Bad science journalism is almost as bad as bad science, perhaps worse in some ways, insofar as it may popularize error where there had been none before. Carping about bad science blogging, on the other hand, should probably be beneath me, at least most of the time, because hey, at least there’s folks trying, right? Isn’t this just another case of XKCD’s “someone is wrong on the Internet?”
Well, here’s two examples. I’ll let the critical reader decided for themselves whether or not they serve to engender better critical reading more generally speaking. Continue reading →
Pence, whom Donald Trump announced as his vice presidential running mate on Friday, signed the law that made Indiana the second state ever, after North Dakota, to pass a ban on abortions carried out for certain reasons. The law also imposed liability for wrongful death on doctors that perform an abortion motivated by one of the prohibited reasons. And, as Mother Jones reported in March, the law also required that health care facilities inter or cremate the remains of an aborted fetus, and prohibited fetal tissue donation.
“Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky,” said Carson. “This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. Now interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky: He wrote a book called “Rules for Radicals.” On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, ‘the original radical who gained his own kingdom.’”Continue reading →
This just gets touchier and more complex as the hours roll by. I feel like I’m watching a tennis match. I’m seriously gonna get a crick in my neck at this rate.
Martial law, simplified: when the government suspends ordinary law for the sake of keeping things orderly and peaceful during the kinds of extreme circumstances the government claims warrant their entirely reasonable reaction.
Here’s my big reason to care about the #BlackLivesMatter versus #AllLivesMatter jousting match. I’m not the sentimental sort. I don’t have a deeply personal interest in the deeply personal pain countless families are feeling, whether by race, or by innocence of victim, or even the families of the police. If I spent time on those feelings, it would just be sadness. My sadness and $5 will get you a cup of fancy coffee somewhere. My reason is abstract, because any particular dead person is a particular case of a general phenomenon, and might not adhere to any particular script very well.
I’m even cynical enough to consider the striking possibility that both sides are “wrong” depending on how one defines the sides and defines what they mean by wrong. Continue reading →
Horse race reportage, part umpteen. Special Edition: Not Election Coverage
I first spotted this tragic news at BBC, when there wasn’t yet anything world newsworthy about it, even from their own coverage perspective. One might notice the author was in such a rush to post they didn’t even bother to finish writing it first. The telltale error of haste that reveals the race to the bottom should embarrass an author not yet qualified to have their own byline.
Rule 1 of race to the bottom reporting: Be sure to include factoids that do not advance the non-story even a little, and don’t bother to edit it when done. Continue reading →
White man ISO white people to explain something to me
I have yet to take a strong stand on this whole #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter and #enoughwiththehashtagsmatter issue, and I’m fairly certain it’s a privilege thing that I, as a cisgendered white hetero man in farm country, have this luxury. I can’t help that. Continue reading →
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This goes out to every tween with a feeling and a pen or a brush or a stick and a bucket and a bad attitude. It goes out to anyone who has ever created something that wouldn’t be denied, however stillborn and misbegotten. It goes out to every Duchamp who would of a urinal a fountain declare. It goes out to every primitive, every crafter, every maker, and especially every faker. Because, once upon a time, a guy named Zod told me not to kneel. He taught me the hidden wisdom of the artist. Continue reading →
As much as I hate boxes and labels, I think I’ve finally figured out where my political inclinations actually lean. I’m labor, but we have no party that I’d currently be comfortable with.
Basically, I think the workers should benefit equally with capital, and I’ll work with my own loosey-goosey definitions so I don’t get bogged down by not speaking fluent socialist or capitalist, and trust that a better-read reader will get the gist of what I’m saying. I’m open to correction, but it’s the point, not how I say it that matters. Now, if my gist is wrong, I need to know that for sure. Otherwise, this is what I’m going with.
Without labor, nothing happens. Our labor has worth. Push that idea far enough so that labor takes predominance and one lands somewhere in socialism or communism or some such -ism. But I’m not so quick to condemn the management and financial classes as I believe my comrades on the far left are wont to do. Continue reading →
Okay, I’m a realist. I have to accept that there is a legitimate possibility that Trump will be president. In which case, the best thing we can hope is that he surrounds himself with a cabinet up to the task at hand. This will be a daunting task.
So now is the time to start thinking up his fantasy cabinet. Who are the very best people he should entrust to each of these critical roles? Continue reading →
I just had a chance to read this op/ed from last year’s NYT: What makes a woman? The subject is still timely, especially thanks to hijinks like those coming out of North Carolina’s statehouse. And I’ve riffed on it before, if with more vitriol. I was a meaner person back then. Now I can just rest on the laurels of my cis-gendered white male privilege, look at this modern debate and all those hoity-toity post-modern nonsensilists and be snide. It’s an important debate, exactly because it’s in the courts and involves human safety, but dammit people, bring your A-game. Continue reading →
Back in, oh, let’s call it ’86 (for the sake of nice round numbers), Mom was really sweet and brought me a tasty snack from Haydel’s, as she was prone to do. Usually an eclair or some fancy puff pastry. One day she thought I’d like a nice marzipan alligator. Continue reading →
If I’m going to be really cynical about politics and assume that Big Business calls the shots, government jumps, I should run with it. Many of us already do, so why not? So government’s proper role and function in that case is two things: rubber stamp Big Business and look good while doing it. It’s all optics. Keep a good face on it.
And of course, the consolidated media is going to show what our corporate overlords want us to see…a sanitized version of everything, filled with artificial choices and a recurring theme of despair. There’s nothing to fix. There’s no way to fix it anyway, so why bother? Here, buy this.
From my humble position of privilege, I’ll suggest this much…a big part of the problem, one perpetuated by the way media frames complex issues in terms of ratings-building spectacle and sound bites, is semantics. Now, I’m sure it doesn’t feel like semantics if you’re a POC on the wrong end of a pissed-off cop’s bad day, or if you’re a cop dealing with a non-compliant POC, but a great many folks don’t know to distinguish racism from prejudice, or to observe the multifarious ways in which they are intertwined, and simply do not understand that the racism is an institutional thing…entire systems and ways of being and doing things that, while claiming to be colorblind, leave gaping holes in the justice one can expect if one has too much melanin.