Trump: no obligation to decency


From The Guardian: Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim

On Twitter, the Republican presidential frontrunner said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”

Let’s reframe.

Jackass stands up and, based on zero evidence, driven by lies and disinformation that pander to his own ignorance, bias, and prejudice, suspecting (obviously correctly) that his own ignorance, bias, and prejudice will resonate with both the audience and the speaker (Trump), spouts an absurd and pernicious lie (pernicious in the sense that it’s intended to hurt, not in the sense that were it true there is anything actually wrong with the allegation) and doubles down by expressing a desire for ethnic/religious cleansing on American soil.

This was an opportunity for Trump to demonstrate his leadership skills, to lead toward American unity instead of division.

Of course it’s only natural that he’s under no obligation to actually rise to the challenge when running for the highest office of the land.

Who needs leadership in the presidency after all?

Even McCain had more decency. Even McCain.


Hatemongering on the campaign trail: Huckabee edition

What part of Christianity is this?

From Raw Story: Mike Huckabee: Obama has no right to ‘believe he’s a Christian’ after inviting gays to meet pope

Huck and I have one thing in common. We’re not bashful about telling people how to be better at their faith. I think I’m arguably better at it. Jesus dined with lepers, sinners, and tax collectors, after all, but Huck seems to think the company of spiritual leaders is only reserved for some version of the righteous. I guess he has some litmus test for that that must have been cut out of the Gospels.

Meanwhile, the Pope dines with the homeless instead of Congresspeople. Hrmmm…

By their fruits you shall know them.

Ben Carson: constitutional surgeon

This is what a clausectomy looks like

Ben Carson, perhaps the smartest of the GOP pack running for the nomination, and who has a book on the Constitution coming out a) doesn’t believe a Muslim should be president, and b) doesn’t appear to understand the Constitution.

Why is that?

Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution states: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States [emphasis added].”

I’m not sure which is worse, a Constitutional scholar like Obama who appears to do end runs around it like a football player runs laps, or someone like Carson who thinks he knows the Constitution but isn’t willing to apply its principles in practice.

Carly Fiorina’s lie that wouldn’t die

Carly either can’t distinguish between evidence or doesn’t know what it is

Last Saturday I posted this on social media with my own comment:

If anyone has the footage she describes, please post. Otherwise, I’ll go with the existing evidence and conclude that this is just another pernicious lie.


Brain food: various & sundry

Highlights from the past week

Six Easy Ways To Tell If That Viral Story Is A Hoax: I Fucking Love Science

The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight: Moyers & Company

Physicists Plan To Put A Microbe In Two Places At Once: I Fucking Love Science

Scientists create the first digital ‘tree of life’ for 2.3 million species: The Christian Science Monitor

Disney To Re-Release Theatrical Cuts Of The Original Star Wars Trilogy: Comic (more…)

The week in fluff

Various social media shenanigans from the past week

A Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: Wherever the Trail Leads


Mapping the United Swears of America

Jack Grieve, lecturer in forensic linguistics at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, has created a detailed set of maps of the US showing strong regional patterns of swearing preferences.


Analyzing and evaluating evidence

In aid of my new venture, I needed a concise and accessible summary of how to assess the quality of evidence used in argumentation. Every now and again the Internet actually does grant wishes like some kind of magical knowledge genie. One Davis Oldham at Shoreline Community College in Washington has prepared for English 101 & 102 classes exactly what I was looking for.

I’m sharing that article on evidence in part for your own convenience, should such a thing be a handy resource for you, and in part to help keep me on the straight and narrow. As I proceed with “the project,” I need a methodology and this should serve as a framework quite nicely. As well, it’ll serve as a benchmark for you, dear reader, to whip and scold me back into line when I fail to apply the simple and elegant principles outlined therein.

Added bonus, I wracked my brains earlier trying to remember this next tool. Imagine my embarrassment at all that wracking when I finally stumbled on it. As a name, WebCite could hardly be more amenable to memory, no? So yeah, if you’re looking for a handy way to both archive and cite an online source so that it doesn’t just up and disappear, especially as news articles are prone to do, link breaking bastards that they are, WebCite might be just the tool for you as well.