I’m just getting around to watching this speech from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Impressive!

I really never paid much attention to Schwarzenegger’s time as governor of California, but because I was in living in Wisconsin during part of former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura’s time as governor of Minnesota, I guess I expected bluster and bravado. Yes, waving the Conan sword certainly provided manly spectacle for the groundlings, but the sword was an opportunity to introduce a metaphor — he put it down with a…

MAGA World Is Splintering: Following the riot at the Capitol, Trump supporters are having an existential crisis on Twitter.

Bryson Gray, a 29-year-old rapper and Donald Trump superfan from North Carolina, wants to make one thing clear: It was a group of the president’s most loyal supporters that rioted in the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, and nobody else. When I spoke with Gray yesterday, he said he had been “too late” to get inside the Capitol itself with the rest of the mob, which broke windows and chanted…

Apple threatens to remove Parler social networking service from App Store

Apple Inc has threatened to remove the Parler social networking service from its App Store unless the company changes its content moderation policies, Parler Chief Executive John Matze told Reuters on Friday. Parler is a social network where many supporters of President Donald Trump have migrated after being banned from services such as Twitter Inc. In a letter from Apple’s App Store review team to Parler seen by Reuters, Apple…

What if the DC rioters had been Black? I think we know the answer | Aja Hannah

This is not just an issue of a double standard between BLM protesters and white, Republican rioters. It is an issue of safety and justice. Black people asking for accountability when police are violent were met with violence from police. White people attempting to stop an election by force is met with sympathy and seemingly unprepared officers. That’s an issue for everyone in America who values their own security. Tell…

Fact Check: No, an NPR story on the Trump supporters’ attempted coup dated January 6, 2021 9:33 AM ET is not a sign of a conspiracy theory

According to the Internet Archive, this is a story NPR posted at 9:33 this morning. As events developed, and the story changed, NPR updated this page — drastically. As you can see, the headline and the picture are different; though the date the page was first created is still there, the page now also includes an “Updated at 3.08pm ET” time stamp. (The blue highlighting is mine.) Conspiracy theorists are…

Fact check: You can safely ignore that “HOW TO FIGHT COVID AT HOME” meme

I noticed this meme a few days ago. I recognized the “friend of a friend who has insider knowledge” formula that makes people want to share a memes. I know better than to trust anonymous online sources that claim to have special knowledge, so I just re-read what the CDC says and moved on. Here are links to what the CDC says: Symptoms of coronavirus How to protect yourself How…

I’m glad President Trump was right about the coronavirus vaccine

In May, NBC published a “Fact Check” challenging President Trump’s prediction that there would be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.   NBC was factually reporting the answers they got when they asked experts. Those experts didn’t say there would be no vaccine, they said it would be extremely unlikely. The fact that an unlikely thing happened is not evidence of a media conspiracy against the 45th…

We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time

You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate on November 16, had been designed by January 13. This was just two days after the genetic sequence had been made public in an act of scientific and humanitarian generosity that resulted in China’s Yong-Zhen Zhang’s being temporarily forced out of his lab. In Massachusetts,…

Oh, No. YouTube is Deleting Videos.

Oh no.  First YouTube institutes a “COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy” and starts deleting videos that tout fake cures or discourage people from following the medical advice of the WHO; then, YouTube takes a stand against any video that “misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.” What’s next? Will they go after videos that include the phrase  “Merry Christmas?” Or…

Final grades are due tomorrow. My Fall 2020 is almost over. I survived.

Final grades are due tomorrow. My only unmarked assignments are just a handful of final projects with some components I couldn’t evaluate, mostly for some technical reason. It’s been a pretty rough semester, but I’m glad I started prepping for it in July, rethinking and reorganizing and rebuilding lesson plans and assignment sequences with a Covid-necessitated hybrid classroom in mind. Spending a lot of time rethinking the mechanics of my…

Details on the disappearance of the Utah monolith

Mr. Bernards, 34, of Edwards, Colo., was visiting the monolith on Friday night when, he said, four men arrived as if out of nowhere to dismantle the sculpture. Mr. Bernards had driven six hours for the chance to ogle the sculpture and to take dramatic photographs of it. Using upscale Lume Cube lights attached to a drone, he produced a series of glowy, moonlit pictures in which the monolith glistens…

Stunning writing in this WaPost reflection on the Trump campaign’s journey from a gold escalator to a landscaping parking lot

I’m stunned by the writing. Here’s just a sample: Outside the Clark County Election Center in Las Vegas, a news conference was interrupted by a hysterical man in a sleeveless tank that read “BEER BBQ FREEDOM.” “The Biden crime family is stealing this election!” he screamed over and over again, as if repetition would make it true. In Philadelphia, a demilitarized zone formed early Friday afternoon at Arch and 12th…

Trump communications director Murtaugh rallies supporters by tweeting fake Washington Times front page

Here’s more evidence of just how crucial it is to the Trumpiverse to sustain the narrative that “the media” are the enemy. Earlier today, Trump’s Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh tweeted a picture of a Washington Times banner headline announcing the victory of “PRESIDENT GORE,” as “a reminder that the media doesn’t select the Present.” Also in the same tweet was a photo of that page plastered in what appears…

It started with a ride down an escalator and ended with a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

Earlier today Trump tweeted that his campaign would hold a “Lawyers Press Conference at Four Seasons, Philadelphia.” He later specified that he didn’t mean the prestigious Four Seasons hotel, but rather an unrelated business “Four Seasons Landscaping,” which happens to be located next to an adult bookstore and near a cremation company. One imagines that a staff member hastily booked the wrong venue, but it’s not likely we’ll get a…

McCain’s 2008 Concession Speech: Republicans interrupt their candidate’s concession speech to cheer about what the election of his opponent says about the USA

That moment during McCain’s concession speech in 2008, when he mentions Obama, and a ripple of boos begin. McCain, his face showing disapproval, holds up his hands palms down — a controlling gesture, but a calming one. He says the simple word, “Please,” and patiently waits until his audience settles down. He says he just called Obama “to congratulate him on being elected president of the country we both love.”…

Networks cut away from Trump’s White House address

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from President Donald Trump on Thursday as he spoke from the White House to make an unfounded accusation that the presidential election was being stolen from him. Trump had tried to commandeer the nation’s airwaves at a time when the evening newscasts are shown on the East Coast, after a day when the slow drip of vote counting revealed…

NASA finally makes contact with Voyager 2 after longest radio silence in 30 years

I was thrilled as a middle-schooler to stay up late watching PBS coverage of science types poring over printouts of the images arriving from Voyager 1 and 2’s visits to Jupiter and Saturn in 79-81, and visits to Uranus and Neptune in the late 80s. The Star Wars and Star Trek movie franchises were in high gear, Carl Sagan became a household name, and everywhere NASA was hyping how the…