makes it hard for you to wear a mask, or are able to keep six feet away from other people at all times (hello, hermits!), you should wear a mask whenever you leave your house, according to current recommendations from the CDC, WHO and public health experts. And it may be a requirement in your city or state.”
What To Look For In A Face Mask, According To Science, by Kaleigh Rogers, 538, 24 June 2020

“Saying he had read studies indicating that people could experience PTSD within seven days of being on the streets, Graham had argued that the prevalence of mental illness among the unhoused had factored heavily into officers’ decisions to resort to force. So had the ‘increased contacts between [law enforcement] and persons experiencing homelessness’ resulting from the growing demand for action about encampments from both the community and elected officials, he said. The perspective that trauma experienced by the unhoused makes the use of force inevitable is a profoundly dangerous one. Not only does it point the finger of blame outwards, at a vulnerable population, it absolves LAPD of having to do any reflection on their own role in violent encounters. It also makes Graham’s pledge to the commission to continue to raise ‘awareness’ around the need for officers to deploy de-escalation techniques during such encounters an empty one. With no real discussion around what raising “awareness” meant, what the circumstances were that had led to the deployment of force, to what end force had been used, or even what constituted escalation from the LAPD’s perspective, there would be no way to chart patterns or hold LAPD accountable for change. As concerned commission members tried to probe deeper with regard to how the LAPD’s philosophy of ‘enforcement as a last resort’ actually translated into practice – e.g. what kind of infrastructure was in place to more consistently move people into services rather than jail cells – Graham’s pledge rang emptier still.”
How Beating of Unhoused Boyle Heights Man Exposes Woeful Inadequacy of LAPD Reform Proposals, by Sahra Sulaiman, StreetsBlogLA, 23 June 2020

“To be clear, an essential takeaway here isn’t that the pandemic drove more people to consume more content, even though that is empirically true. Rather, it’s the underpinnings of that rudimentary finding, which is that the increased demand was driven by people’s desire to become more informed or entertained. There was no one right way to respond to that demand, but those who did respond were better off for it. Such levels of demand may wane in the months ahead, but as content strategies are planned and implemented, the intangible desire audiences have to be informed or entertained must always be a publisher’s north star and what they trade on.”
What Publishers Can Learn From the Pandemic’s Engagement Surge, by Casey Welton, Folio Magazine, 24 June 2020

“We also cannot understate the weirdness of these economic times. This led to a few other noteworthy results in our survey, starting with very high projections for the personal saving rate, which ballooned to a record 33 percent in April. (In that metric, saving is expressed as a share of disposable personal income.) Our group of economists doesn’t think it will stay quite that high going forward, but the respondents did predict a mean saving rate of 20.2 percent in June1 with an 80 percent confidence interval ranging from 13 percent on the low end to nearly 29 percent on the high side. To put that in context: According to data going back to 1959 from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the U.S. personal saving rate had never been higher than 17.3 percent before the coronavirus and had seldom gone into the double digits since the early 1990s.” ~snip~ “The unusual nature of this recession also showed up in our respondents’ prediction for which investments might deliver the highest return over the rest of the year. As we wrote about last week, the stock market has been busy regaining most of its initial coronavirus-related losses since late March, even as the rest of the economy sits in a very tenuous place. Our panel generally thinks that disconnect between the stock market and the broader economy will continue. When given the choice among three investments, the panelists thought there was a 45 percent chance that NASDAQ — with its heavy emphasis on tech stocks — would perform best, followed by the S&P 500 at 34 percent. The economists thought there was just a 21 percent chance that 10-year U.S Treasury bonds, traditionally a safe haven in an environment of uncertainty and low corporate earnings, would provide the highest rate of return by the end of 2020.”
What Economists Fear Most During This Recovery, by Neil Paine and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, 538, 23 June 2020

Reading:

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Quotes:

I enjoyed the courtroom as just another stage but not so amusing as Broadway.
Mae West

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.
Mae West

I grew up in a time when women didn’t really do comedy. You had to be homely, overweight, an old maid, all that. You had to play a stereotype, because very attractive women were not supposed to be funny – because it’s powerful; it’s a threat.
Lily Tomlin

I grew up with the sea, and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.
Albert Camus

I guess if people couldn’t profit from war I don’t think there would be war.
Lily Tomlin

I guess that’s one of the reasons that you do it – work all the time – because it’s sort of a high to find something that really works.
Lily Tomlin

I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.
T.S. Eliot

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world is not a metaphysical entity or an ontological problem, as some philosophers and theologians would have us believe. It is very concrete. It is punching clocks, taking orders, fighting rats, and being kicked around by police officers. It is where the oppressed live. Jews encountered it in concentration camps, Amerindians on reservations, and blacks on slave ships, in cotton fields, and in ‘dark’ ghettos. The world is white persons, the degrading rules they make for the ‘underprivileged,’ and their guilt-dispelling recourse to political and theological slogans about the welfare of society ‘as a whole.’ In short, the world is where the brutal reality of inhumanity makes its ungodly appearance, turning persons into animals.”
Reverend James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, Chapter 7, p 132, 1986 edition, 1st ed. 1970

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