Raw Story

A Murder in New Hampshire

And then there is this, via Raw Story:

White supremacist Jesse Jarvis, murdered in Claremont, New Hampshire, 13 May 2018. (Detail of Image via Facebook)A white supremacist former gang leader was gunned down over the weekend outside a Chinese restaurant in New Hampshire.

Jesse Jarvis, who co-founded the Brotherhood of White Warriors around 2010 at the Northern New Hampshire Corrections Facility, was shot multiple times shortly after midnight Sunday in the parking lot of Imperial Buffet in Claremont, reported the Valley News.

The 36-year-old Jarvis, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and his family were regular customers at the restaurant and bar, but police have not identified any suspects in the fatal shooting.

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Image note: Jesse Jarvis (Detail of image via Facebook.)

Gettys, Travis. “White supremacist gang leader executed outside Chinese buffet in New Hampshire”. Raw Story. 14 May 2018.

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What They Voted For: Princess Envy

#AmericanRoyalty | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Schooley (@Rschooley): "I'm constantly amazed at how Ivanka comports herself like she's the spunky princess of a beloved royal family."  [via Twitter, 25 February 2018]

These days, everybody loves Schooley, or something:

I’m constantly amazed at how Ivanka comports herself like she’s the spunky princess of a beloved royal family.

Ouch.

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The Man of the Hour

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Political strategist Stephen Bannon speaks at a Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore campaign rally in Midland City, Alabama, 11 December 2017. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

The triple-bylined exclusive from The Daily Beast opens like sublime comedy:

Steve Bannon is lawyering up as he gets ready to face investigators looking into the Trump-Russia nexus.

The Daily Beast has learned that the former top White House strategist has retained Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel. Two sources tell us Burck is helping Bannon prepare for an interview with the House intelligence committee, which is currently scheduled for next week. Sources also said Bannon plans to “fully cooperate” with investigators.

Puti TootsBurck also represents White House Counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for the purposes of the Russia probe ....

(Woodruff, Markay, and Suebsaeng)

To the one, this ought to be in some manner artistically appreciable; to the other, we cannot reiterate enough that as much as Mr. Bannon needs to testify under oath, and about more than simply his time with the Trump campaign, neither, really, can he be trusted. That is to say, spectacularly flaming paragon of right-wing cynicism he might be, Steve Bannon not only can be expected to throw the House Intelligence Committee, and thus the entire Beltway, into chaos, but virtually cannot fail to discredit Congressional inquiries into the #TrumpRussia affair.

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The Erasure (#RememberSasha)

#PresidentDonaldTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Via Raw Story:

Cable news spent the day talking non-stop about the incoming First Family. CNN’s John King, however, neglected to remember the Obama family as he was talking about the incoming Trump family.

“I think she’s winning a lot of praise,” King said about Melania Trump staying in New York to let Barron Trump finish the school year. “He’s 10, the youngest child in the White House since John Kennedy Jr. I believe. Let’s see what happens next year.”

When the Obama’s came into the White House their eldest daughter Malia was also 10-years-old and the Obama’s youngest daughter Sasha was seven years old.

Erasure begins. What will CNN have to do for Donald Trump before he appreciates them? John King erasing Sasha Obama, the youngest daughter of the former president? That’s a good start.

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Burris, Sarah K. “CNN’s John King forgets about Obama’s children: Barron is ‘youngest kid since JFK Jr.'” Raw Story. 20 January 2017.

The Not-So-Gay Divorceé

VIII. Adjustment.

The question of a divorceé has long plagued Christian supremacists who denounce marriage equality and gay rights, but, you know, really? Not only has Kim Davis already licensed transgender man and his pansexual wife, and most likely also issued plenty of marriage licenses to divorceés, but it also turns out that Ms. Davis is herself a serial adulterer.

On this point, Travis Gettys of Raw Story considers an appearance by Dan Savage on msnbc; the author, advice columnist, and editor of The Stranger, Mr. Savage spared no punches:

“I think Kim Davis is waiting to cash in,” Savage told MSNBC. “I predicted from the beginning that she would defy all the court orders, defy the Supreme Court, she would ultimately be held in contempt of court, lose her job, perhaps go to prison for a short amount of time. And then she will have written for her, ghost written books. She will go on the right-wing lecture circuit and she’ll never have to do an honest day’s work ever again in her life.”

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, in a mugshot, 3 September 2015, after being held in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, after she refused to comply with the law and issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.“This is about someone hypocritically cashing in, and she is a hypocrite,” he added.

Savage referred to the defiant clerk’s statement complaining that courts were asking her to “violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage” — which the columnist dismissed as ridiculous.

“This is a woman who’s been divorced three times and married four times,” he said, reading from the US News & World Report article that pointed out Davis “gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband, (and) they were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second husband.”

“She’s now onto her fourth husband,” Savage said. “Jesus Christ himself in scripture condemned divorce, called it adultery and forbids it. Jesus Christ himself in scripture says not one word about same-sex marriage.”

Savage said the U.S. Supreme Court had already decided the issue of same-sex marriage, and he said Davis clearly should have followed the law all along.

“She’s not being asked to perform a sacrament, she is tasked with ascertaining that the people in front of her, the couple in front of her, have a legal right to get married and to provide them with that license,” he said. “She is not a minister. She actually thinks she works for God there in the county courthouse, when she actually works for Caesar — and someone needs to acquaint her with that fact.”

Or we might attend Mr. Savage himself, who recently blogged, among other notes:

I would say I can’t wait for a Muslim county clerk in, say, Dearborn, Michigan (which has a huge Muslim community), to refuse to issue a marriage license to a Christian couple on the grounds that the this kafir couple hasn’t been paying jizya… but that’s not going to happen. Religious minorities in this country intuitively understand that to empower religious bigots like Davis is to paint bullseyes on their own backs. So the Jesus-freak goons at the Liberty Counsel work to frame discrimination as a “religious freedom” because they’re confident that American Christians will be the ones doing the discriminating, not suffering from it.

This is an important point. Something about functional reality goes here.

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The Ben Carson Show (War Inside Women)

“They tell you that there’s a war on women. There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.” ―Dr. Ben Carson

“They tell you that there’s a war on women. There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”

Dr. Ben Carson

In truth, I am uncertain where to begin. Certes, Dr. Carson is not so utterly stupid. This is infamous: How, exactly, do you separate a woman’s body from her person?

And let me preempt even more stupidity, because history suggests quite without grace or subtlety that someone, somewhere, is just itching to try arguing some manner of explanation that Dr. Carson was referring to the zygote or blastocyst or fetus or whatever, so let me simply wonder in advance just how it works for anti-abortion Republicans to declare war against them, and hopefully those inclined to attempt such idiocy will find themselves reasonably forewarned as to why one would have to be dangerously ridiculous in order to try.

And the thing is, conservatives are telling us exactly what the score is. You know, kind of like the time Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) tried arguing that forcible penetration under law as part of a state-sponsored moral lesson was just a means of helping women to get in on “a cool thing”.

Yes, really.

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Image note: Source photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Edwards, David. “Ben Carson: There’s a ‘war on what’s inside of women, but not a war on women'”. Raw Story. 27 August 2015.

Freud, Sigmund. Psychopathology of Everyday Life. Trans. A. A. Brill. New York: MacMillan, 1914.

The Trouble With Trolling

Photo of Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington, via My Strange Family, September, 2009..There are always ethical questions involved with this sort of research, but we might assuage those by pointing out (A) nobody was killed or physically harmed in order to get these results, (B) sometimes we simply need this data, and (C) we get headlines like, “Scientists Tried Trolling Conspiracy Theorists”, and, “Facebook conspiracy theorists fooled by even the most obvious anti-science trolling: study”.

Yes, the results are about what you might imagine.

Ben Richmond of Motherboard explains:

What they found is that the people who you see trolling with conspiracy theories on non-conspiracy sites are the outliers. An astounding 91.53 percent of people who like posts on conspiracy theory pages pretty much only engage with conspiracy theory pages.

Not only that, compared to the science pages, conspiracy theory page posts are a lot more likely to be liked and shared. They call this a commitment to diffusion.

This focus on liking and sharing only from conspiracy theory pages also keeps conspiracy theorists posting and sharing amongst themselves, and rarely venture to comment or like things on the science pages.

Travis Gettys of Raw Story picked up the story and tried simplifying:

The researchers then tested the strength of these users’ biases by posting “troll information” – or sarcastic comments parodying anti-science views – on Facebook.

“These posts are clearly unsubstantiated claims, like the undisclosed news that infinite energy has been finally discovered, or that a new lamp made of actinides (e.g. plutonium and uranium) might solve problems of energy gathering with less impact on the environment, or that the chemical analysis revealed that chemtrails contains sildenafil citratum (the active ingredient of Viagra),” the researchers said.

They found that 78 percent of those who “liked” these 4,709 troll posts interacted primarily with conspiracy theory pages, as were 81 percent of those who commented on them.

The researchers also noted that anti-conspiracy theorists often wasted “cognitive resources” pushing back against these unscientific “troll” claims, even when they were “satirical imitation of false claims.”

Right. Pretty much what you would have expected.

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Image note: Photo of Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington, via My Strange Family, September, 2013.

Richmond, Ben. “Scientists Tried Trolling Conspiracy Theorists”. Motherboard. 24 February 2015.

Gettys, Travis. “Facebook conspiracy theorists fooled by even the most obvious anti-science trolling: study”. RawStory. 24 February 2015.

Kansas, Failing to Cope

Great Seal of Kansas (detail)

It is a Kansas thing:

A federal judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that science standards for Kansas public schools promote atheism and violate the religious freedoms of students and parents.

(Associated Press)

There are a number of questions one might wonder about, but perhaps it is time we pause to consider what, exactly, these religious fanatics are doing to their children.

That is to say, we are accustomed to the fundamental argument, and it really does seem a matter of one being unable to tell the difference between unlike things. Thirty years ago groups representing parents, churches, and politicians unleashed a daily spiel about how children were not smart enough to listen to music.

Here’s one: Have you heard Trans Siberian Orchestra? Okay, you know that song they play toward the end of the set, called, “Believe”? It was first recorded in 1990 by Savatage, and describes the epiphany of an unfortunate soul stumbling into the light. But think about that for a minute, one of our best new Christmas songs comes from a band once denounced on a regular basis as being satanic.

Sometimes it seemed a matter of simple jealousy; the “Christian” version of pop music does not seem to carry very far outside its dedicated audience. Those who remember the South Park episode “Faith Plus One”, and the crack about how Christian pop sounded like lust songs about Jesus, need only look back to this time in order to understand where that joke comes from. Brief moments of exposure over the years suggest it hasn’t gotten any better, but if one had to guess without knowing who Stryper was, would “Calling On You” sound like an appeal to salvation or begging for some fumbling teenage intimacy?Stryper

It was a futile effort to keep children away from popular music, but it also made one point clear: These people do not believe their kids are smart enough to listen to pop music.

Over the years, religious advocates have humiliated themselves. Christian censorship advocate Bob Larson demonstrated himself unable to comprehend liner notes, and, furthermore, could be caught rewriting the lyrics to some of the songs he complained about in order to make musicians sound scary.

The psychopathology of the underlying parental fear is open to certain argument, but functionally speaking the argument was clear: I do not trust my child to be smart enough to resist what I find objectionable and scary about the music. It is what it is.

But here is a new proposition: I do not trust my chiled to be smart enough to resist what I find objectionable and scary about science.

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Coonrippy

It is one of those things—where do we even start?Mark 'Coonrippy' Brown, with his shower buddy Rebekah

How about with the word Coonrippy, a nickname for a gun dealer named Mark Brown. Mr. Brown loves raccoons; he even had a pet raccoon named Gunshow. But what makes Mark “Coonrippy” Brown significant is that he is running for governor in Tennessee because, well, her name is Rebekah:

A Gallatin man who made national headlines when state wildlife officials confiscated his pet raccoon last year has announced he is running for governor.

Mark “Coonrippy” Brown, 55, pulled a petition for the office on Friday with intentions to challenge incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam in the Republican primary in August.

“This is all about the raccoon,” Brown said.

(Lee)

Right.

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An Exploitative Question

Every once in a while circumstance presents what seems a necessary occasion to ask an obviously exploitative question:

Ramon Gustavo Castillo GaeteRamón Gustavo Castillo Gaete, who refers to himself as “Antares from the Light,” is on the run from police after four members of his group were arrested by Chilean authorities for the ritualistic murder of an infant girl.

So: Do we blame the individual, the cult, religion in general, or “Christianity”?

(The detail of Megan Carpentier’s report for Raw Story, BBC’s article, or other news source is genuinely soul-scarring; do brace yourself before setting out along that path.)