Reflections on the March for Science

UPDATE: Here are some signs from the marches around the world. This sign describes me and a lot of the people for whom this may be one of the few or only rally they ever attended.

I just returned from the Cleveland March for Science. I spent my time at the pre-march events in Public Square and waited for the talks but came home when the march proper started. I have little experience with marches and rallies so have no means of comparison and estimating numbers. All I can say is that it exceeded my own expectations. It took quite a long time once the rally ended for the crowd to leave the square on the march, which is a sign of how big the crowd was.
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Behind the scenes of the Clinton campaign

Matt Taibbi reviews a new book Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, based on anonymous (of course) sources within the upper echelons of the Hillary Clinton campaign and say that despite her running for president for about a decade, they could not figure out exactly why she was running, at one time even toying with the slogan “Because it’s her turn”. It makes for depressing but revealing reading about the mindset of the Washington political establishment class.
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Good riddance, Bill

Trevor Noah provides a fitting farewell to the odious Bill O’Reilly who has been given a golden parachute to leave Fox News in the wake of the latest revelations about his awful behavior that resulted in practically the entire stable of advertisers yanking support from his show. It has been clear for a long time that O’Reilly was an awful, abusive man who treated many of his co-workers at Fox abominably and yet Fox was quite happy to tolerate and make excuses for him when he was making money for them but once that money source started drying up, they turned on him.
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It’s 9:00 o’clock, do you know where your aircraft carrier fleet is?

The absurd theatrics of the Trump administration continue apace. Friday, April 15 was the day that the world was expecting a nuclear test by North Korea because that is the anniversary of the birthday of the founder of that country Kim Il Sung, who also happens to be the grandfather of the current leader, a glorious example of despotic nepotism that we are seeing on a smaller scale in the US with dynastic tendencies of the Bush and Clinton families and even more crudely now with the Trump family. The current leader Kim Jong-Un likes to demonstrate some military power on these days.
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Film review: Hell or High Water (2016)

On the surface, this is another clichéd cops and robbers film. Two brothers, the older one having spent ten years in prison for a series of crimes, set out on a spree of robbing banks in rural West Texas, stealing fairly small amounts of cash from each, and pursued by a grizzled old Texas Ranger on the verge of retirement and his partner who is of mixed Mexican/Indian ethnicity.
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What motivated Trump voters?

The analyses of why Donald Trump won and what types of people voted for him keep going on apace. Mehdi Hasan says that some evidence points to racism playing a more important role than economic frustration, the latter view being advocated by people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who think that Democrats should try to regain the votes of those who went for Trump.
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Black Acting School

In 1987, Robert Townsend wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy Hollywood Shuffle that satirized the then-popular blaxploitation films. He played aspiring actor Bobby Taylor and the limited range of roles that that he was able to audition for and the expectations the filmmakers had about how black people behave, as shown in this funny scene from the film.
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Using unpopular targets to undermine press freedoms

Authoritarian governments often use people and groups who are unpopular at any given time to undermine the freedoms that everyone should have but that restrict the government’s freedom to act with impunity. This is why it is necessary to defend the rights of even those whom you disagree with and even despise. Right now, WikiLeaks is hated by both Republicans and Democrats, and the Trump administration is making dangerous noises about curbing speech and press freedom using WikiLeaks as the excuse.
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Religious people never give up

I wrote before that religious groups are now trying to reverse policies that have long been declared to be unconstitutional, such as the use of class time and facilities to teach the Bible, something that was disallowed as far back as 1948. Now four members of the Republican-controlled legislature in North Caroline have introduced a bill that would outlaw same-sex marriage, although such bans were declared to be unconstitutional in 2015.
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