All entries by this author


Feb 13th, 2019 10:16 am | By

Well, now we know what Trump is doing with his “executive time,” besides watching Fox & Friends. He’s playing Pretend Golf in a room of the White House.

President Trump has installed a room-sized “golf simulator” game at the White House, which allows him to play virtual rounds at courses all over the world by hitting a ball into a large video screen, according to two people told about the system.

That system replaced an older, less sophisticated golf simulator that had been installed under President Obama, according to two people with knowledge of the previous system.

Trump’s system cost about $50,000, and was put in during the last few weeks in a room in his personal quarters, a White

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He offered no substance

Feb 13th, 2019 9:47 am | By

And then there’s this cloud on the horizon.

Same reason they gave Trump so much airtime, no doubt. Greed? Cupidity? Lust for gain? One of those.… Read the rest

The disruption forced Trump to pause his remarks

Feb 13th, 2019 9:35 am | By

NPR had more on the BBC camera guy assaulted by a Trumpist at Trump’s “rally” in El Paso. It raises some vexed questions.

The BBC’s Ron Skeans was working in the area of a raised camera platform at Trump’s campaign event when, he says, a “very hard shove” came out of nowhere. At the time, Trump was touting recent economic numbers to a roaring crowd in the El Paso County Coliseum.

Skeans’ colleagues say the apparent attack came after repeated verbal assaults on the media during the event. The BBC says it is “clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job.”

NPR frames it very cautiously, as NPR always does, because hey it’s … Read the rest

A beautiful big strong wall

Feb 12th, 2019 3:32 pm | By

Trump isn’t happy.

President Trump said Tuesday he’s not happy with a bipartisan border deal in Congress aimed at averting another government shutdown, but he suggested he could add to it to build his U.S.-Mexico border wall and predicted there will not be another lapse in government funding.

“Am I happy at first glance? The answer is no, I’m not, I’m not happy,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he met with Cabinet members.

“It’s not going to do the trick, but I’m adding things to it and when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful big strong wall,” Trump said.

See Don’s wall. Don’s … Read the rest

Guest post: We need a new narrative and a new agriculture

Feb 12th, 2019 10:41 am | By

Originally a comment by Laurent on Hurtling down the path to extinction.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that would go well.

That’s because the idea that only intensive agriculture is working is deeply ingrained in our collective psyche. It would be good to assess what good it does to us all, actually, and start questioning it and look at what the data is actually telling us. It may have been necessary to step into this narrative post-war in order to increase food safety, but we are now in need of a new narrative and a new agriculture.

It’s only partially true, thus. There are workable scenarios within reach with only partial intensive agriculture and remaining environment friendlier … Read the rest

Why is it that black or Asian women have to pass an authenticity test?

Feb 12th, 2019 10:30 am | By

Why does the BBC keep doing this?

They did a segment to observe the anniversary of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and his blasfeemius book.

To discuss it they invited Farzana Shaikh, Geoffrey Robertson (Rushdie’s lawyer during the fatwa), and Peter Tatchell. Gita Saghal informed us that they could have had Pragna Patel but decided not to.

So they decided against Pragna and got Tatchell instead – also not a Muslim! What the hell?

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The Barbie-GI Joe scale

Feb 12th, 2019 9:27 am | By

Mermaids is doing “gender training”:

At the top of this image the slide informs us: Gender identity is also on a spectrum. We all have our own unique identity.

Do your arms stick out a little bit? Have you measured how far? That measurement would be your exact unique gender identity. If that’s too hard to measure you can check to see if you have things flapping out at the sides of your head, or if you have a waist, or if you wear a triangle. That is, … Read the rest

The shameful moment

Feb 12th, 2019 8:47 am | By

Yesterday at Trump’s “rally” in El Paso:

A BBC cameraman was violently shoved and abused during a Donald Trump rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night, in an incident the corporation described as “unacceptable”.

The BBC’s Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said his colleague Ron Skeans was “fine” despite the “incredibly violent attack”.

Footage from Skeans’ camera, tweeted by O’Donoghue, suggested he and his equipment were knocked off balance for around 10 seconds, as he was filming Trump’s speech. Skeans recovered to film a man in a red Make America Great Again cap being restrained and shouting: “Fuck the media.”

As he was led away some in the crowd at the rally could be heard chanting: “Let him

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Je ne devinais pas les traumas subis

Feb 11th, 2019 4:06 pm | By

The Guardian on the Ligue du LOL’s campaign of bullying women and Other races:

The group, believed to have had about 30 members, is said to have spread pornographic memes online and doctored photos to humiliate its victims.

What group members claim started as dubious humour in private exchanges, however, appears to have soon degenerated and spread on to the wider web mostly through Twitter.

Even “humour” in private exchanges doesn’t have to involve, say, pornographic memes and doctored photos. There are other ways to be funny and even other ways to gossip about people’s flaws.

They’re posting lengthy apologies / explanations on Twitter, saying they didn’t realize how nasty it all was for the people they did it to.… Read the rest

They don’t look Indian to him

Feb 11th, 2019 2:29 pm | By

1993. This is 1993, 26 years ago. This is Donald Trump.

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The league of harassers

Feb 11th, 2019 11:58 am | By

BuzzFeed reports:

A secret group of mainly male French journalists have been accused of coordinating a sprawling, yearslong campaign of harassment abusing women writers, feminist activists, people of color, and LGBT people.

The group, Ligue du LOL, or LOL League, has been operating for about a decade. So far, three journalists have been suspended, one has resigned, and one has been fired since the accusations were made public online. People working at four of France’s biggest news outlets have been implicated.

Journalists – you know, people who help shape our opinions and worldviews.

The LOL League started as a Facebook group in 2009 by journalist Vincent Glad, who now works at one of France’s largest newspapers, Libération. The group

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We have been dropping enough hints

Feb 11th, 2019 10:31 am | By

Oh come ON.

Oooooooh yes I guess you could systematically study whether or not women are subject to more disparaging commentary than men are, why has no one ever thought to do that???

Much acid rejoindering.

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Crossing the line

Feb 11th, 2019 10:07 am | By

Priorities. On the one hand, permanent brain damage; on the other hand, profits. We all know which one wins; it’s The American Way.

Former NBC sports commentator Bob Costas says the network pulled him from its football coverage after he criticized the NFL and its handling of the concussion crisis. In an interview with ESPN’s E:60, Costas revealed that NBC executives removed him from its Super Bowl LII broadcast after he spoke at a 2017 journalism symposium. “The reality is that this game destroys people’s brains,” he said during that discussion. After an ensuing series of media appearances, Costas says NBC Sports’ executive producer texted him, “You’ve crossed the line.”

What line? I guess it’s the line … Read the rest

Guest post: Still no foresight, beyond the quarterly statement

Feb 10th, 2019 4:21 pm | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Hurtling down the path to extinction.

In War of the Worlds, the Martians meet their demise through lack of foresight, because they have no resistance to Earth germs; they are killed “after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.” Now, with our devices and technology working all too well, and plenty of warning (but still, no foresight, beyond the quarterly statement), we may bring about our own end by killing off the insects. Who knows, this might have a bigger, faster impact on human thought (and numbers) than the comparatively slow motion disaster that is climate change.… Read the rest

Moon and earth

Feb 10th, 2019 3:08 pm | By

Bad Astronomy:

That lovely photograph was taken on February 3, 2019, by the Chinese Longjiang-2 satellite, which is orbiting the Moon. It’s a small photo, just 640×480 pixels, but what it shows belies its size; that is the Earth and Moon in one shot, a single image framing all of humanity.

Doesn’t the Moon look strange? That’s because you’re seeing the far side — in fact, the geometry dictates the only way to see the Earth and Moon together in one shot from lunar orbit is if you are over the far side at the time.

But that’s the side forever pointing away from Earth, so we cannot see it from the ground, or even low Earth orbit. To

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Hurtling down the path to extinction

Feb 10th, 2019 11:34 am | By


The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

That’s not good. Lots of mammals, birds and reptiles eat insects, so you do the math.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger

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Might spark protests which might spark physical violence

Feb 10th, 2019 10:14 am | By

This again. University of Bristol Free Speech Society:

We are saddened to inform you that due to Student Union bureaucracy we have been forced to cancel the invitation we extended to Angelos Sofocleous to be on our panel discussion on free speech. We have given the SU plenty of notice for this event. But they felt it proper to cancel his attendance in the last minute, citing “security concerns”. For context, Angelos is a full time student at Durham University who lives amongst students on campus. We leave it to the public to reach their own conclusions with regards to the SU’s intentions.

In the government’s guidance for students on free speech released last year it states, “Students should

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Feb 9th, 2019 4:22 pm | By

Let’s see, can we improve on that at all? Matt Whitaker after that grotesque performance at the hearing going to the Trump Hotel and…ordering the dolphin steak, painting “Mueller is a witch-hunter!!” on the wall, wearing a “Bring Back Rape!” T shirt?… Read the rest

The person teaching us the difference between right and wrong

Feb 9th, 2019 10:47 am | By

They just don’t get it.

The bishop, who has maintained his innocence, will be charged and face trial by a special prosecutor on accusations of rape and intimidation, the police investigating the case said. But the church acknowledged the nun’s accusations only after five of her fellow nuns mutinied and publicly rallied to her side to draw attention to her yearlong quest for justice, despite what they described as heavy pressure to remain silent.

“We used to see the fathers of the church as equivalent to God, but not anymore,” said Darly, her voice shaking with emotion. “How can I tell my son about this, that the person teaching us the difference between right and wrong gave him his

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People are crocheting beanies as fast as they can

Feb 9th, 2019 9:44 am | By

Via clamboy – a long thread on Seattle and SOME INCHES OF SNOW OMIGOD.

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