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. READ MORE

that number has been greatly exaggerated by the rightwing

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WE ARE SO USED to mas­sive gov­ern­ment spending that $678,000,000 is a rel­a­tively small number. Way too much to spend for a mal­func­tioning web­site, for sure, but still small in the scheme of gov­ern­ment spending. Until you look at it this way.” That number has been greatly ex­ag­ger­ated by the rightwing—of course. READ MORE

it’s our job to figure out what happened in benghazi!

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EVERYWHERE I TURN—whether  in con­ver­sa­tion, on in emails with my Re­pub­lican con­tacts, and es­pe­cially on Face­book and the other so­cial media on the internet—I hear people “quoting” then Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clinton on what hap­pened to the ef­fect that she said that the deaths in Beng­hazi “didn’t matter” or “doesn’t matter.” READ MORE

how apropoe – on poe’s law and the wasting of irony on the internet

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I AM A PRACTICING IRONIST, if yet un­li­censed by any of­fi­cial agency. Alas, I have run up against more than a few obstacles using it on the In­ternet, es­pe­cially on Face­book. I usu­ally use irony there when I want to make a point about someone’s ex­tremely ir­ra­tional comment—a rather common oc­cur­rence on the ‘net. READ MORE

who is bigger than the president of the united states?

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MICHAEL LENAHAN IS THE #1 DRIVER for New York’s #1 trans­porta­tion ser­vice, VSO Pre­mier Lim­ou­sine. When the new Pope de­cides to visit New York, he is met at JFK air­port by Michael and VSO’s best car, which everyone calls Ground­force One. When Pope Francis sees the car, he is im­me­di­ately smitten by its shiny black sur­face and its heavily tinted win­dows. READ MORE

vapid vacuous mindless journalism in my mailbox

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INCONCEIVABLE! This is what is passing for news in to­day’s rightwingnut media world of faux news or­ga­ni­za­tions and the ubiq­ui­tous blog­gers all over the In­ternet: “Rus­sell Brand la­bels ex-wife Katy Perry ‘vapid, vac­uous and plastic’ in doc­u­men­tary.” 1


Or my fave, the one that I re­ceived in my mailbox from an email newsletter: Ex-Husband Has Ex­tremely Harsh Words for Hillary-Supporting Pop Star Katy Perry”! READ MORE

trump on mental health as opposed to guns

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WITH CAFFEINE-INDUCED GUSTO—what other kind is there at 6:30 in the morning?—I opened my sole “con­ser­v­a­tive” newsletter, a sort of rightwing-lite ver­sion of TruthOut and other pro­gres­sive newslet­ters that I re­ceive. It ar­rived with this head­lined story: “Donald Trump Blames Mass Shoot­ings on 2 Words Pres­i­dent Obama Won’t Dare Bring Up.” READ MORE

an informed-voter test is not the same as a “literacy test”

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE SOUTH, states below the Mason-Dixon Line gave “lit­eracy tests” to voters to de­ter­mine their level of ed­u­ca­tion. While these tests were the­o­ret­i­cally for ALL voters, they were—need I say, need­less to say?—given dis­pro­por­tion­ately to black voters. Some of these tests were nigh on im­pos­sible to pass, re­gard­less of one’s level of ed­u­ca­tion! READ MORE