I've been reading lots of stuff about the Supreme Court and wondering when someone is going to say the obvious thing about how the deadlock re Judge Garland will be resolved. 

Clearly it will be resolved, if possible, by the Supreme Court itself.

Here's how it will go.

  • The President will wait a reasonable amount of time, let's say one day past the previous longest confirmation in the last 30 years. 
  • On that day, it will sue someone, Congress perhaps? Maybe Judge Garland. Not sure who they sue, they would have to find someone. 
  • The argument is that having had a chance to advise and consent, by being silent, the Senate has given its consent. 
  • Therefore the Executive branch would like Judge Garland to take his place on the court, starting now, right after the court decides this case, assuming they agree with the Executive.

If that's the plan, it explains why Obama chose someone as totally middle-of-the-road as Garland. As if to say to the Court, here you go, this is exactly the guy no one could possibly object to. So go ahead and make a decision that the Repubs are full of it, that there is no Biden Rule, and that by not advising and consenting, the Senate has given their consent. 

I think that's how the law actually works. Consistent with other situations.

 I suppose it's possible that vote will be a 4-4 vote too, in which case the US govt is incapable of making a non-partisan decision. But before we give up, we'll have to try it. 

And now I get to add the famous disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer. ;-)

One of the early testers of the 1999 server software wrote about removing inertia from blogging. 

He compares the number of steps to create a new post in 1999 with the steps it takes to write a new WordPress post. 

In 1999 -- 

  1. Write in the edit box at the top of the page.
  2. Click the Post button.
  3. Review what you wrote. Edit.
  4. When you're ready choose Publish from the popup menu on the post.
  5. Confirm you want to publish. 
  6. That's it. 

He lists all the steps for WordPress. There's a lot more involved. Not only in work for the experienced user, but in barriers to entry for the newbie.

WordPress is a lot more work than it needs to be. Fact. 

There's a lot more to the design of 1999 that makes it the smoothest blogging environment ever. 

Where we're at with 1999

Update on progress. We have a great group of server people helping test the software. It's running well on at least a dozen other servers. Shaking out bugs, writing docs, getting ready for a serious blogging platform ship. 

If you're going to write something interesting and thoughtful put it on your blog, not only on Facebook or Medium. Help the open web compete.

I had a strong feeling. It must be tough being Hillary Clinton, And no one ever gives her a word of encouragement. Yet she sticks with it. She has a clarity of vision that's really remarkable. Watching her interview the other night with Rachel Maddow was an inspiration.

Hillary Clinton as an image is difficult for America. She's symbolic of our strong intelligent feminine core that we have so much trouble accepting. She's us. We're her. Considering all the posers running for President, we are incredibly lucky that she's is in the mix. We have one person who is ready to do the job, and we get as a bonus, to break through another barrier. 

Like it or not, America, our generation is the one of breaking through barriers to self-acceptance. We're America learning to accept its real self. Our parents' generation got us to the moon. We're going beyond that. Our America as not the old Great White Republican Father. The new vision of America includes African-Americans as full participants in our government. And women. Competent. All hands on deck. Not just white men. This time it is really our way or the highway. Going all Nazi on us won't work Not in the US of A. Uncle Sam says fuck you, seriously, get out of my face you fascist. 

Change never comes easy. We're going through huge growing pains. We deal in symbols and forget there are real people behind the symbols. She must get tired of having to fight with both hands tied behind her back. To smile as her Teflon covered opponent accuses her in a most personal, cowardly and weasley  way. If he did that to a man he'd get his skinny ass kicked, so he wouldn't do it. HRC, a woman, our vision of a woman, has to grin and bear it. 

So thanks. It's gotta be a bitch. But you're doing something great. Please stay with it.

A five-minute podcast about the Sanders candidacy, noting that questions about his integrity are shouted down, and definitely not answered.

BTW, the number one question Sanders has not answered is this:

Suppose you get elected. Then what happens?

Cut through all the shit about HRC's integrity and your supposed electability. That's over. You won. Now, when President Sanders takes office, what does Congress look like? And with all the banks and oil companies aligned against you, how does the President overcome all that?

My belief: He's the Joker too. A dog chasing a car he never expects to catch, and wouldn't know what to do with if he ever caught it.

In yesterday's piece where I talked about learning from Bernie and Barney, I talked about something that might be a foreign idea, one that you'll never hear discussed in political discourse, or in history textbooks, the idea that the US is an Asshole Nation. 

When my generation was young, in the 70s, we believed fairness was the natural state of things. We marched, and worked for candidates that would make America virtuous. To live up to what we had been taught in school. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

Reality is very different -- this is the country that wiped out Native Americans and enslaved African-Americans. We were taught about slavery in school, but that was some shit people in the South did, not us in the north. Only later did we learn that the remnants of slavery were very much alive in the North, and btw, NYC where I grew up was the port of entry for the slaves, so we did it too. This wonderful city was built on the profits of slavery.

Thing is when you're young, your world is small, at least for most. You have Mom and Dad and some siblings, cousins, friends, teachers, classmates, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the TV characters -- who were always nice, even when they were assholes they were lovable assholes. 

Fairness, if not always there, was at least something you could strive for.

Later in life you learn something awful that fairness is not attainable. 

Sorry. I hated to learn that when I was young. Maybe I had a sense of it because I was born into a family of refugees, and I had a ruptured appendix when I was 10, and came very close to dying. Or maybe beneath it all I believed it was fair, because I survived childhood, after all. And I did go marching in the streets when I was young, there must have been a reason for that.

So when Hillary says things that sound cynical to the child's ear (I still have that child inside me btw, I remember) the adult ear knows she's right. Maybe that's why she appeals to African-Americans who have to deal with the reality that law enforcement sees them not as innocent citizens first, but guilty until proven innocent. Maybe if you're there, you don't strive for perfection, you'll accept just being relatively safe in your own neighborhood for starters. 

The truth is progress will be incremental. Bernie is at least suggesting it can happen all at once, I also am very sure that at age 74 he knows it's nonsense. These are all things that Hillary can't say in a debate, if she does the press will eat her alive as will the Bernie Trollers on the Internet. Aside from that he's already convinced you she's not to be trusted, so you don't even listen to her. 

But I can say it, I'm not running for anything, and I love all you young people for your optimism, hold on to it, you'll need it. But let's be smart! Let's set long-term objectives, let's make the changes we want to see, carefully, along with people from all parts of the country and let's not make disappointment, which is imho what Mr Sanders is selling.

First I want to say I'm a voter, not a campaigner. 

So anyway, I read this great interview with Barney Frank about Bernie Sanders and other political animals, including the voters.

He says what I've been thinking but a lot more clearly. Of course, he's a professional politician. I know we're supposed to hate them, but the problem is we need them. And BF is one of the good ones. Smart guy.

First, if you want to know who to blame for why everything is so fucked (if you believe it is), if you're a voter and you only vote in Presidential election years, then look in the mirror. If we, who voted for Obama the last couple of times, also voted in the off-year elections, the House and Senate might be Democratic, and you would have gotten more what you want. 

If you're a college student with big loans, you might have gotten relief by now. Because the government serves people who vote. Remember that one.

If you elect President Sanders, you're going to have to vote every year, otherwise you'll be complaining about him too.

About Sanders, what did he get done in the 25 years he's been in Congress? Basically not very much because the guy didn't work with others. No compromise in him, I guess, or maybe he just isn't that social. But it's not going to get any better for him if he's President. We've elected Presidents before who thought Congress had to come to him, it doesn't work that way. 

The most effective presidents are pretty much assholes you wouldn't want to have a beer with. Look at some pictures of Lyndon Johnson relating to other DC politicos. He used to talk to people while he was taking a shit, with the door open! And when he got in your face he totally got in your face. Not a great pal, but boy did he get things done.

Carter is a great example of a Sanders-like President. He was a saint. And really smart, and a good campaigner, and after Watergate and Ford's pardon of Nixon exactly the punishment we all wanted and voted for ourselves. Carter is a great man, but not because he was President, rather because he was a great ex-President. 

Last night Rachel Maddow asked Sanders if he would use some of the money he was raising to support down-ticket candidates. He said no, over and over. I couldn't believe what he was saying. I don't think Maddow could believe it either. And he thinks he's going to get super-delegates to work with him to throw out HRC who is working on raising money for Congress and state offices. As a good top-of-ticket candidate must. It comes with the job. I don't think Bernie gets that.

Not only can't Sanders win with that approach, he clearly doesn't want to create a legacy even if he knows he can't win. Sanders could do a lot for his campaign finance goal right now, this minute, by helping elect people using his access to money. He can't effectively spend all he's raising. I don't understand what game he's playing. Certainly not trying to build some kind of revolution, that's baloney. A revolutionary would be seizing this moment, rather than complaining about the past. 

You want to change the way campaigns are financed Bernie, then fucking do it and stop talking about it. Carpe diem man. 

BTW, one of the reasons our most effective presidents are assholes is that the USA is an asshole country. You want to make it live up to the hype and be a bastion of freedom, where everyone gets a chance to win, and we don't do crazy shit to the world and ourselves? Well that's a big hill to climb. Maybe it's possible, I kind of doubt it is, but if it were to happen you'd have to do a lot more than elect one good President and expect somehow that's going to change hundreds of years of being an asshole country. 

So Microsoft has a port of the Bash shell on Windows. It's a wise move. Early days Microsoft would have done this right off. In the middle in Ballmer's Microsoft they lost the sense of urgency. It isn't even a huge deal from a software standpoint. Think of it as intellectual interop.

They ported Word and Excel to Mac when they were trying to get the world to adopt Windows. I think you can see where this is headed. Flatten out the differences between the OSes as much as possible. Why not. No one cares about that stuff, that's the layer that was established 30 years ago. The action is happening 10-levels up the stack.

BTW, speaking of stacks, we're getting a little traction in 1999-server-land. Of course since we're building on Node.js, all this stuff should run nicely on Microsoft's OS, whatever they call it. ;-)

Good morning!

This is just an announcement, if you have questions you should ask them on the new mail list. Link is at the end of this post.

  1. I've created a new blogging system called 1999.io.
  2. Anyone can run a server. The server software is open source, MIT License. In that way it's comparable to WordPress or Ghost and unlike Blogger, Medium and Tumblr. I want it to be easy and free to set up and run a server. 
  3. It's written in JavaScript, running in Node.js.
  4. Each blog can have multiple users, each server can have multiple blogs. Think of 1999 as a community of communities of communities.
  5. The software is patterned after a product I created at UserLand Software called Manila. It shipped in 1999. Hence the tagline -- Blogging like it's 1999. 
  6. It's the writing and publishing system I've been using for Scripting News since October. It works! I love it more than any blogging system I've ever used. I'm not kidding.
  7. It's got features that no blogging system has ever had, like a live connection between the story pages and the server, so updates flow back automatically to every reader. It does liveblogging automatically, without any plug-ins, iFrames, hacks, etc.
  8. It's super easy to create a new post. Since that's the first thing you want to do, and I want you to do a lot of it, I made it very very easy. Here's a video demo.
  9. Rather than open the system by offering free hosting, instead I am starting with server sysops. So I need help testing that. To be part of this group you should set up a server. It must be publicly accessible, and you need to set up a free app on Twitter. But it's totally doable, if you were able to set up River5 you should be able to set this up.
  10. So if you're into helping me do this bootstrap, please sign up for the mail list. I'm not saying I'll approve everyone at first, I want to have a sense that you will be able to give decent bug reports as we shake out the initial setup issues. Please understand.

This is exciting! Let's have fun! :-)

I'm trying to think but nothing happens!


Libraries should teach people how to run their own servers and provide support groups and self-help. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. I kept thinking of teaching journalism students how to do it, but they're like the Harvard profs. Why did they need blogging? They didn't. But libraries are perfectly situated to bring technology into neighborhoods. And the cost is so low nowadays, get Google and Amazon to donate services. They would of course jump at the opportunity.