The rapid rise in US punditry of Louise Mensch

I was not aware of who Louise Mensch was until commenter EigenSprocketUK pointed out that she was one of the dubious people that Bill Maher had given a platform to, and gave some background on her right-wing past. I then came across this article by Adam Johnson that says that this former UK Conservative member of parliament seems to be someone who flings around all manner of bizarre theories but that she seems to be riding the wave of the current anti-Russian zeitgeist in US liberal circles that is willing to overlook her generally reactionary views because she is saying something they like.
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Coincidences are so common

I have written before about how common coincidences are and just yesterday I had another example. I have been retired for over a year and I had not spoken with my university’s computer security person for at least a year before I retired but after I wrote my post on Congress’s move to allow ISPs to sell our data without permission and how VPNs might thwart that, I emailed him to ask what kind of security the university’s VPN system that I use provided. I then got an email back giving a time when he would call to discuss this and, as he said, ‘other matters’.
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So that’s why we have global warming!

Donald Trump has moved to reverse the measures taken by Obama administration to try and mitigate the climate change problem.

President Trump on Tuesday took the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.

The sweeping executive order — which the president signed with great fanfare in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Map Room — also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.

The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots. The president did not utter the words “climate change” once, instead emphasizing that the move would spur job creation in the fossil fuel industry.
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Bye, bye, Rio Grande?

The more the ideas for the border wall with Mexico become concrete, the more problems that emerge. Donald Trump has asked Congress to allocate an initial amount of $1 billion to start work on just 62 miles of his 2,000 mile “big, beautiful wall” that will save the nation from the large bands of marauding undocumented Mexican rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and thieves that are currently roaming the streets of America terrorizing the lawful, god-fearing, peaceful residents.
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Prayer allowed at school board meetings

When the US Supreme Court, in the case of Greece v. Galloway in 2013, issued a somewhat incoherent and confusing opinion that opening prayers could be allowed at the opening of town council meetings under certain conditions, many of us felt that this would be the thin edge of the wedge that would be used by religious public officials to increasingly introduce religion into the public square. And so it is proving. On March 20th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a US District Court judge’s ruling that, following that Greece precedent, a Texas school board could also start its meetings with prayer, saying that the Galloway case set a new precedent.
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The further undermining of online privacy

Republicans in both houses of congress have passed a bill that will allow internet service providers (i.e., the businesses that act as the gateway to each person’s access to the internet) to market all the data that they can get about your online activities without your permission. The dominant players are AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Donald Trump will of course sign the bill, making it law.
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March for Science on Saturday, April 22

The nationwide March for Science has been scheduled for Saturday, April 22, which is also the annual Earth Day. It is actually a global event with marches all over the world. Following the model of the March for Women on January 21, the main march in the US will be in Washington, DC with satellite marches in various locations across the country and the world for those who cannot make the trip to DC.
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Massive civilian death toll in Mosul

While all the US media attention last week was focused on Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s spectacular failure to have their health care bill pass in the House of Representatives, there was deadly violence in Iraq on March 17 that resulted in an estimated 150 civilian deaths. There are reports that an airstrike by the US-led coalition hit a residential building in a crowded part of Mosul and collapsed it, causing the deaths of many residents.
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Government is not a business and we are not its customers

Stephen Colbert takes some sharp jabs at the announcement that Donald Trump has appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner to head an office that will, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, makes changes so that government runs like a business. He is going to staff the office with former business executives in order to achieve this goal to better serve us, the ‘customers’.
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