Derek Hunter reports: Progressive director Michael Moore participated in an anti-Trump protest in New York that was organized by Russians, according to information released Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein announced indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller Friday against 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 election, highlighting how the Russians used social media to stir up strife and anger on social media using memes and unwitting Americans to do their bidding. One Russia-sponsored event was a protest of then President-Elect Donald Trump on Nov. 12, 2016, called “Trump is NOT my President,” and it involved Moore.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) November 13, 2016
How Twitter feminism is bad for women
Katie Roiphe writes: No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them.
Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?
For years, women confined their complaints about sexual harassment to whisper networks for fear of reprisal from men. This is an ugly truth about our recent past that we are just now beginning to grapple with. But amid this welcome reckoning, it seems that many women still fear varieties of retribution (Twitter rage, damage to their reputations, professional repercussions, and vitriol from friends) for speaking out—this time, from other women. They are, in other words, inadvertently creating a new whisper network. Can this possibly be a good thing?
Most of the new whisperers feel as I do, exhilarated by the moment, by the long-overdue possibility of holding corrupt and bullying men such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer to account for their actions. They strongly share some of its broader goals: making it possible for women to work unbothered and unharassed even outside the bubble of Hollywood and the media, breaking down the structures that have historically protected powerful men. Yet they are also slightly uneasy at the weird energy behind this movement, a weird energy it is sometimes hard to pin down.
Here are some things these professional women said to me on the condition that their names be withheld:
I think “believe all women” is silly. Women are unreliable narrators also. I understand how hard it is to come forward, but I just don’t buy it. It’s a sentimental view of women. . . . I think there is more regretted consent than anyone is willing to say out loud.
If someone had sent me the Media Men list ten years ago, when I was twenty-five, I would have called a harmlessly enamored guy a stalker and a sloppy drunken encounter sexual assault. I’d hate myself now for wrecking two lives.
One thing people don’t say is that power is an aphrodisiac. . . . To pretend otherwise is dishonest.
What seems truly dangerous to me is the complete disregard the movement shows for a sacred principle of the American criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. I come from Mexico, whose judicial system relied, until 2016, on the presumption of guilt, which translated into people spending decades, sometimes lifetimes, in jail before even seeing a judge.
I have never felt sexually harassed. I said this to someone the other day, and she said, “I am sure you are wrong.”
Al Franken asked for an investigation and he should have been allowed to have it; the facts are still ambiguous, the sources were sketchy.
Why didn’t I get hit on? What’s wrong with me? #WhyNotMeToo
I think #MeToo is a potentially valuable tool that is degraded when women appropriate it to encompass things like “creepy DMs” or “weird lunch ‘dates.’” And I do not think touching a woman’s back justifies a front page in the New York Times and the total annihilation of someone’s career.
I have a long history with this feeling of not being able to speak. In the early Nineties, death threats were phoned into Shakespeare and Company, an Upper West Side bookstore where I was scheduled to give a reading from my book The Morning After.That night, in front of a jittery crowd and a sprinkling of police, I read a passage comparing the language in the date-rape pamphlets given out on college campuses to Victorian guides to conduct for young ladies. When I read at universities, students who considered themselves feminists shouted me down. It was an early lesson in the chilling effect of feminist orthodoxy.
But social media has enabled a more elaborate intolerance of feminist dissenters, as I just personally experienced. Twitter, especially, has energized the angry extremes of feminism in the same way it has energized Trump and his supporters: the loudest, angriest, most simplifying voices are elevated and rendered normal or mainstream.
In 1996, a six-year-old boy with Coke-bottle glasses, Johnathan Prevette, was suspended from school for sexual harassment after kissing a little girl on the cheek. This was widely interpreted as a sign of excess: as the New York Times put it, a “doctrine meant to protect against sexual harassment might have reached a damaging level of absurdity.” Yet I wonder what would happen today. Wouldn’t feminists be tweeting, “Don’t first grade girls have a right to feel safe?” Wouldn’t the new whisperers keep quiet?
One thing that makes it hard to engage with the feminist moment is the sense of great, unmanageable anger. Given what men have gotten away with for centuries, this anger is understandable. Yet it can also lead to an alarming lack of proportion. Rebecca Traister, one of the smartest and most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, writes:
The rage that many of us are feeling doesn’t necessarily correspond with the severity of the trespass: Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction.
At first glance, this seems honest and insightful of her. She seems, for a moment, to recognize the energy that is unnerving some of us, an anger not interested in making distinctions between Harvey Weinstein and the man looking down your shirt—an anger that is, as Traister herself puts it, “terrifyingly out of control.” But weirdly, she also seems to be fine with it, even roused. When Trump supporters let their anger run terrifyingly out of control, we are alarmed, and rightly so. Perhaps Traister should consider that “I am so angry I am not thinking straight” is not the best mood in which to radically envision and engineer a new society. Read the rest of this entry »
Facebook’s chief has signaled he will do what it takes to curb the social network’s negative effects—but how far will he go?
Imagine if, instead, they had given these researchers license to publish papers, or even taken the information to heart and crippled their own moneymaking machines for the good of their addicted users.
In the face of pressure brought by a growing roster of Facebook investors and former executives, many of whom have publicly stated that Facebook is both psychologically addictive and harmful to democracy, the Facebook founder and chief executive has pledged to “fix” Facebook by doing several things, including “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
Mr. Zuckerberg has also recently told investors he wants his company “to encourage meaningful social interactions,” adding that “time spent is not a goal by itself.”
So here’s the multibillion-dollar question: Is he willing to sacrifice revenue for the well-being of Facebook’s two-billion-plus users?
Mr. Zuckerberg has already said the company will hire so many content moderators to deal with fake news and Russian interference that it will hurt profit, but whether he will go further and change the basic fabric of Facebook’s algorithms in the name of users’ mental health, he has yet to say.
Clearly, Facebook, a company Mr. Zuckerberg started when he was in college, has changed so much that even its creator is playing catch-up to the reality of its globe-spanning power.
In June, he changed the company’s mission from “connecting” the world to bringing the world closer together. He said he used to think giving people a voice would make the world better on its own, “but our society is still divided. Now I believe we have a responsibility to do even more.”
In December, Facebook researchers surveyed the scientific literature and their own work and publicly acknowledged that while direct communication and sharing between individuals and small groups on Facebook can have positive effects, merely lurking and scrolling through others’ status updates makes people unhappy. Read the rest of this entry »
Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended because one of her tweets included a private phone number.
Over the past week, McGowan has been outspoken on Twitter in lambasting Harvey Weinstein, who she says sexually harassed her 20 years ago.
“We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan’s team. We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates of our Terms of Service,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”
[UPDATE, 2:55 p.m. ET: McGowan, in her first post after her account was unlocked, quoted @TwitterSafety’s statement and asked rhetorically, in a reference to President Trump, “when will nuclear war violate your terms of service?”] Read the rest of this entry »
Western Village first opened its doors back in the early 1970s. Originally quite a modest affair known as Kinugawa Family Ranch, the Wild West theme park did well and gradually expanded, hence the name change. Yet despite such success, changing times resulted in changing fortunes, and in 2006 it was forced to close — meaning that the park now sits empty and forlorn by the side of the road. An odd, wholly unexpected sight in a relatively sparsely populated area a few hours north of Tokyo.
Increasingly battered by the weather and years of neglect, it nonetheless still retains the look one would expect.
Visiting at the end of a politically tumultuous 2016, however, it wasn’t these out of place structures that made an impact. Instead, it was the park’s haunted looking residents and their unintended, yet no less terrifying depiction of a world turned utterly upside down. The world in which we currently live in, basically.
Considering its theme, and the period in which Western Village opened, it’s perhaps not surprising that one particular, distinctly larger-than-life personality was chosen to front it.
And, as a follicly challenged right winger with a weirdly orange complexion, such a choice seems disturbingly prescient.
So now, instead of an innocent recreation of all things cowboy-related, this celebrity led world feels like a truly disturbing vision of a potentially very near future. One in which the inner machinations and ulterior motives of those pulling the presidential strings are very much to the fore.
Sometimes there’s nothing more awesome than finding beauty in unexpected places. When the team at Beauty of Science dropped a few M&M’s into water under a Sony A7R M2 camera they discovered that the time-lapse process of the candy dissolving was incredibly beautiful.
Watch as each piece of candy becomes a sugary supernova:
We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.
Hossein Derakshan writes: If I say that social media aided Donald Trump’s election,
you might think of fake news on Facebook. But even if Facebook fixes the algorithms that elevate phony stories, there’s something else going on: social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.
I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was
decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.
Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.
Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside. This is why Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as the word of 2016: an adjective “relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”
Neil Postman provided some clues about this in his illuminating 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. The media scholar at New York University saw then how television transformed public discourse into an exchange of volatile emotions that are usually mistaken by pollsters as opinion. One of the scariest outcomes of this transition, Postman wrote, is that television essentially turns all news into disinformation. “Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing … The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Emphasis added.) And, Postman argued, when news is constructed as a form of entertainment, it inevitably loses its function for a healthy democracy. “I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?” Read the rest of this entry »
Prize-winning former reporter for the New York Times, explains why Americans’ trust in the news media has fallen, and why that matters.
One of the world’s most celebrated cosmologists stretched the fabric of China’s social-media universe with a simple greeting on Tuesday.
“Greetings to my friends in China! It has been too long!” celebrated black-hole theorizer Stephen Hawking wrote in an inaugural, bilingual post on Chinese social media platform Weibo. “I hope to tell you more about my life and work through this page and also to learn from you in reply.”
The response was, well, astronomical.
The account amassed more than a million followers in its first six hours. In that time, Mr. Hawking’s first message was…(read more)
Source: China Real Time Report – WSJ
After two decades of failed attempts to track such visitors, some officials call the visa program a critical national security weakness.
WASHINGTON — Ron Nixon writes: The question from the congressman to the Obama administration official was straightforward enough: How many foreign visitors overstay their visas every year?
The reply was simple too, but not in a satisfying way. “We don’t know,” the official said.
The testy exchange during a recent congressional hearing between Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, and Alan Bersin, the assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, highlights what some law enforcement officials call a critical weakness in the United States foreign visa program.
The issue has taken on added urgency as part of a broader examination of immigration policy following the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded. Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers, was granted entry to the United States under a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was an American-born citizen. Both died in a shootout with the police. While Ms. Malik did not overstay her visa, the attack added to fears that a terrorist could exploit gaps in the system.
Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to develop a system to track people who overstayed their visas. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an entry and exit tracking system was seen as a vital national security and counterterrorism tool, and the 9/11 Commission recommended that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system “as soon as possible.” Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami and Nawaf al-Hazmi, had overstayed their visas.
Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the United States illegally after overstaying visas.
Officials blame a lack of technology to conduct more advanced collection of data like iris scans, resistance from the airline and tourism industries because of cost, and questions about the usefulness of tracking people exiting the country as a counterterrorism measure.
Some experts also note that a sizable number of those who overstayed their visas are highly skilled workers who come under the H-1B program or are foreign students.
One widely cited statistic, from a 1997 report by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, puts the number of people who overstay their visas at 40 percent — which now would mean about 4.4 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States. Numerous lawmakers, including the Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have used that figure when trying to describe the scope of the problem. But even that number has never been conclusively substantiated.
Federal agencies have not provided a new report to Congress on overstays since 1994, despite the congressional mandate. Read the rest of this entry »
Should the Department of Homeland Security respect online privacy, even if terrorists are behind it? How did these ISIS sympathizers involved in the San Bernardino massacre pass visa screenings? Should immigration check social media before granting visas?
Damage Control at MSNBC: ‘We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review’Posted: December 4, 2015 | |
“We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review,” the network said in a statement given to the Washington Examiner….
Josh Feldman reports:
Right after MSNBC, CNN, and other networks got news crews inside the home of the San Bernardino attackers, two CNN analysts absolutely tore into law enforcement for allowing it to happen.
MSNBC and CNN toured through the entire place, and MSNBC ended up broadcasting some personal details about the attackers that weren’t blurred out on live TV.
CNN legal analyst Paul Callan reacted to the media being allowed in by saying, “I think this indicates a shocking degree of negligence and, really, recklessness by law enforcement authorities here.” He said there could have easily been another suspect, and if there is, the crime scene is “contaminated” now.
CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Gilliam called this “the biggest visible screw-up in investigative history that I think has ever occurred.”…(read more)
NBC, the parent network of MSNBC, along with other media outlets, gained access to the home of the married couple who shot up a health center in San Bernardino this week.
Oh yuck, my MSNBC tweet attracted right wingers. No, go away! MSNBC is still 100,000,000 times better than Fox.
— Brandon Marcus (@MrBrandonMarcus) December 4, 2015
While rummaging on live TV throughout the house, NBC reporter Kerry Sanders and his cameraman showed images that appeared to reveal the identity of people related to the shooters, including the photo of a young child. The shooters, who were killed in a stand off with police, were the parents of a six-month-old girl.
John Nolte reports:
One of the most bizarre and possibly irresponsible and craven scenes in media history just unfurled on MSNBC and CNN as reporters from both networks (and a handful of others), during a live broadcast, toured the apartment of the San Bernardino Islamic terrorists. While a MSNBC reporter rummaged through the deceased terrorists’ closets and boxes and photo albums, Andrea Mitchell reassured viewers that the disturbing scene was okay. “The landlord told us authorities were done with the crime scene,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »
MCALLEN, Texas — Ildefonso Ortiz reports: Mexican authorities arrested a top female drug lord wanted in the United States for bribing federal officers. The female drug trafficker. known for her glamorous photographs on social media, was a common sight in this border city and in the Mexican cities of Reynosa and Miguel Aleman.
Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) announced this week the arrest of 38-year-old Ana Marie Hernandez better known as “La Muneca” at the request of the Interpol and the U.S. Marshals Service, information provided to Breitbart Texas revealed.
Hernandez was recently caught after a lengthy series of surveillance operation in order to track her down, according to the PGR, she is currently in a Mexican prison where she will undergo and extradition process.Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal that Hernandez had been on the run for a few years after she pleaded
guilty to drug conspiracy charges and bribery in El Paso….(read more)
And watch this:
It was a highlight of our week here at Pundit Planet.
KELLY: Charles Koch, thank you.
KOCH: Well, thank you, Megyn. I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Getting lots of feedback online with Charles Koch, like this one, quote, “Such a disappointing lack of evilness! Imagine that.”
Thanks for watching. This is “The Kelly File.”
Do the Koch brothers have critics with legitimate complaints? Interests groups that object to the various causes the Koch brothers, with their considerable resources, advocate? Of course they do. But perhaps because they don’t seek the limelight, they’re referred to as “shadowy figures”, and attacked relentlessly from the highest public offices in the United States, including the Senate floor, and the Presidency itself.
Private citizens, using their wealth, and right to free speech, to advocate causes they believe in (causes that up until recently, were embraced as mainstream values in America) are routinely smeared by opponents, and treated as the most evil, corrosive influence in modern politics. Do the Kochs deserve to be characterized by their opponents as pure Evil? The idea is laughable.
“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian. If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.”
A woman who claimed to have a grandmother inside a writing class in Snyder Hall, where a portion the massacre unfolded, described the scene in a tweet.
“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs. My grandma just got to my house, and she was in the room. She wasn’t shot, but she is very upset.
The Twitter user then recalled how her grandmother attempted to save the life of one of her close classmates.
Two women wait outside Umpqua Community College campus after a shooting.Photo: AP
“She tried to perform CPR on her friend, but it was too late,” the woman said. “I hope nothing like this ever happens again.”
Kortney Moore, an 18-year-old student at Umpqua Community College who was also in the room, told Oregon’s News Review that the shooter was indeed on the hunt for Christians.
Moments after hearing a bullet come flying through a window, she said the 20-year-old shooter made his way inside and targeted their teacher, pumping a single round into their head. Read the rest of this entry »
Censorship rates on Weibo up tenfold after the Tianjin blast
Eva Dou reports: The Tianjin warehouse explosion has horrified and gripped China’s netizens, with the topic racking up more views on social network Weibo than the country’s total population of nearly 1.4 billion.
It’s also sent the country’s Internet censors scrambling to make sure online discussion stays within approved confines.
Censorship rates on Weibo were up tenfold after the Tianjin blast compared to earlier in the month, said King-wa Fu, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong’s journalism school who built censorship tracker Weiboscope.
The topic “Tianjin Tanggu Explosion” has more pageviews on Weibo than the number of people in China. 1.68 bln vs 1.36 bln
— Eva Dou (@evadou) August 14, 2015
Censorship of traditional and social media is common in China after disasters and has actually been looser this time than in some other recent tragedies. Whereas China’s local newspapers turned into clones after the capsizing of a ship on the Yangtze River in June, Chinese media reports on the explosion in Tianjin’s Tanggu district have been more varied. Discussion of the topic has also been widespread on social media.
But some online comments go too far, such as those that criticize the government’s response or discuss the chemicals inside the warehouse, which officials say they have not yet been able to identify. Those types of postings have been scrubbed, according to Weiboscope and another censorship-tracking site, Free Weibo. Read the rest of this entry »
The Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications mentioned the videos in its notice and declared that they are ‘having an extremely bad impact on society’.
Felicia Sonmez reports: Chinese authorities are striking back after a string of high-profile incidents involving explicit homemade videos, according to a notice by the country’s antipornography office.
“So-called ‘indecent videos’ are harming social virtue, promoting pornography, severely disturbing order on the Internet and trampling on the moral and legal bottom line,” reads the notice, which was posted Thursday on the website of China’s National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications.
Last month, a clip of a couple having sex in a Uniqlo dressing room went viral on the Chinese Internet, in an episode that inspired scores of online parodies and prompted thousands of couples to take selfies outside of the downtown Beijing store where the incident took place. Four people have been detained in connection with the video.
Since the Uniqlo incident, several other risqué videos have found their way to the Chinese public eye. In one case, a clip made by several people in Shengzhou in coastal Zhejiang province after a night out at a karaoke parlor went viral online late last month. Read the rest of this entry »
While some people joked about the defeat of the mighty Spartans, others took the incident seriously, citing safety issues. They were hired to promote salad by a food store.
A group of half-naked foreigners dressed as Spartan warriors made a mighty debut in Beijing on Wednesday, but soon lost their first battle against the police.
They showed up in some of the busiest areas in east Beijing around the afternoon, including Guomao and Sanlitun, drawing large crowds of admirers taking snaps.
They were hired to promote salad by a food store, according to Beijing Youth Daily.
However the fun ended when police arrived at the scene. Officers asked them to leave after the half-naked men started to cause “disorder,” according to Beijing Youth Daily. The report said they were forcibly detained after that request was ignored.
There is no information yet on whether those detained have been released or what charges the models might face. But according to a statement released by the food store on Thursday, they have already “cleared the air” with the police.
Photos of the scene soon went viral on Chinese social platforms. While some people joked about the defeat of the mighty Spartans, others took the incident seriously, citing safety issues. Read the rest of this entry »
King George III (1738-1820), Reigned 1760-1820
Ashe Schow writes: Not content to redefine consent to mean asking permission before every step of the sexual process, California is now on the path to teaching high school students the proper way to have sex — because human nature is now wrong.
“The ‘yes means yes’ law effectively defines every sexual encounter as rape unless you follow the law’s specific requirements — or unless neither party turns the other in to police.”
To recap: Last year California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law aiming to redefine consent as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement,” that is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.” Saying “no” to unwanted sexual contact was no longer necessary, as a “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.” Also, previous sexual history “should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.” Alcohol also negates consent, since the line between “intoxicated” and “incapacitated” can be decided after the fact by an accuser.
“Now de Leon is moving on to round two: Teaching high school students the “correct” way to have sex. Human nature is no longer the correct way. De Leon knows the correct way — and it involves a lot of questions.”
This means that every time two college students have sex they have to act like they’ve never met before and ask for approval for everything from the first kiss and touch through intercourse. I tried multiple times to ask the sponsor of the California bill, State Sen. Kevin de Leon, how someone could prove they obtained consent under his law, but only received press releases and quoted paragraphs from the bill. When asked to clarify how one would prove they had obtained consent, his spokeswoman didn’t respond. Read the rest of this entry »
MIT Technology Review: Some Companies See Virtual and Augmented Reality as a Way to Make Money from a New Type of AdPosted: March 22, 2015 | |
Jon Gabriel: ‘I suppose I could categorize my friends by ethnicity, but the thought makes my skin crawl. They’re friends, not racial statistics’Posted: March 21, 2015 | |
The Broader Problem with Starbucks’ Racialism
Jon Gabriel writes: In an effort to solve America’s race issues once and for all, Starbucks is offering a discussion guide named “Your Race Relations Reality Check.” The document is featured to the right. This is not a Photoshop. This is real. One of the biggest companies on Earth thought this was A Good Idea.
“I’ve grown accustomed to the hand-wringing of rich white liberals, the smug preachiness of corporations, and the intrusion of politics into everyday life. But this ‘Reality Check’ revealed something deeper.”
Starbucks asks how many of your friends are of a different race and how that compares to your parents’ and kids’ racial quotas. They want to know the racial makeup of your neighborhood, workplace and Facebook stream. Have you let people of other races into your home? Have you entered theirs? And why didn’t you keep up with that childhood friend of a different race?
“I can’t even answer the Starbucks questionnaire. I have no idea the races of my parents’ or kids’ friends and even if I did, why would it matter? I suppose I could categorize my friends by ethnicity, but the thought makes my skin crawl. They’re friends, not racial statistics.”
For the past few days, I’ve tried to identify what most bugs me about this Starbucks stunt. I’ve grown accustomed to the hand-wringing of rich white liberals, the smug preachiness of corporations, and the intrusion of politics into everyday life. But this “Reality Check” revealed something deeper.
Let me veer onto a tangent; I’ll get back to the point in a minute. Starting with my first job out of college, I’ve had to mingle at trade shows, launch parties and corporate events where I was ordered to chat up complete strangers. I’m an introvert, so this was almost a fate worse than death. I’m some punk kid and they’re middle-aged bankers and software developers — what on earth am I supposed to talk about?
“This reveals one of my fundamental issues with the progressive mindset: they are obsessed with dividing Americans into discrete, controllable categories.”
So I came up with a conversation hack to sidestep my inner wallflower. I needed them to tell me something — anything — we might have in common. It would go like this:
“Where is your office located?”
“So, what’s going on with those Huskers? Could be an interesting year…”
Then I’d shut up and nod for 10 minutes.
In that first job, most of the guests were male and often from rural areas, so I would just mention the name of the nearest college and let them educate me on the sports there. Read the rest of this entry »
“The suicide of the west in one opening sentence. Amazing.”
[VIDEO] From His Bathroom, Shirtless ‘Minecraft’ Game Critic Offers Important Commentary About #Ferguson Cop ShootingPosted: March 12, 2015 | |
‘My name is Stephen Henry Richards, and I’m here to inform you that two police officers have been shot, in Ferguson Missouri, due to the violent video game named ‘Minecraft’. Minecraft is teaching young youth violence by shooting, stabbing, PVP, that’s player versus player, and now it’s getting out on the streets.”
Stephen Henry Richards continues,
“These unfortune-nate incidences, where people who are trying to protect us and uphold the law are being shot, by children, and young adults, because they’re coming up to them unsuspected, unaware, and now we have this shooting of two police officers in this United States town of Ferguson Missouri.”
Stephen concludes with an invitation to subscribe to his channel.
“I’m Stephen Henry Richards, and I’ll be back soon to talk about this unfortunate incident, please give me thumbs up to the video, not to what happened, please subscribe, and let me know what you want me to talk about.”
— WSJ Asia (@WSJAsia) February 6, 2015