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the hydra of hate bubbling beneath america’s surface

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. [Continue reading]

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

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.” [Continue reading]

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

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. [Continue reading]

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trump on mental health as opposed to guns

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.” [Continue reading]