Wednesday Reads: Screw those virtual hugs.

 

Take your virtual hugs and fuck off….

 

I think that social media is turning everyone into anti-social assholes.

I went to a Christmas party this holiday season…it was a small party, when I got there I gave the people hugs. Why? Well…because it was fucking Christmas…and because I am an affectionate person and…being Latin, it is part of our DNA…you hug people you care about, especially if it is a fucking Christmas party.

Dammit, I could feel the animosity…

 

It seems as if the Facebook society has given people the excuse to become pseudo-Zuckerburgs.  By that, I mean…adopting an emotionally inept attitude, lacking any sentimental bonds or real human connection that is not some kind of fake fucking virtual “like” or “love” emoji.  In other words, behaving like a robotic asshole.

It is all bullshit….so damn sick of those “No Touch” memes:

 

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Welcome to a world where the only acceptable hug…is the virtual one you get over the fucking social network.

 

Here is my reply, via emoji:

 #🖕🏻🖕🏼🖕🏽🖕🏾🖕🏿

 

 

Sorry for the rant…

Now the cartoons:

2019..fingers crossed: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - 2019..fingers crossed

The hangover: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - The hangover

 

12/30 Mike Luckovich: Happy New Year

01/01/2019 Cartoon by Charlie Daniel

Cartoon by Charlie Daniel -

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

New Year Baby: 12/31/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell

Cartoon by Paul Fell - New Year Baby

01/01/2019 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Happy New Year?: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Happy New Year?

2019 eve: 12/31/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - 2019 eve

WINDFALL: 12/30/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WINDFALL

And with that…I turn it over to you.

This is an open thread.


Sunday Reads: Penny Marshall, et al …2018

Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall Dead at 75.

 

It is that time of year, and in memory of those who are no longer with us…here is a review of who we lost this 2018.

 

 

 

Penny Marshall from Celebrity Deaths: 2018’s Fallen Stars | E! News

That link takes you to a gallery of pictures representing celebrity deaths from 2018….including:

SONDRA LOCKE

The Oscar-nominated actress passed away on Nov. 3. The Any Which Way You Can star was 74 years old.

RICKY JAY

The magician and actor, best known for his roles in Tomorrow Never Dies, Deadwood and Boogie Nightsdied on November 24 from natural causes. He was 72.

ROY CLARK

The country star was known for hosting Yee Haw died at the age of 85 on November 15. He died of complications from pneumonia while surrounded by family and friends at his Tulsa, Okla. home.

KATHERINE MACGREGOR

The star, who played Harriet Oleson in the ’70s hit series Little House on the Prarie, died on November 13 at the age of 93. She was living at the Motion Picture Fund Long Term Nursing Care facility in Woodland Hills, California at the time of her death.

NEIL SIMON

The famous Broadway playwright and screenwriter, known for plays such as The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, died at age 91 on August 26 after battling complications from pneumonia

ED KING

The Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist died on August 22 at age 68 after battling lung cancer.

ARETHA FRANKLIN

The iconic songstress died at home in Detroit on August 16 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76 years old.

TAB HUNTER

The ’50s movie idol (born Arthur Andrew Kelm) died July 8, three days shy of his 87th birthday. Known for starring in movies like The Burning Hills and Damn Yankees, Hunter came out of the closet in 2005 in his autobiography, confirming rumors that had been swirling since his heyday. Hunter’s cause of death was not immediately known.

KATE SPADE

The famous fashion designer died of apparent suicide in June 2018. She was 55 years old.

Designer, Kate Spade

 

The surprise for many was the recent death of Penny Marshall:

Penny Marshall in 1980.

 

Penny Marshall’s Legacy, From Laverne & Shirley to Directing

As both a performer and a filmmaker, Marshall, who died Monday at the age of 75, stood counter to the prevailing wisdom of what women like her were supposed to be, and do. From her breakthrough as a sitcom star to her subsequent success as a blockbuster filmmaker, Marshall never seemed to get hung up on what other people thought she was supposed to be doing — or if she did, you could never tell. And as both an actress and a director, she was simultaneously big and subtle, aiming at the widest possible audience while smuggling in little grace notes that caught even fans by surprise.

When viewers of a certain age first noticed Marshall on sitcoms in the 1970s — first as Oscar Madison’s secretary on The Odd Couple, and then as Laverne DeFazio on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley — they saw a throwback to character actresses from ’50s television and prewar movies. She was a scene-stealer with big city, white ethnic bluntness, the kind of woman who might’ve dispensed tough but loving advice to Grace Kelly or bashed a mugger over the head with an umbrella.

Give that obit a read through…it details Marshall’s work in Hollywood through the years.

Penny Marshall, Star of Laverne & Shirley, Dead at Age 75 | E! News

Actress and director Penny Marshall died “peacefully” last night at age 75 at her Hollywood Hills home, E! News has confirmed. Her cause of death was complications from diabetes, and a celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date. “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” a spokesperson for the star’s family told E! News in a statement. Born Oct. 15, 1943, Penny is predeceased by her brother, actor/director Garry Marshall. She is survived by her sister Ronny Marshall; her daughter Tracy Reiner; and her three grandchildren.

A no-nonsense New Yorker, Penny’s Hollywood breakthrough came from starring in the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which ran for eight seasons on ABC from Jan. 27, 1976, until May 10, 1983. But Penny found even more success behind the camera, directing hit films like Big (1988), Awakenings (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars With Boys (2001), among others. With Big, Penny made history as the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100 million—something she did again with A League of Their Own.

“With directing, I didn’t have to wear makeup or get my hair done. But I do not like getting up that early,” she said in a Women and Hollywood interview in 2012. “In TV we did our show in front of an audience, so we got up early only one morning. We did camera blocking in the morning and we shot at night which was a much more humane existence. No one is funny at 7 a.m. It’s faster to act, but a lot of times you are sitting in a Winnebago waiting. Directing is more fun—if you can create stuff, if you can create business for people to do and not just pull lines out of people’s mouths. So if people come prepared then you can add business. I like behavior.”

A multitalented workhorse, Penny also produced a number of movies and TV series. “Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive ‘L’ on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story,” the Marshall family said. “We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”

This next one deals with:

Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall’s Friendship: A Timeline

When actress, director, and general multi-hyphenate trailblazer Penny Marshall died earlier this week, one of the trending topics that followed the news was her BFF status with Carrie Fisher — fun quotes they said about each other, some cute photos, you name it. We love it! But despite the very public celebration of their friendship on social media, the women enjoyed spending time together away from life’s flashbulbs and recorders, really only regaling us with their life’s anecdotes through memoirs and rare interviews. “We’ve lasted longer than all of our marriages combined. Our crazy lives have meshed perfectly,” Marshall perhaps put it best in her 2012 memoir. “We’ve always said it’s because we never liked the same drugs or men, but I know there’s more to it.” Here, let’s take an abridged look at the early stages of their pairing, which we promise we won’t refer to as “friendship goals.”

Great pictures there at that link…and read the few stories as well. A cheerful look on both women’s lives.

In another death of 2018:

Last Warsaw Ghetto uprising fighter dies in Israel

The last surviving fighter from the doomed 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising by Jewish partisans against the Nazis died Saturday in Israel aged 94, the country’s president said.

Simcha Rotem, who went by the nom-de-guerre Kazik, served in the Jewish Fighting Organisation that staged the uprising as the Nazis conducted mass deportations of residents to the death camps.

“This evening, we part from… Simcha Rotem, the last of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters,” Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement.

“He joined the uprising and helped save dozens of fighters”.

Hundreds of Jewish fighters began their fight on April 19, 1943, after the Nazis began deporting the surviving residents of the Jewish ghetto they had set up after invading Poland.

The insurgents preferred to die fighting instead of in a gas chamber at the Treblinka death camp where the Nazis had already sent more than 300,000 Warsaw Jews.

Speaking at a 2013 ceremony in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the uprising, Rotem recalled that by April 1943 most of the ghetto’s Jews had died and the 50,000 who remained expected the same fate.

Rotem said he and his comrades launched the uprising to “choose the kind of death” they wanted.

“But to this very day I keep thinking whether we had the right to make the decision to start the uprising and by the same token to shorten the lives of many people by a week, a day or two,” Rotem said.

Thousands of Jews died in Europe’s first urban anti-Nazi revolt, most of them burned alive, and nearly all the rest were then sent to Treblinka.

Rotem survived by masterminding an escape through the drain system with dozens of comrades. Polish sewer workers guided them to the surface.

He went on to participate in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising led by Polish resistance fighters against the Nazis.

And let us not forget the death of Jakelin Caal… and the deaths of other children and immigrants who seemed to lurk in the background of news story recaps:

Where seven-year-old Jakelin Caal crossed, migrants risk death to enter US | US news | The Guardian

Antelope Wells, an isolated point of entry in New Mexico, is where hundreds cross over, seeking refuge from violence

The deceptively beautiful landscape around Antelope Wells in the remote south-western corner of New Mexico.
 The deceptively beautiful landscape around Antelope Wells in the remote south-western corner of New Mexico. Photograph: Don Usner/Searchlight New Mexico

The black shadows of yucca shrubs huddled under a three-quarter moon. A stiff desert wind hushed all but the deafening crunch of footsteps where a chest-high barrier divides the US and Mexico.

Behind María and her son were the thousands of miles they covered overland from Guatemala, with Mexico streaming by the bus window, day and night. On the way, she broke her ankle but pressed on with few stops.

Then came the last leg: the night crossing into the New Mexico Bootheel. The state’s rugged, remote south-western corner was where seven-year-old Guatemalan girl Jakelin Caal crossed with her father one December night and became gravely ill.

Her death earlier this month became the symbol of a dangerous new pattern of human smuggling through New Mexico, where 20 groups of more than 100 migrants each have arrived since October, a massive increase from just eight large groups in all of fiscal 2018, according to US Customs and Border Protection. A record number are asking for asylum in the US.

I was going to end it there…but here are a few news worthy links:

A volcano…Child of Krakatoa has made some noise, this time causing a tsunami that has killed and injured many in Indonesia.

As of 7 am this morning:

Tsunami from erupting Krakatau kills at least 222 in Indonesia | Reuters

PANDEGLANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday.

Angry ‘Child of Krakatoa’ rumbles on

The volcano that apparently triggered a deadly tsunami in Indonesia late Saturday emerged from the sea around the legendary Krakatoa 90 years ago and has been on a high-level eruption watchlist for the past decade.

Anak Krakatoa (the “Child of Krakatoa”) has been particularly active since June, occasionally sending massive plumes of ash high into the sky and in October a tour boat was nearly hit by lava bombs from the erupting volcano.

Anak Krakatoa tsunami – in pictures | World news | The Guardian

A resident searches for items among the ruins of a villa after the area was hit by a tsunami, at Carita beach in Padeglang, Banten province, Indonesia,

 

Indonesia tsunami hits Sunda Strait after Krakatau eruption – BBC News

More than 220 people have been killed and 843 injured after a tsunami hit coastal towns on Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, government officials say.

The tsunami waves struck at night without any warning, destroying hundreds of buildings.

Officials say the tsunami could have been caused by undersea landslides after Anak Krakatau volcano erupted.

The Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra, connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.

More images and updates at the links above.

 

Here are a couple of articles on media. One deals with social media, the other with news media:

Social media is an existential threat to our idea of democracy | Opinion | The Guardian

At last, we’re getting somewhere. Two years after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we’re finally beginning to understand the nature and extent of Russian interference in the democratic processes of two western democracies. The headlines are: the interference was much greater than what was belatedly discovered and/or admitted by the social media companies; it was more imaginative, ingenious and effective than we had previously supposed; and it’s still going on.

 

This next one I find important for this key component: Der Spiegel takes the blame for scandal of reporter who faked stories | World news | The Guardian

US ambassador says revelations prove magazine guilty of institutional bias, as far-right groups seek to exploit the case

The US government has waded into the scandal of the German journalist forDer Spiegel magazine who faked stories on a grand scale over years, calling it proof of “institutional bias” in the media against America.

In a scathing letter to the magazine’s editors, Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, claims the journalism of Claas Relotius, who resigned from the German news magazine last week, was symptomatic of anti-American bias across the mainstream media. “It is clear that we were the victims of a campaign of institutional bias,” Grenell wrote to Der Spiegel, in a letter also seen by the daily newspaper Bild. He said he was aghast at the way “anti-American coverage” had been facilitated by the magazine.

You can read the details at the link, main focus being:

The scandal has sparked fears that the far right will exploit the scandal to sow further distrust of the media. The German far right has a long history of attacking the press.

In recent years, the anti-immigration group Pegida and elements of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) have resurrected the Nazi-era slur of Lügenpresse (“lying press”) to describe mainstream journalism they claim does not represent the world as they see it. These voices have been further emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and his use of the term “fake news.”

“Relotius is in the end only a product of an absurdly leftist writers’ fraternity that is increasingly seldom prepared to leave its own convenient moral comfort zone in favour of the facts,” wrote Alice Weidl, a leader of the AfD, in a Facebook post.

The leading German journalist Hendrik Wieduwilt wrote: “It’s started! The fraud of ‘reporter’ Relotius has now been made into ‘fake news’, or strategically fraudulent lies. The AfD will exploit this for all it is worth. That’s probably the biggest damage of the whole scandal.” The independent media journalist Stefan Niggemeier took to Twitter to express fears the case represented a “deep blow – not just for Der Spiegel, but for German journalism.” In a series of soul-searching written apologies, the magazine acknowledged the wider undermining affect Relotius’s actions will have on those striving to deliver objective, informative and well-sourced reporting.

“We are aware that the Relotius case makes the fight against fake news that much more difficult,” wrote the incoming Spiegel editor-in-chief Steffen Klusmann and deputy editor-in-chief Dirk Kurbjuweit in a joint open letter to readers. “For everyone. For other media outlets that are on our side and for citizens and politicians who are interested in an accurate portrayal of reality.”

One more link because, this is really a heavy post for a Sunday before Christmas…

The 2018 Medieval Book of the Year: The Golden Rhinoceros

Hundreds of books about the Middle Ages are published each year. They cover a vast number of topics, sometimes offering new research, sometimes retelling stories for new audiences. What makes one book stand out above the rest?

I’ve made it a habit the last few years of keeping track of as many new books about the Middle Ages as I can – a process that leads me to visit many libraries and book stories. I can’t possibly get familiar with all the works that have come out, so my choices are subjective, but I think the books mentioned below will prove to be important contributions to medieval studies. I look for those that I think will enlighten and expand our understanding of the Middle Ages, that are well written and well researched, and will have lasting significance in their field.

So, what is the book of the year?

The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the Africa, by François-Xavier Fauvelle, is my choice for the medieval book of the year. It’s not a particularly large book at just 264 pages, but it offers readers a great trove of topics related to the medieval history of Africa (with the exception of Egypt and the Mediterranean coast). It consists of 34 separate stories, each about six to eight pages long. They cover events between the eighth and fifteenth centuries, and zig-zag across the African continent, so you will be at first reading about Mauritania, then going to Zimbabwe, and then off to Ethiopia. Fauvelle is highly effective in giving us snapshots of life in these places, all the while acknowledging that his sources are often fragmentary and sparse.

Fauvelle’s aim in this book is to show that Africa was not mired in the ‘dark centuries’ as many historians have assumed, but was going through something more akin to a ‘golden age’ during the Middle Ages. Many of his sections reinforce the idea that merchants were flourishing in medieval Africa, with gold and slaves being sent across the continent into the Arab world, India, and even to China. Perhaps medievalists have been too focused on the connections between medieval Europe and Africa, which are very limited, and haven’t yet researched the much deeper relations between the Islamic and African worlds. Here Fauvelle offers a guide to historians on how they can learn more about Mali, Somalia or the Sahara, and the role they played in the medieval world.

Click here to read an interview with François-Xavier Fauvelle

There are a few other interesting reads that are recommended at that link, so please click over to check them out…one that even discusses emotions and sensibility in the middle ages…fascinating.

Well….I wish everyone a happy holiday, this is an open thread.

 

 


Sunday Reads: FFS, It has to stop.

 

Today’s post is a bit all over the place…so I hope you can follow it…my brain is feeling the effects of the tRump presidency and it has become almost debilitating. I feel like I have some form of OCD, there is the constant itch in my thoughts. I can’t get rid of it. Like some kind of diseased earworm that has set root deep in my mind. I cannot stop thinking about tRump and what he is destroying. Everything is crumbling before me. The itch is so bad, that I almost feel like grabbing an ice pick and jamming it in my ear. If only to get these tRumptonian thoughts out of my mind.

So let’s try and get through this thread…

China Says All Trade Progress Is Off If U.S. Imposes Tariffs – Bloomberg

All commitments made so far in talks with the U.S. over trade will be withdrawn if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to impose tariffs, China said Sunday.

While both sides reported some progress in discussions this weekend about how to reduce China’s $375 billion goods-trade surplus with the U.S., Trump’s revival last week of a plan to slap tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports has cast the talks into turmoil.

“If the U.S. rolls out trade measures including tariffs, all the agreements reached in the negotiations won’t take effect,” state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing a statement from the Chinese team that met with a U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Does that also include the agreements made regarding the new tRump Tower and all those convenient new trademarks Ivanka was granted…(which we will touch on in a moment.)

The Xinhua report came after Ross met Sunday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for talks that Ross called “friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items.” At the same time as negotiators focus on technical steps to reduce the U.S. deficit, Trump’s swerve has rattled Beijing as it raises the possibility that any agreement made could be simply torn up by the president.

“China is concerned over the U.S.’s unpredictability, especially after Trump turned an about-face on tariffs,” said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China’s finance institute in Beijing. “Trump needs to give out more goodwill in exchange for really productive negotiations. Bluff, threat, and willful moves might work in business bargaining, but they could backfire in talks among nations.”

Yada, Yada, Yada…haven’t we heard this before? I think someone who is very fond of pantsuits brought this particular negative trait of tRump’s personality up during the debates? I don’t know…maybe I am wrong, but I know we have talked about it countless times here on the blog before that anus-lipped tangerine turd was installed in the White House.

‘Speed dating’: Critics worry Trump is already handing propaganda victories to North Korea – The Washington Post

When former president Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea in 2009 on a humanitarian mission to free two U.S. journalists, he delivered strict instructions to his team ahead of their meeting with dictator Kim Jong Il: “We’re not smiling.”

In several photos, including a formal portrait with their hosts in Pyongyang, Clinton and his aides kept their game faces on — looking serious and determined, befitting the tone of the mission, according to a person familiar with the trip.

President Trump took a decidedly different approach on Friday when he welcomed a North Korean official to the White House for the first such meeting in 18 years. Trump beamed as Kim Yong Chol — a former spy chief accused of masterminding the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel in 2010 that killed 46 sailors — presented him with a cartoonishly oversize envelope containing a letter from Kim Jong Un, the nation’s current dictator.

The two posed for a photo in the Oval Office with Trump proudly showing off the envelope — an image that White House aides promptly distributed to the public.

The warm display left some former U.S. officials who’ve negotiated with North Korea arguing that Trump had already handed Pyongyang another public relations victory before winning concessions on its nuclear program.

“No question this is speed dating,” said Christopher R. Hill, a former State Department diplomat who led the U.S. delegation in the Six-Party Talks with North Korea during the George W. Bush administration. He recalled being rebuffed in his bid to personally deliver a letter from Bush to Kim Jong Il — in a standard business-size envelope.

By contrast, Hill said, the North Koreans already “have gotten the whole enchilada” from Trump.

So tRump is fucking us with his outright dangerous display of foreign relations and execution of foreign policy…

Yeah…what else is new?

 

Did you see this bit?

 

 

I feel like we have been on some kind of hamster wheel of that replays itself every day…this cycle of tRump chaos and scandal and destruction of democracy…is leading to one thing. Desensitization.

Sort of like that opening scene in Boyz in the Hood, where the kids are desensitized to the violence in the street…as they walk home from school. Calmly explaining the process of decay in a bloody crime scene.

Which later comes to a point where the bloody scene has moved beyond this to an actual dead body lying beside a railroad track, as young teens discover the body and young adults play football. The violence and murder is no longer an issue for the young adults…the teenagers are disturbed by the smell but do not react more than that, as they too are desensitized to the fact that murder and death is a common occurrence in there everyday world.

Boyz n the Hood Turns 25 – Blog – The Film Experience

That link will give you a look at the scene…from a film critic perspective. I thought it was a good one. Like I said my post is all over today.

My point being, this is a tactic. A tRump way of controlling and manipulating things, an authoritative government…administration at work. And the media is complicit in its actions in bringing about the downfall of democracy.

 

Donald Trump Has Been Lying to the American Public, and Journalists Need to Call Him Out | Teen Vogue

President Donald Trump’s lies are well documented. PolitiFact estimated that from June 2015, when he announced his campaign, until November 2016, when he won the election, almost 70% of the things he said publicly were “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” On May 1, The Washington Post reported that as of that date he had issued 3,001 false or misleading statements since taking office, averaging almost 6.5 a day, up from 4.9 over the first 100 days, when the newspaper first started keeping track. The president of the United States is basically an anti-reality Pez dispenser. So why does the media often avoid using the word “lie” when reporting on all of his false claims?

Lately there has been a reinvigorated conversation around labeling something a lie. The debate boils down to a question of intent: Journalists who are most cautious with the “lie” label argue that we cannot truly know Trump’s purpose for shitting on the very concept of facts. Is he working off of misinformation? Is he exaggerating with his “Art of the Deal” tactic of “truthful hyperbole”? Is he hallucinating an anthropomorphic pumpkin that is telling him what to say? We are not inside the president’s brain, they argue, and so we cannot know.

One such journalist is Maggie Haberman, a White House correspondent for The New York Times. On Sunday, May 27, she responded to criticism about her frequent refusal to use the word “lie” in her work with a series of tweets. “I have written stories about his lies, falsehoods, whoppers, half-truths, salesman-like stretches,” she tweeted. “The reality is that what he does can be hard to label because, as anyone who has worked for him will tell you in candor, he often thinks whatever he says is what’s real.” As far as I’m concerned, all of those euphemisms for “lies” still mean lies, and if, as Haberman asserts, he really believes them, then she should report that it is also possible that the president is out touch with reality.

By the way, Haberman is one of the authors of an article in the New York Times that is getting a lot of attention recently…I have more on that later on in the thread.

Duca continues:

As the leader of the country, Trump is the core source for our perception of the state of the union. Once he took office, his abusive relationship with the truth came with the official seal of the White House, and that is of crucial importance. The Trump administration is now waging an unprecedented campaign of disinformation on the American people. The president of the United States is working to undermine our shared foundation of truth so that we have no choice but to accept his version of reality.

Trump himself has reportedly admitted that this is his aim. On stage at the Deadline Club Awards Dinner on May 21, 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl told PBS Newshouranchor Julie Woodruff that Trump told her he undermines the press so that the public will have no grasp on what is true. During an informal meeting with then candidate Trump in 2016, Stahl said, she asked Trump why he was constantly attacking the media. “He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you,’” she told Woodruff. If this is true, and those are Trump’s intentions, the endgame is to deprive journalism of any value whatsoever.

Read the rest of the piece, it brings up the Matthew Pottinger shit too….

 

Much of Trump’s war on the truth appears to be based in exploiting widespread media illiteracy among the citizenry. Journalism is not about striving to appear fair, but maintaining a rigorous objectivity for the purpose of serving the public. The ultimate allegiance of the press is to our fellow citizens. It is crucial that journalists do a better job at explaining our purpose and be radically transparent with all editorial decision-making. That means calling a lie a lie, and if we don’t, then fully providing readers with the reason why the word “lie” is not appropriate, along with context for understanding this administration’s abusive relationship with the truth.

[…]

Authoritarianism works to corrode our shared foundation of truth, pushing us to a point where we so doubt our own sanity, it becomes too much of a chore to even care what is true. Such is the goal of the Trump administration: to bombard us with so many conflicting versions of reality that we throw our hands in the air and give up on being certain about anything at all. The falsehoods, whoppers, and salesman-like stretches all come down to this: Without the truth, we have no foundation from which to resist.

Fucking Hell…

I really should end the post on that huge point alone…but there are a few other things I want to bring to your attention…real quick.:

Trump’s Lawyers, in Confidential Memo, Argue to Head Off a Historic Subpoena – The New York Times

You have probably already read the article…here are a few thoughts on it:

 

 

Since I’ve started writing this post, the tangerine turd has hit twitter again.

 

 

A few responses to that:

 

 

Philippines Duterte tells U.N. human rights expert: ‘Go to hell’ | Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has told a U.N human rights expert who said the country’s judicial independence was under threat to ‘go to hell’, warning against interference in domestic affairs.

If the UN ever sends a human rights expert to the US to check up on the obvious offenses going on at our southern border…I bet we would hear the same shit coming out of tRump’s mouth.

Let’s take a look at some more tweet shit storms:

 

 

As far as tRump using Melania’s twitter account…there is precedent:

 

 

But…keep this in mind, as BB wrote about yesterday as well…:

 

 

On Ivanka Trump and her trademarks…

 

On the New York Times Bullshit:

 

 

My head is spinning…I need to stop this post now.

This is an open thread…try to have a good day.


Sunday Reads: The “Twits” are strong with this “Orange” dickhead.

 

The image above is from the Instagram of one of the survivors from the Valentine’s Day murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It is just one of the victim reactions to the killings…another has been the vocal call outs and public outcries from many MSDHS students. They are not taking the “thoughts and prayers” bullshit. They want action. Take a look at what these brave student survivors are doing to stand up for their murdered friends and fellow children nationwide.

 

As many have pointed out, the out spoken nature of this reaction is different from the mass murders of before. Perhaps because the media is actually paying attention to them?

I don’t know. But as you can see, tRump has been busy this morning:

Fucking hell…

 

Parkland students are fighting back…

I only want you to realize that this is the world we live in….

 

And this is the pretender to the throne, the president that we have to serve as protector in chief:

 

 

This is an open thread…


Sunday Reads: Crime and No Punishment 

 

On this Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to bring some crime stories into focus. Various cases that recently have come to pass with no justice or punishment that seemed to spit in the face of the “people.”

I will get to mention this a bit further down in the post, because as usual…tRump has dominated the news cycle again this morning. This time with an absurd Tweet, or should I say twit.

In case you cannot see that tweet (tRump has since deleted it) here is a photo of it:

Donald Trump ‘wrassles’ his way out of MSNBC feud | Political Insider blog

In President Donald Trump’s arena, this is how you shift the American attention away from a feud with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” crew:

[…]

From the Associated Press on the wrasslin’ video:

It’s not clear who produced the brief video, but it was posted from Trump’s official Twitter account.

 

Trump’s been stepping up verbal attacks on the media — and cable networks particularly. But an adviser thinks “no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t.”

 

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert also tells ABC that he thinks Trump’s “beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”

 

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said last week Trump “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.””

Well, many around the wires were making statements and comments about the wrestling twit…

CNN had this to say:

 

A few more reactions for you to look at here:

CNN On Trump Post: ‘We Will Keep Doing Our Jobs. He Should Start Doing His’ – Talking Points Memo

CNN on Sunday called President Donald Trump’s tweet of a video of himself attacking a figure whose face was obscured by the CNN logo “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office” and suggested Trump “start doing his” job governing instead.

[…]

In its full statement, CNN said Sanders “lied” and accused Trump of encouraging “violence against reporters.”

“Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office,” CNN said. “We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

 

Trump wrestling body-slam tweet ‘encourages violence against reporters’, CNN says | US news | The Guardian

As a prominent conservative senator accused Donald Trump of “trying to weaponise distrust” in his attacks on the media, the president tweeted a video of himself, starring at a pro wrestling event, body-slamming to the floor a man with a CNN logo for a head.

[…]

A director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) told the Guardian “charged rhetoric online”, issued by the White House, “undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world”.

The president’s tweet was issued on Sunday morning, hours after Trump used a speech honouring veterans in Washington to say: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”

The tweet contained doctored video from a Trump appearance on Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007, in which he “body-slammed” – and subsequently shaved bald – Vince McMahon, the WWE promoter and husband of Trump’s Small Business Administration chief, Linda McMahon. Trump is a member of the WWE hall of fame. The video appeared to have been taken from Reddit, where it was reportedly posted by a user named “HanAssholeSolo”.

Please, can anyone stop this OrangeAssholetRump from being president?

As Americablog points out, it is not the first time tRump has called for violence.

Trump encourages violence against CNN reporters – AMERICAblog News

Donald Trump today posted a tweet encouraging and promoting violence against CNN reporters.

This comes on the heels of Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee claiming falsely that Trump has never called for violence.

In fact, Trump repeatedly called for violence during the presidential campaign, and was routinely criticized for it.

It also comes on the heels of Trump’s misogynist tweets about “Morning Joe” cohost Mike Brzezinski, that were so mean and sexist it has led many to question Trump’s mental health.

Mashable has a mash up of Trump’s repeated calls for violence:

Go to the link to see the video. But back to the Americablog:

 

And just this morning, Trump joked to his 30 million followers about beating up CNN reporters, when we are already in a climate where reporters are routinely threatened.

A CNN reporter tweeted me this morning, concerned that I was mischaracterizing Trump, and that my story is part of the “outrage machine.” In fact, CNN’s PR dept. responded to Trump’s post by quoting Sarah Huckabee’s lie about Trump never promoting violence. Their clear point: Trump just promoted and encouraged violence against CNN reporters. And that’s exactly what I wrote. I just don’t see a qualitative difference between “calls for” and “encourages or promotes.”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz said this morning that the tweet “seems like a threat.” Raddatz continued, “you don’t think that’s a threat to anyone, you don’t think that’s sending a message ‘do that to the media, do that to CNN’?”

Remember, this comes after recent elections put a GOP dickwad in office, who violently assaulted a Guardian reporter. From the Guardian link above:

In an atmosphere of swirling distrust between journalists and the politicians they cover, “body-slamming” became a loaded term in May when a Republican congressional candidate in Montana slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the floor.

Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to community service. After donating $50,000 to the CPJ, he was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives. Jacobs’ glasses, broken in the assault, are now on display at the Newseum in Washington.

In its statement on Sunday, CNN said: “It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, [deputy White House press secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so.

[…]

Courtney Radsch, advocacy director for the CPJ, told the Guardian: “Singling out individual journalists and news outlets creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment and even physical attacks are seen to be acceptable.

“We are already concerned about physical attacks on reporters and clearly the White House’s charged rhetoric online undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world. We already saw that there has been at least one serious attack recently, on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, and this does not create a positive environment for the press online or offline.”

Read more at the Guardian link.

Just a few more reactions to the tRump twit:

Ana Navarro: Trump is going to ‘get somebody killed in the media’ | TheHill

Trump takes down CNN in WWE fight video | TheHill

Donald Trump Is Testing Twitter’s Harassment Policy – The Atlantic

The president’s latest outbursts suggest the social-media platform imposes no editorial standards. But should it?

The rules are simple, okay? No threats of violence. No targeted abuse or harassment. No inciting anybody else to engage in targeted abuse or harassment. No hateful conduct.

Now think about Donald Trump’s the tweeting habits. Is he breaking those rules, which come from Twitter’s terms of service?

  • Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
  • Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
    • if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
    • if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
    • if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
    • if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
  • Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.

Trump has long been criticized for his impulsiveness, but less than six months into his presidency, alarm over his Twitter conduct has hit fever pitch.

[…]

Beginning on June 29, Trump began tweeting repeated insults at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the hosts of the MSNBC talk show, Morning Joe. Trump’s treatment of Brzezinski was particularly strange. In addition to calling her “dumb,” “crazy,” and “low I.Q.” in three separate tweets, he claimed that she and Scarborough traveled to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve and insisted on seeing Trump while Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” (Brzezinski and Scarborough published a rebuke in The Washington Post, calling the president’s claim “a lie.”)

In true Trump fashion, the president doubled down, calling Scarborough “crazy” and Brzezinski “dumb as a rock.”

Does that constitute targeted harassment? And given Trump’s huge following—more than 33.1 million Twitter followers on his primary account—does a string of attacks against the same two individuals constitute inciting harassment? “We don’t comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a Twitter spokesperson told me on Saturday. Twitter also declined to tell me whether, when considering the question of a user inciting harassment, it takes into consideration that person’s number of followers or public status—a movie star or politician, for example.

Twitter’s website does offer some clarification on how it assesses abusive behavior. The company says it assesses whether the primary purpose of an account is to harass or send abusive messages; and it looks at whether the reported behavior is “one-sided.”Setting aside Twitter’s notoriously bad track record for actually enforcing its own standards on harassment, the question of one-sidedness poses an interesting problem here.

When one of the people involved in a Twitter fight isn’t just a public official but also the president of the United States, is it fair to consider anyone he’s attacking an equal player in a fight?

Actually, I reported tRump’s last tweet about Mika to twitter..I got this from them saying my report was under review.

What is funny, is that about twenty minutes after I got that notice from Twitter, I received another Twitter notice. My account had been suspended for 24 hours. Connection? I think so.

But back to the Atlantic article:

But Trump’s Twitter conduct also raises a question about what Twitter is, and what it should be. Often, the service is treated as a new kind of public square, a place for the unfiltered exchange of ideas (and, clearly, hurling of insults). Silicon Valley has rarely stepped in to correct the persistent cultural conflation between the actual right to free speech—that is, the constitutionally protected right that says the government cannot make a law that inhibits people’s freedom of expression—and the idea that people should get to say whatever they want wherever they want to without consequence. (Complicating things further, Twitter must answer to its shareholders, and having the president use its service so routinely—and so bombastically—certainly keeps the service relevant.)

In reality, though, Twitter is a media company. Just like CNN and The New York Times are media companies. Except, unlike in a traditional model where publishers and readers are distinct groups, everyone can be both on Twitter. So what’s a company like Twitter to do when one of its users—who is also the president of the United States, by the way—incessantly publishes attacks against individuals? Nothing, apparently. At least nothing yet. The thornier question is: What should it do? Only rarely would any news organization turn down the opportunity to exclusively print or broadcast a message from the president. (U.S. senators and presidential candidates, however, are another story.) Though it’s not like the president doesn’t have plenty of opportunities for his voice to be amplified. He has said he likes Twitter because it’s a direct channel to the American people, but he has his own website where he could be live-streaming or blogging, for instance. He is also a constant subject of media attention; his press conferences—when the White House permits it—are broadcast over cable and network television.

Presidents have historically made good use of new media platforms. Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats may seem quaint to us now, but they were a revolutionary experiment with a nascent media platform when they began in the 1930s. But, as with all things Trump-related, looking to norms and historic conventions can only get you so far. Imagine if Roosevelt had used his radio access to relentlessly criticize individual Americans by name. Trump knows that his critics are disgusted by the way he represents the country on Twitter, and he trusts that his supporters delight in their disgust.

Well, I think all that is moot when it comes to bullying and obstructing justice.

I guess I will bring up the crime and punishment in another post…but here is an update on a recent case of road rage:

Man facing murder charges in road-rage slaying of woman, 18 – The Washington Post

A Pennsylvania man was in custody Sunday for what a prosecutor called the “savage” and “senseless” death of a recent high school graduate shot in the head during a road-rage confrontation as the two tried to merge in a single lane.

David Desper, 28, of Trainer, turned himself in accompanied by an attorney early Sunday, and police said he was charged with first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and reckless endangering in the death of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson in West Goshen Township.

Desper and Roberson, who had just graduated from Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester and was planning to attend Jacksonville University in Florida this fall, were trying to merge into a single lane Wednesday as a two-lane road narrowed, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said.

“They jockeyed for position, and he wasn’t happy, so he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly,” he said.

After Roberson was shot, her car veered off the road, struck a tree and was found in a ditch. The shooter fled in a red pickup, driving partly along the shoulder of the highway until exiting the road. Authorities tracked the suspect vehicle on surveillance video and sorted through hundreds of tips from the public, calling on the suspect to turn himself in for his own sake and for the sake of the family.

This is an open thread.