…give it a rest

today of all days...

…I know it’s nothing new to suggest that politicians lie…or tend to avail themselves of euphemistic language…but I (along with probably more than a few people) was reminded the other day that in some places it’s not okay to say so

“The prime minister has lied to this house time and time again,” Butler told the deputy speaker, Judith Cummins. When asked to “reflect on her words”, Butler added: “It’s funny that we get in trouble in this place for calling out the lie, rather than the person lying.”

Under Commons rules about what is considered unparliamentary language, it is forbidden for MPs to accuse their fellows of deliberate deceit.
“Poor people in this country have paid with their lives because the prime minister spent the last 18 months misleading this house and the country,” the Brent Central MP said.

Butler cited a much-shared social media video collating many of Johnson’s incorrect statements, highlighting in particular the prime minister’s comment to MPs earlier in the month that the Covid vaccination programme had “severed” the link between infections and serious illness or death.

Butler told MPs: “Not only is this not true, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to lie in the pandemic. And I’m disappointed the prime minister has not come to the house to correct the record, and to correct the fact that he has lied to this house and the country over and over again.”
Butler said: “I’ve reflected on my words, and somebody needs to tell the truth in this house, that the prime minister has lied.” Cummins told the MP she was suspended for the rest of the day, and Butler left the Commons.

Johnson’s tendency towards dishonesty is much chronicled, with a series of people who have known him commenting on what Max Hastings, his editor at the Daily Telegraph, called “his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth”.
However, in a chamber where MPs must refer to each other as the “honourable member”, accusations of dishonesty are forbidden. An official glossary of other unparliamentary language not permitted by Speakers in recent years includes “blackguard”, “coward”, “git”, “guttersnipe”, “hooligan”, “rat” and “stool pigeon”.


…I mean, in the face of the stuff that’s been said about vaccines alone (not least by bits & pieces of the GOP contingent) that can’t help but come off as quaint

The article that appeared online on Feb. 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.
Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists, who repeated the false claims online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool.

The entire effort traced back to one person: Joseph Mercola.

Dr. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Fla., has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotion of unproven or unapproved treatments. But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers.
Over the last decade, Dr. Mercola has built a vast operation to push natural health cures, disseminate anti-vaccination content and profit from all of it, said researchers who have studied his network. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his net worth was “in excess of $100 million.”


When Fox News launched a public service announcement urging people to get the Covid-19 vaccine this week, it was hailed in some quarters as a virtuous move. What the network might not have expected was for the message to be almost immediately undermined by the network’s biggest star, Tucker Carlson.


…but it is sunday…& I guess I know which side of that line lie the group I wish would just give it a rest

The truth could use more friends in 21st-century America, where a great many citizens have embraced large quantities of hooey — palpable nonsense, especially of the kind promoted by our recently departed president. The spectacle of Donald Trump’s chronic fabricating — more than 30,500 whoppers in a single term in office, according to The Washington Post’s fact-checkers — is unique in American history. All those lies and inventions debased our public life. They made everyday lying normal for a great many public figures.

[…]“the idea that obnoxious, misguided, seditious, blasphemous, and bigoted expressions deserve not only to be tolerated but, of all things, protected is the single most counterintuitive social principle in all of human history. Every human instinct cries out against it, and every generation discovers fresh reasons to oppose it. It is saved from the scrapheap of self-evident absurdity only by the fact that it is also the single most successful social principle in all of human history.” Those who embrace it have, up to now, prevailed over those who refused to.


…but some truths are uglier than others

Massive floods deluged Central Europe, Nigeria, Uganda and India in recent days, killing hundreds. June’s scorching temperatures, followed by a fast-moving wildfire, erased a Canadian town. More than a million people are close to starvation amid Madagascar’s worst drought in decades. In Siberia, tens of thousands of square miles of forest are ablaze, potentially unleashing carbon stored in the frozen ground below.

In Italy on Friday, a top U.N. climate official once again pleaded for the world to heed the alarm bells, reminding leaders that these catastrophes are simply the latest in a ghastly string of warnings that the planet is hurtling down a treacherous path.

“What more can numbers show us that we cannot already see? What more can statistics say about the flooding, the wildfires, the droughts and hurricanes and other deadly events?” United Nations Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa told a gathering of energy and environment ministers from G-20 nations. “Numbers and statistics are invaluable, but what the world requires now, more than anything else, is climate action.”


…& some are just terrifying

It feels like we are living through the first vertiginous 15 minutes of a disaster movie, maybe one called “The Day After Tomorrow Was Yesterday.”

Heat waves are getting hotter. Forests are ablaze. Floods are obliterating. An iceberg nearly half the size of Puerto Rico broke off from Antarctica.
It’s Mad Max apocalyptic. Crazy storms that used to hit every century now seem quotidian, overwhelming systems that cannot withstand such a battering.
We’ve been living in a culture of dread for a long time now. Republicans have been weaponizing fear, trying to scare us about gays and transgender rights and ambitious women and people with darker skin.

When fear doesn’t have a basis in reality, it is deeply irresponsible and causes great social damage.

Republicans invent things to provoke paranoia. But when it comes to climate, the fear has a basis in reality. We should be scared out of our minds watching the weather run amok.

Apocalypse Right Now [NYT]

I’ve never been a prepper, not even of workweek meals portioned into Tupperware or for the written part of my driver’s exam. I didn’t inherit my dad’s apocalyptic preoccupation. I always figured that if the big one hit the Cascadia subduction zone, I’d rather go down quickly than draw out the inevitable while eating dehydrated food and becoming dehydrated myself.

But the realities of climate change are slapping me in the face. I’ve had personal run-ins with weather disasters for five straight years now, starting in 2017 when my mom’s house burned down in California’s Tubbs fire. This summer, after temperatures topped off at 116 degrees in Portland, Ore., the city I call home, I know the game has changed. If this can happen, anything can. Snow in Houston: Why not? How about a heat wave in Greenland or severe flooding in Germany? Before summer even began, the entire West — extending as far east as Texas and as far north as British Columbia — was laid flat by record-breaking temperatures, worsening drought and an unusually early fire season. For more than two weeks, the Bootleg fire has been burning in southern Oregon, so hot and extreme that it generates its own weather.

The only things predictable about such events is that they will continue to happen, with increased severity and frequency, and they will cause a lot of human misery. They’ve forced me to reevaluate my indifference toward prepping. But I do not know where to start.


Herrington, a Dutch sustainability researcher and adviser to the Club of Rome, a Swiss thinktank, has made headlines in recent days after she authored a report that appeared to show a controversial 1970s study predicting the collapse of civilization was – apparently – right on time.

Coming amid a cascade of alarming environmental events, from western US and Siberian wildfires to German floods and a report that suggests the Amazon rainforest may no longer be able to perform as a carbon sink, Herrington’s work predicted the collapse could come around 2040 if current trends held.

Research by Herrington, a rising star in efforts to place data analysis at the center of efforts to curb climate breakdown, affirmed the bleaker scenarios put forward in a landmark 1972 MIT study, The Limits to Growth, that presented various outcomes for what could happen when the growth of industrial civilization collided with finite resources.
Since its publication, The Limits to Growth has sold upwards of 30m copies. It was published just four years after Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb that forewarned of an imminent population collapse. With MIT offering analysis and the other full of doom-laden predictions, both helped to fuel the era’s environmental movements, from Greenpeace to Earth First!.

Herrington, 39, says she undertook the update (available on the KPMG website and credited to its publisher, the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology) independently “out of pure curiosity about data accuracy”. Her findings were bleak: current data aligns well with the 1970s analysis that showed economic growth could end at the end of the current decade and collapse come about 10 years later (in worst case scenarios).
Earlier this year, in a paper titled Beyond Growth, the analyst wrote plainly: “Amidst global slowdown and risks of depressed future growth potential from climate change, social unrest, and geopolitical instability, to name a few, responsible leaders face the possibility that growth will be limited in the future. And only a fool keeps chasing an impossibility.”


…but honestly…I think we could all claim to deserve a day off…so I’ll lay off stuff like mississippi taking a run at roe v wade or hedge funds outbidding would-be home-owners or people being hounded to their demise by online griefers over a fucking twitter handle & just leave it with a note that some things are survivable despite expectations

For several nights in a row, the man had fended off the tenacious advances of a grizzly bear that had attacked him a few days earlier at a mining camp some 40 miles outside Nome.

There was no way to phone for help. But then help found him.

En route to a mission on Friday, the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter saw the man waving both hands in the air, a widely recognized distress signal, the helicopter’s pilot said. On the tin roof of a shack, SOS and “help me” had been scrawled. The shack’s door had been ripped off.
“At some point, a bear had dragged him down to the river,” Lt. Cmdr. Jared Carbajal, one of the pilots of the Coast Guard helicopter, said in an interview on Wednesday. “He had a pistol. He said that the bear kept coming back every night and he hadn’t slept in a few days.”


“The man reported that the bear had returned to his camp and harassed him every night for a week straight,” the Coast Guard said.




  1. Once again I’m going to stop reading momentarily to offer this insight before I forget it. I love reading the British non-tabloid press because it’s not uncommon for someone to be quoted as saying something like “his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth”.

    Of course this was said by a “Daily Telegraph” editor. The “Telegraph” used to be the best-written paper in all of Britain. Probably still is. 

    Anyway, several years ago I read that an average American had a working vocabulary of about 600,000 words (meaning they might at some point say or write one of these words, even if only once) but the average Brit 800,000. I thought that was interesting and completely believable. Shortly thereafter I met a Brit at a party and was telling him this, which he thought was interesting, and we became chummy, and at some point later he said, about a different topic and completely unself-consciously, “Well that’s splendid.”

    “SEE! This is an example of that factoid. I know what ‘splendid’ means but I wouldn’t use it.” 

    • I’ve also read ( don’t know if it’s true) that the average American reads at a 3rd grade level. I think about that quite often. I know people who claim to “not read” and wonder about their lives. 

        • …if by some chance people aren’t already familiar with that routine…the ape impression is a callback to a thing about the apes & the obelisk at the beginning of 2001 rather than a slur on waffle house patrons

        • I’ve been to a Waffle House once. It was in Tupelo, Mississippi (they don’t have them in my area) so it was exponentially weirder. My whole northern family was there for a funeral. It was… a cultural experience.

  2. LOL:


    Is this the same DCCC that, like the DNC as a whole, fights tooth and nail to prevent primaries, even if constituents are getting tired of their Republican-light representatives? The boycotting of vendors who provide (paid-for, non-ideological) services to any mere mortal who dares to even suggest that some hack who’s been in for 20 or 30 years might have grown out of step with their voters? 

    • There is a big struggle between the campaign consultants and advertising sales people on the one hand, and the grassroots organizers on the other. 
      The first group makes tons of money even when they lose, at least in terms of the next election cycle. They don’t care much for change. Which marries nicely with an ideology of status quo ptotection and minor incrementalism.
      That’s maybe not so bad for 1990, but rotten for today. You can’t save the many things that need to be saved if you won’t even think about what needs to be changed.

  3. Herrington, a Dutch sustainability researcher and adviser to the Club of Rome, a Swiss thinktank, has made headlines in recent days after she authored a report that appeared to show a controversial 1970s study predicting the collapse of civilization was – apparently – right on time.
    goddamnit…..wait does that mean i get to murder my boss?
    coz i have some work related stress i need to relieve….and not much of a moral compass

    • …might be better to let the early adopters see how the consequences for that kind of forward-thinking behavior pan out before giving it the old college try

      …I think you can probably still get done for minor infractions like the premeditated murder of your boss…but, hey…silver linings…just a bit more civilizational collapse & it’ll be a brave new (& presumably boss-free) world?

      …at least it’s the weekend for a little longer

  4. Boy that first one: nail on the head. Punish the messenger, not the liar. Great optics and all, but the thing that angers me is that absolutely nothing will come of it. 

    • oooo
      okay…that really is wierdly soothing
      i keep expecting james may to start talking
      (im not all that tense tho…really…my urge to murder people is within acceptable margins)

  5. That NY Times article about Facebook and the antivax osteopath is a mix of useful and maddening.
    It’s helpful to see a lot of detail about how this guy operates, and how he slides around some of Facebook’s rules.
    But it also exemplifies how the institutional problems at the Times hurts their reporting. The reporter,  Sheeran Frankel, mentions information from the monitoring tool CrowdTangle, but fails to mention extensive reporting by her own colleague Kevin Roose about how Facebook has recently been neutering CrowdTangle to avoid these kinds of bad publicity.
    But even worse, Frankel treats the issue as something hard for Facebook to address because of its rules. She misses completely lots of reporting that the issue is not so much a rules failure as a predictable result of Facebook’s algorithms being primed to promote wacko ideas.
    Frankel’s limited success is due to the Times being one of the relatively few media outlets able to give a reporter more than a few hours to turn an article like this around.
    But Frankel’s failures are due to the institutional stovepiping at the Times which actively discourages interaction with other reporters. By forcing reporters and editors to operate on narrow, single tracks, they repeatedly churn out narrow, uninformed articles.
    Like Facebook, the leadership of the Times is wedded to algorithms that promote bad information.

  6. These comments made my day, in regard to murderous rage (we’ve all been there, right?)

    “…might be better to let the early adopters see how the consequences for that kind of forward-thinking behavior pan out before giving it the old college try”

    “(im not all that tense tho…really…my urge to murder people is within acceptable margins)”

    @SplinterRIP, I agree that early adopters, at the very least pay a higher price, both in technology and, I assume, apocalyptic activities. And @Farscythe – I am curious – what are murderous acceptable margins? (asking for a friend.)

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