?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous
sseitz

Tags:

Leave a comment

The time has come for the Democratic Party to face facts: it’s not the party of all the people anymore.

The reason Donald Trump won the election, I realize, is why I voted for Republican Phil Scott for governor of Vermont. Phil shows up. While his Democratic opponent was running for governor of northern Vermont, Phil actually paid attention to the southern half of the state. I interviewed Phil. Not once did I talk to Sue Minter.

That is what happened nationally. Hillary Clinton, essentially, ran for President of New York and California. Neither she, nor the Democratic Party generally, really did much to appeal to the rest of the country, and they felt left out. Democrats did not learn from Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy. Dean even went to Alaska to help the Democratic Party in 2006. He paid attention to the small states. There is a reason Dean is the best governor Vermont ever had; despite being a Wall Street brat, he understood Vermont better than anybody I ever met. This was a governor who returned phone calls.

And so, once again, we made the smart person’s mistake: assuming other people are smart. Not everyone votes on the basis of logic or even common sense. There is an emotional component that factors into voting, as well. That has to be taken into consideration. You do that by paying attention to every constituency. Everyone needs a piece of the pie.

Another mistake: thinking there would not be a last-minute dirty trick. In 2012, Benghazi was the dirty trick. This time around, the FBI’s blatant electioneering at the last minute lit the fuse. Had James Comey kept his damn mouth shut, we might not be facing the coming electoral and economic disaster. The Clinton campaign should have spent weeks telling everyone to expect cheating from the Republicans. Had they said, “Just wait. They’re going to pull something shady pretty soon,” Comey’s hand grenade would have been far less effective. It would have been seen for the partisan sabotage it was.

Democrats won in 2006 and 2008 by communicating with all the people. Until they that start doing that again, we are on the road to fascism and dictatorship.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: Home office
Current Mood: depressed depressed
Current Music: Alexandre Desplat, "The Resurrection Stone"

Leave a comment
Read more...Collapse )

Tags:

Leave a comment
Read more...Collapse )

Tags:

Leave a comment
  • Sun, 09:07: Given recent events, the Republican Party is changing its symbol from an elephant to a goose.

Tags:

Leave a comment

Tags:

Leave a comment
Hell, yes, I'm going back.

Vermont Comic Con in Burlington last weekend proved to be my most successful event ever, and I've been signing books for ten years.

Fan conventions are inherently enjoyable and fun events; It's impossible not to have a good time. Having my son Dan join me doubled the pleasure of the experience, and I can't thank him enough for all his help. We hardly ever get to spend that kind of time together anymore, and I owe Dan at least half of the success.

We arrived with 77 books and came home with 22. "Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula" completely sold out, and "Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain" came close. It turns out there are a number of mystery fans at these events as well; I came home with half my copies of "Secrets Can't Be Kept Forever" sold, and "Never Meant to Be" also sold about halfway.

Of course, plenty of people came in costume, and I only wish I was able to attend the wedding; one couple actually tied the knot dressed as the Joker and Harley Quinn. Also a pleasure: watching all the wide-eyed little kids as they passed by, amazed to see so many characters in full size. I'll share one shameless, but effective, trick for personal appearances; if you have a plate of cookies at kids' eye level, they'll bring their parents over to your table.

Traffic was so good, we made back the price of the table in the first four hours. Also, for the first time, I was able to accept credit cards; I finally have a PayPal card reader, which means I will no longer lose sales due to only being able to accept cash and checks. Not to mention no longer have an embarrassinly low amount in my PayPal account.

About the only drawback I can think of was not being able to leave the building, because if you give up a parking space at a convention, you'll never get it back. We also had a flat tire just before going home, but that's what spares are for.

Whether you're a fan or a vendor, I can't recommend this convention highly enough. When I go back next year, I should have two more books to add to my offerings, so I expect to see all of you there.

Tags: , , , , ,
Current Location: Home office
Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Stephen Warbeck, "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

Leave a comment
  • Tue, 09:06: @BrianRoss Judicial Watch exists only to lie about Hillary Clinton. Why legitimize them? One meeting is hardly Watergate.

Tags:

Leave a comment

Tags:

Leave a comment

I sent the commentary below to the Times Union newspaper in Albany, where it appeared last Saturday (July 16). However, I can't read the version which ran because they require a $13 subscription, and I'm not going to shell out that much for one article.

In this, I discuss how corporate greed has corrupted serious journalism. So, for what it's worth, my opinion below.

We need grownups in the newsroom

By Stephen Seitz


Enough.

The Hillary Clinton e-mail embroglio should never have happened, and would not have happened if responsible media organizations dedicated themselves to putting events in their proper perspective and context, rather than race each other to the next overhyped headline.


In the first place, any “scandal” originating in conservative media is suspect from the outset. They are up front about their bias. They make no pretense of being fair. They have been caught using deceptive practices over and over again, and even outright lying is routine. Fake conservative scandals are as common as aphids, and not one has ever panned out.


The legitimate news organizations have an obligation to take that into account. They should evaluate the actual facts and proceed from there. They should place events in their proper context. But they don’t.


Instead, they repeat the accusations at face value and get people screaming at each other. Thus, the FBI Clinton e-mail report is “scathing,” when it isn’t. The State Department Inspector General never “ripped” Sec. Clinton’s e-mail practices; in fact, his report tends to favor her.


Before news organizations were forced to be profit centers, newsmen like Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley would be saying, “Wait a minute. What’s really going on here?”


One thing that finally came out in FBI Director James Comey’s statement is that Sec. Clinton used several servers, something which should have been obvious to anyone who’s worked in a government office. One of those servers is exclusively devoted to classified and secret information; that’s a basic security precaution. Sec. Clinton’s private server was used for daily administrative tasks. This should have been made clear months ago. If any cable commentator mentioned it, I am unaware.


The Old Guard journalists would have known that the Secretary’s job is managing U.S. foreign affairs and diplomacy, not wrangling records. No president would ever say, “Hillary, we have to find a graceful way out of Iraq, contain a civil war in Syria, and do something about Iran’s nuclear program. But your top priority is to know, in detail, how e-mail servers work.”


Executive staff should not be expected to have to care about these things and, if you’ve ever worked in a government agency of any kind, you know they don’t. That isn’t their job. There are support staff in place for those matters. Executive staff have more important things to do. They just want the equipment to work. They shouldn’t have to care about comparative trivia.


What do we have instead? Finger-pointing, name calling, promises from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to waste even more taxpayer money on yet another witch-hunting investigation into how this could have happened. When news organizations were independent divisions, there might have been coverage of exactly how much money the House of Representatives has wasted for no better reason than political gain for Republicans. It’s got to be close to $1 billion over the past 20 years.


What is apparently off the table in the current presidential campaign is: expanding health care coverage, campaign finance reform, anyone explaining the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and what it means, stagnating wages, a shrinking middle class, doing something meaningful to reduce gun violence, or anything else that might actually affect the lives of average Americans.


It has come to this: everything is reality TV. Facts and perspective don’t matter anymore.


I did meet Walter Cronkite once, but, of course, I thought of the question I should have asked him too late: What are we in the press doing wrong?


Now I think I know. We did not have these problems before the three original networks were absorbed by large corporations. The profit motive has sullied journalism as it has sullied so much else.


Journalism is the only profession given Constitutional protection for a reason. Newsrooms should be independent and protected so that they can properly do their jobs of informing the public. Not fattening next month’s bottom line.


Stephen Seitz is an author and journalist based in Vermont. In the past, he worked under contract for several federal government agencies in Washington for about 13 years.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment