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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jon Stewart - Arizona SB 1062 (8:55)

Excellent bit by Jon Stewart. The Arizona legislature passed a law, SB 1062, that would allow discrimination against LGBT people on religious grounds. Proponents said the bill was designed to defend freedom of religion. Condemnation was universal, and as a result of the backlash, even the bill's sponsors scrambled to denounce their own vote. (A Phoenix pizzeria got a lot of coverage of its window sign, "We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators.") Governor Jan Brewer eventually vetoed the bill.

I especially like the last minute:

Megyn Kelly (Fox News):  "We hear a lot from folks on the religious right who say they feel religion is under attack, and you know, I look at this bill and I wonder whether this is a reaction, an overreaction, to people who feel under attack."

Stewart:  "That's a good point -- 'a reaction, an overreaction.' Where would people of faith -- where would Arizonans have gotten the idea that religion is under attack in this country?"

Then we see 14 rapid-fire clips from Fox News of various Fauxes complaining about the war on Christianity. Rubbing his chin contemplatively, Stewart wonders:

"Why would religious people overreact to that constant barrage of apocalyptic paranoia and outrage? [shrugs] God only knows."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where Have All The Workers Gone? and A Star In A Bottle

A couple of rescues from The New Yorker for later perusal: Click here for In the Age of Amazon, Where Have All The Workers Gone?, by George Packer. Click here for A Star In A Bottle, 15 pages(!) by Raffi Khatchadourian.

A Star In A Bottle is about the development of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, expected to be ready around a decade from now.
At its core, densely packed high-precision equipment will encase a cavernous vacuum chamber, in which a super-hot cloud of heavy hydrogen will rotate faster than the speed of sound, twisting like a strand of DNA as it circulates. The cloud will be scorched by electric current (a surge so forceful that it will make lightning seem like a tiny arc of static electricity), and bombarded by concentrated waves of radiation. Beams of uncharged particles—the energy in them so great it could vaporize a car in seconds—will pour into the chamber, adding tremendous heat. In this way, the circulating hydrogen will become ionized, and achieve temperatures exceeding two hundred million degrees Celsius—more than ten times as hot as the sun at its blazing core.

No natural phenomenon on Earth will be hotter. Like the sun, the cloud will go nuclear. The zooming hydrogen atoms, in a state of extreme kinetic excitement, will slam into one another, fusing to form a new element—helium—and with each atomic coupling explosive energy will be released: intense heat, gamma rays, X rays, a torrential flux of fast-moving neutrons propelled in every direction. There isn’t a physical substance that could contain such a thing. Metals, plastics, ceramics, concrete, even pure diamond—all would be obliterated on contact, and so the machine will hold the superheated cloud in a “magnetic bottle,” using the largest system of superconducting magnets in the world. Just feet from the reactor’s core, the magnets will be cooled to two hundred and sixty-nine degrees below zero, nearly the temperature of deep space. Caught in the grip of their titanic forces, the artificial earthbound sun will be suspended, under tremendous pressure, in the pristine nothingness of ITER’s vacuum interior.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mike Lofgren, Republican Congressional Staffer, Defects

Click here for an article dated 3 September 2011 by Mike Lofgren, a Republican congressional staffer for 28 years who retired in May 2011 out of disgust for what the Republican party had become. The article, at Truth-Out.org, is entitled Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult. It's long, and it's excellent.

Three areas it considers in depth are:
1. The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors.
2. They worship at the altar of Mars.
3. Give me that old time religion.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ouch! Richard Engel, How Could You?

Click here for a clip of a video that aired on NBC News -- Brian Williams (one of my favorites), with millions of viewers -- by Richard Engel -- an idol of mine, a reporter whose courage in theaters of war is practically beyond belief -- that is a complete and utter lie. (Et tu, Richard? And Brian?)  

Click here for an article by my favorite tech guy, Bob Rankin, on how this article represents a complete failure by respected newsmen.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Koch Brothers Compendium

Click here. I had to save this one for later perusal. I'm not sure who to credit. It appears on Crooks & Liars as "By ProPublica." They later credit Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer. Anyway, it's a collection of articles on the Koch brothers -- more than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure. Publications mentioned are The New Yorker (twice), The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico (twice), OpenSecrets, The Texas Observer, and Mother Jones.

Cranking Up The Police State

Hey, Smallville, USA: Wanna buy an 18-ton, 14-foot-high, heavily armored MRAP -- Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected -- vehicle for your police force? When your local cops are responding to complaints of family disputes or noise violations, keep them protected from AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and IEDs!

If so, man, have I got a deal for you! Although they originally cost taxpayers between $400,000 and $700,000, complete with gun turret and bullet-proof windows, how about FREE? The Pentagon happens to have about 11,000 of them sitting around unused, so all you have to do is come and pick them up, and pay for the gas. They get about 5 miles to the gallon, they can't go over or under most bridges, and they tend to tip over on rough terrain (how's your pothole situation, Smallville?).

Click here for an article at Crooks & Liars, apparently by Who.What.Why.com, entitled Police State 'Gears Up.'

At the time of the article, 165 of the vehicles had been delivered, with 731 more requested. "Customers" include the University of Ohio -- for a "police presence" at football games -- and the town of Hamburg Village, NY (pop. 9,500). A dozen or so of these impressive vehicles put on a great show when you're hunting a wounded, unarmed 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.



 

More and more, the U.S. is militarizing its police forces, even in small towns. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars, trained to regard the civilian population as the enemy, are eagerly scooped up by civilian police recruiters. The Mexican border has become a playground for defense contractors looking to utilize their fancy warmaking and surveillance technologies. When did you last read 1984?

U.S. Grand Juries - a.k.a. Kangaroo Court

Most Canadians are familiar with the term "grand jury" from American police procedurals, but hardly any of them know what it is. Click here for the Wikipedia entry for "grand jury."
A grand jury is a legal body that is empowered to investigate potential criminal conduct and to determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may compel the production of documents and may compel the sworn testimony of witnesses to appear before it. A grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its functioning.
The only thing that's "grand" about a grand jury is that it's big (from the French "grand," meaning "big.") It's a big jury. The jury we're accustomed to seeing on TV is a "petit jury" -- American pronunciation, "petty jury" -- a small jury; usually 12, but in some states and in some proceedings, there may be only 6 jurors. The number of jurors in a grand jury varies from state to state, from 16 to 23.

This "big jury" is in fact a kangaroo court, by any definition of that term. There's a common saying in discussions of American law that "A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich." The only persons present at a grand jury hearing are the jury itself, a judge, and the prosecutor (and at least sometimes a court reporter). The prosecutor presents his reasons as to why criminal proceedings should be brought against the accused. There is no rebuttal. A recent Crooks & Liars post referenced an article by Tim Cushing in Techdirt entitled Grand Jury Somehow Fails To Indict Man Who Shot Deputy During No-Knock, Pre-Dawn Raid For Capital Murder. According to this article:
During a single four-hour workday last week, a Mecklenburg County [Charlotte, NC] grand jury heard 276 cases and handed down 276 indictments.That means the 18 jurors heard evidence, asked questions, weighed whether the charges merit a trial, then voted on the indictments – all at the average rate of one case every 52 seconds.

U.S. Antitrust Law From The Robber Barons To The Clinton Years

Click here for an article entitled Antitrust Law from West's Encyclopedia of American Law, which defines antitrust law as
Legislation enacted by the federal and various state governments to regulate trade and commerce by preventing unlawful restraints, price-fixing, and monopolies, to promote competition, and to encourage the production of quality goods and services at the lowest prices, with the primary goal of safeguarding public welfare by ensuring that consumer demands will be met by the manufacture and sale of goods at reasonable prices.
Some excerpts:
Premised on the belief that free trade benefits the economy, businesses, and consumers alike, the law forbids several types of restraint of trade and monopolization. These fall into four main areas: agreements between competitors, contractual arrangements between sellers and buyers, the pursuit or maintenance of monopoly power, and mergers.
Antitrust law originated in reaction to a public outcry over trusts, which were late-nineteenth-century corporate monopolies that dominated U.S. manufacturing and mining. Trusts took their name from the quite legal device of business incorporation called trusteeship, which consolidated control of industries by transferring stock in exchange for trust certificates. The practice grew out of necessity. Twenty-five years after the Civil War, rapid industrialization had blessed and cursed business. Markets expanded and productivity grew, but output exceeded demand and competition sharpened. Rivals sought greater security and profits in cartels (mutual agreements to fix prices and control output). Out of these arrangements sprang the trusts. From sugar to whiskey to beef to tobacco, the process of merger and consolidation brought entire industries under the control of a few powerful people. Oil and steel, the backbone of the nation's heavy industries, lay in the hands of the corporate giants John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan. The trusts could fix prices at any level. If a competitor entered the market, the trusts would sell their goods at a loss until the competitor went out of business and then raise prices again. By the 1880s, abuses by the trusts brought demands for reform.
In 1890, Congress took aim at the trusts with passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, named for Senator John Sherman (R-Ohio). It went far beyond the common law's refusal to enforce certain offensive contracts. Clearly persuaded by the more restrictive view that saw great harm in restraint of trade, the Sherman Act outlawed trusts altogether.
After the turn of the twentieth century, federal enforcement picked up speed. President Theodore Roosevelt's announcement that he was a "trustbuster" predicted one important aspect of the future of antitrust enforcement: it would depend largely on political will from the executive branch of government. Roosevelt and his successor, President William Howard Taft, responded to public criticism over the rapid merger of even more industries by pursuing more vigorous legal action, and steady prosecution in the first decade of the twentieth century brought the downfall of trusts.
After the demise of the robber barons, the industrial climate changed:
As World War I and the 1920s reversed the outlook of previous years, antitrust policy was characterized by the hands-off policies of President Calvin Coolidge, who declared, "The business of America is business." Economic trends created and supported this attitude; prosperity seemed a worthwhile reward. In this era, the Justice Department gave more attention to promoting fairness than it did to attacking restrictive practices and monopoly power.
A more permissive business climate initially stymied some of FDR's antitrust efforts, but by 1940 Roosevelt's arguments had largely won the day and stronger antitrust legislation was securely in place. That era reached its high-water mark in the early 1980s with the breakup of AT&T, which was found to have impeded competition in long-distance telephone service and telecommunications equipment.
The result was the largest divestiture in history: a federal court severed the Bell System's operating companies and manufacturing arm (Western Electric) from AT&T, transforming the nation's telephone services.
In the Reagan years, though, the pendulum started to swing back. One landmark case was the Justice Department's 13-year suit against IBM, ultimately dropped.
Throughout the 1980s, political conservatism in federal enforcement complemented the Supreme Court's doctrine of nonintervention. The administration of President Ronald Reagan reduced the budgets of the FTC and the Department of Justice, leaving them with limited resources for enforcement. Enforcement efforts followed a restrictive agenda of prosecuting cases of output restrictions and large mergers of a horizontal nature (involving firms within the same industry and at the same level of production). Mergers of companies into conglomerates, on the other hand, were looked on favorably, and the years 1984 and 1985 produced the greatest increase in corporate acquisitions in the nation's history.
A conservative Supreme Court "strengthened requirements for evidence, injury, and the right to bring suit," and "antitrust cases became harder for plaintiffs to win. Most decisions in this period narrowed the reach of antitrust."
After the Reagan years, antitrust attitudes sharpened in Washington, D.C. The administration of President George Bush adopted a slightly more activist approach, reflected in joint guidelines on mergers issued in 1992 by the FTC and the Justice Department. In following the trend away from strict Chicago school efficiency standards, the guidelines looked more closely at competitive effects and tightened requirements. But understaffed government attorneys generally lost court cases. President Bill Clinton took this activism further. Anne K. Bingaman, his appointee to head the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, beefed up the division's staff with sixty-one new attorneys, declaring her organization the competition agency. The Antitrust Division filed thirty-three civil suits in 1994, roughly three times the annual number brought under Reagan and Bush. It won some victories without going to court, in one instance compelling AT&T to keep a subsidiary private, but it lost a major lawsuit claiming that General Electric had conspired with the South African firm of DeBeers to fix industrial diamond prices.
Under President Clinton, the most important antitrust action involved a federal probe of the computer software giant Microsoft Corporation. In its potential for far-reaching action, this was the biggest antitrust case since those involving AT&T and IBM. Competitors complained that Microsoft used illegal arrangements with buyers to ensure that its disk operating system would be installed in nearly 80 percent of the world's computers. In-depth investigations by the FTC and the Department of Justice followed. In mid-1994, under threat of a federal lawsuit, Microsoft entered a consent decree designed to increase competitors' access to the market. All the parties involved---the original complainants, Microsoft, and the government---expressed relative satisfaction. But in early 1995, a federal judge rejected the agreement, citing evidence of other monopolistic practices by Microsoft. In a highly unusual move, the Justice Department and Microsoft together appealed the decision. The uncertain future of the case carried the threat of further action against the nation's fifth-largest industry.
The article ends there, abruptly and rather unsatisfyingly. How did the Microsoft case turn out? What developments to antitrust law took place during the Bush II and Obama years? We'll have to look elsewhere for the answers to those questions. in place.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A New iPad!

So, Papa, do you like the new iPad we got you?

Seinfeld: You Want A Piece Of Me?

Classic Seinfeld out-take clip:

Rachel Maddow vs. Paul Wolfowitz

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Solid State Drives

Click here for an article on Lifehacker by Adam Dachis entitled The Complete Guide to Solid-State Drives. SSDs are much faster than HDDs (Hard-Disk Drives). One downside is cost:
For the same $100, you could buy either a 120GB SSD or a 2TB HDD. That means you're paying around 83 cents for every gigabyte on an SSD versus five cents for every gigabyte on your HDD.
All SSDs are not created equal. If you're shopping for one, here are some sophisticated considerations.
Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash memory: When shopping for SSDs, you'll run into two kind of memory: multi-level cell (MLC) and single-level cell (SLC). The primary difference is that MLC memory can store more information on each cell. The advantage here is that it is cheaper to produce, and SLC is often cost-prohibitive for the average consumer. The downside is a higher rate of error, but an SSD with error-correcting code (we'll discuss this momentarily) can help prevent these problems.

SATA III Support: Most SSDs use the Serial ATA (SATA) interface, but not all use the latest version and this can limit the performance of your SSD. This is because SATA I can transfer data at 1.5 Gbps, SATA II at 3.0 Gbps, and SATA III at 6 Gbps. To ensure your SSD has enough bandwidth to transfer data as quickly as possible, you want it to be compatible with SATA III. You'll also want to make sure your computer is SATA III compatible as well. If not, SATA III-capable drives will still work as all versions of SATA are backwards-compatible. Just know that you may not get the most out of your SSD if your computer doesn't support the most recent SATA specification.

ECC memory: Error-correcting code (ECC) memory does what the name implies: it provides your SSD with the ability to detect and correct common types of data corruption so you don't end up with unusable data on your drive. An SSD with ECC memory is more reliable.
It's a new technology, so it might be best to go with SSD manufacturers who are established and have a proven track record; two recommended in this article are OCZ and Crucial.

Don't defrag your SSD:
Because the location of data on an SSD is pretty much irrelevant, as it can quickly access any of it regardless of where it is, defragging a SSD is not only unnecessary but bad for the drive as well. SSDs have a limited lifespan that's determined by how much they're used. While most will last as long as you'd ever need, defragmenting the disk involves reading and writing data unnecessarily and those actions will shorten your SSD's lifespan.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Stop Beating A Dead Fox" - Frank Rich

Click here to read a (longish) column by New York Times columnist Frank Rich on the decline of Roger Ailes and Fox News. He maintains that Fox's influence is ebbing:
In truth, Fox News has been defeated on the media battlefield—and on the political battlefield as well. Even the 73-year-old wizard of Fox, Roger Ailes, now in full Lear-raging-on-the-heath mode as ­portrayed in my colleague Gabriel ­Sherman’s definitive new biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room, seems to sense the waning of his power.
Rich acknowledges Fox's success in the cable news rating wars --
The notion that Fox News has been defeated would seem absurd if you judge solely by the numbers. The year just ended was the network’s twelfth in a row as the most-watched cable-news network. Its number of total viewers surpasses CNN and MSNBC combined.
But cable news overall is in a steep decline, overtaken and surpassed by the new media. And while Fox draws a prime-time audience of 1 million, the least of the three networks, CBS, draws 8 million; ABC and NBC draw far more.

Fox, like the other cable news stations, is "hemorrhaging young viewers"; it draws a median age of 68. "Fox is in essence a retirement community." And while its demographic is shockingly old, it is also astonishingly white:
Hard as it may be to fathom, Fox Nation is even more monochromatically white than the GOP is, let alone the American nation. Two percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were black. According to new Nielsen data, only 1.1 percent of Fox News’s prime-time viewership is (as opposed to 25 percent for MSNBC, 14 percent for CNN, and an average of roughly 12 percent for the three broadcast networks’ evening news programs).
The current conflict within the Republican party is reflected at Fox:
Fox News’s theoretical political power is further compromised by the internal crisis it shares with the GOP: its inability to navigate the conflict between the party Establishment and the radical base that is dividing the conservative ranks. The network has veered all over the place to try to placate both camps, only to end up wounded in the crossfire.
An early and enthusiastic backer of all things tea party, Fox gleefully promoted every wingnut rally, event, and candidate, including "any and all tea-party fantasy presidents, from Sarah Palin to Herman Cain."  [I'd add Donald Trump to that august list.] But when establishment Republicans like Romney and Rove started to be savaged by tea party darlings Limbaugh, Levin, and Beck, Fox was severely damaged by the  backlash: "... the anyone-but-Mitt GOP base disdained Fox much as it did the nominee himself."
That schism has only widened since Romney’s defeat. When Fox regulars like Rove, O’Reilly, Brit Hume, Dana Perino, and Greg Gutfeld agreed with John Boehner that shutting down the government to defund Obama­care had proved a self-destructive strategy for the GOP, the base was having none of it. “Karl Rove, your record sucks!” ranted Levin in September. “Why would we listen to you?”
Perhaps Fox's biggest problem is Roger Ailes' technophobia:
More than in any political credo, Ailes believes most of all in the power of television, the medium he grew up in and mastered as a political tool well before many of his competitors. But as his viewers were gobsmacked by the reelection of Obama, so he has been blindsided by the fading of television as the dominant news medium. About new media Ailes knows very little and has never wanted to learn much.
And my favorite quote from the article:
When MSNBC emerged in 1996, he mocked it not because of its political identity (it hadn’t chosen one yet) but because of its connection to Microsoft; he wisecracked that Fox News was not in business to “tell people to turn off their television set and go to their computer to get more information.”
Rich closes with some advice for Democrats:
Without Ailes and his Fox News to kick around anymore, the left may feel a bit disoriented—much as the right most certainly will once its unifying bĂȘte noire (literal and figurative), Obama, is gone from the White House. But while the right remains obsessed with fighting its unending war against a nearly lame-duck president, it behooves liberals to move on and start transitioning out of their Fox fixation. Paradoxically enough, the most powerful right-wing movement in the country, the insurgency in the Republican grassroots, loathes the Boehner-Christie-Rove-centric Fox News nearly as much as the left does. The more liberals keep fighting the last war against the more and more irrelevant Ailes, the less prepared they’ll be for the political war to come.

Playful Fox

Who knew a fox could make a great pet?

Cat vs. Mailman


Skydive From Space - New Footage

From Felix Baumgartner's perspective.

Perkins Rebutted By A Fellow 1-Percenter

Click here for a rebuttal to Perkins' "Kristallnacht" letter in the Wall Street Journal (the post below). It's from a Digby piece on Hullabaloo entitled "Even the top 1% is disgusted by Tom Perkins," written by investor and technology consultant John Forbes. Some quotes from the article:
Mr. Perkin’s statements are part of a trend by wealthy investors and corporate executives to try and paint the people who are advocating more sensible and equitable economic policies in this country as a bunch of ignorant villagers waving torches and pitchforks, desperate to demonize those that they see as more successful than themselves. Perkins is not the first to take this position, with Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone having made a similarly tone-deaf statement equating closing tax loopholes with the Nazi invasion of Poland. I assume in the coming days that we will see more of these breathless condemnations of those who dare to challenge the privileges that many of these people now enjoy, many of which are completely unearned and actually deeply damaging to our society.
Corporations and wealthy individuals have always lobbied for their own best interests, as is their right. But not since the Age of the Robber Barons in the late 1800’s have we seen the balance of power swing so far towards business interests and the wealthy. Our legal and tax systems have now been seriously corrupted by corporate lobbying, with business interests drafting hundreds of new laws that favor high net worth individuals and corporations over the interests of the overwhelming majority of ordinary Americans.
Stating that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress bear responsibility for "current policies that favor wealthy investors like Mr. Perkins at the expense of regular taxpayers," Mr. Forbes explains two of those policies:
The first is the absurd tax break that allows venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, and other wealthy individuals like Mr. Perkins to pretend that the salaries they receive to manage investment funds are not regular taxable income. The general public is easily misled by arcane terms like “carried interest”, but let me assure you as somebody who has worked in this industry for a quarter of a century that this loophole has no justification, and no relation to what capital gains tax rates were originally created for. It should be an embarrassment to every taxpayer and elected official in the United States that this loophole continues to exist. I should note that I am joined in this opinion by such well-known financial commentators as Jim Cramer, who is hardly an enemy of Wall Street. This tax break alone is costing the country billions of dollars every year in lost tax revenue.
The second policy is the institutionalized tax dodging of America’s largest corporations, which has now risen to a truly pathological level.
He elaborates on "the second policy," and states:
It is important to understand that large US-based corporations are now using these artificial structures to pay tax rates that are so low that they are effectively destroying the corporate tax base of this country.
When you combine these issues with the fact that many highly profitable corporations are paying their employees wages that are so low that they have to rely on welfare and food stamps (the costs for which are then shifted to taxpayers and local municipalities), you have the makings of a perfect storm. When you combine these issues with the fact that many highly profitable corporations are paying their employees wages that are so low that they have to rely on welfare and food stamps (the costs for which are then shifted to taxpayers and local municipalities), you have the makings of a perfect storm.
He concludes:
We can be sure that we will see continued attempts to hide these facts from the American public, and we can anticipate that the stakeholders in the current system will mount increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns designed to convince the American public that these unbalanced policies favoring the wealthy are key to our shared success. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth, and Americans from all economic classes need to join together and apply their best efforts to reform the regressive economic and tax policies that are currently doing so much damage to our country.

Pity The Poor Plutocrats

Here is the text of a letter in the Wall Street Journal from billionaire Tom Perkins:

Regarding your editorial "Censors on Campus" (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich."

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?
Not surprisingly, the letter was met with a firestorm of criticism. His own firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, tweeted the following message:
Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.
In response to the criticism, Perkins did an interview on Bloomberg TV in which he stated his regret at using the inflammatory term "Kristallnacht," but stoutly defended the substance of his argument. Click here for an article on MailOnline, affiliated with the British newspaper Daily Mail, by Alex Greig. Some quotes from the article:
The appearance was less an apology and more a re-assertion of his viewpoints, with some bragging about his wealth thrown in.

Perkins said he used the word because during Occupy San Francisco, 'they broke the windows at Wells Fargo bank, they marched up to our automobile strip and broke all the windows in the luxury car dealerships.'

He noticed police standing by watching, he said, and thought, 'Well, this is how Kristallnacht began.'

Interviewer Emily Chang questions Perkins as to the relevance of the analogy, to which Perkins responds:

'The Jews were only one per cent of the German population. Most Germans had never met a Jew. And yet Hitler was able to demonize the Jews,' he said.

'My point was that when you start to use hatred against a minority, it can get out of control. The creative one per cent are threatened.'

When asked what should be done to improve the lives of 'the 99 per cent,' Perkins said, 'I think that the solution is less interference, lower taxes, let the rich do what the rich do — which is get richer, and along the way they bring everybody else along with them, when the system is working.'

Bafflingly, Perkins took the opportunity to point out that his watch - a Richard Mille - 'could buy a six-pack of Rolexes' ... [the watch sells for $380,000].

Mr Perkins, 82, was educated at MIT before gaining an MBA from Harvard. He founded Venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1973 and has served as a director on boards of companies including Compaq.

He recently spent $150 million building a super yacht called Maltese Falcon and lives on a 60th floor, 5,500ft penthouse overlooking San Francisco Bay.

'The parallel of Nazi Germany and some people getting kind of annoyed by the tech bro dudes is exactly ZERO,' Kaili Joy Gray [Daily Kos's "Angry Mouse"] wrote on the Wonkette blog.

Author and New York Times writer Steven Greenhouse tweeted: 'As someone who lost numerous relatives to the Nazi gas chambers, I find statements like this revolting & inexplicable.'