Stephen King – The Stand

Stephen King has 7 book adaptations coming to TV or film in 2017. He’s bigger than ever.

This may be the second Stephen King book I’ve read after 11/22/63: A Novel. Millions love The Stand, many considering it to be his best.

Obviously King’s a great story teller with mass appeal.

There are some terrific characters in this book. King understands people. He understands Trump voters, I’m sure.

Stephen King hates Trump. That might be one reason I read this book.

The Stand is a post-apocalyptichorror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. …

… the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic which kills off the majority of the world’s human population. …

The novel was originally published in 1978 in hardcover, with a setting date of 1980. … The book was later re-released in 1990 as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition (the longest book published by King at 1152 pages); King restored some text originally cut for brevity, added and revised sections, changed the setting of the story to 1990 …

The miniseries was broadcast in 1994 … In February 2016, The Stand movie had been put on hold …

Some criticize the book for being racist. I didn’t feel that way. It’s an epic of Good v Evil. The evil guys are racist.

I didn’t love the book. But liked it enough to download Stephen King – It: A Novel (2016).

related – Zack HandlenWhat I Learned From Re-Reading Stephen King’s The Stand

the future of the NEWS

What will the most popular news sources of the future look like?

I’m hopeful for the soon to be launched Wikitribune.

Evidence-based journalism

People today mostly get their news from TV (not bad) and social media (terrible).

My favourite news source right now is Axios, just 6 months old.

Smart brevity.

Axios covers 7 areas: politics, tech, media trends, health, science, energy, and future of work (AI, robotics, etc.).

They want to deliver the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trust-worthy experience for readers and advertisers alike.

It was founded by Mike Allen, former chief political reporter for Politico. I like Politico too, founded in 2007. And  Jim VandeHei.

John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei left The Washington Post to become The Politicos editor-in-chief and executive editor, respectively.

So … Washington Post begat Politico begat Axios.

If interested, start by signing up for any of the Axios email newsletters.

 

 

I’m not celebrating the 4th of July

His approach is not working. Five months into his first term, Mr Trump presides over a political culture that is even more poisonous than when he took office.  …

The Trump presidency has been plagued by poor judgment and missed opportunities. …

Economist

Unethical, immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. If you still support Trump I’d prefer we never speak again.

Why Hate the Koch Brothers?

If you hate GOP policies, you hate the Koch brothers. Right?

After listening to the Freakonomics interview with David Koch, I’ve now got mixed feelings.

Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his management philosophy and why he supports legislation that goes against his self-interest.

Charles Koch

The list of charitable causes supported by Charles Koch, and his brother David, is long and diverse, and would surely find approval with even their most devout political enemies. David is particularly well-known in New York for funding the arts and medical research. Among the Koch Industries beneficiaries are the United Negro College Fund; Project JumpStart, which provides construction training; and the movement for criminal-justice reform.

He’s very smart. Very well read.

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1)

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)

They want tax reform and want to roll back regulations. They don’t like idiot Jeff Sessions’ idiotic “war on marijuana”.

They are disappointed with GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. They don’t like Trump.

They are for free trade. Against border-adjustment fees that Trump keeps trumpeting.

All that said, if you hate GOP policies, know that the Koch brothers do as much as anyone to ensure dinosaurs like Pence stay in office.

The network of conservative donors announced Saturday it plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 cycle. …

Koch network ramps up political spending while trying to push Trump team

On the other hand, some Koch donors are so pissed they want the “Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform.

The Hama massacre – Syria 1982

The Hama massacre (Arabic: مجزرة حماة‎‎) occurred in 2 February 1982, when the Hafez Syrian Arab Army and the Defense Companies, under the orders of the country’s president Hafez al-Assad, besieged the town of Hama for 27 days in order to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood … 

The massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army under commanding General Rifaat al-Assad, effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni Muslim groups …

… the lower estimates claiming that at least 2,000 Syrian citizens were killed, [5] while others put the number at 20,000 (Robert Fisk),[1] or 40,000 (Syrian Human Rights Committee).[2][6] … 

The attack has been described as one of “the single deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East”. …

Hama 1982

I visited Hama in 1994. All these buildings had been bulldozed to the ground. The town rebuilt.

It was very quiet.

It was Hafez al-Assad, president of Syria, and his brother Rifaat al-Assad responsible for killing those thousands of Syrians.

In 1994 his the dictator’s eldest son and successor Bassel had just died in a car accident. Hafez turned to his his younger son Bashar. 

It’s Bashar al-Assad who’s killing Syrians in 2017.

Once seen by the international community as a potential reformer, al-Assad has few friends left. Russia continues to protect al-Assad in the the UN Security Council. 

2015

In June 2014, Assad was included in a list of war crimes indictments of government officials and rebels handed to the International Criminal Court. …

Nobody knows exactly how much money Assad and family have extracted from Syria. One estimate says Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has amassed up to $1.5bn (£950m) for his family and his close associates. Hidden out of the nation, of course.

Sooner or later al-Assad will be gone. What comes next may be even worse — the tiny impoverish, war torn country the spoils of many different warlords.