Higher Loyalty – James Comey

Friday, 20 April, 2018

Bought James Comey‘s “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” the day it came out as a Kindle ebook and I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. And I got a chance to start reading the “James Comey’s memos” (PDF file) (via CNN).

Watched a whole bunch of Comey TV interviews and enjoyed all of them. Here are some samples.

And this BBC 22 minutes interview “James Comey on Donald Trump and the FBI

26 Apr, 2018 update: James Comey gets real in CNN town hall

xxx

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Emma’s Silence #MarchForOurLives

Wednesday, 28 March, 2018

Emma’s silence” was Jaclyn Corin‘s, MSD student and one of #MarchForOurLives organizers, answer to the Twitter question “What was the most emotional moment during March?” I felt the same.

Emma Gonzalez’s powerful March for Our Lives speech in full

I watched the 3-hour event live and I was initially puzzled of the silence from the beginning to the end of the silence like many people. But in hindsight, it was the most powerful and emotional moment for me as it uses time, an abstract idea in itself, to share the horror the MSD students experienced that tragic day. In merely 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the time since Emma came out on stage till she spoke again after the alarm rang and she broke her silence,“The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” Emma concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

If the #MarchForOurLives is to succeed, thousands and thousands of American students, youths, and adults have to keep on fighting for changes. While I’m less hopeful for adults’ abilities and determinations. Fortunately, today’s students and youths will become adults tomorrow and they will change the world!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead remains the top quote in my collection of Quotes I LOVE!

Again, here is Emma’s full speech transcript which I shared previously.

“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]

The speech video with subtitles.

March 29, 2018 Update: Vice News, “Hoaxers Say Survivors of Mass Shootings Are “Crisis Actors”” //”This isn’t a fucking conspiracy. This is real life, and people are fucking dying.”
Immediately after the tragedy in Parkland, conspiracy theorists claimed that the school shooting was staged, and that survivors were actors.//


#MarchForOurLives in DC and around the world

Sunday, 25 March, 2018

I’m so inspired by the students who spoke today at  #MarchForOurLives in DC yesterday and so many sibling marches around US and even the world (including Calgary, Canada and UK)!

Check out a live blog reporting by UK Guardian, “March for Our Lives: hundreds of thousands demand end to gun violence – live” and CNN live blog with video clips report, “March For Our Lives: A Rally To End Gun Violence | NBC News

Watch live: March for Our Lives

Video and transcript of Emma González’s short speech.

“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]

2018 March 25 Sunday update:

* “.@delaneytarr: I believe the strongest thing we have going for us is that this is a youth’s movement, this is led by the youth and this is led for the youth.

* “@delaneytarr The BEST gov teacher a kid could ever ask for” : jeffrey foster ‏ @mrjefffostermsd Almost start time @Emma4Change @delaneytarr @Ryan_Deitsch Let’s change the world #NeverAgain #MSDStrong

*WaPo Perspective, “Emma González and the wordless act that moved a nation

The scene was brought to mind Saturday, on that impressive outdoor Washington stage before the countless faces at the March for Our Lives demonstration, as Emma González, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who has become one of the most prominent voices in the #NeverAgain movement, went on with her speech — and then, for a few minutes, didn’t.

It was one of the day’s most galvanizing moments, and a reminder of how little we appreciate in this Tower of Babel culture that the most powerful message can be the one we don’t try to put into words. After naming the dead in the Parkland, Fla., massacre, and identifying, like Hamlet, experiences they never would get to see, González simply stopped talking. The rest really was silence.

The absence of language, the extended pause for contemplation, remains a rare thing in public discourse, and even rarer onstage. A moment of silence is the ritualized form of respect we employ on many occasions to mark tragedy, but it’s usually only a moment. González’s silence was an act that felt, in its way, radical. It was as if she dropped the mic — yet a mic was still in front of her. The silence went on for about five minutes, and, as cable news cameras swept the crowd, you could tell some people did not know quite what to do with themselves. Gonzalez fixed her gaze into the distance, as if she were concentrating on something out of our normal range of perception; at times, she trembled and wiped away a tear. In the crowd, some people started to chant, or applaud, perhaps because the rule in this society seems to be that if there is a vacuum of noise, someone has to make some.

The interruptions were respectful, though, and eventually, as González steadfastly held her tongue, the hubbub died down. We were left with the image of a young, grieving woman, drawing our attention not to herself but to something more abstract: to time — the amount it took for a killer to mow down her classmates and teachers.

[…] González touchingly reminded us that a profound dialogue doesn’t always require them.

WaPo, “They came, they marched, they inspired

WaPo Perspective, “The March for Our Lives will last a few hours. Its impact will last a generation.

WaPo, “The 6 most memorable speeches at the March for Our Lives in D.C.

WaPo, “Picturing the March for Our Lives

CNN, “Slacktivism is over. The #NeverAgain movement is about what’s next

March 26, 2018 update:

March for Our Lives organizers send message to Congress – Fox News Sunday” (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Delaney Tarr and Cameron Kasky appeared on the show to talk)

xxx


Best Actress Frances McDormand talks Inclusion Rider before global Oscars audiences

Monday, 5 March, 2018

So far this UK Guardian article gives the most in-depth discussion re Inclusion Rider: “Woman behind ‘inclusion rider’ explains Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech – Professor responsible for concept spotlighted in McDormand’s acceptance speech tells the Guardian how it can boost diversity” (emphasis added)

In an interview late Sunday night, [Dr. Stacy] Smith said she was shocked and grateful to hear that McDormand had given a shout out to her work.

“I’m utterly elated,” she told the Guardian by phone. “It’s a complete surprise.”

Smith said she had worked with attorneys to create specific contract language and has already been in touch with numerous actors interested in the idea.

“The real goal is to counter bias in the auditioning and casting process,” she said, explaining that the contract could also stipulate that if the film ultimately failed to meet the requirements, the distributor would have to pay a “penalty” to a fund that supports female directors and other underrepresented groups.

Smith said A-list stars could use inclusion riders to ensure proper representation and inclusion of women, people of color, LGBT people and people with disabilities.

“The goal is that talent can take the inclusion rider and adopt it in ways that make sense for their values and their beliefs,” she said.

(note: I will include more info re Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism below.)

THR has a good informative article on IR too: “What Is an Inclusion Rider? Frances McDormand’s Oscars Speech Explained

Frances McDormand’s Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Best Actress

Frances McDormand – Oscars – Best Actress – Full Backstage press Q&As (at time code 0:46 VF asks Ms. Frances McDormand to explain the last two words of her acceptance speech “inclusion rider”)

Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism (TED talk with time-coded transcript) Read the rest of this entry »


Toxicity proxy for NRA – First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Cut Ties With the NRA

Friday, 23 February, 2018

Seems like an interesting proxy for the toxicity of National Rifle Association (NRA)? Can this perhaps be the end of the beginning for the NRA? Time will tell.

CNBC, “First National Bank of Omaha and car rental company Enterprise bail on NRA after customer outcry

Car rental company Enterprise and First National Bank of Omaha have severed their relationship with the National Rifle Association.

First National Bank of Omaha said Thursdsay it will not renew a contract to issue its NRA-branded Visa credit card.

“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a bank spokesperson told CNBC. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”

The website advertising the card disappeared on Wednesday, less than one day after advocacy group ThinkProgress reported the bank’s support of the pro-gun lobby. The bank and car rental company were used by the NRA to promote its membership through discounts and bonus deals.

CNN, “First National Bank of Omaha will stop issuing NRA Visa card

AdWeek (Brand Marketing), “A Major Bank and 3 Car Rental Companies Cut Ties With the NRA – First National Bank of Omaha and Enterprise Holdings have ended their programs

I LOVE Norman Rockwell and you can’t be more America than NR! This play on a famous painting really shows how ridiculous the idea of arming teachers is!

20180223 NRA x Norman Rockwell

2018 Feb 23, 2:25pm update: WaPo “#BoycottNRA: Hertz is the latest company to cut ties with gun lobby as movement gains steam

Hertz Tweet: “We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.

MetLife Tweet: “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA.

Symantec Tweet: “Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Avis tweet: “… effective March 26, Avis and Budget will no longer provide the NRA member discount.~Susan

2018 Feb 25 Update: WaPo has a great article with detailed timeline of the falling of the dominos, “NRA lashes out at boycott movement as United, Delta and other corporations cut ties

Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United airlines on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.

But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days. […]

First National Bank of Omaha, one of the largest private U.S. banks, may have been the first to respond publicly to the boycott calls. The bank had previously advertised the “Official Credit Card of the NRA,” according to the Omaha World-Herald — a Visa card with 5 percent back on gas and sporting good purchases.

2018 Feb 25 update: CNN, “Opinion: The NRA’s worst nightmare is here

2018 Feb 28 update: CBC, “Walmart, Dick’s restrict gun sales as corporate America does what Congress hasn’t – Relatives of mass-shooting victims encouraged by Dick’s decision to stop selling assault-style rifles

xxx


Molly’s Game – insightful interviews, TIFF Q&A, and trailer

Sunday, 7 January, 2018

I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game (starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera). Love how Sorkin saw and got more out of Molly Bloom‘s stories than just those in her book “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World”. (note: this Vanity Fair article is worth reading, “Inside the Viper Room: Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Poker Game“) Here is a trailer and then a ton of in-depth interviews, TIFF Q&A, and other insightful clips that I have or plan to watch. Enjoy!

MOLLY’S GAME – OFFICIAL TRAILER [HD]

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Jessica Chastain

DP/30 Abbreviated Chat: Molly’s Game, Idris Elba

Molly’s Game – TIFF World Premiere Q&A – Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Chastain Read the rest of this entry »


Cybersecurity of Voting Machines

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
Dr. Matt Blaze's House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Dr. Matt Blaze’s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

#VotingMachines #eVoting It worries me that some form of e-voting was used in last Calgary municipal elections and more are being studied to be potentially used in the future. (Case of I don’t know enough.) As someone who has been following e-voting and development of secure voting machines for decades (a company I used to work for had a team that develop e-voting system), I have my serious reservations with e-voting and voting machines and want all levels of Canadian governments (city, provincial, federal) to study slow and proceed very very very carefully!

To learn more, I’m watching UPenn’s Dr. Matt Blaze‘s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Cybersecurity of Voting Machines (26m45s)

More of Dr. Blaze‘s testimonies here at these timecodes: 35m30s ; 54m19s ; 1h5m56s ; 1h30m30s ; 1h44m02s ; 1h48m25s and following individually video links to specific timecode segments.

Read the rest of this entry »


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