The Daily Broadside

Saturday Morning

Posted on 09/12/2020 4.00 AM

Kosh's Shadow 9/7/2020 10:12:45 AM

Posted by: Kosh's Shadow

lucius septimius 9/12/2020 7:40:48 AM

I did something I rarely do any more -- I read Peggy Noonan's column this morning.  And you know what?  She had a point.  A rhetorical one that at the end went nowhere, but still there were a couple of take-aways worth repeating.

The first is that the bolshevik-media establishment simply does not comprehend that the vast majority of Trump supporters think he's a narcissistic jerk, but they also know that he has in fact been a decent president who has accomplished things the experts said were impossible.  As a case in point, on the previous page of this morning's WSJ an editorial noted how successful Jared Kirchner has been in moving us towards what the Professionals in Foggy Bottom have told us can't be done:  getting Gulf states to recognize Israel.  Bahrain just did.  This wasn't supposed to happen, but someone Trump made it happen.  So he's a jerk; but he's a remarkably effective jerk.  

Biden, on the other hand, for anyone who has paid attention to his career, is an ineffective jerk.  He's been in positions of authority for a generation and has very, very little to show for it other than a history of lies. 

The second point came at the end and was more subtle:  Trump's alleged remarks about the military are practically word for word the dialogue at the end of Godfather II when Sonny gives Michael hell for enlisting in the Marines. 

Which got me thinking:  we know -- it's a matter of public record -- that the decision not to go to the cemetery was made because of weather conditions.  The Marines said that they would fly combat missions in that weather but they wouldn't risk the President.  Could it be that in the course of this a discussion of the Marines got going and eventually got around to the scene in the movie?  It is an important scene and establishes aspects of Michael's character that are critical for understanding the arc. And yet there is something ambiguous going on.  Sonny sees Michael's action not as heroic but as a sign of profound disloyalty to the family.  He has betrayed his father's plans by dropping out of college.  Perhaps, but as we see in Godfather II, Michael's military service is an important component of the persona he creates, one very different from his father.  Was his decision in 1941 a cynical calculation?  His version of the "I love America" speech at the beginning of Godfather I?  A way of breaking free from his father and brothers? Genuine patriotism?  We will never know.  We can never know, because it's yet another aspect of Michael's character that eludes us.

In the period of uncertainty leading up to the decision to cancel the trip -- a trip run by Marines to visit a cemetery full of Marines -- a discussion of the scene could have proceeded naturally out of the chatter people used to the fill the time.  Perhaps Trump quoted from the scene.  Someone heard it and out of spite decided to repeat his remarks cleansed of all context.  But in the process the teller -- who could well not know the movie because of being a young person who sniffs at "old movies" - didn't realize that the misrepresentation would obvious to those who knew the movie.

Just a thought.

Occasional Reader 9/12/2020 8:39:08 AM

Reply to lucius septimius in 1:

Noonan is perfectly capable of making good points, it’s a shame that she is psychologically trapped “inside the beltway“.

The first point is certainly, well, on point. Of *course* I would prefer a conservative president with a demeanor more like that of Reagan or Eisenhower. But Trump gets the job done, and how. If Obama had managed to get any of the Gulf states to recognize Israel, which of course he would never have attempted to do, but hypothetically, the establishment would’ve been falling all over themselves praising him for it. Trump is a brash, obnoxious jerk; but he and his people got this done, which as you know, the “smart set” had long told us was impossible.

I’m reminded of an observation made by, I believe, Conrad black back around the time of the 2016 election. He noted that the establishment types tend to underestimate Trump, because they view him as having bad taste. “But there are a lot of scarily competent people out there who actually like gold and white furniture.“

Occasional Reader 9/12/2020 8:40:01 AM
On the “godfather“ angle, that is not something I had thought of. Certainly an interesting possibility, hard to say.
Occasional Reader 9/12/2020 8:56:45 AM
Hooray! My favorite neighborhood restaurant has re-opened, after having been closed since mid March. Frankly I don’t know how they stayed alive, they were not offering delivery, curbside pick up, anything, maybe it’s all a money laundering operation, who knows.  And yes, it’s run by a bunch of virtue signaling “progressive“, but that’s life in my neck of the words. Interestingly, for a while they had a “no firearms allowed“ sign in their window; and then took it down. I’m not quite sure what to read into that.
JCM 9/12/2020 9:01:29 AM

Reply to lucius septimius in 1:

My take on Trump's military remarks. His actions have shown a deep respect for the military, maybe not the ones from the five sided wind tunnel, but the ones on the pointy end of things. I saw somewhere 17 named sources at the meeting in question vs 4 anonymous sources say it didn't happen.

doppelganglander 9/12/2020 9:18:16 AM

College football is back (sort of)! It's kind of cute to see the fans wearing masks in their team's colors. If you have to wear the stupid things, at least make it fun. The big game for me is Georgia Tech vs. Florida State at 3:30.

The Falcons play their first game tomorrow, but the NFL is dead to me.

lucius septimius 9/12/2020 9:31:59 AM

In #5 JCM said: I saw somewhere 17 named sources at the meeting in question vs 4 anonymous sources say it didn't happen.

This is why the movie dialogue angle makes sense.  Either the four "sources" overheard a conversation which was taken out of context or they unconsciously cobbled together the remarks based on memories of the movie.  I remember at the time that the wording (1) sounded odd and out of date, and (2) didn't sound like Trump but rather the sort of thing a movie heavy might say.

JCM 9/12/2020 9:37:10 AM

Reply to lucius septimius in 7:

I wouldn't put it past the Altantic just to grab the quote and "attribute" it to Trump. A smear job out of whole cloth.

lucius septimius 9/12/2020 9:40:13 AM

Chills running up and down the spine moment.

For years I've been looking for someone who could get Franconian wine in the US and ship it to Georgia.  The first is difficult, the latter more difficult still. I ended up finding a place in upstate New York -- strangely enough I've been to their brick and mortar store when I've been visiting a friend up there.  I knew the vineyard -- not particularly well, but well enough to feel confident ordering from them.  For some reason, though, the name struck a chord I couldn't quite place.  I ordered a case as a birthday present to me.

Meanwhile, I've spent the last week on the history of winemaking in Franconia.  The past two days I've been going through the wills and household inventories of individuals executed as witches looking for information on (among other things) vineyards.  In particular, I wanted to know how much one cost -- I have some records of the properties of executed witches being sold at auction.  If the data I have so far holds, it suggests that real property was being sold off at 1/10 market value.  Just think what that would do to the real estate market.

My work yesterday drew to a close with one extremely detailed estate inventory.  The deceased owned several acres of vineyard and shares in others.

When the wine arrived today I looked at the bottle.  On the back was the address of the winery.  It was the vineyard I'd been reading the description of yesterday, the property of a man executed almost 400 years ago.

doppelganglander 9/12/2020 9:48:22 AM

Reply to lucius septimius in 9:

Wow. Raise the first glass to that long-dead vineyard owner.

Occasional Reader 9/12/2020 11:37:52 AM

In #6 doppelganglander said: College football is back

[yawn]. I’m sorry, what?

Occasional Reader 9/12/2020 1:27:31 PM
So I subject myself to NPR while driving home from the grocery store. They were interviewing an author who has written a couple of books about how California is becoming unlivable. His diagnosis of the basic problem? 

California doesn’t regulate things enough. 

No, really.
lucius septimius 9/12/2020 2:53:29 PM
Was showing the kids a crib sheet I found tucked into a book I had from college.  My girlfriend had made it up - it's a bunch of commands in Assembly.
Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 3:12:42 PM

In #13 lucius septimius said: My girlfriend had made it up - it's a bunch of commands in Assembly.

For what computer? (They were different).

lucius septimius 9/12/2020 3:50:53 PM

Reply to Kosh's Shadow in 14:


Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 3:50:56 PM

In #14 Kosh's Shadow said:

In #13 lucius septimius said: My girlfriend had made it up - it's a bunch of commands in Assembly.

For what computer? (They were different).

Even an example would help me figure out which one. I've used assembly language for the PDP-8, IBM 1130, PDP-10, PDP-11, 8080 and 8085, 8051, 6502, and studied it for others as well (360/370)

And while I haven't written any assembler code for the current generation of Intel chips, I've had to debug compiled, optimized code by looking at the assembly code in the debugger.

Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 3:53:32 PM

In #15 lucius septimius said: IBM

Probably 360/370, then, unless it was for a minicomputer or midrange. 

The worst part of using those was the job syntax that used computer cards to run the programs and define the files being used. The DD statement was always tricky. JCL, Job Control Language. It is coming back to be like something I regret eating.

lucius septimius 9/12/2020 4:12:26 PM

In #17 Kosh's Shadow said: It is coming back to be like something I regret eating.

I was trying to explain to my kids the whole concept of punch cards.  They looked like I'd told them that Cthulhu was coming tonight for their souls.

Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 4:24:05 PM

In #18 lucius septimius said: I was trying to explain to my kids the whole concept of punch cards.  They looked like I'd told them that Cthulhu was coming tonight for their souls.

IBM never owned my soul/

I still remember how to unjam and change the ribbon in an 029 keypunch. About as useful as how to make buggy whips. Less useful,  as some people still use buggy whips (when PETA isn't around)

The 1890 census used cards, but electronic computers didn't exist yet. The card would be punched by the census taker, and the main office would put in in a frame, where the holes allowed electrical signals to increment counters.

Actually, I was wrong. The census takers marked paper, which was used by census clerks in the office to punch the cards.

1890 Census Hollerith tabulator link

Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 4:31:03 PM

Many old movies would feature one of these

By waelder - Own work, CC BY 2.5,

Description of a card sorter

They'd show up in old movies. Typical  use would be trying to find an agent for a mission. They'd put in a deck of computer cards, and one would go all the way to the end (because it was blank), and they'd say that was the agent for the mission.

Kosh's Shadow 9/12/2020 4:38:12 PM
This is all why I think I should retire to the Living Computer History Museum as an exhibit

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