Notes and Comment Blog

13 bible verses

Feb 3rd, 2019 10:15 am | By

A pretty story about faith and discipline:

Three [people] have been charged in the death of a 7-year-old Wisconsin boy who, according to a criminal complaint, was punished for not knowing Bible verses.

“Punished” in the sense of being slowly murdered.

Timothy Hauschultz, his wife Tina Hauschultz and their 15-year-old son Damian Hauschultz have all been charged in the death of Ethan Hauschultz. Ethan died in April 2018 from hypothermia and blunt force trauma to the head, chest and abdomen.

WLUK TV reports that Timothy ordered Ethan to haul a 44-pound log around for two hours a day for a one-week period. Damian told the police that while Timothy picked out the logs for Ethan and his twin, who was given the same punishment, he was instructed by his father to supervise the enacting of it.

“Ethan had been performing punishment ordered by Timothy which required Ethan to carry a heavy wooden log, weighing approximately two-thirds his body weight, while being monitored by Timothy’s 15-year-old son,” a release from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office says.

The punishment was for “not knowing 13 Bible verses to Timothy’s satisfaction,” WLUK TV reports.

How old was the murdered child, again?

Oh yes: 7.

A medical examiner’s report indicates that there were injuries on Ethan’s body, including blunt force trauma to the head, abdomen and chest as well as a fractured rib. Those injuries correspond with Damian’s statement to police that he thought he had struck Ethan 100 times. He also allegedly hit Ethan’s twin.

“Over the course of 1-1.5 hours, the 15-year-old hit, kicked, struck and poked Ethan numerous times. He repeatedly shoved Ethan to the ground and rolled the heavy log across Ethan’s chest. He stood on his body and head while Ethan was face-down in a puddle,” the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office said.

Damian also admitted to authorities that he covered Ethan with snow, placing him “in his own little coffin of snow,” the criminal complaint says.


Are the beaches good?

Feb 2nd, 2019 4:43 pm | By

Sigh. This is so infuriating.

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s renewed attacks on the U.S. intelligence community this week, senior intelligence briefers are breaking two years of silence to warn that the President is endangering American security with what they say is a stubborn disregard for their assessments.

Citing multiple in-person episodes, these intelligence officials say Trump displays what one called “willful ignorance” when presented with analyses generated by America’s $81 billion-a-year intelligence services. The officials, who include analysts who prepare Trump’s briefs and the briefers themselves, describe futile attempts to keep his attention by using visual aids, confining some briefing points to two or three sentences, and repeating his name and title as frequently as possible.

They should have tried giving him a chocolate for each minute he paid attention.

We were told the same thing about Bush 2, but not to this extent. Bush 2 was dim and lazy, but not this dim and lazy. (Why do we keep electing dim lazy guys to this office? Let’s stop doing that.)

What is most troubling, say these officials and others in government and on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on the episodes, are Trump’s angry reactions when he is given information that contradicts positions he has taken or beliefs he holds. Two intelligence officers even reported that they have been warned to avoid giving the President intelligence assessments that contradict stances he has taken in public.

Never mind the truth, just tell him what won’t make him explode.

After a briefing in preparation for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, for example, the subject turned to the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia. The island is home to an important airbase and a U.S. Naval Support Facility that are central to America’s ability to project power in the region, including in the war in Afghanistan.

The President, officials familiar with the briefing said, asked two questions: Are the people nice, and are the beaches good?

Image result for really?

In another briefing on South Asia, Trump’s advisors brought a map of the region from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, according to intelligence officers with knowledge of the meeting and congressional officials who were briefed on it. Trump, they said, pointed at the map and said he knew that Nepal was part of India, only to be told that it is an independent nation. When said he was familiar with Bhutan and knew it, too, was part of India, his briefers told him that Bhutan was an independent kingdom.

Hey, if Trump says they’re part of India, they’re part of India. Have some respect.

This is why he has a more optimistic view of the North Korea sitch than anyone else on the planet; it’s because he has no clue.

Wrong body def 1 & 2

Feb 2nd, 2019 4:21 pm | By

No, I don’t think so, I think those are two different things. Glinner means literal “born into the wrong body” and I think that’s not what Pullman means. I think Pullman is talking about not feeling entirely at home in one’s circumstances, and longing for different ones – a kind of homesickness, it can be, or a feeling of other possibilities and wishing one could live them. I think lots of us or maybe most of us have at least glimpses of that. But the current orthodoxy about being “born in the wrong body” is very literal, and backed up with menaces. It’s the opposite of imaginative, and it also tends strongly toward narcissism.

Mister Coffee has another whine

Feb 2nd, 2019 4:05 pm | By

Mister Coffee, again, defending the honor of billionaires.

It’s interesting that he thinks “the spirit of the country” has something to do with being nice (grateful? subservient? flattering?) to rich people. It’s interesting that he apparently doesn’t give the tiniest of shits about the millions of people in the country who struggle to keep from going under, and dragging their children with them. He doesn’t seem to be even aware that “the spirit of the country” seems all too comfortable with letting people go under because they get sick, because they lose a job, because they work two jobs and still can’t make rent, because they tried to acquire some higher education and got overwhelmed by debt, because they got injured on the jobs and then got addicted to opioids, because their job disappeared when the company moved to Mexico or outsourced the work to China. Our biggest problems here have nothing to do with how much we bow and scrape to rich people, and Mister Coffee’s egotistical concern with such a thing is fucking contemptible.


Feb 2nd, 2019 3:43 pm | By

Makin’ history, people – a new tv show on the way with a – hold on to your chairs – a non-binary character. Are you verklempt?

US television network The CW has ordered a new pilot for a series that will feature a non-binary lead character.

Glamorous – which is written and directed by Jordon Nardino of Desperate Housewives – will make history when it airs as the first US television show with a non-binary lead character, according to Digital Spy.

The show will follow a non-binary character who lands an internship at a cosmetics company whose products they have criticised on YouTube.

I’ve got goosebumps.

Only…what does it mean? Not woman, not man, neither, non-binary, I know – but what does that mean? Not many people are fully “binary” in the sense of “conforming to the stereotypes that match their sex” – and what other sense can it have? It doesn’t mean intersex, so what can it mean other than not conforming to gender roles in every particular? Well big honkin’ deal; who does conform to gender roles in every particular? It’s just a new and more boring way to be self-obsessed, and we don’t need any of those.

Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted

Feb 2nd, 2019 3:07 pm | By

Speaking of measles outbreaks caused by damn fools who refuse to vaccinate their children, in 2015 NPR did an explainer about how the measles vax appears to cause huge drops in other infectious diseases too.

Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.

But something else happened.

Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea were cut by half.

Scientists saw the same phenomenon when the vaccine came to England and parts of Europe. And they see it today when developing countries introduce the vaccine.

“In some developing countries, where infectious diseases are very high, the reduction in mortality has been up to 80 percent,” says Michael Mina, a postdoc in biology at Princeton University and a medical student at Emory University.

“So it’s really been a mystery — why do children stop dying at such high rates from all these different infections following introduction of the measles vaccine,” he says.

Mina and his colleagues think they now might have an explanation. And they published their evidence Thursday in the journal Science.

The gist is that measles appears to wipe out existing immunities to other diseases for three or four years. It’s interesting; read on.

It’s also another reason to get the god damn vaccine.

Not exactly a crown though is it

Feb 2nd, 2019 2:29 pm | By

And yet, he doesn’t wear the “crown” himself. Why is it only the female half who is told to wear it? If it’s a symbol of their religion why doesn’t he wear it? If he’s so grateful why doesn’t he wear it?

“Hate speech” has no legal meaning

Feb 2nd, 2019 2:19 pm | By

The Times (London of that ilk) reports that students are being told they can’t ban speakers for “transphobia.”

Feminists who believe that transgender women are still men should not be barred from speaking at universities because their views do not break the law, students have been told.

What an odd way of putting it. We’re not the ones using our “beliefs” as bludgeons here. It’s not a matter of believing trans women are men, it’s just a matter of acknowledging obvious and slightly banal facts. It’s the people who insist that trans women are women [in every possible sense] who are resorting to beliefs, not the people who say no, the word “trans” isn’t that magical. By the same token we don’t believe dogs aren’t cats and oak trees aren’t daffodils, we just recognize the facts of the matter.

The guidance has been written by the Equality and Human Rights Commission with the National Union of Students and university leaders.

The guidance says that hate speech has “no legal meaning. The criminal law balances the right to freedom of expression with the protection of individuals and communities from threats, abuse and harassment both on and offline. Where this line is crossed, the perpetrator may be prosecuted.”

Universities have struggled most with the issue of transsexual rights. Linda Bellos, a feminist, has had invitations to speak revoked, and there have been attempts to stop Germaine Greer speaking. In November Dame Jenni Murray, the broadcaster, pulled out of an event at the Oxford University History Society after demonstrations were threatened. All have been accused of transphobia for expressing the view that trans women cannot lay claim to full womanhood. The guidance makes clear that this view is “lawful” and that a decision to “no-platform” the speaker or revoke an invitation would breach their right to free speech and that of students to “receive ideas”.

The view is lawful; imagine that!


Feb 2nd, 2019 11:19 am | By

It’s just…it’s so…I can never…

The things Trump reveals about himself whenever he speaks.

President Trump regularly expresses pique over scathing kiss-and-tell books written by former aides and advisers. But he had no beef with “Let Me Finish” by Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and his onetime transition director.

“Well, honestly,” Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office this week, “he was very nice to me.”

But not nice to his family, it was pointed out, most notably Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, who was eviscerated in the book. “No,” Mr. Trump conceded, “but he was unbelievably nice to me, actually.”

One: and that’s all that counts. Two: and of course everyone sees that exactly as he sees it, and values it exactly the same way.

Mr. Trump signaled forgiveness of sorts for Stephen K. Bannon, his onetime chief strategist who was excommunicated from Mr. Trump’s camp after talking with another author for a book that savaged the president. “If you’ve seen him on an interview over the last six months, I think there’s nobody that speaks better” about him, Mr. Trump said, adding that the two had not spoken in more than a year.

And that’s all anyone is supposed to care about. Not just the egomaniac himself but everyone. It’s so…it’s so…I don’t even know what to call it. It seems as basic as breathing to understand that Flattery of Self is does not mean to everyone in the world minus Self the same thing it means to Self. Trump seems to believe quite literally that everyone loves him exactly the way he loves himself. He expects us all to see the point of Bannon because Bannon “speaks well” about him. It’s as dense as petrified wood.

And then the depth of the stupidity.

Reporting to Congress earlier in the week, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and his counterparts said that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, Iran was not currently building a bomb and the Islamic State was not defeated, all conclusions at odds with the president’s approach.

In their meeting on Thursday, Mr. Trump said he challenged them on this disconnect. “One of the things they said very strongly, according to — was that Iran is, essentially, a wonderful place,” the president recounted. “And I said, ‘It’s not a wonderful place, it’s a bad place, and they’re doing bad things.’ And they said, ‘We agree.’ I said: ‘What do you mean you agree? You can’t agree.’ And they said the testimony was totally mischaracterized.”

But it may be that Mr. Trump was the one who mischaracterized it or at least misunderstood it. The intelligence chiefs never said that Iran was a “wonderful place” or anything like it; they simply said there was no evidence of a nuclear program in violation of the agreement it made to give it up.

That’s how loose his thinking is – he equates saying there is no evidence of nukes to saying it’s a wonderful place. That’s like a literal child, a small child, who hasn’t had time to learn everything yet. It’s nowhere near an adult, even a not very sharp adult. What can it be like trying to work for him?

Cops on Snapchat

Feb 2nd, 2019 10:47 am | By

It could be fatal to drive a car with expired tabs in Detroit if you’re not white.

A veteran Detroit police officer has been demoted and reassigned after posting a Snapchat video showing a black woman whose car he had just impounded walking home alone while he and another officer make derogatory remarks about her to each other in the background.

Meanwhile, pre-made captions that say “What black girl magic looks like” and “celebrating Black History Month” appear at the bottom.

A very young woman: a teenage girl. And this was Tuesday night, during the polar vortex.

The Snapchat video, which was first published by ABC affiliate WXYZ, shows the woman walking away down a snow-covered street.

“Priceless,” one of the officers says.

“Walk of shame,” the other responds.

“In the cold,” the first one says again. Later one of the two says, “Bye, Felicia.”

The temperature low on Tuesday was 2 degrees in Detroit, according to AccuWeather.

People died in the polar vortex.

Steele* has had issues with the law himself. In 2008, he was charged with attacking an ex-girlfriend and firing a gun near her head, according to the Detroit News. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was able to keep his job at the police department, the newspaper reported.

*one of the cops

Maybe he shouldn’t have been able to keep his job at the police department, huh? Maybe violent people don’t make the best cops?

Police-vetted book festival begins

Feb 2nd, 2019 9:18 am | By

It’s time for Bangladesh’s annual book fair…but watch out.

DMP chief warns against publishing books that hurt religious sentiments

Legal action will be taken against writers and publishers if any book hurting religious sentiment or disrupting communal harmony is published at this year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia has said.

He made the comments while inspecting the security measures at the annual event’s venues—Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka—on Thursday morning.

“We have requested writers and publishers not to bring any book that can hurt religious sentiments, or instigate communal violence,” he said.

Any book that can hurt religious sentiments? That would be almost any book, because people who are determined to find something that Hurts their Sentiments can nearly always do so.

More to the point, if any place needs books that challenge religious sentiments, it’s Bangladesh (along with a lot of other places). If any subject in the world needs challenging, it’s religion, especially patriarchal religion. Is Islam a patriarchal religion? Yes, it is. Islam in many places has a nasty habit of grinding women into the dirt. This is, ultimately, human beings giving themselves permission slips in the form of “religious sentiments,” but that’s exactly why such sentiments need challenging.

A committee under Bangla Academy, aside from police detectives, has been formed to monitor books scheduled to be published for the month-long book fair that is slated to start on February 1.

“If we receive information about any such book, the committee will evaluate them first. Then, legal measures will follow, if necessary, in line with the law, related to the type of crime,” he said.

Yeah great. Brilliant. Treat it as a crime to challenge religion, and set the police to sniffing out this bogus crime.

I was alerted this by a tweet from Taslima.

A celebration too many

Feb 2nd, 2019 8:40 am | By
A celebration too many

It was “World Hijab Day” yesterday.

What shall we do next? World Yellow Star Day? World Bound Feet Day? World Chains Day?

I know; many non-Muslims who observe the day don’t think they’re celebrating patriarchal religion and the subordination of women; they think they’re expressing solidarity with Muslims who are subject to racism and xenophobia. In a sense they are doing that, but they’re also expressing solidarity with theocrats who force women to wear hijab, and they’re expressing unsolidarity with women and girls who refuse to wear hijab and those who want to refuse but can’t.

And in the process they are sometimes teaching very young girls that female people need to Cover Up.


I was going to post the Grade 6 tweet but it disappeared while I was typing, so I guess those 149 replies weren’t all approving. (I saw a few disapproving ones before I left to start typing.)

Don’t do that. By all means be in solidarity with despised minorities, but do that without telling the girls in your class to wrap a large cloth around their heads and necks. Do that without telling the girls in your class to muffle and conceal and shroud themselves while the boys remain free to run around without thick fabric wrapping their heads and necks. Do that without telling the girls in your class they are so radically different from boys that they require wrapping, like a piece of meat that will attract flies.

Reach for the stars, there might be french fries there

Feb 1st, 2019 6:42 pm | By

Hmmm I don’t see that happening.

President Trump intends to offer an “aspirational” and “visionary” path for the nation at the State of the Union on Tuesday, White House aides said, even as his relations with lawmakers have soured over his threats to use executive power to bypass them.

Come on. The guy is about as visionary as a bucket of mud. “Aspirational” toward what? More money? More gold paint on everything? More piles of burgers in styrofoam boxes?

Trump can’t believably offer an “aspirational” and “visionary” path to anywhere when he doesn’t know what the words mean, and has no thoughts on the subject, and wouldn’t be able to express the thoughts if he did have them.

“Together we can break decades of political stalemate,” Trump plans to say, according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks offered by a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”

Who’s “we”? Some of us can, sure, but Trump is not one of that us. Trump is all about divisions and wounds; he loves them. Trump does his very best work when he’s intent on hurting people. That’s even an aspiration of sorts, for him – to insult and shame and wound as many people as deeply as he possibly can.

That’s power?

Feb 1st, 2019 5:56 pm | By

Pink News, or as so many call it now, Penis News.

Yaaaaaaaa female empowerment by showing us yer tits what could be more powerfully empowering than that? That’s why porn stars and underwear models have so much power.

Also Munro Bergdorf is a trans woman, and there are about 3.5 billion women I need to hear from on empowerment before I need to hear from Munro Bergdorf in the blond wig and heavy makeup.


Feb 1st, 2019 1:06 pm | By

Asia Bibi may or may not be reunited with her family in Canada. Sources are not being frank about it because of course there are maniacs who would like to kill her.

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, has arrived in Canada with her husband, her lawyer told German media early Friday.

“She is united with her family,” Saif-ul-Malook told the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. Bibi’s two daughters already live in Canada.

The lawyer did not disclose any further details about Bibi’s departure from Pakistan, citing security reasons.

The lawyer however reportedly refused to confirm the statement after he was contacted by the German Catholic charity mission hours later.

The Italian-language arm of Catholic charity Aid to the Church denied that Bibi had left Pakistan in an message on Twitter.

They don’t have to tell us. I hope she’s safe and happy and can stay that way.

Oh no, not refusing to denounce

Feb 1st, 2019 12:56 pm | By

I saw this:

So I laughed and then I found the conversation. It’s classic.

The presumption of it is so staggering and yet so typical. “I don’t want to argue, I just want to demand that you explain to me why you converse with someone I, a total stranger, consider a Thoughtcriminal.”

Look at that. Already he’s at “Are you at least willing to admit” – as if he were a fucking cop or prosecutor and Popehat were a suspect. Why the fuck should Popehat “admit” anything, especially to a sanctimonious goon like that?

So of course he dials it up even more.

Belligerence and intellectual dishonesty! (And it’s tack, not tact.) For simply saying no I’m not interested in having this conversation with you. And complaining that he refuses to denounce. These people are so creepy; I can just never get over it. Lives spent monitoring other people’s tweets for perfect orthodoxy, and accusing them of intellectual dishonesty for refusing to play the stupid game.

Torquemada has spoken. On your knees.

He didn’t pound on any desks

Feb 1st, 2019 11:41 am | By

I thought the Times interview displayed Trump in all his shameful vanity and idiocy, but I guess I took the bait, because wise observers say they simply normalized him.

Eric Boehlert at Daily Kos:

More than three years after Donald Trump rode the down escalator inside Trump Tower to announce his radical campaign for president, more than three years after Trump began waging a vicious war on the free press in the United States and around the world, and years after Trump adopted dictator rhetoric and began smearing hardworking journalists as “Enemies of the people,” the New York Times still doesn’t have the collective spine to stand up to the Oval Office bully.

Signaling once again that the paper cherishes access above all, Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger on Thursday joined TimesWhite House reporters Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker for an on-the-record interview with Trump. Sulzberger was present ostensibly to press Trump on his use of “fake news” and his dangerous, unprecedented, and relentless attacks on the news media.

But, Boehlert says, it was just toothless, and Trump got to lie and ramble and lie with no consequences. Sulzberger should have pounded the desk and talked about Khashoggi for twenty minutes, but instead he just uttered some gentlemanly rebukes and left it at that.

He didn’t pound on any desks, and he didn’t raise his voice. In fact, Khashoggi was barely mentioned. Instead, the publisher basically pleaded with Trump, as if logic and nice words work with this tyrant.

The sad reality is that the Times is just another powerful media institution that has utterly failed to stand up to this radical president.

Doubly fearful of a brutal economic environment that puts all media players at risk and afraid to offend, while already being historically nervous about getting dubbed as part of the “liberal media,” the Times like so many other media outlets has opted for a get-along strategy with Trump. The paper is choosing to cling to its role as insider White House chronicler.

I suppose, but I think there’s an argument that its (mild) criticisms have more bite coming from the very establishment respectable paperofrecord yadda yadda Times. Maybe that’s just naïve though.

Trump quickly refocused on his personal grievances

Feb 1st, 2019 10:29 am | By

Trump talked to his unrequited love object the New York Times again yesterday, in another desperate attempt to get them to see him as he sees himself.

In lengthy and at times contradictory remarks on Thursday about the news media — which he deemed “important” and “beautiful,” but also “so bad” and “unfair” — Mr. Trump called himself “a victim” of unfair coverage and declined to accept responsibility for a rise in threats against journalists since he took office.

“I do notice that people are declaring more and more fake news, where they go, ‘Fake news!’” the president said during an Oval Office interview with The New York Times. “I even see it in other countries. I don’t necessarily attribute that to me. I think I can attribute the term to me. I think I was the one that started using it, I would say.”

Did it work? Did they start admiring him because of his genius at inventing and disseminating the label “fake news”?

When Mr. Sulzberger said that foreign leaders were increasingly using the term “fake news” to justify suppressing independent scrutiny, Mr. Trump replied: “I don’t like that. I mean I don’t like that.”

No, admiration is missing from that passage. Solemnly quoting that ridiculous blurt is not a symptom of newfound admiration.

But, in a common pattern whenever the president speaks about the press, Mr. Trump quickly refocused on his personal grievances. “I do think it’s very bad for a country when the news is not accurately portrayed,” he said. “I really do. And I do believe I’m a victim of that, honestly.”

As if anyone doubted his belief. Of course he believes that; it’s what a narcissist and psychopath would believe.

Sulzberger pressed him on the global effects of his tantrums and libels.

“We’re seeing leaders of journalistic organizations saying very directly that governments feel like there is a climate of impunity that’s been created,” the publisher said. “You know the United States and the occupants of your office historically have been the greatest defenders of the free press.”

“And I think I am, too,” Mr. Trump interjected. “I want to be. I want to be.” He quickly added: “I guess the one thing I do feel, because you look at network coverage, it’s so bad.”

He wants to be, he wants to be – meaning, he wants people to say that about him. He doesn’t in the least actually want to be a great defender of the free press, because that would interfere with his entertainments.

The interview arose from a dinner invitation extended by the president to Mr. Sulzberger, who assumed leadership of The Times a little more than a year ago, when he replaced his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., in a generational changing of the guard. Instead of a dinner, the publisher requested an on-the-record session, with Times reporters included, and Mr. Trump agreed.

Oh that’s cold. Trump wanted to do a buddy thing with Sulzberger, but met a “this is our work, it’s not a matter of friendship” response. Cold. In reality that could perfectly well have everything to do with journalistic reasons and nothing to do with disgust and loathing, but Trump is too thick to grasp the journalistic reasons so he’s bound to think it’s entirely because Sulzberger doesn’t love him. (That being said, I imagine Sulzberger does feel a pretty lively distaste for Trump the person, but who knows. People have funny tastes.)

It was not the first time that the two men had debated Mr. Trump’s rhetoric concerning the press.

In July, the publisher met with the president in the Oval Office for an off-the-record chat. Nine days later, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he and Mr. Sulzberger had discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

That same day, the publisher released a statement saying that the president had misrepresented their exchange. He called Mr. Trump’s attacks on journalism “dangerous and harmful to our country.”

Yet Trump still asked him: “Wanna come over for dinner? Just the two of us?”

Sulzberger tried again to explain the broader consequences. Trump pretended he totally got it.

“I understand that,” Mr. Trump replied before pivoting, once again, to complaints about how he has been covered.

“I don’t mind a bad story if it’s true, I really don’t,” the president said. “You know, we’re all, like, big people. We understand what’s happening. I’ve had bad stories, very bad stories where I thought it was true and I would never complain. But when you get really bad stories, where it’s not true, then you sort of say, ‘That’s unfair.’”

Of course, he’s not a good judge of the truth of stories about him, because he has the narcissist’s ability to see only what comports with the narcissist’s self-image. Everybody does that some, but narcissists can’t do anything else.

Haberman asked him what he thinks a free press does.

Mr. Trump replied that it “describes and should describe accurately what’s going on anywhere it’s covering, whether it’s a nation or a state or a game or whatever.”

“And if it describes it accurately and fairly,” he added, “it’s a very, very important and beautiful thing.”

What Mr. Trump considers fair, however, is almost always in line with what he considers flattering.

Precisely. He’s unable to do anything else.

When Mr. Sulzberger noted that all presidents had complained about how they were depicted by the news media — “tough coverage is part of occupying the most powerful seat on Earth,” the publisher said — Mr. Trump replied, “But I think I get it really bad. I mean, let’s face it, this is at a level that nobody’s ever had before.”

And there’s a reason for that. He will never understand what that reason is.

She was named

Jan 31st, 2019 5:01 pm | By

No big deal then?

Women discussed as rape targets by a group of male students at the University of Warwick say they are terrified of seeing the men return to campus after the university reduced the length of their suspension.

Last year five men were barred or suspended by the university over their membership of a long-running group chat that discussed rape and sexual assault of women, including individual students, as well as racism, antisemitism and homophobia.

After a decision from the university’s disciplinary proceedings in June, two of the men were banned from the Warwick campus for 10 years. But it has emerged that, after an appeal, the two will be able to return to the campus from September.

The BBC has details:

Megan is a history and politics student at the University of Warwick. She was named in a Facebook chat where rape threats were made against specific women at the uni.

Two students were originally banned for 10 years over that group chat – but their ban has been reduced after they appealed and they will now be allowed to return later this year.

Warwick University has called their actions abhorrent and unacceptable, but Megan’s told Radio 1 Newsbeat she feels too anxious to be at the uni this week.

It’s not clear what the BBC means by that “but” – the fact that the actions are abhorrent and unacceptable is surely why Megan feels too anxious to be at the uni this week. The actions are abhorrent and unacceptable, and naturally Megan feels too anxious to be at the uni this week.

The trauma of being named in the Facebook group has already had an impact on Megan’s studies when it was first revealed in 2018.

“It really affected my university experience last year,” she says.

“I didn’t go to a lot of lectures or seminars in my final time at university which really affected my degree because that was exam season.”

Warwick University gave this statement to Newsbeat: “The behaviour shown by the individuals concerned goes against all of our values as a community. We are sorry that the decision as a result of our processes has upset so many members of our own community and beyond.” But it adds that the appeal was over the length of the ban, not the severity of the offence.

But the ban should be at least long enough to keep the rape-talkers away until the students they threatened with rape have finished their time at Warwick. What about that aspect?

Megan feels that Warwick’s History department has been supportive, but overall feels like she’s been let down by her university.

“I feel that the university overall has failed,” she says.

“I don’t think anyone higher up in the institution has got back to us. I think it’s appalling, I think they haven’t really looked after girls at the university and the people mentioned in particular.”

Katie Tarrant agrees – she edits the student newspaper The Boar, who originally broke the story.

“It’s very upsetting to see the atmosphere on campus right now,” Katie told Newsbeat. “What upsets me is when people say that it’s banter. Regardless of whether you think this information is private so it shouldn’t have been put out, what they have said, a lot of the stuff is abhorrent.”

Sure, threatening women with rape is just bantz, just jokes, just boys will be boys. If the women don’t like it they can leave, right?

But what about what we want?

Jan 31st, 2019 4:38 pm | By


If she’s right, “God” has very weird tastes.