August, 2018 archive
Meta: Statistics 0
I do not obsess over how many visitors I have, because, as I have said, this is an avocation that started as method for learning more about Linux. I have nothing to sell and I’m not trying to “monetize” anything (to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever clicked on my “Donate” button and I really don’t care, but feel free to be the first:)).
Dreams in the Koch House 0
Bob Cesca interviews Dr. Nancy MacLean, professor of history at Duke University. In the conversation, they do a deep dive into the Koch Brothers’ ideology and, in particular, Charles Koch’s long-term effort to remake the United States into a place where John C. Calhoun would be happy.*
Pop it into your podplayer and listen to it the first time you get a chance. You’ll be [ gl | s ]ad you did.
*That reference will be made clear by the time you are 10 minutes in
It’s Bubblelicious, Reprise 0
Bobby Azarian asserts that one technique that keeps Trump supporters and the right-wing in their bubble is gaslighting; he also suggests that they are willingly receptive to being gaslighted. The piece is worth a quick read.
Here’s a snippet from his piece.
Gaslighting is a tactic commonly used by sociopaths and narcissists, so perhaps such behavior should be expected from Trump, who has been described as having narcissistic personality disorder and symptoms of sociopathy from a number of clinicians and research psychologists.
From the apparent lack of resistance or questioning from Trump supporters, the president’s gaslighting is clearly working, and he knows it. So what can be done to inoculate against this potent psychological maneuver? Well, first off, one must become aware of gaslighting in order to recognize the manipulation. Once you know it exists, it becomes easier to hold on to your reality when you feel confident in what you hold to be true.
It’s Bubblelicious 0
Jay Bookman marvels at the right-wing fixation on conspiracies to rationalize why their ideas have not conquered the discourse and their candidates are doing poorly.
Persons will go to great lengths to avoid admitting, even to themselves, that they are just plain flat-out wrong.
Not Found 0
Via Job’s Anger.
Facebook Frolics 0
Excuse me, would you like a cup of Facebookly-brewed tea?
We are having municipal elections this year, and the news coverage is rather lacking. My local rag is a shadow of its former self (like many local rags), and I refuse to waste my time with TV what-passes-for-news.
A friend sent a notice of a local candidates forum (the best way to get to know the candidates in my city), so I attended and left with some disorganized first impressions and a list of candidates.
Then I went looking for information on the candidates. Some of them had campaign websites–rudimentary, but still websites. For many of them, though, all I could find was Facebook pages for their campaigns and sometimes not even that–just Facebook pages–forcing me to visit Facebook and soil my browser cache with the Zuckerborg’s tracking cookies (which I promptly deleted as soon as I was done).
It was most frustrating.
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
Just another day in NRA Paradise.
“My neighbor’s son just came over and said he was on Facetime with a friend and the kid shot himself in the head,” said the neighbor in the 911 call.
The 14-year-old’s friend then got on the phone telling the 911 operator that the shooting appeared to be an accident.
The 911 operator asked: “Did he say anything before he did it?”
The friend on the 911 call responded saying: “He didn’t know there was a live round in it. He thought it was completely empty. He just pulled the trigger and shot himself.”
It’s All about the Algorithm 0
(Broken link fixed.)
The Round-Up Round-UP 0
The Rule of Lawless 0
Dana Milbank marvels at the legal scholarship of Donald Trump. A snippet:
The common thread to Trumpian law: Stuff he and his allies do is legal, even if previously outlawed; stuff his critics do is illegal, even if previously kosher.
Follow the link for the context.
What Is Truth? One More Time 1
Ira Hyman contemplates the assault on truth and suggests that the medium does indeed have some responsibility for the message. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis added):
When most news was presented to the public through TV news programs and traditional papers, editors and journalists followed ethical standards that helped the news adhere to the truth. When errors occurred, ethical journalists acknowledged and corrected. But today there are so many promoters of “news.” I’ve put news in quotes because some of what is promoted is known to be false. And this matters.
When social media platforms become the source of news for many people, they may have the same ethical obligations as newspapers and journalists. Social media platforms can’t hide behind claims of being neutral. Being neutral with respect to true information and misinformation isn’t neutrality. Instead, this promotes the misinformation by treating it the same as the truth. Similarly when news and opinion shows present people peddling snake oil, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, they have ethical obligations. Giving air time to people who deny climate change, for example, promotes that misinformation – even when the peddlers of false information are asked hard questions.
Methinks he has a point.
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
Practice random acts of politeness.
An 11-year-old boy picked the suspect, Stacey Ratcliffe, 25, out of a line up as the man who was tapping the side of his white SUV with a handgun, and pointed it at him as he drove past on Allison Avenue.
The boy told police he was so scared he was going to be killed or kidnapped that he jumped into a ditch when it appeared that the SUV was turning around back toward him.
The Voter Fraud Fraud 0
What’s in a name?
Hoist on the Elmer Gantry 0
You can’t make this stuff up.