Where Might “NerdLand” Land

MSNBC has an interesting history, it began as a collaboration between Microsoft and NBC, then slowly morphed into a news channel for the National Public Radio/The Nation crowd.  After cable giant Comcast bought out NBC, the channel abandoned many of its progressive premises.

They did realize that some of those progressive voices were a part of the audience and kept a few of them on the roster, mainly in the evenings and weekends.  One of those voices may soon be leaving.  Melissa Harris-Perry seems to be taking objection to being pre-empted for coverage of the Primaries.

Now it’s possible that MSNBC and Melissa may make up.  With the GOP field being made up of, and reaching out to, many of the same people that Melissa has made a career out of criticizing, and Bernie Sanders tapping into the kind of progressives that Melissa has often celebrated, she may be able to be integrated into the coverage.

But if she does decide to leave, there may be several places on the dial for her to land.  Black Entertainment Television, CentricTv, or TVOne are all targeted at African-Americans.  Might Oprah Winfery’s O.W.N be able to find a place for her among Tyler Perry’s productions.

Another possibility might be to see if she may have appeal with Milennials; a channel like Fusion, Pivot or the soon to debut Viceland may like to have her take on events.

We can only wait.



Could It Happen Here?

Be advised, I have been a bit under the weather the past few days.  I may be doing a lot of posts over the next few days to try and get caught up.

On Tuesday, the 22, while making one of my weekly visits to the plasma center, I tuned my tablet into the daily feed of the Diane Rehm show.  The segment was on the battle between Apple and the U.S Government over trying to gain access to an IPhone that one the San Berandino shooters had.  One detail that I think has been overlooked is that the phone was company-issued.  If the company has given the O.K to have the phone be searched, then the rest may be moot.

But what worries me, is that could we see more attacks on privacy should Trump somehow win; I could see him trying to supress dissent and intimidate “outgroups” like Hispanics and Muslims by making phones, etc less private.

It’s possible that tools like TAILS Linux, designed to combat authoritian regimes in other places may find themselves used in America.



The New York Confederate?

For over 150 years, The Nation has been an erstwhile voice of the American Left.  They have seen communism rise and fall, and gone from; Reconstruction, to civil rights to Black Lives Matter.

They have also seen many reactionary populists.  The March 7th issue featured a piece called “The Ruthless Clown Returns” on Louisiana Governor Huey Long, who in 1935 posed a threat to FDR.

Long may have been but one in a line of reactionary populists that came from the South; Strom Thurmond and George Wallace come to mind as well.

What may make Donald Trump unique is that he is from the North, but is making an appeal to the same lower-middle to lower class, rural, less educated, male voter that Long, Thurmond and Wallace reached for.  They may also be the voters that the GOP, willingly or unwillingly, has made their base.


Taking a Game Break?

I’m not serious all the time. In fact, this blog is the exception rather than the rule.

But even I can have some “serious fun”.  As part of a larger project, I am teaching myself how to develop apps for an Android Smart Phone using the App Inventor development tool.  One of the sample apps was a variation on “Wack-a-Mole“.

A little imagination led me to create a variation on this called “Thump Trump”.  It does have some cool little features, like sound effects and a way to save the high score.

I just have a few loose ends to tie up and the game should be ready to “go live”.

Hey, it could be the next “Flappy Bird”!

But Who Broke It?

The forums of PennLive.com are far too often the realm of the “Trailer Park Caucus”.  Very often the editorial section consist of evidence of intelligence of those who have fallen for the “Dog Whistle” politics of Trump, Cruz, etc.

So when one of the few “Voices of reason” on PennLive.com decides to propose that Trump and Sanders supporters may have one thing in common, 284 comments since the 9th seems a bit weak.

What he says, perhaps correctly, as being the common ground is that they American political system is broken.

The main difference may be who each side thinks broke it  To Trump’s supporters, the system is broken by a government that they may be convinced that has become to concerned with protecting and helping minorities.  Trump’s xenophobic, Islamophobic and nationalist rhetoric resonates with those who have heard a continuous stream of reporting that Obama puts the needs of minorities and foreigners before “Good [White] Americans.”

Sanders supporters see that the system behind the system is broken.  That the influence and power of corporations and their CEOs has created an America of, form and by the %1.  They, alas, lack a wide media network.  They instead have to be a bit more organic, using social media, etc to spread their message.





Losing The Court?

Ted Cruz’s win in Iowa likley had many of the conservative “Intellectuals” breathing a slight sigh of relief.  But the reason for this concern, especially since it could be argued that Trump is a monster of the American right’s creation, has puzzled me.

But I think I may have an answer.  Trump’s rhetoric may drive many groups to the polls to vote against him; women, Hispanics, Muslims, etc.  These voters might also associate Trump with the Republican Party and vote Democratic down the ticket.

This may cause some losses in the House and Senate, and possibly what the right is afraid of most of all.  Losing control of the Supreme Court.

The last decade has been good to the right from a judical front; they have seen the courts rule that corportations and the wealthy have unlimited ability to influence elections, that corporations have a freedom of religion, and the the 2nd Amendment applies to individuals.  They have seen the rights of workers to organize be curtailed and the Voting Rights Act crippled.

A Democratic President and Democratic Senate would likley put a stop to these gains.  Citizens United and Heller would likely be challenged, efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act and give Roe v Wade some teeth could follow.

But, wouldn’t “Justice Obama” provide some fodder?


It Starts Already

Tomorrow begins the Annual “Great American Outdoor Show”.  This National Rifle Association sponsored event was created as a replacment for the “Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show” that was cancelled after the organizers of that event, in light of the Newtown shooting, wanted to see AR-15s and other similar weapons removed from the show.

So it seems odd that PennLive.com would publish a piece mentioning the efforts of #ItStopsNowHarrisburg, a group designed to combat guns and violence.

But the 341 comments, and counting, explain why.