The Domesticated Press Kicked Out of the White House

There has been a great deal of talk lately (in some circles, anyway) about the White House press corps and how its makeup is being changed by the inclusion of “media outlets” (some no more prestigious or reliable than the blog you’re reading now) that would have had no hope of being credentialed under previous administrations, even if they had wanted to be. No one questions that the relationship of this White House to the press is different than that of previous administrations. And with right wing media outlets and “media outlets” appearing to attend press conferences primarily to cause left-wingers to misuse the word “performativity” there is also little question that the White House press corps has been reduced to a joke. [Read more…]

For Your Enjoyment: Oops, He Did It Again

And I thought it was mere cynical humor. I’ve been tipped off about another PZ Myers prediction, this one even more specific. In his 2013 post, “Some people are born for twitter,” PZ says:

[S]ometimes [Twitter is] a good way to reveal the idiocy of bubble-headed celebrities. Case in point: Donald Trump.

You know where this is going.  [Read more…]

For Your Enjoyment: PZ the Prophet

I was trying to look up something about Reynolds High School, b/c reasons, and came across this old prediction by PZ over at Pharyngula:

I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.

In light of recent developments, I don’t know whether to praise him or bury him.

 

And now, the research…

So believe it or not, there are people for whom the detailed analyses of articulate, accomplished cultural critics are insufficient. For these folks, even when a well-reasoned argument is presented in an engaging, accessible manner, such as on youtube, questions can occasionally remain if the conclusion of the critic is that sexism may very well be present in video games. Moreover, some will maintain, even if some eensy, weensy bit of sexism did – entirely by accident – creep into one of their favorite video games, such artistic sexism has no impact on the real world. It’s just a game! Just make believe! Just art! Why can’t you let it go?

Well, for those people who absolutely must have the peer reviewed research, one man at Iowa State University did not let it go, and his findings will amaze you all – number 6 even surprised Pervert Justice!

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Well now, here’s where I’m just guessing….

So, reading Science Daily*1, as I do from time to time, I picked up on an article about a very early jawed vertebrate. The newly identified critter is a late Silurian (Upper Silurian) fish that appears to date to Lau event and/or the period of recovery immediately after the Lau event (423 Mya).

None of that particularly escapes me. However, the article, which you can see here, included a graphic of the holotype fossil, and the graphic’s caption puzzled me. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help me out of my befuddlement.

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Steve King targets WHOM, exactly?

While I know that this topic has been covered elsewhere on FtB, I couldn’t help noticing something that others had not yet mentioned. Steve King’s racism about “our babies” caused him just enough political discomfort that someone in the media decided to take his racism halfway seriously. The Hill decided to ask some follow up questions, but missed out on the single most obvious follow up presented by King’s self-defense.

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Section 40 and the Free Press

Clearly bad actors are found in all fields of business or employment. I am even forced to concede that, on rare occasions, someone involved in my own prestigious field of blogging might misbehave. This fact is one of the underpinning justifications for the creation of boards of regulation for certain businesses and professions. In many cases, however, the regulators either don’t focus on the proper priorities or they are even created for entirely spurious reasons.

In the UK we’re seeing regulation of the field of journalism that displays gob-smacking amounts of each of these flaws. The UK has already been roundly criticized for inviting “libel tourism”,*1 but new legislation amending the Crime & Courts Act would create a strong presumption that media outlets will pay the court costs of both parties in any libel action. Because of the language that it amends, it’s fairly clear that this is supposed to undercut the presumption that when someone wrongly accuses you of libel and then loses in court, it’s unfair for the courts to order the innocent media outlet, author, or artist to pay the costs of the party that made the wrong accusation.

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NelC gives Pervert Justice it’s first Header

Reader NelC has given Pervert Justice it’s first header. Don’t think this is recent, either. NelC gave this to us a month and a half ago, but after a flurry of activity the first week I had this blog, I’ve been adding nothing to it. I’m back, and though I will likely always blog inconsistently, it’s time to update the look, praise the generosity of someone with an artistic vision and photoshop skills that I lack, and get on with adding a bit of new content.

Thanks again, NelC. The header is lovely and I appreciate your work…even if I didn’t appreciate it very promptly!

Fascist Governance: Multi-state Edition

ALEC is a long-condemned organization whose mission is to share regressive and theocratic legislative ideas between states. They have long advocated heightened criminal penalties for behaviors with relatively low social cost, or, in cases of public political expression, with actual social value.

I don’t know to what extent ALEC has been working on issues of shutting down protest and public expression, but it seems to me that the “leadership” of Trump is making ALEC less and less necessary. There is a zeitgeist, and that geist is haunting the Ebenezers in our state governments. There’s no turkey dinner for the cripples at the end of this story, however. The state legislators want to control us, every one.

While there are other topics I could discuss in terms of state legislative trends, I want to particularly call out this growing need to control speech through punitive legislation, through denial of remedy, and, yes, through simply killing protestors.

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