The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Sony. All Baloney.

Rich Galen

Monday December 15, 2014


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  • A hundred years ago, I think during the Walkman era, Sony's slogan was: Sony. No Baloney. My how times have changed.

  • You know that Sony Pictures Entertainment has been hacked big time. By big time I mean the hackers took everything: Payroll, scripts, finished movies and, to the delight of one and all, emails.

  • I am not in favor of hacking or hackers, although I will admit to a certain level of envy in the 60's when the highest level of hacking was getting into the then-new touch-tone phone system to make free long distance calls. According to,
    "a [phone] phreak in Los Angeles discovered that the whistle that came in a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal emitted a desirable 2,600 Hz tone if you covered up one of the holes before blowing."

  • What an innocent age. Imagine Edward Snowden having to hide out in Russia because he got caught making free long-distance calls to his gramma.

  • Anyway these leaks from the group that calls itself "Guardians of Peace" (which has the unfortunate initials "GOP") included an embarrassing email exchange between Sony Pictures chair, Amy Pascal, and film producer Scott Rudin. In the emails, first published by they are discussing the attendance of President Obama at an upcoming event.

  • They asked each other whether the President might be interested in financing a movie then got into a list of movies he might have liked: Django, 12 Years [a Slave], Think like a Man, and The Butler.

  • These are Hollywood Liberals and so these clearly snide and racially charged emails have been mostly shrugged off. If these had been two well-known Republican supporters, MSNBC would be wobbly-kneed screaming "RACIST REPUBLICANS!"

  • Alas.

  • Speaking of Liberal hypocrisy, Kevin Rouse, writing for the webpage, was apparently sent a spreadsheet of thousands of Sony employees. Having sorted the spreadsheet by annual salary here's what he found:
    "According to the leaked data, there are seventeen U.S. employees of Sony Pictures with 'annual rates' of $1 million or more. Of these 17, only one - Amy B. Pascal, the co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment - is a woman."

  • Rouse goes on to write that of the 17 males, 15 appear to be White, one African-American and one "South Asian."

  • Memo to U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi:
    You are all women, all Democrats, and all represent California in the U.S. Congress. How about writing or saying a little something about:
    -- Sexism in Hollywood
    -- Diversity in Hollywood
    -- Pay Disparity between executives and worker bees in Hollywood.

  • No? Hmm.

  • Not all of the silliness was on the western edge of the continent last week.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Mars) tried to reprise his award-winning role from September 2013 when he (and his band of brothers in the House, the Cruzettes) led a partial shutdown of the government by holding up spending bills because of Obamacare.

  • This year he tried to hold up spending bills because of President Obama's executive order on Immigration.

  • House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh) and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had worked out a deal that would see all Departments and Agencies funded through the end of the fiscal year (September 30) but one: Department of Homeland Security.

  • DHS is where the immigration, customs, and border patrol functions live and will only be funded until the end of February. That would give the new or expanded Republican majorities in the Senate and House time to work out if there is a way to withhold funds from the activities approved by President Obama.

  • Cruz found an odd ally in Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Venus) who was opposed to a provision that is favorable to big banks called "Prohibition against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps Entities."

  • I believe there are only two entities that understand what a Swaps Entity is: Citigroup and Elizabeth Warren and, as you might imagine, they don't agree.

  • I am not a Constitutional lawyer but even so, the President's executive order on immigration seems to be a fairly long overreach of power; and Warren has been spitting and feuding with Obama's Treasury Department for months.

  • But, this is a President who hasn't exhibited the slightest bit of remorse over the fact that he, Barack Obama, was the single biggest reason Republicans swept elections at all levels in all regions.

  • So, he is not likely to be influenced by the legislative maneuvering of Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren or anyone else.

  • Plenty of baloney to go around last week. East coast and west.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Good links today to Phone Phreaks, the Sony emails, Sony salaries, Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz.

    Also a seasonal Mullfoto of Mullings Central.

    -- END --

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