Posts

Fake News, courtesy of the White House and Washington Examiner.

Image
This morning some Trumpkin yahoo sent me a link to this story. The few reporters who chose to attend huddled under umbrellas, with ponchos over their computers. Many others chose to remain at a hotel press filing center. At one point during his 10-minute speech, Trump made light of the driving rain in a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit, telling one guest under an overhang, "You look so comfortable up there under shelter as we are getting drenched." The aforementioned right-wing rag provided a link to Sky News. The Sky news video is heavily cropped, but I found the original. Better yet, I found the official White House video. The quoted sentence is at 6:55 into the video. There's something very off, though. Where is the driving, drenching rain? The President's hair is dry at the very beginning of the video, right through to the end. There is no water dripping off the leaves. There are a few raindrops on Trump''s coat, towards the middle of the video, but t…

William "Reyn" Archer III

Image
...has, it turns out a long history of jackassery. Way back in the 1990s, as Texas Health Commissioner, he was fired for "racially insensitive comments", caught on tape... Archer can be heard referring several times to Montgomery's race and said, "you are fair (skinned) as a black woman, you get certain privileges in white culture that others don't get for that."Archer can be heard making references to "lynching" and suggesting Montgomery used her brain to advance her career and "that's what white people do." Before that he suggested hispanic teenagers want to be pregnant. This article summarizes his bizarre behavior in the job. Ignoring all this, Fortenberry took this guy on as chief-of-staff. And now he's back threatening my UNL faculty colleague Ari Kohen for his private behavior, and even wasting the Chancellor's time compaining about his Facebook 'likes'. And obliquely threatening to set the internet dogs on him…

Benny Johnson and Turning Point USA at UNL: stealing people's stuff to own the libs

Image
The newly 'recognized' Turning Point USA UNL chapter have immediately put paid to speculation they might be any different than the other chapters of the alt-right campus freak show, by recruiting the unsavory Benny Johnson as their first speaker. Benjamin Arthur Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009. Although it's been variously reported he also has a degree in Organic Chemistry, U. Iowa seems to think he only graduated in Psychology. Since he was an honors student, I hoped to find the thesis he is supposed to have written; running that through a plagiarism checker might be a laugh riot. Unfortunately, it seems not to be in their digital repository. Johnson commenced his career with a listicle-laced gala performance of promiscuous plagiarism at Buzzfeed, which led to his firing. He stole from no fewer than 41 articles. Then, after a brief break to let the scandal die down, he got a job at IJR Review. The man has no shame; a hate click, he claims, i…

Another day, another deranged right wing lunatic.

Image
Last October 1, a friend and colleague who inhabits the office next to mine, and who happens to be, ahem, somewhat right of center -- but I like him anyway, even though he's a Yankees fan -- banged on my office door, and said I'd been called out on Coby Mach's radio show, which is a low-rent local version of Rush Limbaugh. I think his exact words were 'what have you done now?' I was mystified. He said a 'retired airforce general' had reported me to the FBI, CIA (?!) and Board of Regents. I asked why? He said I had issued death threats to students. He recited some of what he'd heard, and damn it, it was the Mikado! Yes, this vicious little piece by society offenders William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
And then I realized. it was my version of "As some day it may happen.." I posted on my Facebook page two weeks previously. Apparently some right-wing loon has been patrolling my facebook page and thinks W.S. Gilbert was a terrorist. O…

Hoaxing journals, or, get another hobby

Image
By now you've probably heard of the 20 paper, partially-successful hoax pulled by Peter Boghossian (clue right there!), James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. If you can stand the self-congratulatory tone, it's described here. I don't have a lot to say about it that hasn't already been said, but here are my thoughts 1. Boy, do these people have time on their hands. I waste a lot of time myself, but time to generate 20 bogus papers to prove a point? Gosh, couldn't they have done something more useful with that time -- say, go down to their local park and pick up trash? 2. And it's not much of a point. Ever since I've been in academia, it's been a truism that if you select a bad enough journal, you can publish your laundry list, even in science. In what they call Grievance Studies , well, it's not my field, and I haven't devoted any time to studying it (see point 1), but I imagine with a bit of verbosity you can get away with murder. And things h…

Men: 100,000 Years of Uselessness

Image
One of the books I've most enjoyed in the last 10 years was Hanna Rosin's The End of Men: and the Rise of Women. Despite its somewhat click-baity title (but hold muh beer, Hanna, and watch this!), TEOM wasn't an anti-male screed. In fact, I got the sense that Rosin was quite sympathetic to the men whose imminent demise she was predicting. The thesis of the book was that as manufacturing industry had declined, the traditional model of male breadwinner/female mom had disappeared. Women were now better than men at getting jobs in the new service/information economy, and while they were hard pressed to be both breadwinners and moms, they were surviving. Men, meanwhile, had been slow to adapt, refusing to take over part of the traditional female role while women were coopting theirs, and were mostly just 'going fishing'. And women, reasonably, were asking why they needed a full-time male, when they could always get one when needed. What's fascinating is that it …

Requiem for a right-wing outrage

Image
Amie Wilkinson of U Chicago, and Benson Farb of the NYJM, issued statements yesterday rebutting Ted Hill's apparently mendacious account in Quillette of his junk-science paper and its retraction. Wilkinson's statement.Farb's statement. Prediction: Quillette and the people who should know better (Pinker, Christakis) who jumped all over this will acknowledge no fault, and next week we'll do it all over again.