09/10/2015 archive

Sour Grapes

It’s that terribly British sense of humor you know.

Jeremy Corbyn confident Labour will unite around him if he wins

by Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

Thursday 10 September 2015 15.40 EDT

Jeremy Corbyn has predicted that his now-assumed election as Labour leader on Saturday will prompt a coming-together of the party, as he prepares to try to change politics by offering a collegiate and less confrontational leadership style.

With the polls finally closed and with his supporters confident that he has gone from being a 200-1 outsider to an astonishing winner, Corbyn plans to follow an acceptance speech by speaking to tens of thousands due to march in London on Saturday in support of refugees. He is determined to foster what he regards as a new social movement that has emerged this summer inside the wider labour movement.

Corbyn is to offer shadow cabinet posts to all wings of the party. Speaking to ITV News, he said: “MPs are important but they are not the entirety of the Labour party.

“We have a big job to do in exposing the government’s austerity programme and what it’s doing to the poorest and most vulnerable in our society: their bill on welfare reform and their bill on trade union issues and the way they are actually systematically slicing up public services in Britain through massive cuts and local government grants.”

But Corbyn faced a wave of criticism from senior party figures, some of whom warned that his supporters were sinister and represented little more than a Trotskyist 80s throwback.

Liz Kendall, the Blairite candidate, predicted that a Corbyn leadership would end in electoral failure and repeated her pledge that she would not serve on his frontbench since their political differences on the economy and foreign policy were too fundamental. Kendall said: “When the public are crying out for politicians to say what they mean, and mean what they say, I cannot serve on Labour’s frontbench if Jeremy Corbyn is leader.”

A wider group of senior shadow cabinet members have now collectively agreed to refuse to serve, saying they will accept the democratic result and give Corbyn the time and space to set out his own agenda. They argue that if a group of seven or so MPs were in the shadow cabinet while deeply opposed to his politics, it would be a recipe for instability and division and it would be better instead to have an honest disagreement outside the shadow cabinet.

On Friday, David Cameron will follow George Osborne in deriding Labour for vacating the centre ground, saying he watched the contest in bewilderment as Labour continued to debate whether the deficit needed to be cut.

“It’s as if the financial crash, or the election for that matter, never happened. The question is not ‘do we have money to spend?’; it’s ‘how do we spend the money that we have to achieve the outcomes we want?’

“It’s a question that requires you to think about the role and nature of the state, the reform of public services, the way in which government programmes are designed and delivered – all of which have been totally absent in this Labour leadership election.

“Whoever wins the Labour leadership tomorrow, this is now a party that has completely vacated the intellectual playing field and no longer represents working people. It is arguing at the extremes of the debate, simply wedded to more spending, more borrowing, and more taxes. They pose a clear threat to the financial security of every family in Britain.”

Kendall, in a reflective speech, conceded Corybn’s campaign had “mobilised and enthused vast numbers of people in a way we haven’t seen for decades. The debate that’s exploded during this contest has been simmering for many years.”

Kendall said: “The programme Jeremy Corbyn offers is not new. His policies and politics are the same now as they were in the 1980s – and will end up delivering the same result.

“Neither is he the sole keeper of Labour’s principles. No one has a monopoly on being led by their conscience. But modernisers must be honest with ourselves: many people who’ve joined our party in recent months do not believe we are offering change and some of them doubt our principles altogether. This is partly because too often in the past we’ve come across as technocratic and managerial.

“We’ve allowed ourselves to be defined as purely pragmatic – concerned with winning elections alone, rather than winning for a purpose – thereby ceding the mantle of principle to the far left.”


It was quite a year.  While there are other aspects I’d like to draw your attention to these.  After the strong second place showing of Eugene McCarthy, a conventionally economic liberal of the FDR/Keynes stripe, a reliable supporter of social justice, and a fervent believer in a technocratic neo liberal foreign policy (the multi-lateral democratic impulse that created the United Nations, the NATO Alliance, and the Common Market was not entirely without merit) that did not include Imperialism and Colonialism as a motivator (McCarthy was not much of a pacifist except by comparison) in New Hampshire, the sitting President Lyndon Baines Johnson (who was a revolutionary on social justice, a lying aggressive warrior of the Nuremberg type, and economically similar) decided that he was too divisive to bring victory to his party (mostly because of that social justice thing, but the war was pissing off people who could have been his allies).

So who to get now to save the McNamara achievers?

I hate to say it because I have a deep and abiding respect for him, his two brothers, and the rest of the family, but Robert Kennedy.

At the time he was the resurrection of all the momentum we thought we’d lost in ’63 and he might have fulfilled all our hopes and fantasies had he lived.  Even today, he’s the ‘good’ Kennedy.

It was a violent time to be alive in ways that I think have escaped people.  Boxcutters?  Try megatons.

When Hubert Humphrey took control during a police riot in the most thoroughly corrupt Democratic town in the country it was a victory for the status quo.

I present this cautionary tale in the context of the Joementum I can feel in the room.

Enough with the Joe Biden nonsense: The real reasons why the D.C. media loves him, but progressives should run away screaming

Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 12:00 PM EST

What Biden does have going for him is elite media fantasies. He’s their idea of what “the people” really want. He may have spent 30-some years representing credit-card companies in the U.S. Senate, but for the elite media, he’s a “regular Joe.” A more subtle way that Biden reflects D.C. insider fantasies of what the public wants is the way that he has moved significantly to the right over the years, without any in D.C. appearing to notice it.

Biden’s distorted sense of who should be listened and who shouldn’t was, in short, a reflection of the shifting power relations coming to dominate Washington at the time. Previously, Democrats had usually taken seriously what ordinary people had to say. Whatever the eventual outcome might be, they were willing to hear from those on the front lines who might have a very different view of things. But after eight years of Reagan and four more of Bush, Biden was at the forefront of those who thought it far more important to listen and respond to conservative activists inside the Beltway, as shown by his response to Hatch quoted above.

This, then, was the broader legislative record that Biden had built-and was still building-at the time he encountered Anita Hill and Lani Guinier. He was busy moving the Democratic Party to the right on criminal justice policy, and they appeared as very unwelcome reminders, not just of what he was leaving behind, but of the fact that there was also much more to the realm of justice than his narrow focus could encompass. Let’s consider each these women in turn, how they were mistreated by elite Washington, and the role Biden played in mistreating them.

The same Beltway press that approved of Biden back then will certainly not be bothered now. Anita Hill is very old news to them, and Lani Guinier? Most of them can’t even place the name. But the passage of time only makes Biden’s failures more glaring. Given the collision course between Black Lives Matter and Biden’s drug war record, there’s bound to be a much higher level of sensitivity to how Biden mistreated those two exemplary black women when he was the man in charge of the process that humiliated them.

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Medal Of Honor Recipient

 photo Mary_Edwards_Walker.jpg The only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military honor, was a civilian and a surgeon. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker served the US military as a volunteer surgeon during the American Civil War and for a short time, she was held in a Confederate prison after crossing enemy lines to assist with civilian casualties.

At the beginning of the American Civil War, she volunteered for the Union Army as a civilian. At first, she was only allowed to practice as a nurse, as the U.S. Army had no female surgeons. During this period, she served at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), July 21, 1861 and at the Patent Office Hospital in Washington, D.C. She worked as an unpaid field surgeon near the Union front lines, including the Battle of Fredericksburg and in Chattanooga after the Battle of Chickamauga. As a suffragette, she was happy to see women serving as soldiers and alerted the press to the case of Frances Hook in Ward 2 of the Chattanooga hospital.

In September 1862, Walker wrote to the War Department requesting employment on Secret Service to spy on the enemy, but the offer was declined. Finally, she was employed as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)” by the Army of the Cumberland in September 1863, becoming the first-ever female surgeon employed by the U.S. Army Surgeon. Walker was later appointed assistant surgeon of the 52nd Ohio Infantry. During her service, she frequently crossed battle lines, treating civilians.

On April 10, 1864, she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy, just after she finished helping a Confederate doctor perform an amputation. She was sent to Castle Thunder in Richmond, Virginia and remained there until August 12, 1864, when she was released as part of a prisoner exchange. While she was imprisoned, she refused to wear the clothes provided because they were more “becoming of her sex.” Walker was exchanged for a Confederate surgeon from Tennessee on August 12, 1864.

She went on to serve during the Battle of Atlanta and later as supervisor of a female prison in Louisville, Kentucky, and head of an orphanage in Tennessee.[

After the war, Dr. Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor on November 11, 1865 by President Andrew Johnson on the recommendations of Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and George Henry Thomas. The citation reads:

   Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker, a graduate of medicine, “has rendered valuable service to the Government, and her efforts have been earnest and untiring in a variety of ways,” and that she was assigned to duty and served as an assistant surgeon in charge of female prisoners at Louisville, Ky., upon the recommendation of Major-Generals Sherman and Thomas, and faithfully served as contract surgeon in the service of the United States, and has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in a Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon; and Whereas by reason of her not being a commissioned officer in the military service, a brevet or honorary rank cannot, under existing laws, be conferred upon her; and Whereas in the opinion of the President an honorable recognition of her services and sufferings should be made. It is ordered, That a testimonial thereof shall be hereby made and given to the said Dr. Mary E. Walker, and that the usual medal of honor for meritorious services be given her.

She was 32 years old when she received the award. Her story did not end there.

She became a writer and lecturer, supporting such issues as health care, temperance, women’s rights and dress reform for women. She was frequently arrested for wearing masculine styled clothing and insisted on her right to wear clothing that she thought appropriate. She wrote two books that discussed women’s rights and dress.

Mary Edwards Walker was a supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. She was a member of the central woman’s suffrage Bureau in Washington. During her time as a member, she solicited funds to endow a chair in the medical school at Howard University to be filled by a woman professor. Walker attempted to register to vote in 1871, but was turned away. The initial stance of the movement, taking Dr. Walker’s lead, was to claim that women already had the right to vote, and Congress need only enact enabling legislation. After a number of fruitless years taking this stance, the movement took the new tack of working for a constitutional amendment. This was diametrically opposed to Mary Walker’s position, and she fell out of favor with the movement. She continued to attend conventions of the suffrage movement and distribute her own brand of literature, but was virtually ignored by the rest of the movement. Her penchant for wearing male-style clothing, including a top hat, only exacerbated the situation. She received a more positive reception in England than in the United States.  In 1907, Walker published a work on “Crowning Constitutional Argument” to state her views. Walker argued that some states, as well as the Constitution, had already granted women the right to vote. She testified on women’s suffrage in 1912 and 1914 before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Walker died on February 21, 1919, from natural causes at the age of 86 and is buried in Rural Cemetery Oswego, New York. She had a plain funeral, but an American flag was draped over her casket and she was buried in her black suit instead of a dress. Her death in 1919 came one year before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

The host of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell tells her story.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Trevor Timm: The US’s insistence on weaker encryption puts citizens in harm’s way

We usually think of tech companies as invading our privacy – and with good reason v] – but in the current political climate where the FBI is [aiming to vilify the encryption that is increasingly used to protect everyone’s private information, those same tech giants may be our best ally in protecting our privacy against the US government.

A frontpage New York Times story on Monday details the escalating legal and political fight between tech companies like Apple to protect user data from spying governments and criminals versus the FBI’s insatiable appetite to make sure there aren’t any communications beyond its reach. [..]

For those who care about privacy, this continued fight is really disturbing for a variety of reasons. But here’s the thing: the government is fighting a losing battle. They can continue their push, which can still hurt Americans’ cybersecurity, our privacy and even the US economy. But either way, encryption is here to stay, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: War Should Be the Last Option: Why I Support the Iran Nuclear Deal

I support the agreement that the United States negotiated with China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom and Iran. I believe this approach is the best way forward if we are to accomplish what we all want to accomplish — that is making certain that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon — an occurrence which would destabilize the region, lead to a nuclear arms race in the area and would endanger the existence of Israel.

It is my firm belief that the test of a great nation, with the most powerful military on earth, is not how many wars we can engage in, but how we can use our strength and our capabilities to resolve international conflicts in a peaceful way.

Those who have spoken out against this agreement, including many in this chamber, and those who have made every effort to thwart the diplomatic process, are many of the same people who spoke out forcefully and irresponsibly about the need to go to war with Iraq — one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of our country.

Robert Reich: A Crisis of Public Morality, Not Private Morality

At a time many Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality — what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay marriage — America is experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality.

CEOs of large corporations now earn 300 times the wages of average workers. Insider trading is endemic on Wall Street, where hedge-fund and private-equity moguls are taking home hundreds of millions.

A handful of extraordinarily wealthy people are investing unprecedented sums in the upcoming election, seeking to rig the economy for their benefit even more than it’s already rigged.

Yet the wages of average working people continue to languish as jobs are off-shored or off-loaded onto “independent contractors.”

All this is in sharp contrast to the first three decades after World War II.

Gary Younge: State-sanctioned killings without trial: are these Cameron’s British values?

Three months ago David Cameron celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Flanked by the Queen and the archbishop of Canterbury he genuflected before the pillars of Britain’s legal system.

“Magna Carta is something every person in Britain should be proud of,” he said. “Its remaining copies may be faded, but its principles shine as brightly as ever, in every courtroom and every classroom, from palace to parliament to parish church.

“Liberty, justice, democracy, the rule of law – we hold these things dear, and we should hold them even dearer for the fact that they took shape right here, on the banks of the Thames.”

On Monday he confirmed that he had executed two British citizens without trial. Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin were jihadis, from Cardiff and Aberdeen respectively, fighting for Isis in Syria. They were not killed in the heat of battle but with cold calculation. Their assassination was the result of “meticulous planning”, claims Cameron.

Sean McElwee: The education myth

The elite consensus on education hurts college students and recent graduates

Almost everyone agrees that education, innovation and human capital are critical to economic growth and security. And anyone who can’t find a job or is stuck with a low-paying job is told to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy.

Unfortunately, the results of believing in that myth have been catastrophic. Earnings have stagnated or declined for everyone except the very top earners, even for those who have educational qualifications, and jobs that didn’t previously require credentials now do. College-educated workers are increasingly forced to take jobs in low-paying industries.

The skills gap is not why workers aren’t prospering. If it were, those with higher skills should be doing better, not worse. Instead, employees are victimized first by policy failure – since the economy is not operating at full employment, those who depend on their labor for living may not find work – and second by the deluded guidance of experts who point to education as a panacea for all their problems.

The Breakfast Club (Not a flaw)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgWindows 10 is primarily spyware.  Chrome never pretended to be anything but.  Once virtuous Ubuntu is now as bad as any ‘commercial’ software (not the way things were supposed to devolve) with incomprehensible interfaces, swaths of proprietary code, and intrusive default monitoring.

This disqualifies a whole lot of derivatives including my favorite, Mint with Mate, that use the Ubuntu code base.

I’ve always liked the standard GNOME2 interface and think it’s highly similar, other than positioning, to your Windows Classic Desktop which has been basically the same in business IT since ’95.  If you learn it, and don’t screw it up by personalizing too much, the learning curve is not that steep.

The Gnome people didn’t think that was good enough and screwed it to the point of unusability.

So KDE right?

Sure, if you want to be wacky and customize your machine to look like IOSX or Windows 8.1 however why are you wasting that time?  But getting any kind of usable Desktop is a chore unless you favor the ‘why do you need more than a spreadsheet and a word processor peon’ approach to IT.  Besides you can just grab any program you like from the k library and install it.  Yup, point and click.  Free.

So my favored interface is now Mate which is a GNOME2 variant done by some South American programmers who liked GNOME2 a lot and thought that the Gnome people were certifiable idiots.  It works like I would expect.

Which brings us to distributions.

Almost everything is based on Debian.  There are 2 code bases, the development track and the stable track.  The stable track can stay stable for a really long time because the rules about what is acceptable are very strict.  While this is attractive on paper, in practice it means that many pieces of hardware either don’t function at all or only partially.

So your video and network cards don’t work very well, get new ones!  Easy on a desktop, not so much on your lap.

The development track is developmental.  The truth is that it deosn’t change very much either.  The rules are not as strict, but there are still rules.  What makes it look like things are changing all the time is that each piece of software is on its own schedule.

You should be able to safely install and operate either track directly from the source, what then adds value to a distribution?

They break some rules.  Most times they will install proprietary drivers for maximum performance.  Sometimes these are entirely written by the manufacturers, others simply comply with the published standards.  In neither case is the code usually public which breaks a rule.  Many times they will add their own code for features they think have been poorly implemented and hardly anyone can resist screwing with the wallpaper, icons, and taskbar.  Almost all add programs technically still in development.

I insist on 3 things from my environment- hardware control including drives and network, environment control of the look and feel, and software control of all the programs on my system.  It should operate off a menu.  I’ve gotten fairly good results with these distributions that are available in Mate.

Fedora is a non-Debian that has been separate since the late 90’s.

Sabayon is a Gentoo base.  Gentoo and Arch have the reputation of being the most difficult distributions to install, Saboyon, provided it supports your hardware, goes in like a champ.

Mageia is a non-commercial spin-off of Mandriva.

openSUSE gets a mention as another independent code base, but they don’t have a Mate interface.

Windows 10 – Spyware Disguised as an Operating System

by Gaius Publius, Hullabaloo

8/31/2015 07:30:00 AM

(I)t didn’t take long to discover that Windows 10 is not only worse than Windows 8, it is worse in a worse way. It’s one thing to install an application that spies on you. It’s another when that spyware application you just installed is the operating system, and controls the whole machine.

Is Windows 10 Worth Installing?

The answer is No, if you’re asking me. In fact, it’s worth never installing. I’d avoid it until the final minute you’re forced to change, and even then, you should hesitate to upgrade. Reason? Under its default settings, Windows 10 is widely reported to be spyware, an operating system that watches you work, even offline, and reports back to Microsoft anything it feels like reporting. If you approve the licensing agreement – and how can you use any software without clicking “I Agree”? – you’re giving Microsoft permission to collect any data they can get (based on your settings) and share it in any way they want.

Windows 10 is the ultimate privacy violator – an operating system that wants to watch everything you do and send back whatever it finds or figures out about you.

Microsoft slips user-tracking tools into Windows 7, 8 amidst Windows 10 privacy storm

by Brad Chacos, PCWorld

Aug 31, 2015 12:59 PM

No, the company’s not walking back its privacy-encroaching features. Instead, Microsoft’s quietly rolling out updates that bake new tracking tools into Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Yes, really.

The story behind the story: Privacy concerns have marred an otherwise sterling launch for Windows 10, which is already installed on 75 million PCs. Rolling out this Windows 7 and 8 updates amidst the controversy smacks of insensitivity-and it’s just plain poor timing, to boot.

Ghacks discovered four recent KB updates for Windows 7 and 8, all designed to send Microsoft regular reports on your machine’s activities.

KB3068708 – “This update introduces the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. By applying this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.” This update replaced KB3022345.

KB3075249 – “This update adds telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels.”

KB3080149 – “This package updates the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. This service provides benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.”

The latter two updates are flagged as Optional, but KB3068708 holds Recommended status, which means it would be downloaded and installed if you have Windows Updates set to automatic. It’s only functional in PCs that participate in Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program, which already sends Microsoft information on how you use your computer.

If you don’t want these new tracking tools on your PC, the best thing to do seems to be simply uninstalling the offending updates, then blocking them from being reinstalled.

To do so, head to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall or change a program. Here, click View installed updates in the left-hand navigation pane. In the search box in the upper-right corner, search for the KB3068708, KB3022345, KB3075249, and KB3080149 updates by name. If they’re installed, they’ll pop right up. If you find one, right-click on it and select Uninstall to wipe it from your system.

To block the updates from being downloaded again, dive back into the Control Panel and head to System and Security > Windows Update > Check for updates. The system will look for updates, then say you have a certain number of updates available, separated by status (Optional, Recommended, Critical). Simply click the recommended updates link, find the KB3068708 and KB3022345 updates, then right-click them and select Hide update. Boom! Done.

Now dive into the optional updates and hide KB3075249 and KB3080149 as well.

Microsoft Retrofitting Windows 7, 8.1 With Windows 10’s Privacy-Invading ‘Features’

by Karl Bode, Tech Dirt

Wed, Sep 2nd 2015

Microsoft now seems intent on retro-fitting its older operating systems (specifically Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) with many of the annoying, chatty aspects of Windows 10. GHacks has noticed that four updates to the older operating systems, described as an “update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry,” connect to vortex-win.data.microsoft.com and settings-win.data.microsoft.com. These addresses are hard-coded to bypass the hosts file, and ferry all manner of personal information back to Microsoft.

(I)t’s annoying that Microsoft continues to insist on expanding this kind of OS behavior, without making opting out simple and comprehensive. And it certainly doesn’t exactly deflate arguments by folks like Richard Stallman, who consistently argue that Windows is effectively malware. More than anything though, it’s a continued advertisement for Linux and operating systems that the end user actually has some degree of control over.

Science Oriented Video

Science and Technology News and Blogs

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

On This Day In History September 10

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 112 days remaining until the end of the year

On this day in 1776, Nathan Hale volunteers to spy behind British lines

On this day in 1776, General George Washington asks for a volunteer for an extremely dangerous mission: to gather intelligence behind enemy lines before the coming Battle of Harlem Heights. Captain Nathan Hale of the 19th Regiment of the Continental Army stepped forward and subsequently become one of the first known American spies of the Revolutionary War.

the Battle of Long Island, which led to British victory and the capture of New York City, via a flanking move from Staten Island across Long Island, Hale volunteered on September 8, 1776, to go behind enemy lines and report on British troop movements. He was ferried across on September 12. It was an act of spying that was immediately punishable by death, and posed a great risk to Hale.

An account of Nathan Hale’s capture was written by Consider Tiffany, a Connecticut shopkeeper and Loyalist, and obtained by the Library of Congress. In Tiffany’s account, Major Robert Rogers of the Queen’s Rangers saw Hale in a tavern and recognized him despite his disguise. After luring Hale into betraying himself by pretending to be a patriot himself, Rogers and his Rangers apprehended Hale near Flushing Bay, in Queens, New York. Another story was that his Loyalist cousin, Samuel Hale, was the one who revealed his true identity.

British General William Howe had established his headquarters in the Beekman House in a rural part of Manhattan, on a rise between 50th and 51st Streets between First and Second Avenues Hale reportedly was questioned by Howe, and physical evidence was found on him. Rogers provided information about the case. According to tradition, Hale spent the night in a greenhouse at the mansion. He requested a Bible; his request was denied. Sometime later, he requested a clergyman. Again, the request was denied.

According to the standards of the time, spies were hanged as illegal combatants. On the morning of September 22, 1776, Hale was marched along Post Road to the Park of Artillery, which was next to a public house called the Dove Tavern (at modern day 66th Street and Third Avenue), and hanged. He was 21 years old. Bill Richmond, a 13-year-old former slave and Loyalist who later became famous as an African American boxer in Europe, was reportedly one of the hangmen, “his responsibility being that of fastening the rope to a strong tree branch and securing the knot and noose.”

By all accounts, Hale comported himself eloquently before the hanging. Over the years, there has been some speculation as to whether he specifically uttered the famous line:

I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

But may be a revision of:

I am so satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged that my only regret is that I have not more lives than one to offer in its service.

The story of Hale’s famous speech began with John Montresor, a British soldier who witnessed the hanging. Soon after the execution, Montresor spoke with the American officer William Hull about Hale’s death. Later, it was Hull who widely publicized Hale’s use of the phrase. Because Hull was not an eyewitness to Hale’s speech, some historians have questioned the reliability of the account

The Daily Late Nightly Show (Space Cadet)

So what did I think?  It will probably get better.

It doesn’t appear in many of the accounts but last night was kind of a production fiasco.  They had to do most of it twice which meant the taping was 2 hours for an hour and a bit long show.  I thought the production pieces were a little lengthy over funny and neither of the interview segments struck me as particularly compelling.

I’m not alone in that opinion.  As Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker put it-

Colbert’s more admirable skill-and the thing that one expects will be a highlight of the show in the future-is his ability to do energetic, probing interviews. Yet Colbert’s sit-down with Jeb Bush was a strange one. Mostly, Bush got to spout off talking points, branding himself as a benign presence, who was, unlike Trump, a small-government conservative interested in “fiscal restraint.” The two men joked about logos. It was aggressively collegial, a kick in the shins to anyone who worried that Colbert would be some liberal muckraker. Colbert did one gentle ambush, which involved a staged interaction with his own brother, designed to elicit a genuine answer from Jeb: Could he name a policy difference between himself and his brother George? In response, Jeb simply emphasized, once again, that, unlike George, he was a small-government conservative who favored “fiscal restraint.” No one brought up the war. Colbert is smart. But the toothlessness was unnerving. Jeb Bush was Sabra hummus, plugging itself.

The George Clooney segment was far more low-energy, with the two men satirizing the faux-chumminess of such interviews-a familiar shtick, post-Letterman. There was talk about Clooney’s work in Darfur, followed, somewhat abruptly, by gags about Clooney’s marriage having turned him into “arm candy” (“just be shiny and pretty”), and then a fake-clips routine. It doesn’t have to be this way, and I’m betting that it won’t be, in the near future. If there’s got to be another man sitting behind another desk that is carved from a whole desk, I’d certainly rather have it be a smart guy like Colbert.

He did deliver the numbers, 6.6 million in the overnight.  For comparison Letterman rolled up 15.2 in his debut.  As an indicator of the current state of play in the target demographic (18 – 49 year olds) Colbert scored 1.4 million while the Jimmys, Fallon and Kimmel had 900 and 400 K respectively.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to adjust your expectations of the impact of Broadcast Network Television.

I also find the special Rovian math that John Kolbin of The Times uses to insist that 1.4 million is somehow smaller than Fallon’s Olympics assisted 1.3 million somewhat speculative, but the Gray Lady is not what it once was either.

What I expect going forward is that the show will continue to improve and eventually settle at the #2 spot in late night.  CBS still has the same institutional problems that prevented David from crushing all comers like a bug despite the clear superiority of his product.

Some highlights-

Stephen’s guests tonight are Scarlett Johansson, Elon Musk, and Kendrick Lamar.

The New Continuity

Hillary Clinton Audio Email Theater

Let’s talk about white religious bigots instead

Tonightly Larry’s special guest is Buzz Aldrin, slightly wacky second man on the moon.  Those two points are probably unrelated.  His panel is Jordan Carlos, Natasha Rothwell, and Bill Gardell.