The cruel term for the sports desk within newspapers is, or used to be, the Toy Department. A cruel moniker and undeserved — a well-curated sports desk should have some of the best writers at the paper, because, when you think of it, they really have the sow’s ear/silk purse job at the paper, even more than the guy who covers the zoning board. After all, most people who are looking for zoning-board news don’t already know what the vote was. How long has it been since you opened a newspaper to find out who won a game or was the No. 1 draft pick?
But it wasn’t until I spent my much-whined-about time as a sports copy editor that I realized just how stinky those sows’ ears are. In Fort Wayne, there’s only pro hockey and one branch campus of two large universities, with a sports program most known for its great…volleyball program. The readers were mostly interested in high school programs, including that world-famous Hoosier Hysteria basketball thing. I’d read the Prep Sports copy and feel an unfamiliar emotion about the polo-shirted shlubs back in sports – empathy. And not a little pity. After all, they had to drag quotes out of 15-year-olds and try to make rivalries between high schools sound interesting.
But all that said, I had one thought when I finally staggered to the end this week’s journalism of infamy, i.e., “Who is Daniel Holtzclaw,” a 12,000-word piece about a mediocre college football player later convicted of raping eight different women in the course of his work as a police officer in Oklahoma. The story was published, then abruptly un-published by SB Nation, Vox’s sports site. And that thought was this: Toy department.
Of course the story is still out there, and if you have 12,000 words’ worth of tolerance for cliché, subordinate clauses and misplaced sympathy, you can read it here. It’s such a mess, it’s hard to imagine it was edited at all, much less the way a long-form narrative should be.
The immediate complaint was that it takes Holtzclaw’s side, and that it does – to read it, you’d think he was the victim of a terrible injustice, and not a man convicted by a jury of his peers. Deadspin’s summation is pretty on-point:
It starts off with expressions of full sympathy for Holtzclaw, hinting that perhaps there are two sides to this story. It tells only one. The side based in reality—that Holtzclaw violated and brutalized at least eight poor, black women and is in jail for the rest of his life—is never given more than cursory attention.
It presents an endless litany of character witnesses for Holtzclaw—his lawyer, his family, former teammates—all expressing their disbelief that Holtzclaw could be guilty, which is among other things a monotonously boring thing to hang a story of this length upon. Basically, this is the local news interviewing the shocked neighbors—“He always seemed like such a nice kid”—over and over again for 12,000 words.
And so on. And boy, does it waste a lot of words to get there. Take this sentence, just as one example. It’s by way of explaining Hoytzclaw’s enrollment at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti:
Unlike the University of Michigan, the perennial college football powerhouse seven miles up Washtenaw Avenue in the more affluent and more picturesque college town of Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan, despite a student population of about 25,000, is a member of the Mid-American Conference, more “mid-major” than big-time.
And that’s a fairly lean one. There are many more far worse.
This Slate piece gives you “the worst parts,” by their reckoning. My favorite:
Holtzclaw chose to go to Eastern Michigan as a means to not only play football and pursue his dream of playing in the NFL, but to keep his parents from having to foot the bill for his college education. To act so unselfishly, say those who know him best, was just who Holtzclaw was.
Messes are something of a theme today.
How is it possible to hold these competing thoughts in one’s mind — that police are tough enough to protect us and yet so, so sensitive, too? Ask Beyoncé:
At first, Sheriff Robert Arnold said he had no explanation for why shots were fired outside his home in Rutherford County, Tenn., on Monday night — except perhaps for an undercurrent of anti-police sentiment in America.
“You do make people mad when you do your job; so that’s the only thing I could think of,” Arnold said at a news conference Tuesday, according to edited video of his comments posted by the Daily News Journal.
But then another possibility came to mind, and Arnold blamed Beyoncé.
“With everything that happened since the Super Bowl… that’s what I’m thinking: Here’s another target on law enforcement,” he said.
He went on: “You have Beyoncé’s video and that’s kind of bled over into other things, it seems.”
Yes, that’s the most likely explanation, don’t you think? I mean, I felt incited to dance; why shouldn’t another be driven to anti-police violence?
Which brings us into the weekend. When it will be warm! Above 40, anyway. Enjoy yours.
Jolene said on February 19, 2016 at 1:14 am
It gets worse. The head of Miami’s police union has called for a boycott of her concert on the tour that is now beginning. In that article, the author says it’s unclear whether the union leader was referring to attendance at the concert or providing security at it. Other articles, however, suggest that he is recommending that the police refrain from providing security at her concerts. Sensitive, indeed.
Dexter said on February 19, 2016 at 2:51 am
It’s been thirteen years since Natalie Maines made her statement against the invasion of Iraq and said she was ashamed that President Bush was from Texas. I immediately bought the Dixie Chicks’ latest album that day on CD. She was courageous to say that, but when’s the last time you saw any big splash the Dixie Chicks made? The music people admonished Natalie with “shut up and sing…” wanting to silence her. The fact that the leading candidates from both parties are now saying Iraq was wrong can’t help anybody now all these years later. Of course I am fully aware that HRC was an adamant backer of Bush’s war push, all the way through, every damn vote. Beyonce’s world-wide fame and allure will not hurt her career one bit…a few cops popping off just gets the Beyonce machine out there in the lights even more.
Here is the very short statement that really ended up hurting the Dixie Chicks brand:
On March 10, 2003, during a London concert, nine days before the March 19, 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines told the audience: “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas”. [quote: Wikipedia page, topic: Dixie Chicks]
alex said on February 19, 2016 at 6:07 am
It shouldn’t be at all difficult to come up with 12,000 riveting words exploring how a white southern cop who takes out his aggression on black women would have so many defenders who don’t think it’s a big deal. Just don’t assign it to a sports writer.
I’ve pondered what could the Dixie Chicks have done differently and concluded that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were asked point blank by a British fan whether they supported their fellow Texan and president in his misguided military adventure, which was very unpopular in the rest of the world where the media weren’t serving as Bush’s personal cheerleading squad. I recall those times, and the chill on free speech even in my own circles, because people were irrational and could get hopping mad. I worked with people who had children in the military and were heavily invested in the belief that this was a just and necessary war.
Even if the Chicks have been vindicated by history, their former southern following will never forgive them because they have been forever branded as liberals.
nancy said on February 19, 2016 at 8:06 am
Just for the record, the cop’s mother is Japanese, making him Asian American. He has oddly close-set eyes, which combined with his hulking physique makes him look like the Central Casting version of a rapist, alas for him.
Jolene said on February 19, 2016 at 7:53 am
Agree, alex, it was a very different time. Remember freedom fries? As silly as that was then, it’s even sillier now. It’s mind-boggling to contemplate the suffering that has taken place since the invasion of Iraq.
beb said on February 19, 2016 at 7:57 am
Because says “kill all cops” like scantily clad women forming an X in the middle of a dance routine.
beb said on February 19, 2016 at 7:59 am
Oops, “Because nothing says…
Alan Stamm said on February 19, 2016 at 8:20 am
Sounds unlike any newsroom I know, or would want to:
“There were objections by senior editorial staff that went unheeded.” — Deadspin
Kirk said on February 19, 2016 at 9:05 am
You likely pre-dated them, Nance, but don’t forget the TinCaps.
brian stouder said on February 19, 2016 at 10:09 am
A semi-non-sequitur, which I may have already shared: a month or two ago, Pam and I were at lunch at Noodles – one of those places where you order/pay at the counter, and then they bring you your food. We noticed a good sized (maybe a dozen) group of young fellas sitting together, with pulled-together tables, and they were mostly taller – so clearly a team of some sort.
Then we noticed that most of them were wearing sweatshirts that said HARVARD on them – and I said to Pam ‘that can’t be HARVARD-Harvard’….and she whipped out her smart phone and soon learned that IPFW was indeed playing HARVARD-Harvard that day. Soon, they all piled into a collection of minivans and cars, and disappeared – thence to clean IPFW’s collective clocks. (And if I’d have read the sports page in that morning’s paper, I’d have known it was HARVARD-Harvard!)
basset said on February 19, 2016 at 10:15 am
And on a totally different topic… my dad, who learned to drive on a Model A Ford pickup back in the thirties so he could help his uncles run moonshine in South Carolina, always said this was the best whiskey-running car:
Hot up the engine or replace it with a bigger one, take out the back seat, add some overload springs in the rear and load ‘er up.
Julie Robinson said on February 19, 2016 at 10:25 am
We have an NBA D-League team, and the University of St Francis has done well in football, also a recent development. The real sports success is all the kids’ teams who drive in from out of town, stay in hotels, eat out and shop. Can you tell my hubby works at the tourism bureau?
Sue said on February 19, 2016 at 10:44 am
Sorry to change the subject, but this needs to be shared. I so wish I could see things like this amazing gentleman:
Bitter Scribe said on February 19, 2016 at 10:51 am
I’d never heard of “toy department” to describe the sports desk, but I’ve known (or known of) sportswriters who could teach any news reporter lessons about arrogant condescension.
My all-time favorite is John Schulian, who was famous at the Chicago Sun-Times for his chair-throwing tantrums whenever an editor dared touch a word of his precious copy. He once told a writer for an alt-weekly, “There’s only one good department here and that’s sports. The rest of this paper is shit. And you can quote me.” This resulted in Schulian’s photo being affixed to the back of a urinal in the Sun-Times men’s room.
nancy said on February 19, 2016 at 11:00 am
The TinCaps do indeed post-date my time in the Fort, but I forgot their predecessors, the Wizards. Understandable, as I once hosted a call-in radio show around the time they were unveiled, and took call after tiresome call from evangelical Christians fearful that even speaking the name “Wizards” would call down the Dark Powers of the Occult upon our fair city. That’s an hour of my life I’d like to have back.
Kirk said on February 19, 2016 at 11:20 am
Now taking the field, your Fort Wayne Satans.
Sherri said on February 19, 2016 at 11:38 am
Strictly speaking as a reader of a lot of sportswriting, as well as a lot of writing in other areas, it seems to me that the spread of quality among sportswriters is greater than in other areas. There are some truly outstanding sportswriters and columnists, but the dreadful ones are really, really dreadful, and once a sportswriter or columnist gets entrenched somewhere, it’s as if they have lifelong tenure, no matter what dreck they write or how much the game has passed them by.
Because the game recap story is so formulaic, it’s starting to be taken over by automation. The AP is beginning to us automatically generated stories for some NCAA sports this year: http://www.ap.org/Content/Press-Release/2015/AP-NCAA-to-grow-college-sports-coverage-with-automated-game-stories
We’re still attracting crowds to our planning commission (zoning board) meetings, as we continue to grapple with retail marijuana. Oral public comment is now closed, so they come with signs to wave at us while we work through our issues matrix.
Sherri said on February 19, 2016 at 11:39 am
Harper Lee has died. RIP, Scout.
Jim G said on February 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm
When I lived in Chicago 20-ish years ago I’d probably have agreed with Schulian (with allowance for Roger Ebert). I’d get the Tribune for news and the Sun-Times for sports.
Some sportswriters can do investigative journalism and some can’t. Joe Posnanski has been one of my favorite sports writers ever since he wrote for the KC Star at the same time Jason Whitlock was there. Whitlock was the one-note loudmouth full of negativity; he complained about everything and he was always calling for the firing of anyone in charge. Joe was the optimist—the one you’d go to for a character portrait that manages to be heartwarming without crossing over into Albomian mawkishness. For several years, even when the Royals were comically awful, Joe would write a column at the start of each season predicting that the Royals would win the division. Joe’s an optimist.
That optimism sometimes makes him an apologist. He’s been consistent voice for letting Pete Rose onto the Hall of Fame ballot (I agree) and for ignoring the PED use of people like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens (I disagree). And his nadir had to be when he was finishing up a nice heartwarming book about Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke. His publisher delayed the book’s release and Joe frantically revised the book, but the additions were minor.
Posnanski is best when he’s writing about positive pieces admirable people like Priest Holmes and Buck O’Neill. Even if he could pivot into writing hard-hitting investigative journalism pieces, I’m not sure he’d want to.
That’s all a long way of saying that sometimes the writer and his subject are poorly matched.
On the other hand, as the Holtzclaw longpiece illustrates, some “journalists” shouldn’t be allowed to write grocery lists.
Jim G said on February 19, 2016 at 12:25 pm
a consistent voice.
pieces about admirable people.
Yes, I have an edit-button dependency. *sigh*
BigHank53 said on February 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm
There’s a town in southwest Virginia by the name of Christiansburg. It got that from one of the early settlers, a John Christian, rather than the faith. In order to drive the point home, the high-school teams are the Blue Demons.
Scout said on February 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm
The Dixie Chicks became pariahs because the majority of country music fans were (and probably still are) right leaning. The people who are freaked out over Beyonce are not likely her fan base to begin with.
Happy Friday, all! We’re looking at mid 80’s this weekend with plenty of sunshine. This time of year is our reward for putting up with the summers.
Jakash said on February 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm
Somebody at “The New Yorker” decided to copy-edit Mr. Rump’s statement with regard to the Pope that NN linked to in yesterday’s comments. Surely such mockery of his poor writing style will mark the beginning of the end of his popularity with the erudite folks who support him. ; )
brian stouder said on February 19, 2016 at 3:06 pm
I would nominate Jackash’s link for Thread Win, baby!
brian stouder said on February 19, 2016 at 3:32 pm
And speaking of grammer school, there’s this, which appears to be two presidential candidates charging that the current president has cooties:
When pressed repeatedly by host Martha McCallum about why the campaign Photoshopped a picture of Rubio and Obama shaking hands in a picture on a website produced by the Cruz campaign, Tyler instead took aim at Rubio’s record.
“Marco Rubio and Barack Obama have shaken hands. There are plenty of photos of him shaking hands,” he said. “If they don’t like the picture we picked, then send me a picture they like of Marco Rubio shaking hands with Barack Obama and we’ll swap it out.”
Kirk said on February 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm
Photoshopping = lying
I guess Trump is right about one thing: Cruz is one disgusting, lying bag of shit, and his people think lying is just fine.
Dexter said on February 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm
Forever, the old Auburn, Indiana high school teams were the Red Devils. A few years before consolidation ended that school, a preacher made it his mission to change that, revealing to the world God had spoken to him and told him the woeful performance of the boys’ basketball team, a state powerhouse and state finalist in 1949, was a message from above: God hated that name Red Devils. The preacher prayed and it was revealed to him that God wanted the team to be forevermore called the Auburn Abes. Silence, class! Stifle that snickering.
The school board actually voted on this idiot’s holy revelation and shot it down.
The Abes. And I could not make this up…no one could. When the consolidation was a done-deal, the three schools’ kids voted on the new sports tag. In keeping with the memory of the crazy preacher’s idea, I jokingly submitted “DeKalb High School Deacons”. Of course there was really never any question…cut and dried, it was going to be “DeKalb Barons”. And so, it is.
Back before most here can recall, Fort Wayne had an NBA team, the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. Years ago, Tommy Heinsohn, the Celtic great from the past, was interviewed by SI to reminisce of the early days. He told how the NY Central would discharge the Celtics at the Waterloo station, and the players would schlep their own bags a mile to The Green Parrot Inn (really called “restaurant”). After a good meal (and Waterloo did have that place where people drove from miles away to eat) the players and coaches engaged the locals to get in contact with some high school kids with cars, because these guys needed to get to the FW North Side “Snake Pit” gym to play the Zollner Pistons.
My old co-worker Jerry “Muzzy” Muzzillo was one of the drivers. He said for the drive to Fort Wayne and the empty trip back, they usually got ten bucks. Usually the team would take taxis to the Baker Street Station and catch a train there, or stay in a FW hotel and scramble to get to the next game however possible. It was a tough life, and it paid “for shit”.
Kirk said on February 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm
And then there are the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.
brian stouder said on February 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm
“Abes” as in Lincoln?
But he was a ‘scoffer’, more or less, eh?
Dex, those b-ball teams are before my time, but I do recall when the Van Orman hotel got imploded…and the Keenan.
For a decade or more, old Fort Wayne was evaporating – becoming a patchwork of parking lots…and for the last 8 or 10 years, it’s been back ‘on the boil’, which is good to see
Dexter said on February 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm
Kirk, when I played baseball, our home base was in Winston-Salem, and the pro baseball stadium where we frequently played when the Red Sox minor league team was on the road(Ernie Shore Field) was in the same general area as Wake Forest U. Sometimes some of us players would violate team rules (no basketball playing)and play pick-up basketball games on the outdoor courts at Wake. A couple years later, me in the army, I’d accompany my buddy to visit his UC Berkeley cousin, and we’d play the guys there, outside basketball courts as well. My only connection, but always, I root for Wake as well as The Golden Bears of UC. One day only, the cousin got all of us into the arena there and we played on the Golden Bears floor for a few games. The other day I was watching a basketball game from there, now all refurbished and everything brand new-ish. Bill Walton was raving on about it. Back in 1970, the one game I attended, the place was just dead and 80% empty.
Bitter Scribe said on February 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm
Note how the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are now just the Rays. I always wondered at the story behind that (but not quite enough to find out).
Sherri said on February 19, 2016 at 5:59 pm
There wasn’t any real story behind the Devil Rays becoming the Rays, just a rebranding. New owner, new uniforms, no nostalgia to hang onto. I don’t think people had been staying away because the team was named Devil Rays, they had been staying away because the team sucked at the time. They were often called the D-Rays or Rays anyway, much like the Arizona Diamondbacks are called the Dbacks or the Cardinals the Cards.
Joe K said on February 19, 2016 at 6:32 pm
I know some people that graduated with the preachers kid.
They said at the last class reunion some people still wouldn’t speak to him for that very reason.
David C. said on February 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm
Sherri, it seems like even when the Rays are good people stay away. I could never figure out why the artificial turf in their stadium looks like dead grass either (at least to my colorblind eyes it does).
Sherri said on February 19, 2016 at 7:06 pm
I’ve never been to the Rays’ stadium, but seeing games from there on TV, I’ve always thought the lighting looked funny. Maybe it’s because the dome was built on spec, rather than for a particular tenant, but it’s always seemed kind of drab. It was also 8 years old before the first Rays game was played there. The Rays are talking about a new stadium.
Cities should never, ever built a stadium/arena on spec hoping to lure a team. Of course, I don’t think cities should spend public money building a stadium/arena for a team anyway, but it’s really bad to do so when you don’t even have a team.
Sherri said on February 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm
BTW, MichaelG and LAMary, do you want some rain? We broke the record for our rainiest winter ever yesterday. It looks like I’m going to have to hire someone to pressure wash the moss off my driveway and deck this spring if it ever stops raining.
Deborah said on February 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm
This is a block away from our place in Chicago, where the temps were in the 60s and the wind gusts were in the 60s. You can see the Drake Hotel in the background. I’ve always thought that the intersection of Walton and Michigan was the windiest in the world http://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/stories/Winds-Gust-to-Near-Hurricane-Levels-in-Chicago-Area-369487732.html
Dexter said on February 19, 2016 at 9:56 pm
brian s. —He wanted the Auburn High teams to be named the Abes for Father Abraham, straight outta The Old Testament.
A friend who bought steel for the company I worked for took trips around the country for business. All his life a Cleveland Tribe fan, he had never gotten a souvenir baseball hit into the stands either in practice or game. At a Devil Rays game back in the 90s, he was observing batting practice from a totally empty section in the stands. A baseball was struck and it came near him, ricocheted like a pinball off walls and steps, and gently hopped into my friend’s hand, pretty as could be. The baseball gods are real, people, I tell yas they are…I know, I caught a baseball from the bat of one Ernie Banks during batting practice 1969.
Dexter said on February 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm
This goddam wind better die down or something bad is going to happen. My windows are rattling. I hate being nervous about stuff like this.
I am also feeling queasy at the possibility of Ted Cruz in The White House.
MichaelG said on February 19, 2016 at 10:21 pm
Thank you, Sherri. We’ll take it. At present, we seem to be running about normal for rain and for snow pack. It rained today. We’ll see where we stand for the moment on the news tomorrow. I think Mary and SoCal have been getting more rain than we have.
Dexter said on February 20, 2016 at 12:45 am
Joe, if you read the Auburn Star you may remember how, as the old AHS (McIntosh) was demolished piece by piece , alumni posted daily letters to the editor bemoaning the obliteration of their monument to their childhood and teen years. Now it’s just a huge grassy lot. At least they have the old courthouse and the cannon memorial left. Everything else is long gone.
alex said on February 20, 2016 at 10:09 am
Nancy’s comment about the talk show callers captures the essence of the dominant culture of Fort Wayne about as concisely as I’ve ever seen it. These are people who are resistant to change of any kind and suspicious of anyone who would try to foist it on them. Pizza and Chinese food were relative latecomers to the area, and when Taco Bell opened in the 1970s it was the first “Mexican” food anyone had ever tried.
We have a relatively new Thai restaurant in town that recently dumbed down its menu so Fort Waynians could better understand it. I don’t know who advised this, but spring rolls, gyoza, satay and the like are now underneath the heading “Tapas.” Evidently that’s the best they could come up with to convey the idea of small shared plates, but I’m afraid the owners may be giving average Fort Waynians too much credit for knowing what tapas are.
I may have mentioned it here before, but there was a Chinese place in Fort Wayne many years ago — the Tsing Tao — that operated out of an old Sambo’s facility. Some juvenile friends and I were snickering over the Pupu Tray on the menu and the owner asked us why we thought this was so funny. Next time we returned the menu had been changed. The item was now called a Booboo Tray, which was cause for even more laughter. “It’s an aspirated ‘B,'” said the owner’s flustered daughter as she took our order.
brian stouder said on February 20, 2016 at 11:11 am
There’s a modest little place at 5-points (Goshen Road, Sherman Boulevard, and Lillian Street) not far from the zoo, (which is called Taiwan-something-or-other) which Pam and I really like. I think one woman and a cook pretty much runs the whole thing…..
but to be honest, the last few times we wanted fast food other than burgers or pizza, we’ve done Panda Express – because they have an app that allows you to order and pay ahead…so that I roll into the restaurant at prime-time Friday evening, and go straight to the register (as opposed to the end of the – lengthy! – line); bim-bam-boom and I’m in-and-out within 90 seconds.
Apple may get us all killed in a preventable terrorist attack*, but the technology they’ve introduced is…pretty cool!
*my baseless opinion on Apple versus the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Bernadino attackers: I betcha Apple will (or has already) done whatever Uncle Sam needs…and this controversy about privacy is an elaborate (and worthwhile) ‘exoneration-in-advance’ for them (Apple) to protect against future civil lawsuits on unrelated breaches and abuses
Deborah said on February 20, 2016 at 11:24 am
Too funny, Alex. I’ve never understood how two Taco Bells can get enough business to stay alive in Santa Fe. Two of them! With all of the amazing mexican food in town, especially the little hole in the wall places in every strip mall, how can people stand the corporate crap when they have really good stuff to choose from.
beb said on February 20, 2016 at 11:46 am
How many people will get hurt by Apple’s refusal to create malware to attack their own phone? Let’s turn that around and ask how many times as the FBI/DHS etc. protected us by capturing random phone intel? II may be wrong but I think the answer is “none.” The FBI etc. have arrested people but usually from ordinary human intelligence, often by what sounds like agent provocateurs or entrapment. But I doubt that the FBI has ever found a lead in advance of an attack by hacking our phones. In pre-Internet terms this is like the FBI complaining about locks on building. How can they hope to search someone’s house if they keep insisting on putting locks on their doors.
alex said on February 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm
Right at this very moment we’re at the Thai place I mentioned above. We were just informed they’ll be closing down at the end of the month. I guess renaming things as “tapas” didn’t help their sales. Bummed because we came to like some of the staff here and it’s the only Thai place in town that also serves alcohol.
LAMary said on February 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm
I think we’re still below normal for rain. I’ll take it Sherri. I will gladly ship some heat to anyone who needs it. We’ve been dry and near ninety quite a few times in the last month and the prediction says we will be again next week. All the plants are confused about what season it is and consequently lots of us have spring allergies in February.
Brandon said on February 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm
“Abes” as in Lincoln?
Abe, as in Abraham, father of Isaac.
Volleyball, both men’s and women’s, are major sports at UH-Manoa.
Sherri said on February 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm
Brian, I believe the opposite. I believe the FBI has likely already done what they need, and they’re seeking legal precedent for forcing tech companies to do their bidding in the future. Remember, this terrorist is already dead, and if they were really worried about a related attack, they would have just slapped Apple with a National Security Letter and it wouldn’t be in the news at all, since you’re not allowed to even disclose the existence of an NsL.
I also dislike the way this conflict has been framed in terms of security vs privacy, like there’s a trade-off. What the government is asking, and in general has been asking for the last year, is to compromise security. The want to weaken the security of our electronic devices so that they have the ability to spy on them. If you believe that the government will only spy on them for good and with probable cause, and that nobody else (other state actors, criminals) will be able to take advantage of the compromised security of our devices to spy on them (or worse), then perhaps that’s okay. There’s enough evidence that none of that is true for me not to have faith in that.
Let’s be clear; Apple and other tech companies have responded to plenty of government requests for data before; a number of big tech companies, particularly those that store a lot of data, have teams that do that all the time. Most data stored in the cloud is not encrypted, and if you’re stupid enough to store child pornography in the cloud, well, the tech companies don’t turn a blind eye. When the Snowden leaks came out, and the extent of government snooping became widely known, the tech companies took a hit, though, particularly internationally. If you’re a German, do you want the US government spying on you? Apple, because they don’t use customer data to make money, took the lead in encrypting their customer’s data.
BTW, I made a mistake when I described the problem concerning the iPhone 5c and claimed that Apple couldn’t do the same with iPhones with TouchID. It would be more involved, but they could also technically compromise the security of iPhones with TouchID.
Sherri said on February 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm
Of course, the biggest problem for the FBI is that not all makers of electronic devices and cryptography programs are American, or even companies, or organizations. The FBI might be able to force Apple to do its bidding, but China makes smartphones, too. There are open source encrypted communication programs; where do you serve an NSL to an open source program?
alex said on February 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm
This is just a big publicity stunt for Apple. They get a reputation for having a product so secure and impregnable that even the FBI can’t open it. A great selling point to all the cheating spouses, drug dealers, bookies and others out there who live in constant fear of their communications being discovered. Apple couldn’t buy better advertising. And it’s more believable than using a Prius to rob a bank.
brian stouder said on February 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm
Sherri, I think we’re in essential agreement on the key thing – whatever the killers had on the phone is already in the hands of the Good Guys/Gals.
And indeed, Alex makes a tremendously good point, regarding Apple’s endless (and endlessly successful) marketing.
One thing I’m wondering about is – how long before the (evergreen) paranoid impulse (with regard to all these new-fangled gadgets and flub-dubs) becomes a big enough wave that our presidential candidates begin really actively surfing it?
Forget the wall with Mexico – how long before our latter-day Know-Nothings turn this into ‘Reason #1,345,263’ that Secretary Clinton is not only unfit to be president, but an actual ‘clear and present danger’ to the United States of America, given her use of a personal email account?
brian stouder said on February 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm
(…when she was SecState)
Linda said on February 20, 2016 at 8:10 pm
Deborah @43. So,e people like corporate crap, for the same reason some people liked bathtub gin during the Prohibition. It’s what they are used to, and for them, familiararity trumps good taste they aren’t used to.
Minnie said on February 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm
Basset @10: “And there was thunder, thunder over Thunder Road
Thunder was his engine, and white lightning was his load . . . . “
Deborah said on February 21, 2016 at 12:35 am
Wow, Jeb went through $150 million to get exactly nowhere. I feel good that his donors lost their investment. Of course it’s just peanuts to them, but still. Bye bye Jeb.
Dexter said on February 21, 2016 at 12:47 am
Dad worked late hours in The Gettle Bldg. downtown Ft. Wayne. He’d stop in a Maloley’s grocery sometimes and bring stuff home to eat. This was about 1956 and few had heard of pizza. Dad brought in a bread-wrapper size bag of tiny frozen pizzas and heated them in the oven. Tomato sauce and cheese that I supposed only adults could appreciate. I was six years old, brother was eight. We bit in and about gagged. They were inedible, just awful, but Dad loved them and ate several.
Just eight years later, Old Man Weaver made some of the best pizza I ever have had just a half-mile from my house , in his country restaurant. Next town down the road, Steve’s Pizza made great pizzas as well. Fifty years later, pizza is not nearly as good. Our local Little Caesar’s…my gawd, it stinks, actually does smell putrid. Papa John’s takes heat from folks for all sorts of reasons but dammitt, they make a very good pizza.
Dad never liked Chinese food and so we never had that. When Mom said she wanted some, Dad trotted out the cat stories. Dad swore Chen’s was busted serving cooked cat meat, but even as a child I figured he was just saying that to get out of buying Chinese for us. We ate a lot at The Spaghetti Bowl on North Clinton and the old Alexander’s on State Blvd.
Trump and HRC, big winners Saturday.
Jakash said on February 21, 2016 at 2:21 am
My favorite tweet from tonight:
“Have we tried turning the country off and then back on again?”
beb said on February 21, 2016 at 9:16 am
After the murderous rampage in Kalamazoo I’m ready to turn the country off and not bother turning it back on.
alex said on February 21, 2016 at 9:24 am
My favorite tweet:
“Oh so NOW Jeb Bush is willing to pull the plug when someone’s on life support.”
susan said on February 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm
Bye, ¿Jeb! Please clap.
Dave said on February 21, 2016 at 4:28 pm
Alex, that was my favorite tweet also. The husband of Terri Schiavo was interviewed several times in Florida media saying that he would do anything he could to oppose Bush’s candidacy.
Is it the Thai restaurant in the old O’ Charley’s that’s closing? We enjoyed dining there a few times after they opened.
The Kalamazoo story is so frightening and so random and I’m sure, even without looking, all the gun-toters are saying the same thing.
Dave said on February 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm
Just out of curiosity, wonder what I did to get cast into the pits of moderation?
nancy said on February 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm
I have no idea, because you’re not there. But generally speaking, this is what pitches long-timers into the PoM: You mistype your screen name or email address, or you put too many links into a comment. But I am benevolent and let you in anyway. Because that’s how I roll.
Brandon said on February 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm
@Dexter, #56: Did Fort Wayne have German, Polish or other central and Eastern European restaurants?
basset said on February 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm
Surprised we haven’t seen any comment from The Nuge yet, since the shootings happened in Michigan. We’ve been cleaning out the attic and I ran across a CREEM magazine from 1977 or so with an interview in which La Ted claimed he had shot and killed two men who tried to rob him and his family in Detroit. Yeah, right.
alex said on February 21, 2016 at 10:46 pm
Dave, that’s the one.
And Brandon, we had Zoli’s Continental Cuisine back in the 1960s, which was Hungarian. That was about as exotic as it got. It’s where they took Bobby Kennedy when he was in town. It kind of went to hell over time, though, and finally went out of business when the owner died, although it probably should have exited gracefully while the memories of it were still favorable.
Brandon said on February 22, 2016 at 2:16 am
@alex: Thank you. Honolulu has had some good German restaurants over the years, and there was Edelweiss in Waimea, though I’ve not been to any of them unfortunately.