All entries by this author

It’s under control as much as you can control it

Aug 4th, 2020 12:46 pm | By

He’s bumpity-bumping down the stairs.

Donald Trump stumbled through his second damaging interview in as many weeks, floundering in a conversation with the news website Axios over key issues he is tasked with responding to as president.

In a lengthy discussion about the US’s poor response to coronavirus, Trump described the pandemic as “under control”.

Swan responded: “How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.”

“They are dying. That’s true. And you – it is what it is,” Trump said. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”

Ohhhhhhhhhh I see, “under control” means “as under control as we can get it, which is zero, … Read the rest



Sorry for all the pain

Aug 4th, 2020 12:20 pm | By

More on the apparent “tragic death of non-existent person” hoax from Ed Cara at Gizmodo:

A bizarre saga of events played out on social media over the weekend, embroiling much of the close-knit world of scientists, academics, and researchers on Twitter. It started with accusations that Arizona State University’s actions had exposed one of their faculty members, an Indigenous woman and anthropologist, to an ultimately fatal case of covid-19. But it ended with allegations that the death was a hoax, carried out by someone who also faked the supposed professor’s entire existence.

Given that many colleges and schools are debating if and how it’s possible to reopen physically this fall in the midst of the pandemic, the accusations of negligence

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The one salient point

Aug 4th, 2020 10:49 am | By

How that went:

Interviewer: John Lewis is lying in state in the US Capitol, how do you think history will remember John Lewis?

Trump: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. He chose, uh – I never met John Lewis, actually, I don’t believe.

Interviewer: Do you find him impressive?

Trump: [pause with mouth open and disdainful “tsk” sound] Uhhh…I can’t say one way or the other. I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive – but – [shrug] no – but I didn’t uh – [hands come up in accordion gesture; meanwhile interviewer is asking “Do you find his story … Read the rest



Who matters

Aug 4th, 2020 9:59 am | By

An ego that blots out the sun and an empathy that can’t be found with any tool of human inquiry.

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Lies and shamings

Aug 3rd, 2020 7:00 pm | By

Trump has been shouting at us again.

Donald Trump used his White House coronavirus press conference on Monday to repeat his opposition to lockdowns as a means of bringing the contagion under control, claiming falsely that under his leadership the US has done “as well as any nation”.

If by “as well as” he means “worse than” he’s right on the money.

On a day that the US had surpassed 4.7m confirmed cases of infection – more than a quarter of the global total – Trump tried to deflect criticism of his administration’s handling of the pandemic on to other countries.

Finland! Blame Finland! Also Senegal – why not? And how about Peru? Blame Peru!

He cited Spain, Germany,

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Let’s do this thing

Aug 3rd, 2020 3:11 pm | By

Sir about those tax returns sir.

A New York City prosecutor fighting to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns told a judge Monday he was justified in demanding them because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”

In other words we have a hardened criminal as president of the US. Ain’t life grand.

Manhattan District Attorney District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records, other than part of the investigation related to payoffs to two women to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.

Probably a thousand newspaper articles … Read the rest



Who is @Sciencing_Bi?

Aug 3rd, 2020 11:25 am | By

Weird occurrences on social media.

There’s an advocacy person called BethAnn McLaughlin who founded MeTooSTEM.

MeTooSTEM has accomplished much since it was founded in 2018 to fight sexual harassment in academic science. Since November alone, according to the group’s accounting, it has engaged with more than 750 individuals requesting assistance, filed hundreds of open-records requests about harassment cases and made dozens of complaints to funding agencies regarding researchers’ conduct.

The group has visited some 20 campuses to discuss federal laws governing gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct in education, put on webinars and awarded $12,000 to advocates for women in science. Its founder BethAnn McLaughlin, also received the Disobedience Award from Massachusetts Institute of Techonolgy’s Media Lab last year, alongside

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Calling all bullies

Aug 3rd, 2020 9:40 am | By

Transwoman Dawn Ennis summons allies to bully the women who don’t want to include men in women’s sports:

Outsports has obtained the names of more than 300 women athletes who signed a letter sent to the Board of Governors of the National College Athletic Association last week, expressing their opposition to transgender inclusion.

No, not to “transgender inclusion”; to the inclusion of men in women’s sports. Include trans women by all means, but not competing against women.

The anti-trans group, Save Women’s Sports, collected the 309 names in the interest of pressuring the NCAA leadership ahead of its meeting this week.

The group is not anti-trans. It’s in the name – the group is pro-women’s sports.

In June, the NCAA

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Guest post: Shopping for favorable reviews

Aug 3rd, 2020 9:05 am | By

Originally a comment by Claire on Losing sight of women’s rights.

If you have not witnessed these kind of shenanigans, then you are lucky. I am aware of several, including stories about the infamous Wakefield autism paper that should have gotten the editor fired, although in this case it was the other way around.

Two people I know were reviewers, who roundly rejected the paper citing grave concerns about methodology, result and conclusions. One said to me that they didn’t even think the introduction was good, failing to cite some seminal work that would have rather undermined his central premise. Two bad reviews from respected authors in the field should have been enough to kill it. Instead the editor … Read the rest



A fair playing field for women and girls

Aug 3rd, 2020 8:59 am | By

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After three years of legal battles

Aug 3rd, 2020 8:25 am | By

From the Department of New Milestones for Women

A transgender female prisoner received her gender confirmation surgery after three years of legal battles, her attorney Lori Rifkin confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

Adree Edmo has been in custody of the Idaho Department of Correction since 2012 and petitioned for her gender confirmation surgery in 2017.

She was convicted of sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy while he was sleeping, according to court records.

That is, he was convicted of sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy while he (the boy) was sleeping. That isn’t something a woman did, it’s something a man did. Statistics on crime need to be accurate. Women are much less likely to rape teenage boys than men … Read the rest



No Dunkin for Punkin

Aug 2nd, 2020 5:58 pm | By

Goodness, he is cross.

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Barr’s unswerving loyalty to Trump

Aug 2nd, 2020 5:28 pm | By

Barr’s performance on Capitol Hill last week underlined how thoroughly he works for Trump and not for us.

During the five-hour session on Capitol Hill in Washington this week, Barr made clear why he has been dubbed Donald Trump’s faithful protector and personal henchman. He defended using federal forces in US cities, denied giving Trump’s allies favorable treatment and demurred on issues such as foreign election interference or whether November’s poll can be postponed.

For critics, it was proof positive that Barr’s unswerving loyalty to the president has torn down the wall that separates the White House and justice department and ensures law enforcement operates independent of politics. Some believe he now poses an existential threat to democracy itself.

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How to raise funds

Aug 2nd, 2020 5:00 pm | By

Oh look, how funny, haha.

K-9 demonstration of dogs attacking a guy in a Kaepernick shirt.

The Guardian reports the Navy says it’s sorry.

The US Naval Special Warfare Command said Sunday it is investigating a video that showed military working dogs attacking a stand-in wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a demonstration at the Navy Seal Museum last year.

The video, first posted to Instagram in January 2019, resurfaced on social media on Sunday morning. The caption read: “Colin Kaepernick stand in Josh gets attacked by 5 Navy SEAL dogs for

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Losing sight of women’s rights

Aug 2nd, 2020 12:08 pm | By

The authors of the paper issued a statement on the attempt to shut them up:

This time last year, our article ‘Losing sight of women’s rights: the unregulated introduction of gender self-identification as a case study of policy capture in Scotland’ was published in the journal Scottish Affairs.

A couple of months prior to publication, we were made aware of an effort from within the publishing house, Edinburgh University Press (EUP), to prevent publication on the grounds that our article was transphobic.

This clarifies a point I didn’t fully grasp via the Times article – EUP simply publishes the journal Scottish Affairs, it doesn’t edit it or oversee it. The officious complainer works for EUP, not for Scottish Affairs. … Read the rest



Prophylactic censorship

Aug 2nd, 2020 11:34 am | By

Let’s shut it down just in case.

Three female academics have complained about an attempt to censor an article that had been accepted for publication in an academic journal published by Edinburgh University Press (EUP).

The women say they were falsely accused of being transphobic as a way to silence their views and stifle academic freedom. In recent years several women academics have had talks cancelled, articles refused or speaking dates withdrawn after transgender activists accused them of transphobia.

PhD student Lucy Hunter Blackburn and research fellow Dr Kath Murray, both at Edinburgh University, together with independent policy analyst Lisa Mackenzie make their claim in a submission to the Scottish parliament.

They are giving evidence in a consultation on

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Hard & smart

Aug 2nd, 2020 10:28 am | By

Trump continues to think he knows better than Fauci.

Donald Trump has again publicly contradicted Dr Anthony Fauci, claiming the US’s top infectious disease expert is “wrong” to attribute the surge in US coronavirus cases to the country’s failure to sufficiently shut down its economy.

The US president came in hot on Saturday after a lengthy-for-him 15-hour hiatus from Twitter, responding to a clip of Fauci’s testimony before Congress from Friday with the largely debunked claim that Covid-19 cases in the US are surging exclusively due to increased testing.

“Wrong!” Trump said. “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy,

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The beloved community

Aug 1st, 2020 5:59 pm | By

John Lewis wrote us a farewell letter in the New York Times, which is not behind the paywall.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington,

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Disastrous and deadly

Aug 1st, 2020 5:04 pm | By

The news that Jared Kushner wanted the virus to kill off Democrats hasn’t gone over well with everyone.

In the wake of devastating new reporting by Vanity Fair, a chorus of voices Friday called for the immediate resignation of Jared Kushner, a top White House advisor and the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, for disastrous—and deadly—failures by the administration that appear to have put the political desires of the president above the public health needs of the American people.

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An attempt to boost his mood

Aug 1st, 2020 4:10 pm | By

Apparently it has finally dawned on Trump that a lot of people really don’t like him. Really don’t like him.

You’d think he would have known that all his life, given what an up front unabashed asshole he is…except he’s a narcissist so if you understand about narcissists you wouldn’t think that. Understanding narcissists is not easy.

In a week that saw a devastating global pandemic worsen, a record economic meltdown confirmed and an all-out bid to stoke racial tensions for political gain deepen, Trump is finding himself more and more the odd man out: absent and detached from the leadership of either party, locked in antique cultural battles and increasingly unpopular among voters.

In other words most … Read the rest