a trumpolyte attends or assists his/her leader religiously

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TRUMPOLYTE! Did I just coin a word? It com­bines the sur­name of the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the United States with the word acolyte. Orig­i­nally, an acolyte was "one who as­sists a mem­ber of the clergy in a litur­gi­cal ser­vice by per­form­ing mi­nor du­ties." And it sure does look to us non-believers that there sure is a lot of that READ MORE “a trumpolyte at­tends or as­sists his/her leader re­li­giously”

can we call trump's tweeted temper tantrums "tweetrums"?

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RESPONDING TOQUESTION on Quora, I used my an­swer as the ba­sis for a short ar­ti­cle that I ti­tled, "Con­ser­v­a­tives Not Ex­actly En­thralled by Trump Are a Prob­lem." I was ad­dress­ing what I as­sumed was a con­ser­v­a­tive in­di­vid­ual who posted that some con­ser­v­a­tives "aren't ex­actly en­thralled" with Trumps' pres­i­dency.

The point of my piece was to take the ques­tioner to task READ MORE “can we call trump's tweeted tem­per tantrums "tweet­rums"?”

conservatives not exactly enthralled by trump are a problem

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THIS ONE ISDOOZY! The ques­tion on Quora was, “Would lib­er­als be sur­prised to learn that con­ser­v­a­tives aren't ex­actly en­thralled with Don­ald Trump ei­ther?" One must make some as­sump­tions when en­gag­ing other In­ter­ne­tally, so I as­sume that the per­son who posted this ques­tion is po­lit­i­cally con­ser­v­a­tive. I also as­sume that he as­sumes that ask­ing it dis­plays READ MORE “con­ser­v­a­tives not ex­actly en­thralled by trump are a prob­lem”

it was fifty years ago today, mayor daley sent his troops to play

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MY SEVENTEENTH YEAR of this life-cycle opened with the Viet Cong launch­ing the Tet Of­fen­sive, in which they put the lie to every­thing our gov­ern­ment, our mil­i­tary, and our me­dia had been telling us about the war "over there." This sup­pos­edly causes Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son to an­nounce that he will not seek re-election.

In April, READ MORE “it was fifty years ago to­day, mayor da­ley sent his troops to play”

the hydra of hate bubbling beneath america's surface

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I SKIPPED "MONSTER TALK" with Blake Smith as he pre­pared for Cryp­tid­Con in the lat­est Skep­tic newslet­ter. The ques­tion “What does sci­ence have to tell us about mon­sters” didn't at­tract my in­ter­est. Nor did com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about the ori­gins and de­vel­op­ment of iden­ti­cal and fra­ter­nal twins. But I did eye the key ar­ti­cle READ MORE “the hy­dra of hate bub­bling be­neath america's sur­face”

george zimmerman and self-defense

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I RARELY PAY ATTENTION to the let­ters writ­ten in to the lo­cal news­pa­per. Too many let­ters are from mis­in­formed in­di­vid­u­als who al­most al­ways vote Rep*blican and ac­tu­ally be­lieve that Lim­baugh and Beck and O'Reilly are sources for ac­tual “news.”

I am as­tounded by the peo­ple will­ing to put their name in print and claim credit READ MORE “george zim­mer­man and self-defense”

an experiment that actually curbed hate speech on the internet

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I HATE BULLIES and I see inter­net trolls as bul­lies. So I hate in­ter­net trolls. But aside from Face­book, where I can keep them curbed by ex­clud­ing them from my com­ment thread, I have lit­tle in­ter­ac­tion on so­cial me­dia plat­forms on the in­ter­net. Con­se­quently, I have lit­tle in­ter­ac­tion with bul­lies and trolls on the in­ter­net.

Oh, I see them when READ MORE “an ex­per­i­ment that ac­tu­ally curbed hate speech on the in­ter­net”

barbara lee and the boundless consequences of war

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SO YOU THINK YOU'RE RIGHT and every­body else is wrong?” I heard those words from my fa­ther many times while grow­ing up. Of course, the ra­tio­nale be­hind those words is sound: most of the times we hold an opin­ion that dif­fers with that of 99% of every­body else, then 99% of the time READ MORE “bar­bara lee and the bound­less con­se­quences of war”

lies, damn lies, fake news, and the misinformation ecosystem

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FAKE NEWS AIN'T NEW NEWS. The term has been in fairly reg­u­lar if not quite com­mon use for years: it ini­tially re­ferred to the mis/disinformation and pro­pa­ganda cir­cu­lated by the thou­sands of well-connected, rightwing ra­dio talk shows for pro­pa­ganda. It grew to even vaster pro­por­tions with the emer­gence of the mil­lions of 'con­ser­v­a­tive' READ MORE “lies, damn lies, fake news, and the mis­in­for­ma­tion ecosys­tem”

in a dark time, the eye begins to see a world of early childhood damage

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WE LIVE INWORLD of early child­hood dam­age, says Mor­ris Berman. This is what caught my eye when I was turned on to Berman's web­site, Dark Ages Amer­ica. The reader will find be­low ex­cerpts from an in­ter­view with Berman by Mur­ray Cox for Omni mag­a­zine (Au­gust 1991 is­sue).

What fol­lows is an abridged ver­sion of READ MORE “in a dark time, the eye be­gins to see a world of early child­hood dam­age”

right-wing extremists inject hateful rhetoric

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ASHAVE MENTIONED over and over again, the preva­lence (that's a bit of un­der­state­ment there) and vir­u­lence of rightwingnuts on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia on the In­ter­net — how they in­ject hate and fear here, there, and every­where. I thought I'd let some­one with a big­ger pul­pit re­it­er­ate some of my points: in Oc­to­ber 2017, Right Wing Watch READ MORE “right-wing ex­trem­ists in­ject hate­ful rhetoric”

I did not pay that woman with whom I did not have sexual relations to not talk about not having sexual relations with me!

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I DON'T GIVEHOOT what two con­sent­ing adults do in the pri­vacy of their bed­rooms, in their of­fices, in a ho­tel room, or in the White House. I don't care that Don­ald Trump may have had some sex­ual re­la­tions or any other kind of re­la­tions with Stormy Davis — al­though the Forbes mag­a­zine thing is READ MORE “I did not pay that woman with whom I did not have sex­ual re­la­tions to not talk about not hav­ing sex­ual re­la­tions with me!”

when my people are in control vs. when your people are in control

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A RECENT QUORA posed the ques­tion, “Why is there such an­i­mos­ity be­tween lib­er­als and con­ser­v­a­tives in the United States?” A Tom Wet­zel of­fered an in­tel­li­gent com­ment that opened with this state­ment: “It’s ironic in a cer­tain way. Both De­moc­rats and Re­pub­li­cans es­pouse forms of lib­eral ide­ol­ogy that are in­tensely pro-capitalist.”

This is, of course, true, READ MORE “when my peo­ple are in con­trol vs. when your peo­ple are in con­trol”

oliver stone and clint eastwood and all those silly conspiracy theories

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INRECENT POST on The Round Place In The Mid­dle ("If I Tweeted"), host Nondis­pos­able­johnny ad­dressed a va­ri­ety of is­sues with hy­po­thet­i­cal tweets, in­clud­ing sev­eral about the 1991 movie JFK by Oliver Stone. This led me to want to ad­dress all those silly con­spir­acy the­o­ries out there. These non-twittered tweets worked as a spring­board for READ MORE “oliver stone and clint east­wood and all those silly con­spir­acy the­o­ries”

have you heard? NFL football now america's least favored sport!

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NFL NOW AMERICA'S LEAST FAVORED SPORT! What the Fudd!??! Can that be true? Well, it de­pends on who you want to be­lieve and how low your thresh­old of credulity: “Ac­cord­ing to a poll by the Win­ston Group, 42% of men be­tween the age of 35-54 had a fa­vor­able view of the NFL in Sep­tem­ber, READ MORE “have you heard? NFL foot­ball now america's least fa­vored sport!”

why do we count people who never vote as voters?

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A LOCAL COUNTRY CLUB gives you a free lifetime mem­ber­ship with full ac­cess to its gor­geous 18-hole golf course. Nice, right? But what if you have never hit a golf ball out­side of a minia­ture golf course. What if you have ab­solutely no in­ter­est in ever play­ing golf — how much would such a gift count to you READ MORE “why do we count peo­ple who never vote as vot­ers?”