Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When Zuckerberg Is Off The Mark

Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known for his band Silver Jews, is also an engaging poet. In his poem “New York, New York,” he cheekily imagines a new New York being built.

Since spending more than a little amount of time in the last few years on Twitter, I’ve come to see it as another internet. Or, at the very least, another Facebook.

I mention this because it’s recently come to light that President Obama, not long after the 2016 election, warned FB founder Mark Zuckerberg --- to his face --- that Russians were using his social network to seriously disrupt our electoral process.

Zuckerberg initially dismissed this claim out of hand as ridiculous but ten months later, after massive amounts of bad publicity, he’s sent the names of all the companies who trolled for Trump on to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Mark, you fucked up. Big time. Whatever money those Russian-backed ads generated for you, you didn’t need it. (Small digression --- always being photographed in t-shirts doesn’t mean you’re a regular guy. Being worth untold billions disallows that option.)

Anyway, this is just to say on behalf of like-minded FB users that we don’t need you. In a heartbeat, we can effortlessly move our online lives over to Twitter and only look at FB in our cyber rear-view mirrors.

Lots of people a lot younger than me have already left your social network because too many of their Moms are on it. At places like Instagram and --- better still --- Snapchat, they’ve found a viable alternative.

Elections, as the familiar line goes, have consequences. So does interfering with them. As you did.

P.S. Being richer than Barack Obama is not the same as being smarter than him. As the kids say, mic drop.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some Of The Countries That Don’t Extradite To The United States or Dumb Things That Trump Has To (Again) Try & Memorize Today

Afghanistan and Kazakhstan,
Algeria and Eritrea,
Angola and Moldova,
Bahrain and Ukraine,
Cambodia and Ethiopia,
Micronesia and Tunisia,
Macedonia and Mongolia,
Madagascar and Qatar,
Nepal and Senegal,
Rwanda and Uganda,
And --- to be fair --- it would be such a
Mistake to forget Nambia and-or Russia.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Stanislav Petrov (1939-2017)

He was a Russian duty officer who one
Day in 1983 happened to enter
Into history for what he did at an early
Warning system command center.

Petrov received a shocking report with the
Potential to alter all our fates:
A handful of missiles had been launched at
Russia from the United States.

His response to this alert was one that
Could’ve brought him glory:
Launch a nuclear attack that was swift
Fierce and retaliatory.

To be absolutely clear here, Petrov
Could see right before his eyes
Global war against not only the U.S.
But also its Western allies.

The world kept on spinning on its axis and
Humanity suffered no harm
Because he sensed something wasn’t right
And felt it was a false alarm.

He figured if the United States wanted
To not see any Russians alive
They would have sent many hundreds
Of its missiles, not merely five.

Petrov (a Red) put it all, if you will, on red
And was right at this junction:
It turned out their satellite warning system
Had a serious malfunction.

If faced with a crisis, be calm like Petrov ---
Is your enemy attacking or bluffing
Or perhaps making a mistake? Sometimes,
The best thing to do is … nothing.