What could be more British than a mutual sense of despondency?

Just how long has Britain been suffering under Theresa May’s dithering leadership? This video is almost two years old and it’s like it could have been made yesterday! Either Tracey Ullman is a prophet with supernatural powers, or the UK is afflicted with a horrible case of chronic stasis.

The DUP wants a “bowl of M&Ms with all the homosexual ones removed” — at least that one’s easy, hand them an empty bowl, because everyone knows all M&Ms are gay.

WND in its death throes!

It’s been sweet watching the Alex Jones empire crumble, and that tin-pot emperor getting his balls ground to goo in courtroom depositions, but this is even better: Whirled Nuts Daily, aka World Net Daily, is collapsing. Best of all, it’s falling apart in a whirlwind of mismanagement and corruption by its founder, Joseph Farah, and has been stiffing the conspiracy theorists they call “writers”.

Coburn recalled in an interview that he had a “very frank and disturbing” conversation last year with Farah about unpaid royalties for his 2017 book, “Smashing the D.C. Monopoly.”

“I accused him of not being honest,” Coburn said. “He doesn’t keep his commitments. He doesn’t keep his word.”

Other authors, initially attracted to WND by the image Farah crafted for himself as a devout evangelical Christian, have groused that they paid WND’s pay-to-publish division thousands of dollars to have their books printed but haven’t received the royalties they were promised or other items, such as audio versions of their works. Their complaints, requests for basic accounting statements and pleas for help were largely ignored, according to emails and interviews with more than a dozen authors.

The secret to keeping their scam afloat for so long was…religion. That was the brand they were peddling, that because they were devout Christians, they could do no wrong.

At points scattered across the country, others reached the same conclusion: They could trust WND because of its Christian values.

I long ago reached the opposite conclusion: if an organization brags about it’s piety, that’s a clear sign that they’ve got no integrity.

While WND provided blog fodder for years, I’m not going to miss them at all. Hillary had Vince Foster murdered, Ray Comfort and Kevin Sorbo as columnists (clearly rivaling the NY Times in quality), aliens, gay bashing, bomb the Muslims, all that kind of crap promoted by Farah and acting as an inspiration to people like Alex Jones…no, just fall into a pit of bankruptcy and die, WND.

Tucker Carlson is simply a dumb, sexist bully

I got glasses in high school. It was great — I still remember marveling at all the things I could see. Apparently, objects 10 feet away from you aren’t supposed to be blurry. I also remember the school bullies having a blast laughing at ol’ four eyes, who was clearly a nerd now, with the final signifier in place.

Smarmy, sneering Tucker Carlson reminded me so much of those chickenshit bullies. He recently went on air to mock Chris Hayes for wearing glasses, which was a symptom now of being a feminist. Further, he spoke contemptuously of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a woman and “29 year old former bartender” who dared to talk about science. Chris Hayes is what every man would be if feminists had power. I had no idea that forcing men to wear glasses even if they didn’t need them was on the feminist agenda; I guess we’re all going to be forced to get degrees from Brown University and a Harvard fellowship, too.

There was more. He compared Hayes to Ellen Degeneres, as if that was some terrible insult.

“He looks like Ellen, kind of a fusion show,” Carlson said. “But did you hear what he said? Our only hope for survival. Holy smokes. That is terrifying. Help us, Chris Hayes.”

That’s not what Hayes said, of course. He said that some saw the Green New Deal as the only way of protecting our way of life. But Carlson’s frequent shtick isn’t to engage with arguments on the merit, preferring, instead, to levy insults.

As he did when first mentioning Hayes.

“Chris Hayes is what every man would be if feminists ever achieve absolute power in this country,” Carlson said. “Apologetic, bespectacled and deeply, deeply concerned about global warming and the patriarchal systems that cause it.”

Let’s compare Carlson to what science says…or at least, what one correlational study found.

To measure this, the researchers looked at Google searches for terms that associated with that insecurity — erectile dysfunction, hair loss, “how to get girls,” etc. — and cross-referenced the frequency of those searches with voting patterns in 2016 and 2018.

“We found that support for [President] Trump in the 2016 election was higher in areas that had more searches for topics such as ‘erectile dysfunction,’ ” the researchers wrote in an article for The Post. “Moreover, this relationship persisted after accounting for demographic attributes in media markets, such as education levels and racial composition, as well as searches for topics unrelated to fragile masculinity, such as ‘breast augmentation’ and ‘menopause.’ ”

But maybe the fact that Carlson is bleeding advertisers is more relevant to his deep insecurities.

Also, if you’re going to sneer at someone who graduated cum laude from Boston University for not being competent to explain science, you might want to get your facts straight, and not misrepresent what was said. What was that about “3 million years of human history”? Homo sapiens is about 200,000 years old, and for most of that we don’t have a record that would count as ‘history’. Is he counting australopithecines in that history?

Oh no, the Dutch have the disease, too!

You know the one, where people elect demented lunatics who think the universities are all out to destroy Freeze Peach and the economy and society as a whole, so they form lists of evil academics.

We, educators and researchers working at Dutch universities and research institutes, applied universities and research institutions, are alarmed at the recent actions and statements of the political party, Forum voor Democratie (FvD), and their party leader Thierry Baudet.

With this letter, we heed the message of the minister of Education, who expressed her indignation at Baudet’s attempts to cast universities as suspect institutions and who has called for the protection of academic freedom. We also join university students, teachers, and academics who have expressed their concerns about Baudet and FvD’s position on universities and schools.

In his post-election speech last week, Tuesday, Baudet claimed that ‘our boreal world’ was being ‘destroyed’ and ‘undermined’ by ‘our universities, our journalists, and those who receive our arts-subsidies and design our buildings.’ Such statements are meant to conjure up a conspiratorial atmosphere in which academics, journalists, artists and architects are not only seen as suspect. They are deemed guilty of the ‘destruction’ of our society, and portrayed as the enemy of the people.

These statements are especially worrying because the FvD is attempting to put Baudet’s rhetoric into practice by opening the ‘meldpunt indoctrinatie op scholen en universiteiten’ (hotline for reporting indoctrination at schools and universities). They have called upon individuals to report ‘biased tests, politically tinted exam questions, one-sided textbooks, oikophobic projects, and prejudiced teachers.’ Given the strong interest Baudet expresses in dismissing climate science and promoting history based on national pride, it is clear that this initiative is not genuinely interested in reducing bias in academic institutions. Rather, it is interested in selectively discounting knowledge that does not fit its political and ideological aims.

Funny, isn’t it, how the people who complain the loudest about bias in the schools think the solution is to force more patriotism into them.

Anyway, if you’re a Dutch academic and care about this effort to insert propaganda into your work, follow the link and go sign the letter. I’d sign — I’d volunteer to be put on the FvD’s list! — if only I were Dutch.

Alex Jones is suffering

Poor man. His empire of lies is falling down around his ears. He can’t even sell his hokey ‘supplements’ (he was making $20 million a year off that nonsense!) because he’s finally been banned from all the social media sites he needed to peddle snake oil. His lies have been killing people, though, so my sympathy is non-existent.

Jones, who tells his viewers that his wild claims are based on “deep research” and high-level government sources, admitted that he actually relies on anonymous internet message boards and random emailers. Unable to justify his past conduct, an uncharacteristically subdued Jones blamed “psychosis.”

The deposition, filmed March 14 and published online last Friday, was released as part of a lawsuit filed by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of a child murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre. Lewis, one of several parents currently suing Jones, says that she has been a target of harassment as the result of Jones’ repeated claim that Sandy Hook was a “hoax” and no children died.

Jones accused grieving parents of being paid actors complicit in a far-reaching government conspiracy — and many people believed him. Throughout the deposition, Jones expressed little remorse.

Last week another Sandy Hook parent who faced harassment, Jeremy Richman, died in an apparent suicide.

How can one lone crank like Jones have so much impact on people? The answer is…he had enablers and promoters. There were people who were happy to have a representative of the lunatic fringe to push to the forefront, to take all the blame, while they made sure their audiences were exposed to the toxic garbage. The article names names. These are the people behind Alex Jones, who profited from the conspiracy nut and used him to advance their agenda.

Donald Trump.

In December 2015, as Jones was smearing the Sandy Hook families, Trump appeared on Jones’ Infowars show. Already a leading candidate for the Republican nomination, Trump lavished Jones with praise.

“[Y]our reputation’s amazing – I will not let you down – you will be very very impressed. I hope and I think we’ll be speaking a lot,” Trump said.

The Drudge Report. I’d almost forgotten that slimy rag existed, but I guess it has a large audience among the wrong sorts of people.

Trump gave Alex Jones the patina of legitimacy. But Matt Drudge delivered Jones something even more critical: website traffic.

One thing you learn from reading Alex Jones’ deposition is that he claims nearly every major tragedy is a hoax or government conspiracy. At one point Jones admits in rapid succession that 9/11, Columbine, and Oklahoma City were all “false flags.”

Nevertheless, Matt Drudge repeatedly links to Infowars on his popular news aggregator, the Drudge Report. Drudge’s site, which is one of the most popular in the United States, features two permanent links to InfoWars. According to an analysis by the Washington Post, Drudge links to specific Infowars stories regularly.

Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson remains one of Fox News’ most popular hosts, drawing millions of viewers each night. When PayPal recently severed its relationship with Alex Jones, Carlson came to his defense.

Carlson said in February that Jones’ ban was part of an effort to undermine the First Amendment by making “it impossible for people who say the wrong things to make a living in this country.” Carlson said that PayPal wanted “utter conformity, a world where only approved opinions are allowed.”

You know, if Alex Jones is to be held accountable for his destructive misinformation, those guys have to be up against the wall next.

Cui bono, Brexit?

I understand Brexit even less now. Theresa May has offered to throw herself on her political sword to get her desired deal.

What a grotesque Faustian pact they have concocted. In the early evening, Theresa May walked into a committee room in parliament and indicated to her parliamentary party that she would quit if they backed her deal. Journalists and MPs reacted with bewildering innocence to all this. The widespread presumption – laughable when you see it written down in black and white – was that it was true. In fact, it seemed perfectly in line with her usual tactic of saying whatever gets her through the day, then dealing with the consequences of it further down the line. One thing you can always rely on with May is that if there is wriggle room, she will make good use of it. And there was plenty of wriggle room in the vague assurances she offered the parliamentary Conservative party this evening.

But put that to one side. Let’s say it is true. Consider for a moment how disreputable this is. Any deal which requires the resignation of its author in order to get is passed is by default not worth supporting. And any political culture which would require the author of a deal to step down in order for MPs to back it is plainly in a state of advanced decay.

The American political mess I can understand, even if I hate it. Some rich, corrupt parasites have figured out that they can tap into the deep vein of American racism to get the political power to loot the country to their benefit — they’ve been poisoning the black children of Flint, Michigan while lowering their own taxes. I get it. If I had no moral compass and lacked all empathy, I could imagine sucking the country dry for my own profit as a net gain.

But what are the Brexit crusaders going to gain? I’m sure someone can profit from pure economic chaos, as an opportunity to pick up the broken shards of people’s lives and put them in the bank, but it can’t be that simple, can it? If someone were approaching my car with a sledgehammer intending to smash it into scrap, I wouldn’t ask my wife to vote with me on allowing it.

Is it just weird English pride? Co-existing with other partner nations might rankle a population that still remembers being the ruler of a vast empire. Is that it? As American politicians tap into the reliable resource of our racism, are British politicians relying on the sentiment of “Rule, Britannia! rule the waves: Britons never will be slaves”?

I hope it’s not the charisma of the Brexit leadership. Nigel Farage always seems like a dippy used car salesman; Boris Johnson is a clown; Jacob Rees-Mogg…oh, god. The Etonian pomposity. I once listened to him on the internet and felt a rising need to stand on a table and sing the Marseillaise. Another question: how do the British manage to listen to that pretentious snob without rising up in revolution? I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I guess the plan here is to answer my questions by simply plunging ahead and doing the experiment: ripping the country out of the European union, and then sifting through the wreckage to see who, if anyone, profited. One has to admire their dedication to empiricism, at least.

The face of evil

It belongs to a billionaire white woman who answers every question with a polite evasion and a little smile, while cutting aid to handicapped children and undercutting public school education.

She’s not ugly on the outside. But her brain is a festering corrupt mass of greed and privilege.

Sorry. I should have put the picture below the fold. Which is worse, Betsy DeVos or closeups of spiders? I know I have a clear preference.