Friday, April 06, 2018

The Song of Kevin, Brave And Bold

Kevin Williamson, for those who are not addicted to American political bickering, is a very very conservative journalist.  He was recently hired, for ideological diversity reasons,  by the Atlantic Monthly magazine which has a mostly liberal readership.  And then a few weeks later he was fired by them.

Some parts of the story are inside baseball, of real interest to only those who work in the field.  Other parts not so much.

Williamson is known as a very good writer in the troll genre.  You can get a taste of his trollery here.  But what caused the Atlantic Monthly to part ways with him was his assertion that women who have had abortions should be executed for the pre-planned, callous and clinical murder of the weakest among us*.  Preferably by hanging.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Short Posts, 4/4/18: Fake News, Paraguayan Abortion Laws And Amazon Customer Reviews

1. A new study (not peer-reviewed or read by your august goddess,  so remember that) suggests that fake news turned quite a few voters away from Hillary Clinton:

The study from researchers at Ohio State University finds that fake news probably played a significant role in depressing Hillary Clinton's support on Election Day. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed but which may be the first look at how fake news affected voter choices, suggests that about 4 percent of President Barack Obama's 2012 supporters were dissuaded from voting for Clinton in 2016 by belief in fake news stories.

It has the usual chicken-and-egg problem, because those who disliked Clinton to begin with are more likely to believe negative fake news about her.

2.  In March, a fourteen-year-old rape victim died in Paraguay while giving birth. Paraguay has the kind of abortion laws American forced birthers want to have here.  This made my eyes tear up:

“It was very sudden. They attempted advanced resuscitation in intensive care, but we could not save her. Her body was not ready for a pregnancy,” Hernán Martínez, the director of the National Hospital of Itauguá, told local media.
Bolds are mine.  Others decided that she was to give birth, nevertheless.  First her rapist and then the people who made those abortion laws.  She was murdered, to all practical purposes.  You figure out the culprits.

3.  Certain types of Amazon customer reviews are fun to read.  These are about a pen intended for women.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Trump News, 4/3/18

1.  Our Dear Leader is going to send military troops to guard the Mexican border against migrants.  I'm certain-sure that Mexico has no problems with the idea of foreign troops massing at its border without a declaration of war.

2.  The Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Trump-adoring local news network, which will soon reach 70% of American households (mostly because all anti-trust enforcement has ended as the rich don't want it), has gone on full assault against the mainstream media as the purveyor of fake news. 

 The chairman of the group, David Smith, the son of the founder of the company and an extremely rich man,  says that all print media lack credibility.  All. Note that he is one of the handful of very rich men who actually run this country.

Watch John Oliver's take on the latest news about Sinclair news.  It's worth your time:

I have long suspected that the daily brainwashing by Fox News is one of the main reasons for the ever-increasing anger and hatred American conservatives feel.  Their grievances are coddled and justified every day on Faux, the news they are offered are very biased (in both the tilt of the coverage and what is not covered at all), and they get regular messages about those who don't share their political news as the real enemies of the country who are not really even quite human.  After a few years of that it's no wonder that the Fox audience lives in a different reality and believes in a totally different sets of "facts."*

So the Sinclair group is something to worry about, unless the idea of a dictatorial right-wing United States is what you truly prefer.

3.  The most powerful leader on this planet keeps using the Twitter to yell about his private grievances and to pick on his personal enemies.  He gets his information from Fox News, refuses to learn anything about anything (say, that erecting import tariffs will cause retaliation) and probably thinks of war as something that would make him look like an even bigger warlord, with a penis so large that he would need a wheelbarrow to cart it around.

That he spent Easter tweeting angrily about migrants might look very minor in that context.  But remember that in other countries the leaders would probably just wish their citizens a pleasant holiday and so on. 

That used to be the case here, too, but no longer.  This new president of the country can use his bully pulpit to bully people just because he gets a kick out of it. 

Extreme selfishness, crudeness and bigotry is something we now take for granted in a leader, though naturally not in any woman who strives to gain that position.  Women must be absolutely flawless in every single possible manner, and ambition (such as is shown by running for an office) is a terrible flaw in a woman.  It demonstrates selfishness. 


*  We all need to make sure that we don't live in information bubbles, of course, and we all need to learn how to judge evidence, how to assess the reliability of someone purporting to give evidence and so on.  But the belief in the deep state, the Pizzagate, the Seth Rich debacle and the new scandal about QAnon are signs of something far worse than not knowing how to assess evidence.  Probably not caring at all if something is true or not.

Tucker Carlson: Patriarchy Is Gone

Tucker Carlson is my favorite Macho-Media-Man. He recently opined on the end of men in the United States:

TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): The patriarchy is gone, women are winning, men are failing.

It's a zero-sum game, babes!  Or a seesaw.  If women are rising, then men must be falling.  It's not possible that a society could be fair to everyone, I guess.

Carlson's long speech (which you can watch here) on the plight of American men lists several problems which hit men harder (1) than they hit women:

Men are more likely to die from drug overdoses and leave the labor force due to addiction, men are more likely to kill themselves and men are more likely to commit felonies and go to prison.  Boys are more likely to fail at school and men are now less than 50% of college students.