For Your Enjoyment: Bill Nye Saves the World!

Got Netflix? As of yesterday, Bill Nye’s new series, Bill Nye Saves the World, is available on Netflix. The trailer looks

fun:

 

I seem to remember PZ over on Pharyngula posting a critique of some of Bill Nye’s actions recently, but I can’t seem to find it and I don’t remember wha the critique was. Should that critique be sufficient to keep you from supporting Bill Nye by watching the series, more power to you. Since I can’t remember the substance of the critique, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if many freethoughtblogs readers can’t either, and thus will chose to watch the new series. For you, I say happy TV times.

I do hope, however, that they limit the use of Rocky’s theme song.

 

 

 

Why Lynch Mob is Overused … and Underused

Content note for All The Racism, including graphic photos; witch hunt links contain All The Sexism.

A while back I wrote on Pharyngula about losing my patience with the phrase “witch hunt”. Witch hunts were real things, actively targeting real people for death. They weren’t “partisan”. They didn’t seek actual lawbreakers out in both Massachusetts and the Carolinas, but more aggressively sought out Republican lawbreakers in Massachusetts and more aggressively sought out Democratic lawbreakers in South Carolina. They didn’t take actual evidence and hype it more than it deserved: actual evidence did not exist. What was used as evidence came solely from the prosecutorial imagination.

Worse, witch hunts still take place today, and Christian denominations still encourage them.*1 While I don’t know of any recent witch hunts in the US or Canada, I’m more than happy to condemn this trivializing use of “witch hunt”.

All of which to say that I have been even more offended for even longer at hearing the misuse of “lynch,” “lynching” and “lynch mob”.

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A Page in the Farce: We take this seriously?

Carter Page, Russian tool extraordinaire, is being taken oddly seriously by the media. He claims that surveillance of him is entirely politically motivated, not to mention illegal and unethical, because before they “wiretapped” him they “wiretapped” two Russian espionage agents talking about how they were using Carter Page as a spy, but that he wasn’t being reliable about communication. This led them to question his competence and intelligence, but they were certain he was motivated by the desire for obscene amounts of wealth that might come by serving Russian interests, in particular by being rewarded with a high paying gig at (or consulting with, it’s not clear) Gazprom, the Russian fossil-fuel giant.  Ultimately, the agents were reassured of their ability to control Page because of their certainty that he was a greedy jerk motivated entirely by concern for money and the fact that Page visited Moscow more often than the spies themselves did.

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