Coverage by the failing New York Times (and nearly everyone else)

While I sip on my Covfefe, I find that the New York Times has already declared that Trump will lose the 2020 race. To be sure, Trump’s popularity is tanking, but that’s also what the press said before the 2016 race. I don’t consider this fake news, just premature news.

Like in the 2016 election, I wonder if this prognostication of Trump’s 2020 demise, albeit based on very real unpopularity, is still premature. I notice that there are not a whole lot of Republican opportunists sensing a vacuum and denouncing Trump to take the leadership for themselves. Why is that happening? I am sensing that Republicans, despite some rumblings, are getting a different message, and are still throwing their support behind Trump despite, as the Times reports, the lowest polling for a sitting president in 70 years or so.

Also, why aren’t more notable opponents running for the leadership of the Democrats?

A whole lot of the media coverage smells funny surrounding Trump, according to an analysis by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). For example, has anyone read any media reports as to why the figure $5.7 billion is touted as being needed to build the wall/slats/barrier/whatchamacallit along the Tex-Mex border? Why that amount? How are they spending it? Where did that number come from, outside of Trump’s declaration-by-fiat that that is what it will cost? Why was that figure unchanged after Trump changed the material from concrete to steel slats? The media appears silent on all of this. These are not minor questions, these are at the heart of the reason for the longest government shutdown in American history.

For those of us who read this news, it would be a good question to ponder: how does this premature prognostication help the far right?

Exactly how valuable to the Republicans is this “base” they like to appeal to so much? Why is this “base” not being abandoned without a second thought?

Computers in education

Children enjoying some time reading at their desktops.
The debate over computers in the schools has finally comeĀ  around to giving naysayers equal time. There was an article in the Sunday New York Times regarding a school in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley that teaches math, music, and other standard elementary school subjects in a computer-free environment.Computers are touted as an enhancer for learning in education. However, data is unclear as to whether they do anything at all. There appear to do some things better, such as helping us to visualise certain concepts such as transformations in graphs in math. But it doesn’t help matters if by grade 10 a student is still lunging for his or her calculator to figure out 7×6.

A famous american president, reading at his desktop.
The Waldorf school in the article appeared to have caught on to the idea that in order to learn something, your brain should be doing the work. A machine shouldn’t be doing the work for you. Otherwise, you are accepting your own obsolescence, and admitting to the world that you are replaceable by a machine.There is no substitute for a live, human teacher or the child’s own parent in helping a child learn. The Waldorf school bans computers up to at least grade 8, afterward allowing limited access to computer technology. Most user interfaces are braindead simple these days anyway. It takes you minutes to learn how to use your iTouch device. These days, if you have to read a manual to learn the operation of a new computer gizmo, the designers have failed. Windows and OSX are designed that way too. The learning of how to use a computer is easier than it has ever been, and students lose nothing by delaying their exposure to computers to a later age.

Crappy Album Covers #63 — The Search for Inner Peace

Announcement: This series of Crappy Album Covers will be sent out every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from now on, and it will be roughly at 6 PM, EDT/EST. Just so everyone knows what is going on. For reference, I left a permanent note on the “About” page.

album-cover-crap-79_ppot_com1 Yes. Nothing says “I love my life” more than being dunked in a pool of water and looking like a drowned rat. Jim Post’s 1978 folk recording appears to be his third album from a recording career that began in 1973.Jim has played Mark Twain a number of times for various plays, recordings, and videos, and has done children’s albums. He has also been written up in The Smithsonian.
album-cover-crap-82_vinylcoversfreefr_00237 I’m OK, You’re OK; I’m alright; you’re alright. We are at one with the world. This 1982 British single from Young Steve and The Afternoon Boys is the only single I know of whose flip side is music from a different artist: “Oh Damien” by a group called Damien And The Social Workers.The Single Covers Archive (UK) lists this record as “novelty”. In ’82, this single reached as high as #40 on the singles chart.
album-cover-crap-80_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00251

If you think Gary Wilson looks like a dork with those dark glasses, then it is because you don’t really know him. For awhile during the early disco era, Wilson led a band called “Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates”.

“You Think You Really Know Me” is a 2002 re-release recorded in Wilson’s basement on a TEAC 2340 4-track 7″ reel-to-reel prior to its initial release in 1977. There was some effort trying to find him to give the go-ahead to re-release the LP throughout the ’90s and into the early part of the 00’s. This is because there is indeed a cult following of fans that are quite fascinated by Wilson’s music. He also was once written up in the New York Times.

For those interested in Gary Wilson and want to have some idea of the cult following he had, below is a video, with links to a variety of others: