I’ve been served!


I just got handed a subpoena from Ben Radford’s lawyers, and I am ordered to produce:

  1. All communications, including email and voicemail communications, letters or memoranda, to or from Karen Stollznow from January 1, 2013 through the present including, without limitation, communications relating to Ben Radford by name or by implication.

  2. All email and voicemail communications to or from any person, persons, groups or organizations relating to Ben Radford or Karen Stollznow or both of them.

  3. Copies of all blog posts or comments authored by you that relate to Karen Stollznow and/or Ben Radford.

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“demographically symbolic” and rich, that’s how we pick our rulers


I am not happy about the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming president. She’s too conservative for me, too deeply in the pocket of Wall Street, was far too hawkish, and it is simply disturbing that the US, nominally a republic, has the same families running for the presidency over and over again. That tells me we’re actually living in a plutocracy, where money and connections define leadership.

When the Minnesota caucuses roll around next February, I’ll vote for anybody-but-Hillary. I would hope that at least some more progressive alternatives arise before the primaries, but right now she’s the anointed one, and her nomination is depressingly inevitable.

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Wrong interpretation, but the real thing is just as bad

I have to point out that Crooks and Liars got something wrong. They point out that an Alaska Republican said something incredibly stupid (surprise!), but they got what Charlie Huggins said wrong.

Huggins hails from Wasilla, and he wants middle schoolers subjected to DNA testing to see if they’re going to grow up to be criminals.

No. We can’t do that, obviously, because there is no genetic signature for criminality, so it would be stupid to suggest that. But Huggins wasn’t stupid, he was mainly wicked. Here’s what he actually said:

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Revenge porn doesn’t pay


Kevin Bollaert is one of these sleazy, cowardly types who saw a market in getting other sleazy, cowardly types to send in naked pictures of their ex-girlfriends, and then he made money both in running the porn site and in demanding that his victims pay him money to remove the pictures. It’s a brilliant racket if you’ve got no sense of decency at all. He was convicted of the crimes, and has now been sentenced: 18 years in jail.

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Who is the barbarian?

Pressbild - GlobalChallenges.org

Nick Cohen gets it exactly right.

A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’. And once again, who can argue with that?

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It’s money vs. principles

Museums (good museums, that is, not trashy sideshows like Ken Ham’s rubbish in Kentucky) have a real problem: they’re expensive to maintain. They aren’t dead piles of old bones, but are sites of active research, and they have to employ knowledgeable people to do the science that goes on there. It takes lots of money to keep one going.

But along comes a dilemma. Who has great big piles of money? Unfortunately, money tends to concentrate in the hands of assholes. And one thing many assholes would like to do is buy respectability and influence from more prestigious institutions…like museums. Some of the biggest, most assholish, ignorantest rich people are the Koch brothers, and the Koch brothers have been very generous in promoting their agenda by throwing money at museums.

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Nerds are big business

This little fact surprised me.

Gen Con is currently Indianapolis Convention Center’s largest annual convention, bringing the city tens of millions of dollars in revenue. It was originally held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the late 1960s and organized by none other than Gary Gygax, the father of modern role-playing games. Since then the event has morphed into a four-day event combining tabletop miniatures, board games, video games and live-action role-playing games. It regularly creates in excess of $50 million in revenue for the city of Indianapolis.

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