Guest post: We identify success as the paper

Aug 10th, 2020 12:08 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on In middle-of-nowhere Arizona.

Omar, as someone who is a higher education faculty member, I feel the answer to the question of what is the product is of utmost importance. As you said, many see the diploma/graduate as the product. It is not. You said the experience. I think that is important, giving the student experiences that no other setting offers; they may or may not enhance their future career, but they add richness to life.

But the most important product of education is…education. Learning how to think. Learning some facts so you can think about things. Learning how to learn. Learning how to work with others

The product is education; the diploma/degree/certificate is just a certificate of authenticity, verifying that said student learned (or was able to fake learning well enough to fool the faculty, all too easy with some faculty) what the paper says the learned.

Because we get this wrong – the product misidentified – we make huge mistakes in how we approach education. We approach it toward a goal of success, but we identify success as the paper, not as what lies behind the paper. A student who does not complete the degree, but learns tons, is more use than one that completes the degree but learns nothing. (Trump comes to mind for the last; Dubya, too.)

Many of the studies I see on “effective” education seem to interpret success as ‘student is happy’, because few of them that I have seen have actually shown any improvement in learning with the new methods. Those that do, the effect size is so small, and they get significance by generating a larger n, it isn’t worth throwing out things that are working as well and remaking the entire system around a nebulous maybe.

Try telling administrators that. Their eyes gleam at significance, and they never notice small effect. They get to start new projects, hire new administrators, and torture educators, so they will jump on board the newest, latest bandwagon. A year later, that will be declared “ancient” methods and they will move on to the latest shiny squirrel.

Astonishment and alarm

Aug 10th, 2020 12:03 pm | By

People outside the US are surprised that we’re doing such a staggeringly bad job of preventing the virus from exploding.

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

We’ve always been crap on the social justice, equality, fairness side, but we were good on the techy side. Now? We’re Major Kong riding the nuke down, waving his hat and hollerin’.

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

… “We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”

Yup! That’s how we roll!

Trump’s frequent complaints about Dr. Anthony Fauci have regularly made headlines in Europe, where the U.S. infectious-disease expert is a respected figure. Italy’s leading COVID-19 hospital offered Fauci a job if Trump fired him.

It’s a good thing Trump can’t fire him, or we can be confident he would have.

They would have been young butch lesbians

Aug 10th, 2020 11:11 am | By

This is what Rebecca Solnit ignored in her perky reference to the last night of the last lesbian bar in San Francisco and what a lot of “trans men” were present:

Today I grabbed a latte at my local Starbucks. There’s no drive-thru there, and I found myself darting into the premises with a feeling of dread. The young lesbian on testosterone was at the counter again. Two other servers are also transing lesbians. I’ve seen them before.

I can tell they would have been young butch lesbians in any other era. I can tell because I was a young butch lesbian in this hating world once. The only difference between them and me is time – I was just one of the lucky ones to not be around at the time of the transcult.

The horror of knowing they are lesbians who think they are men due to the current contagion of transactivism makes it hard to be there. I look around as I leave and three of their transing lesbian friends are sitting at a booth.

Every butch lesbian who is critical about this horrific trans. movement—a movement that would push young lesbians into believing they are male and amputating their healthy breasts and taking cross-hormones—every butch knows what they are seeing. It’s like looking into a mirror and recalling all of the angst, hatred, parental and peer rejection all over again.

It’s a horrific experience to sit in a room full of my sisters and know this. It’s like being one of the last butch survivors in a complete eradication. I can’t think of any other way to state the horror I feel at progressives actually thinking that the surgical violation of these young lesbians is somehow a brave and courageous thing.

They are telling these girls that they are not okay being who they are and wearing what they want to wear. These are girls like I once was. They sometimes have short hair, and that way of carrying themselves that is strong and independent. They don’t care about boys and when they were kids, they played with trucks and things other girls don’t really like. They liked collecting rocks and they didn’t giggle around the boys like the other girls did. They were never like the other girls.

And now they’re being told they’re men.

They call it ‘gender non-conforming.’ That’s a fancy word for butch lesbian. What is happening is that tomboys are pushed to transition and the trans. net captures all the future butches. This is not mere speculation. Physicians who work in gender clinics are saying that homosexuality is the first ‘step’ to transing. This is gruesome.

Our lesbian spaces are already dead. Our bookstores, our dances. Everything we built is dead and taken over by the trans nightmare. I was there when we had it all. Don’t think I don’t have at least a modicum of hope that this madness will end. Because I do. But that’s not today.

That’s what Solnit left out.

H/t Papito

We’re all fine

Aug 10th, 2020 8:46 am | By

Rebecca Solnit ffs. I’d expect better from her.

She grew up in San Francisco. It was “in its heyday the loudest, proudest queer town around.” It was all about kindness and liberation.

As I’ve watched transphobia explode in the American right and the British whatever, I’ve thought over my own experience. San Francisco has been for a century or so a sanctuary city for dissident, rebel and queer people, so I suspect I have lived my whole adult life in a place with more trans people per capita than almost anyplace else. Transphobes are always warning us that if trans people live in peace and legal recognition and even have rights, there will be terrible consequences, but I assume that we here have long realized, at least to some extent, that dreaded future, and we’re all fine.

No, that’s not what gender critical people say. That’s the usual stupid caricature of what we say, which should be beneath Rebecca Solnit. We’re not saying trans people should not live in peace or have rights, obviously. And we’re not “all fine.” Female athletes who have lost medals, spots on a team, scholarships because a trans woman or girl took them are not “all fine,” they have been harmed, their rights have been violated, they have not been allowed to live in peace.

Despite this, people – many of whom are supposed to be feminists – keep coming up with lurid “what ifs”. My response to them is: trans women do not pose a threat to cis-gender women, and feminism is a subcategory of human rights advocacy, which means, sorry, you can’t be a feminist if you’re not for everyone’s human rights, notably other women’s rights.

In other words her response to us is just an assertion, and it’s an assertion that is not true. She doesn’t get to announce that “trans women do not pose a threat to cis-gender women” as if it were an obvious and universal truth just like that. Some trans women do pose a threat to women; some have already been violent toward women. Solnit can’t know that all trans women without exception are and always will be no threat to women, so it’s fatuous and also rude to announce it in that confident way. Solnit can’t even know that all trans women really are trans women as opposed to men consciously faking it in order to be housed in the women’s prison or compete against women in sport or be given a position such as Women’s Officer.

Saying all this and more is not a matter of being opposed to “everyone’s human rights,” it’s a matter of rejecting lies and fantasies and attempts to bully us into accepting lies and fantasies.

Second wave feminism produced the classic 1972 children’s album Free to Be You and Me, which I’d like to point out was not titled Free to Be Me But I Get to Define You.

Then don’t call us “cis.” You’ll have seen that she did call us “cis-gender” in that second quoted passage. And would she say that about Rachel Dolezal? Would she say that about white people who claimed to be black or brown? Suppose Eric Trump had a sudden conversion, and told the world he’s discovered he’s a Cherokee in his soul, no matter what he looks like on the outside – would Solnit tell us we don’t get to “define” him? Would she tell people who really are Cherokee that they don’t get to “define” him?

As a young woman dealing with endless street harassment and menace from straight men, I used to breathe a sigh of relief when I got to the Castro District, because that was the only place I was confident I would be safe. Reflecting back on these four decades, I figure I must have spent a ton of time around trans people in bars and clubs and street parties and protests (and yeah, public restrooms) without really noticing, which is maybe the point. OK, in 2015, at the last night at the Lexington Club, San Francisco’s last lesbian bar, I did gradually realize that the many nice young men in the crowd were trans men.

Uh…yes? And? She missed it, didn’t she. Why was there a last night for San Francisco’s last lesbian bar? In 2015? Why is she apparently cheering that fact? Does she actually think it’s an improvement that lesbians have disappeared into “trans men”?

It’s an embarrassing performance altogether.

The controversy has grown legs

Aug 9th, 2020 5:13 pm | By

Colleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed:

Like many academic debates, one currently rocking the music theory world is esoteric. But the controversy — about the legacy of the late Austrian theorist Heinrich Schenker — has grown legs because it involves accusations of anti-Black racism, anti-Semitism and, now, censorship.

Late last year, when conferences still happened in person, [Philip] Ewell delivered a plenary address at the society’s annual conference. Ewell, who is Black, argued that Schenker’s known white supremacist views informed his hierarchical approach to music theory. The talk, in which Ewell referred to Schenker as “an ardent racist and German nationalist,” was part of a much longer, since-published paper on the “white racial frame” in music theory.

Ewell argued that music theory will only diversify through “deframing and reframing” that “structural and institutionalized” framework that Schenker helped build. He also pushed for a more diverse music theory curriculum. The talk was generally well received: Ewell enjoyed a standing ovation.

Soon after the talk, the Journal of Schenkerian Studies, housed at North Texas, put out a call for papers responding to Ewell’s plenary. Music theory is a traditionally white, male-dominated field and Ewell’s comments — underneath the applause — apparently ruffled feathers.

Some of the articles were favorable, others were critical or outright hostile.

One by Timothy Jackson, distinguished university research professor of theory at North Texas and a co-editor of Studies, was arguably the most critical of all: in it, Jackson seemed to accuse Ewell of anti-Semitism. Ewell in his talk did not discuss Schenker’s Jewishness. But Schenker’s wife was killed by Nazis and he likely would have ended up in their clutches if he’d lived past 1935.

… Beginning a series of sweeping statements about Black values, culture and families, Jackson said Ewell “is uninterested in bringing Blacks up to ‘standard’ so they can compete. On the contrary, he is claiming that those very standards are in themselves racist.” African Americans “have the right to embrace their own culture as precious — i.e. rap music, hip hop, etc. — and study and teach it in universities,” he added, “so that the products of the ‘defective,’ ‘racist’ White culture — i.e. classical music — be shunted aside.”

Finding the symposium disturbing, a group of music graduate students at North Texas petitioned their dean to publicly condemn the issue and investigate its editorial process, due to the apparent “horrendous lack of peer review, publication of an anonymous response and clear lack of academic rigor.”

Going forward, the students also asked the dean and the greater university to dissolve the journal and discipline and potentially remove faculty members who used the journal “to promote racism.”

Another one of these, in short.

H/t Sackbut

He has a dream

Aug 9th, 2020 3:21 pm | By

One for the “that’s just embarrassing” file:

White House aides reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last year about the process of adding additional presidents to Mount Rushmore, the New York Times reported.

Meaning, Trump hacks asked South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem if she would please add Donald Trump’s face to the four faces carved into that slab of rock to make the world’s tackiest whatever-that-is.

According to a person familiar who spoke with the Times, Noem then greeted Trump when he arrived in the state for his July Fourth celebrations at the monument with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face.

Noem has noted before Trump’s “dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore, the Coolidge-era sculpture that features the 60-foot-tall faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

It’s ugly, it’s tacky, it’s silly, it’s inappropriate, it’s yet another theft from Native Americans, and did I mention it’s ugly? It’s so ludicrous that Trump bothers to think about it, let alone thinking he’s MonuMental.

According to a 2018 interview with Noem, the two struck up a conversation about the sculpture in the Oval Office during their first meeting, where she initially thought he was joking. “I started laughing,” she said. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”

Because he’s that stupid and that vain. Yes. There is no limit to his stupidity and vanity.

Donnie’s never going to be on a monument. Donnie will be lucky to avoid prison (and I hope he doesn’t avoid it).


Aug 9th, 2020 12:23 pm | By

We’ve hit 5 million cases in the US, which is more than any other country. Aren’t we clever. The midwest is going to be swamped.

Health specialists predict a sharp increase in deaths across the region in the coming weeks that will be made significantly worse in some states by the politicians who followed Donald Trump’s lead in undermining medical advice and in questioning the value of masks.

Anthony Fauci, the president’s lead coronavirus expert, recently warned the midwest’s political leaders to follow the science.

“Some states are not doing that,” he said. “We would hope that they all now rethink what happens when you don’t adhere to that. We’ve seen it in plain sight in the southern states that surged.”

Don’t be cute. Don’t be a rebel. Don’t be a trumpy. Just listen to the medical people and wear the damn mask.

Alarmed by rising infections, Wisconsin’s governor last week declared a public health emergency and required masks to be worn indoors. But that immediately fell victim to the politics of coronavirus as at least 16 county sheriffs said they would not enforce the order.

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office told residents: “Wear a mask if you want, if you don’t want to, that is fine also”. In Oneida county, the sheriff said the governor’s order “is in violation of the constitution” while the sheriff of Racine county called the order “government overreach”.


The University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation has warned that the refusal of Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, to require masks in public spaces will cost 700 additional lives over the next three months. It predicted the number of coronavirus deaths at about 13 a day in Iowa by the end of October with the present policy compared to fewer than two if 95% of people used face coverings.

A small price to pay for freedomfreedomfreedomfreedomfreedomfreedom freedomfreedomfreedom.

For the first time in British history

Aug 9th, 2020 11:47 am | By

A first! A milestone! A barrier broken down! Eyes on the prize!

Ooooooooooooh the first openly non-binary person. Think of all the trembling non-binary persons in their closets, feeling newly empowered.

Only…what is it that’s “openly,” exactly? What is it about Tom Pashby that makes him “non-binary”? Is that supposed to mean neither female nor male but a pleasing mix of both? If so, how can we confirm? How do we know? What does he mean? What does Pink News mean?

In other words…what we’ve been presented with here is a man, who is claiming to have done something significant and Firstish, by calling himself not a man but instead non-binary, yet there is no detectable difference between this man and any other man, of a kind that would prompt us to put him in the “Neither” column. In short he looks like a man, a common or garden man, nothing to see here folks. Why are we being told to gape in amazement at his groundbreaking First?

It seems like a good wheeze if you’re brazen enough. Can rich people do it? Can a billionaire claim to be non-binary, neither rich nor poor but a mix of both? Can white people do it? Neither white nor brown but non-binary and thus more special than either brown or white? Can anti-immigrationists do it? Neither native nor foreign-born but non-binary? Can bosses do it? Neither a boss nor a worker but non-binary?

It’s all so…deep.

What do cis people WANT?

Aug 9th, 2020 11:22 am | By

Too easy.

People. That’s all. Just people, Chase. We want you to call women women and men men. That’s all. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s routine.

You’re creating a problem where there is no problem. No one needs a special label to distinguish between women and men who say they are women. Women are just women; men who say they are women are just men.

The whole ideology pretty much rests on Word Magic, doesn’t it. If we say “trans woman” often enough people will come to believe that trans women literally are women? That’s how the trick is done, right? If we pitch huge fits about “misgendering” until people are terrorized into saying “she” when they mean “he” then we’ve gone a long way toward conditioning everyone into believing the switch, right?

And so with this tweet. Pretend complete bewilderment about what one can possibly call people who are not trans if the word “cis” is rejected, as if there were some actual need to add an adjective to “women” and “men” to indicate that they are…women and men. There is no such need; it’s just more of the coercive Word Magic to fool people into believing the upside down dogma.

You can’t do both

Aug 9th, 2020 11:06 am | By

The trumpies have a lot of nerve.

France and Germany have quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration at attempts by the United States to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO, three officials told Reuters.

“We quit but we still get to boss you.”

That’s not how that works.

European governments have also criticised the WHO but do not go as far as the United States in their criticism, and the decision by Paris and Berlin to leave the talks follows tensions over what they say are Washington’s attempts to dominate the negotiations.

“Nobody wants to be dragged into a reform process and getting an outline for it from a country which itself just left the WHO,” a senior European official involved in the talks said.

More precisely, from people who have bought or crimed their way into a job under the criminal who stole the election, and want to boss the WHO and abandon it simultaneously.

In middle-of-nowhere Arizona

Aug 8th, 2020 4:43 pm | By

This is so sad (and scary and unfair and unreasonable). A school superintendent in Arizona tells a Washington Post reporter what that’s like now:

The governor has told us we have to open our schools to students on August 17th, or else we miss out on five percent of our funding. I run a high-needs district in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. We’re 90 percent Hispanic and more than 90 percent free-and-reduced lunch. These kids need every dollar we can get. But covid is spreading all over this area and hitting my staff, and now it feels like there’s a gun to my head. I already lost one teacher to this virus. Do I risk opening back up even if it’s going to cost us more lives? Or do we run school remotely and end up depriving these kids?

This is your classic one-horse town. Picture John Wayne riding through cactuses and all that. I’m superintendent, high school principal and sometimes the basketball referee during recess. This is a skeleton staff, and we pay an average salary of about 40,000 a year. I’ve got nothing to cut. We’re buying new programs for virtual learning and trying to get hotspots and iPads for all our kids. Five percent of our budget is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where’s that going to come from? I might lose teaching positions or basic curriculum unless we somehow get up and running.

I’ve been in the building every day, sanitizing doors and measuring out space in classrooms. We still haven’t received our order of Plexiglas barriers, so we’re cutting up shower curtains and trying to make do with that. It’s one obstacle after the next. Just last week I found out we had another staff member who tested positive, so I went through the guidance from OSHA and the CDC and tried to figure out the protocols. I’m not an expert at any of this, but I did my best with the contact tracing. I called 10 people on staff and told them they’d had a possible exposure. I arranged separate cars and got us all to the testing site. Some of my staff members were crying. They’ve seen what can happen, and they’re coming to me with questions I can’t always answer. “Does my whole family need to get tested?” “How long do I have to quarantine?” “What if this virus hits me like it did Mrs. Byrd?”

Mrs. Byrd is the teacher who died of it.

We got back two of those tests already — both positive. We’re still waiting on eight more. That makes 11 percent of my staff that’s gotten covid, and we haven’t had a single student in our buildings since March. Part of our facility is closed down for decontamination, but we don’t have anyone left to decontaminate it unless I want to put on my hazmat suit and go in there. We’ve seen the impacts of this virus on our maintenance department, on transportation, on food service, on faculty. It’s like this district is shutting down case by case. I don’t understand how anyone could expect us to reopen the building this month in a way that feels safe.

He knows the kids need the school; he knows that better than anyone.

These kids are hurting right now. I don’t need a politician to tell me that. We only have 300 students in this district, and they’re like family. My wife is a teacher here, and we had four kids go through these schools. I know whose parents are laid off from the copper mine and who doesn’t have enough to eat. We delivered breakfast and lunches this summer, and we gave out more meals each day than we have students. I get phone calls from families dealing with poverty issues, depression, loneliness, boredom. Some of these kids are out in the wilderness right now, and school is the best place for them. We all agree on that. But every time I start to play out what that looks like on August 17th, I get sick to my stomach. More than a quarter of our students live with grandparents. These kids could very easily catch this virus, spread it and bring it back home. It’s not safe. There’s no way it can be safe.

He knows from experience.

Mrs. Byrd did everything right. She followed all the protocols. If there’s such a thing as a safe, controlled environment inside a classroom during a pandemic, that was it. We had three teachers sharing a room so they could teach a virtual summer school. They were so careful. This was back in June, when cases here were starting to spike. The kids were at home, but the teachers wanted to be together in the classroom so they could team up on the new technology. I thought that was a good idea. It’s a big room. They could watch and learn from each other. Mrs. Byrd was a master teacher. She’d been here since 1982, and she was always coming up with creative ideas. They delivered care packages to the elementary students so they could sprout beans for something hands-on at home, and then the teachers all took turns in front of the camera. All three of them wore masks. They checked their temperatures. They taught on their own devices and didn’t share anything, not even a pencil.

But she caught it anyway.

I’ve gone over it in my head a thousand times. What precautions did we miss? What more could I have done? I don’t have an answer. These were three responsible adults in an otherwise empty classroom, and they worked hard to protect each other. We still couldn’t control it. That’s what scares me.

But the authorities are telling him he has to open the school.

It’s a nightmare.

Stealing in plain sight

Aug 8th, 2020 11:38 am | By

Trump is systematically and openly trying to rig the election by destroying voting rights…the rights that so many civil rights activists faced violence and death for demanding.

Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have taken to the courts dozens of times as part of a $20 million effort to challenge voting rules, including filing their own lawsuits in several battleground states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nevada. And around the time Trump started musing about delaying the election last week, aides and outside advisers began scrambling to ponder possible executive actions he could take to curb mail-in voting — everything from directing the postal service to not deliver certain ballots to stopping local officials from counting them after Election Day.

So that he can steal another election and continue his campaign to smash everything.

“All Americans deserve an election system that is secure and President Trump is highlighting that Democrats’ plan for universal mail-in voting would lead to fraud,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews. “While Democrats continue to call for a radical overhaul of our nation’s voting system, President Trump will continue to work to ensure the security and integrity of our elections.”

That’s a lie though. Mail-in voting does not lead to fraud.

Caving to critical voices on the right

Aug 8th, 2020 11:07 am | By

It’s interesting to learn that there’s turmoil at Facebook over how to deal with Trump’s election frauds.

“I do think we’re headed for a problematic scenario where Facebook is going to be used to aggressively undermine the legitimacy of the US elections, in a way that has never been possible in history,” one Facebook employee wrote in a group on Workplace, the company’s internal communication platform, earlier this week.

For the past week, this scenario has been a topic of heated discussion inside Facebook and was a top question for its leader. Some 2,900 employees asked Zuckerberg to address it publicly during a company-wide meeting on Thursday, which he partly did, calling it “an unprecedented position.”

Zuckerberg’s remarks came amid growing internal concerns about the company’s competence in handling misinformation, and the precautions it is taking to ensure its platform isn’t used to disrupt or mislead ahead of the US presidential election. Though Facebook says it has committed more money and resources to avoid repeating its failures during the 2016 election, some employees believe it isn’t enough.

Interesting, because lots of us who don’t work for Facebook think the same thing.

While there are signs Facebook will stand up to Trump in cases where he violates its rules — as on Wednesday when it removed a video post from the president in which he claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19 — there are others who suggest the company is caving to critical voices on the right. In another recent Workplace post, a senior engineer collected internal evidence that showed Facebook was giving preferential treatment to prominent conservative accounts to help them remove fact-checks from their content.

The company responded by removing his post and restricting internal access to the information he cited. On Wednesday the engineer was fired, according to internal posts seen by BuzzFeed News.

So that’s not encouraging.

Last Friday, at another all-hands meeting, employees asked Zuckerberg how right-wing publication Breitbart News could remain a Facebook News partner after sharing a video that promoted unproven treatments and said masks were unnecessary to combat the novel coronavirus. The video racked up 14 million views in six hours before it was removed from Breitbart’s page, though other accounts continued to share it.

Zuckerberg “danced around the question,” BuzzFeed says. That’s not encouraging either.

But some of Facebook’s own employees gathered evidence they say shows Breitbart — along with other right-wing outlets and figures including Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, Trump supporters Diamond and Silk, and conservative video production nonprofit Prager University — has received special treatment that helped it avoid running afoul of company policy. They see it as part of a pattern of preferential treatment for right-wing publishers and pages, many of which have alleged that the social network is biased against conservatives.

Let’s hope they won’t all be fired.

The internal evidence gathered by the engineer aligns with the experience of a journalist who works for one of Facebook’s US fact-checking partners. They told BuzzFeed News that conservative pages often complain directly to the company.

“Of the publishers that don’t follow the procedure, it seems to be mostly ones on the right. Instead of appealing to the fact-checker they immediately call their rep at Facebook,” said the journalist, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly. “They jump straight up and say ‘censorship, First Amendment, freedom.’”

Normal procedure is to talk to the low-ranking fact checker, but conservatives (mostly) instead go to a friendly executive – they pull strings instead of arguing the merits.

Facebook typically assigns dedicated partner managers to pages with large followings or big ad budgets. They help their clients maximize their use of the platform. But in the cases identified in the engineer’s post, partner reps appear to have sought preferential treatment for right-wing publishers. This resulted in phone calls to fact-checking partners from people at Facebook, and instances where misinformation strikes appear to have been removed from content without a fact-checker’s knowledge or involvement.

The right to lie to the public is sacred, yeah?

It’s worrisome stuff.

Thanks Captain

Aug 8th, 2020 10:08 am | By

Here’s a surprise – guess what show biz celebrity guy is terfing up a storm on Twitter? Not one I would have guessed in a million tries.

Earning that pronoun

Aug 8th, 2020 9:12 am | By

Laurie Penny. Good grief.

The stupidity takes my breath away. Not LP’s personal stupidity, necessarily, but the stupidity of this whole new Pronoun Doctrine, and weird baroque rationalizations of it like this.

No, she/they is not comparable to tu/vous. Referring to women as “she/her” is not formal or stiff – and it’s not familiar or forward, either. It’s just humdrum ordinary usage in languages that do that.

How did she get there? I suppose by thinking that the closer friends are to her, the more familiar they are with the fact that she has Special Bespoke ideas about her exciting fluid indeterminate interesting GenDer, and so they know they’re expected to create opportunities to refer to her (them) in the third person a lot so that she can be called Them a lot. Not the same as the tu/vous distinction at all.

But this idea that being referred to as she/her is something women have to earn with a lot of hard work…while at the same time thinking it’s something women are forbidden to think of as naming female people only…yep it takes my breath away.

The ayleet?

Aug 7th, 2020 6:16 pm | By


Itt izz wot itt izz

Aug 7th, 2020 5:42 pm | By



Careful careful careful

Aug 7th, 2020 5:39 pm | By

The New Zealand Herald reports:

The US Government has warned its citizens to be very cautious about travelling to New Zealand because of our “23 active cases” of Covid-19.

Um. Yes. Be VERY VERY CAREFUL about leaving a country where there have been 4,858,596 cases so far, with 56,105 new cases today, and traveling to one where there are…23. WATCH OUT. MIND HOW YOU GO.MAYBE INJECT SOME BLEACH.


Aug 7th, 2020 4:12 pm | By


Jerry Falwell Junior taketh an indefinite leave of absence:

The move comes days after Falwell received criticism for posting a photo to social media that showed him with his pants unzipped alongside a woman who is not his wife.

I saw that earlier this week and was so traumatized I wiped it from my memory.


Falwell is the son of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the evangelical Christian Liberty University and the conservative Moral Majority movement that rose to prominence in the Reagan era.

Falwell Jr. was among the first prominent evangelicals to endorse Donald Trump during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Donald Trump being such a paragon of morality and all.

Family values, my friend, family values.

Presidential pronunciamation

Aug 7th, 2020 12:14 pm | By