‘”Are you ready for a Trump victory? Are you mentally prepared to be outsmarted by Trump again? Do you find comfort in your certainty that there is no way Trump can win? Are you content with the trust you’ve placed in the DNC to pull this off?” he wrote.
“I’m warning you almost 10 weeks in advance. The enthusiasm level for the 60 million in Trump’s base is OFF THE CHARTS! For Joe, not so much,” warned Moore. “Don’t leave it to the Democrats to get rid of Trump. YOU have to get rid of Trump. WE have to wake up every day for the next 67 days and make sure each of us are going to get a hundred people out to vote. ACT NOW!” wrote Moore.
He went on to claim that recent polling shows the race tightening in swing states…
Moore, a supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, was one of few to predict that “Rust Belt” voters would abandon Democrats and propel Trump to victory in 2016. ….’
‘Keep America Great is one of Trump’s key slogans in the 2020 presidential race, appearing on its merch and media. But his campaign failed to secure keepamericagreat.com, the corresponding domain name. Joe Biden bought it instead, and it now features a list of Trump’s broken promises….’
‘The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization documented by the web-based collaborative-fiction project of the same name. Within the website’s fictional setting, the SCP Foundation is responsible for locating and containing individuals, entities, locations, and objects that violate natural law (referred to as SCPs). The real-world website is community-based and includes elements of many genres such as horror, science fiction, and urban fantasy.
On the SCP Foundation wiki, the majority of works consist of “special containment procedures”: structured internal documentation that describes an SCP object and the means of keeping it contained. The website also contains thousands of “Foundation Tales”, short stories set within the universe of the SCP Foundation. The series has been praised for its ability to convey horror through its scientific and academic writing style, as well as for its high standards of quality….’
‘Two weeks ago, Mike Pence did something weird. Every day brings with it an opportunity to be freaked out by something new, so you have probably forgotten all about this by now, but what happened was the US vice president took to the podium at a Farmers and Ranchers for Trump rally in Iowa and started talking about meat in a loud, expressionless voice. “I’ve got some red meat for you,” he intoned. “WE’RE NOT GOING TO LET JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS CUT AMERICA’S MEAT,” he shouted, opening his mouth wide in that startling way of his, where the whole top of the face stays utterly immobile, eyes dead, and the lower jaw unhinges itself…’
…Kellyanne Conway quitting the White House; George Conway quitting The Lincoln Project
‘Top Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway announced tonight that she’s leaving the White House at the end of the month. Minutes earlier, her husband George Conway tweeted that he’s departing from anti-Trump political action committee The Lincoln Project….’
‘Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist whose elegant essays and books explained to a general audience how English has adapted to changes in politics, popular culture and technology, died on Aug. 11 at his home in San Francisco. He was 75.
Mr. Nunberg’s fascination with the way people communicate found expression in acclaimed books like “Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times” (2001); in scholarly work in areas like the relationship between written and spoken language; and in lexicography — he was chairman of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary.
He was one of a small group of linguists, among them Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker, renowned beyond their academic universes.
“I always saw him as the paragon of public intellectualism,” the linguist Ben Zimmer, who writes a column on language for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in an email. “He was a lucid, effective communicator about thorny linguistic issues for many decades.”…’
Nunberg’s platform as a commentator on NPR’s “Fresh Air” not only gave him importance for those of us with that peculiar fascination with linguistics but allowed him to illuminate the central role of language as a battleground shaping political attitudes, often on an unconscious level. George Lakoff is the other person in that role for me, but is less visible and accessible.
Can we rescue the northern white rhino from the brink of extinction?
‘An international team of scientists said they successfully extracted eggs from the last two remaining northern white rhinos, a step on the way to possibly saving the subspecies from extinction.
Ten eggs were harvested from the female rhinos at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The scientists said Tuesday they hope to use them to create viable embryos that would be transferred into surrogates since neither Najin and Fatuwill can carry a pregnancy to term.
The coronavirus pandemic had delayed the process, but the team from Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and Safari Park Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic said, “The ovum pickup went smoothly and without any complications.”
Three embryos were created from the previously extracted eggs.
The next step is to select female southern white rhinos, another rhino subspecies, at Ol Pejeta to serve as surrogate mothers.
The last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died in March 2018. Work to keep northern white rhinos from dying out therefore turns on perfecting in vitro fertilization techniques and keeping the remaining two females alive….’
‘”We are going to win four more years,” Trump said at a rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Monday. “And then after that, we’ll go for another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years.”
Of course, what Trump is proposing is banned by the Constitution, which limits presidents to serving two terms. (If Trump lost in 2020, he could, theoretically, run again in 2024). There is no “redo” provision in the Constitution for extraneous circumstances surrounding a president’s first term. And even if there was, Trump’s allegation that he deserves a third term because “they spied on my campaign” wouldn’t pass any sort of smell test.
What Trump deems “spying” was actually an FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. On Tuesday morning, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the final volume of its bipartisan investigation into Russia’s activities in 2016….’
‘Do you feel like your perception of time is changing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here is a reminder, it’s been five months since we declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Do you feel baffled by the passing of time these days more than you did before? If you do, you are not alone. A recent study from the UK suggests that 80% of participants felt that social distancing during the pandemic is altering the perception of time for them….’
‘This year, we can secure the largest act of ocean protection in history. 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica. It is also the year when the highest temperatures ever were recorded on the continent. With melting ice, warming waters, and increased fishing, all of the creatures that live there need us more than ever. But we need Antarctica just as much. This vast icy continent is critical to stabilizing our climate, and it circulates vital ocean nutrients that sustain fish populations, and humans, all over the world….’
‘There are plenty of unusual theories over the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. From claims that the virus is a bioweapon, to the idea that 5G transmissions are behind the pandemic, there’s been no shortage of hard-to-believe ideas.
But there’s one COVID-19 theory so remarkable that it makes the others look boring by comparison: The proposal that the coronavirus came from space.
The space virus theory has been the work of a group of researchers, notably Edward J. Steele and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe. This group has published ten papers on the topic since the pandemic began, but this paper from July 14th offers the most detailed argument.
Steele et al. suggest that COVID-19 arrived on a meteor which was spotted as a bright fireball over the city of Songyuan in North East China on October 11, 2019.
They propose that the meteor might have been “a fragile and loosely held carbonaceous meteorite carrying a cargo of trillions of viruses/bacteria and other primary source cells.”
The authors admit that the Songyuan meteor was spotted over 2,000 km northeast of Wuhan, where the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, but they deal with this discrepancy with the hypothesis that a different fragment of the meteor arrived in the Wuhan area…
Needless to say, this is not a theory with any evidence for it. There is no evidence that viruses or bacteria (or any other life) exist in space, and Steele et al. provide no direct evidence that the coronavirus arrived from the heavens.
But it turns out that the theory of life (and disease) from space isn’t new. The theory is called panspermia and a handful of researchers, including Steele and Wickramasinghe, have been advocating it for decades….’
‘This list of 40 Hamlets include movies dating from 1900 to the 21st century plus TV shows, short films, cartoons, skits, and even comic pages. Yes, everyone wants to put their unique spin on the melancholy Dane. Some are full productions, while others have a rather tangental relation with the original play -and many are quite funny. And the best part is that almost all have video clips that show why they are ranked the way they are. Check out 40 wildly different interpretations of Hamlet at Lithub….’
‘Throughout Donald Trump’s time in office, pundits have made a habit of declaring the latest scandal his point of no return. There was the Russia investigation, the hush money, the Charlottesville protests and Trump’s racist remarks, the border cages, the Giuliani-Ukraine debacle, the impeachment, the incompetent response to Coronavirus, the Russian bounties, the economic recession, and many others.
Yet, time and again, Trump has defied the prognosticators. He’s never been a popular president, but his hold on his base has been steadfast.
Which is why I completely understand your skepticism as I say the following: Trump’s recent acknowledgement that he’s holding up critical USPS funding for political reasons will likely doom his reelection prospects….’
‘The Department of Justice says an increasing number of people in California are going to great lengths to avoid wearing a face covering in public places.
They say fake IDs that claim the person has a medical reason not to wear a mask are turning up big time.
There are legitimate exemptions such as having a disability where a mask could cause problems, but the Justice Department says more and more businesses are being shown fraudulent identification cards as an excuse….’
Why the Brain Is Programmed to See Faces in Everyday Objects
‘If you tend to notice faces in inanimate objects around you like the scowling face of a house, a surprised bowling ball, or a grimacing apple, you’re not alone.
‘Face pareidolia’ – the phenomenon of seeing faces in everyday objects—is a very human condition that relates to how our brains are wired. And now research from UNSW Sydney has shown we process these “fake” faces using the same visual mechanisms of the brain that we do for real ones….’
‘The QAnon movement — a loose network of extreme right-wingers with an apocalyptic bent — looks deeper than COVID-19, into what gave rise to Donald Trump’s election. Their conclusion? With or without divine intervention (but probably with it), Trump was elected to put an end to the worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles that rule the government, the media and Hollywood…
Many suggest that Trump either is himself the anonymous “Q” or that he endorses QAnon’s theories. Indeed, as Peter Beinert notes, “Trump himself has suggested that Antonin Scalia might have been murdered, climate change is a Chinese hoax, Ted Cruz’s father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Clintons may bear responsibility for the murder of Jeffrey Epstein, and wind turbines cause cancer.”
And after all, Trump wore a tie to a coronavirus briefing that was yellow — the color of the maritime flag representing the letter Q (for “quarantine”) and indicating that there are no infected people aboard ship. What better way to signal that the pandemic isn’t real?
These malevolent fairy tales are not shared just by a handful of kooks on the fringes of society. The winner of Georgia’s Congressional GOP primary runoff, Marjorie Taylor Green, was apparently more helped than hindered by her anti-Semitic, Islamophobic comments and endorsement of “Q.” And she is just one of 14 Republican candidates on the ballot in November or competing in primary runoffs, who tweet QAnon’s “secret” acronyms and endorse its theories.
Not only are these beliefs vile, but they are precisely the kind of distraction that Trump and his cronies welcome….’
‘EARLY MONDAY MORNING, a cable suspended over the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico broke and left a 100-foot-long gash in the dish of the iconic radio telescope. The 3-inch diameter cable also caused damage to the panels of the Gregorian dome that is suspended hundreds of feet above the dish and houses the telescope’s receivers. It is unclear what caused the cable to break or when radio astronomers using the telescope will be able to resume their research….’
‘While medicalizing mental health softens the stigma of depression—if a disorder is inheritable, it was never really your fault—it also disempowers the patient….
More recent studies indicate that participants who are told that their depression is caused by a chemical imbalance or genetic abnormality expect to have depression for a longer period, report more depressive symptoms, and feel they have less control over their negative emotions…’
George Conway’s biting column holds a mirror up to Trump supporters, and it ain’t pretty / Boing Boing
‘George Conway’s satirical piece in The Washington Post, “I (Still) Believe the President, and in the President,” is like a Lincoln Project video in prose form. Playing the part of a moron, Conway puts a mirror up to Trump — and his supporters — by listing Trump’s outrageous lies, hateful remarks, and sheer idiocy as things he believes in.
Some of my favorite lines:
“I believe it’s normal for the president to say ‘Yo Semites’ and ‘Yo Seminites,’ ‘Thigh Land,’ ‘Minne-a-napolis,’ ‘toe-tally-taria-tism,’ ‘Thomas Jeffers’ and ‘Ulyss-eus S. Grant.'”
“I believe the president ‘aced’ a ‘very hard’ impairment test, and that his ‘very surprised’ doctors found this ‘unbelievable.'”
“I believe the president and the doctor who believes in demon sperm and the medical use of space alien DNA, and not Anthony S. Fauci, who’s an ‘alarmist’ and ‘wrong.'”
“I believe the president’s suggestions that physicians should try injecting patients with household disinfectants, and shining ultraviolet light inside their bodies, make perfect sense.”
“I believe that the president has done a tremendous job fighting the virus — and that he shouldn’t ‘take responsibility at all’ — even though about 160,000 Americans have died. I believe the virus “is what it is.”
“I believe it isn’t racist to call the coronavirus ‘kung flu’ or ‘the China Virus.’ It isn’t racially divisive to say Black Lives Matter is a “symbol of hate,” to celebrate Confederate generals as part of our ‘Great American Heritage,’ or to share video of someone shouting ‘white power,’ which, like displaying the Confederate flag, is ‘freedom of speech.'”
And, for the grand finale, the last graph: “I believe the president won the popular vote in 2016 ‘if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.’ I believe he shouldn’t accept the election results if he loses in November.”
‘When someone chooses not to follow public health guidelines around the coronavirus, they’re defecting from the public good. It’s the moral equivalent of the tragedy of the commons: If everyone shares the same pasture for their individual flocks, some people are going to graze their animals longer, or let them eat more than their fair share, ruining the commons in the process. Selfish and self-defeating behavior undermines the pursuit of something from which everyone can benefit.
Democratically enacted enforceable rules – mandating things like mask wearing and social distancing – might work, if defectors could be coerced into adhering to them. But not all states have opted to pass them or to enforce the rules that are in place.
My research in bioethics focuses on questions like how to induce those who are noncooperative to get on board with doing what’s best for the public good. To me, it seems the problem of coronavirus defectors could be solved by moral enhancement: like receiving a vaccine to beef up your immune system, people could take a substance to boost their cooperative, pro-social behavior. Could a psychoactive pill be the solution to the pandemic?
It’s a far-out proposal that’s bound to be controversial, but one I believe is worth at least considering, given the importance of social cooperation in the struggle to get COVID-19 under control….’
War correspondent Janine di Giovanni writes in Harpers about the revelation to South Africa-born Toronto psychiatrist Anthony Feinstein of the “deep and sustained trauma” suffered by a war reporter who consulted him after returning from a particularly gruesome assignment in a conflict zone. He wondered whether proper training before her assignment or early intervention after her return could have alleviated her profound suffering.
In the late 90’s, before PTSD was a well-known concept, the idea of a conflict reporter suffering from the disorder was unfamiliar. The 90’s were a decade characterized by wars in Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East, which often involved extreme violence and atrocities by lawless paramilitary groups. War reporters, not yet embedded with troops, were freelancers and had no protection, no insurance or security guards, and no conflict training. They were regularly killed or permanently injured and a significant number took their own lives.
Feinstein decided to study PTSD among war reporters, interviewing over a hundred including di Giovanni, and was alarmed by his findings.
‘ “I do not believe there is another profession that has more exposure to war than your group,” he told me. While soldiers often served one or two tours, he said, “You go back year after year after year to war.” Feinstein compiled a database of more than a thousand frontline journalists and concluded that the mean time spent in war zones for career war reporters was nearly fifteen years.’
Feinstein’s findings of the prevalence of PTSD in his subjects was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2002. Feinstein started a full court press with the press to persuade editors to pay attention to their war correspondents’ trauma, prompting many leading news organizations to develop conflict-reporting protocols.
In the 2010’s reporters covering the refugee crisis, who were not themselves at risk of being shot on the front lines, were suffering a new kind of mental health crisis from their profound helplessness and inability to save the tragic drowning victims or alter the circumstances driving them from their homes. He believed these journalists were suffering from moral injury, a term with origins in Jonathan Shay’s 1994 study of veterans with PTSD, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character. Recent studies have established that moral injury, which can co-occur with PTSD but is distinct, has emerged as the
‘biggest psychological challenge confronted by journalists covering the migration crisis…
Feinstein describes it as “a wound on the soul, an affront to your moral compass based on your own behavior and the things you have failed to do.” In other words, this is triggered by one’s feeling of having failed to live up to one’s own ethical standards rather than by external events. For instance, it is common for photographers shooting human catastrophes to feel that they have benefited from the suffering of their subjects, documenting instead of intervening. A complicating factor, especially for American journalists, is the feeling that one’s own country is contributing to or responsible for the suffering observed.
Moral injury of course is not restricted to journalists — soldiers who have witnessed torture (e.g. Abu Graib), doctors working in war zones, survivors of school massacres, prosecutors who feel ineffectual in righting injustice, witnesses of police brutality, are all vulnerable. It strikes me that it is a particular malignant and poignant form of survivor guilt.
Feinstein believes that medical professional might be among the most susceptible. Understanding moral injury will be important to address the problems faced by frontline healthcare workers who risked their lives and were powerless to save so many others during the CoViD crisis, in some cases making guilt-inducing decisions about who lived and who died themselves.
‘And what about the community at large? Will we all suffer from moral injury given what we have witnessed during the pan- demic? Feinstein thinks the predomi- nant emotion will be anxiety, but that people will experience degrees of moral injury. He told me to think of a hierarchy of suffering. Those who have lost people they loved place at the top, and below them are those who lost a business or a chance to celebrate a life milestone such as a wedding or a grad- uation. “These too will leave their mark,” he said.’
Finally, Feinstein speculates on the longterm effect of feeling moral revulsion toward the behavior of the man who is supposed to be our president. As FDR said, ‘The presidency is not merely an administrative office . . . it is preeminently a place of moral leadership.’ Today, those surviving and bearing witness may experience intense guilt about their powerlessness to mitigate the suffering and disaster inflicted by the Mad King.
After identifying the disorder and its scope, Feinstein is turning his attention to sources of resiliency and potential treatments. Is it possible to repair a soul?
‘…(C)ensus experts have said that shortening the calendar for the count would wreak havoc with efforts to reach the very hardest-to-count households — immigrants, minorities, young people, and others — that have long been flagged as most likely to be missed in this year’s tally.
Critics called it an unvarnished attempt by the Trump administration to twist the nation’s population count to exclude groups that, by and large, tended to support Democrats….’
Related: Citing Election Delay Tweet, Influential Trump Ally Now Demands His Re-Impeachment : NPR
‘After voting for President Trump in 2016 and staunchly defending him in conservative publications, a Federalist Society leader appears to be having some very public buyer’s remorse.
Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the powerful conservative legal organization, is now calling on the House of Representatives to do again what it has already done once this year: impeach Trump.
In a scathing opinion piece in The New York Times published online Thursday, the Northwestern University law professor points to what ignited his newfound ire with the president: a tweet Trump sent out shortly after news broke Thursday morning that the U.S. economy had suffered its biggest recorded contraction ever last quarter.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” the president intoned on Twitter. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Calabresi declared himself “appalled” by the tweet, which he characterized as “seeking to postpone the November election.”
“Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” the conservative legal scholar wrote. “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.”
It was a remarkable turnaround for a man who as recently as November had accused House Democrats of conducting an “unconstitutional” and “Kafkaesque ‘trial’ ” in their Trump impeachment proceedings….’
‘“The more you push someone, the more they close up,” say Emily and Laurence Alison, a husband-and-wife psychology team. “The hungrier you are for information, the harder it will be to get that out of someone. But give the person a choice about what they say; give them some autonomy and you begin to build the rapport that may lead to a better conversation,” says Laurence.
This sounds like parenting advice and yet the Alisons’ specialism is helping counter-terrorism officers and the police to improve communication and co-operation with criminal suspects. When the atmosphere turns adversarial and competitive, as it so often does, they turn to the Alisons to help them navigate and negotiate.
For the couple – who’ve been married for 21 years and have a 16-year-old son – the parallels with parenting have long been obvious and were underlined by the response of officers they’ve encountered on the intensive courses they run on how to interrogate terrorists.
Time after time, participants fed back that as well as learning invaluable skills for their professional lives, their approach was helping them deal with family and work relationships….’