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Me: Frank Lynch. These are my daily rants, mostly political. For something less spontaneous, I maintain The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page (over 1,800 Johnson quotes), perhaps your best online resource for insight into his thinking.

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Bio: Born 1957, raised in Florida, moved to New York area in 1982; now live in Brooklyn. Married, with one daughter. I work in marketing research for Abt SRBI. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.

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Word blogging...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

US needs to amp up its public participation.

I get the politics of why Obama doesn't want to say "Armenian genocide" instead of "atrocity" while the battle against ISIS needs Turkey's help, but sending Jack Lew as our representative to a memorial is about as expressive as being content with listening to your Armenian sampler in the background while you vacuum.

We needed to send someone big to Paris, and Jack Lew wasn't enough here.

Link | Comments | 3:48 PM
 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How not to get things done.

My preference is to delay addressing quick hits for as long as possible, because if they can be quickly accomplished today they can be quickly accomplished seven months from now. So why rush it, when I can monitor the viscosity of an overturned jar of heather honey ("a jelly until stirred," says Wikipedia).

Eric Holder can finally go home without putting one of those annoying "HELLO! My Name Is    ERIC   " stickers on his lapel as he goes in the door.

Link | Comments | 6:51 PM
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"President Lindsey Graham."

Today the Senior Senator from the Great State of South Carolina said he was "91% sure" that he'd be a candidate for 2016, aside from the fact that he hasn't done much fundraising.

I'm at 6's and 7's on this. In 2012 I felt that Rick Santorum best embodied the Republican ideals of the time, and I thought that Bill Buckley's rule for compromise (nominate the most conservative candidate who can win) was being misapplied to Romney. That is, you need your voters to turn out. Romney had the baggage of being a somewhat moderate Republican who wasn't seen as a true Republican; and on top of that he (or his campaign) said all those silly things which may ultimately have helped Democratic turnout.

Graham is not Romney, and I think he'd do better than Romney at bringing out Republican voters in 2016. But he's already got a long list of over-the-top comments, and in the back of my head I'm hearing the Catalog Aria. Biden's joke about Giuliani -- that every one of his sentences could be characterized as a noun, a verb, and 9/11 -- very much applies to Graham, so long as you switch out "9/11" for "Benghazi."

Switching just a bit, the Times tells us that the GOP Hopefuls visited New Hampshire this weekend with a strong anti-Hillary message. I can't help but wonder if a candidate couldn't stand out by taking a different tack; could one succeed by tamping down the vehemence, recognizing that Clinton had accomplishments, but seriously, Presidential Timber? "We can do better," as Bernie said for 12 hours.

Link | Comments | 7:04 PM
 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Eat your vegetables.

Link | Comments | 11:16 PM


Kudos to Hamilton College.

Hamilton College was in lockdown mode today (a bomb threat had been called in, and there were rumors of a shooter). They deserve credit for the way they communicated to all involved. The students got early alerts to stay secure in place. They quickly evacuated the building named in the bomb threat, and basically shut down the web site so that the only active page was the home page, where regular updates were posted. Every brief update in their Twitter feed linked to the web page for more information, and updates were made regularly. If you followed a link to an internal page through Google, you were automatically redirected to the home page. I presume they used other social media networks similarly. For those who might have missed the news through online resources or texts, they made automated calls to the phone numbers on file.

I presume that the disabling of most of the web site comment content was to minimize the demand on the servers. In a situation like this people are constantly hitting refresh, and as another load limiter the html on the home page was VERY light. (A logo, a blue background, and text. Bold formatting here or there. That was it. I don't even think it called in a table.) Another benefit to eliminating most of the web site was it meant you couldn't use the web cams, and while they only have three or four last I checked, one of them is in the building where the bomb was supposedly planted. So this meant there weren't going to be any ghoulishly curious online visitors. And in addition to that, it meant that so long as there was a threat the perpetrator wouldn't be able to use the web site as an information source.

They really did a super job.

Link | Comments | 7:36 PM
 

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