On the issue of banning commenters

There once was an old man in a family who loved to tell the same hunting story over and over again. At family gatherings, the man would try to find some cue that would enable him to insert the story into the flow of talk. On one occasion, he became increasingly frustrated at the lack of an opening in the conversation so he finally took his walking stick and rapped the ground sharply. In the startled silence that followed, he said, “What was that? A gunshot? Talking of gunshots, that reminds of the time …” [Read more…]

Gender identity and professional sports

When I was younger, the thought that a person might change their gender never crossed my mind. But now I personally know five people who have done so and they remain the same in most respects before and after the gender change. You realize that while gender is an important aspect of a person’s self-identity, it matters relatively little in the everyday interactions between people. Being transgender now seems like just another slice of the diversity of the human condition. [Read more…]

Glenn Greenwald blasts another BBC journalist

By now it should be clear to practically anyone who follows news with even the mildest critical gaze that the leaders of governments lie. In order to serve their purposes, they are willing to lie routinely, unscrupulously, shamelessly, and indiscriminately. The only thing that stops them from lying is the fear of getting caught and even then, in the case of James Clapper who still has his job even after lying under oath, it is sometimes not enough to stop them. [Read more…]

Deciphering the language of political coverage

Matt Taibbi writes that coverage of the 2016 presidential election has already begun. He says that this is inevitable but what depresses him is the way it is covered. He explains how there has now evolved a standard lens through which all politicians are viewed and that results in a particular narrative form. He looks in particular at the way the senator Elizabeth Warren’s potential candidacy (which is not at all clear will happen but he favors if it does) is described. [Read more…]