It’s all over the news, and every American politician (and French) seeking re-election is repeating it: Trump has betrayed the Kurds to Turkey, set ISIS fighters free, and is actively running the U.S. military in a way that benefits only Russia.
The danger with facts everyone knows is that there’s no easy way to convince people they’re wrong. Usually the problem boils down to oversimplification; it’s easy to be wrong when you don’t know anything. In this case, it’s that — plus, everyone’s got a massive axe to grind and Trump’s a great target to score points off.
But some of it’s definitely true, so we’ll start there and move on. (more…)
Memes like these speak truth by means of well-spun lies that invoke passion. That’s the lure of these; they’re evocative. It’s also their weakness, and a grave flaw it is too. Read on and I’ll explain.(more…)
The Not Fake News, as a general rule, tends to focus on events that fell out of the headlines too soon, or angles on stories that have plenty of merit but somehow get discarded by the major media. My reasoning behind this is simple: CNN has a zillion reporters, a massive staff, and a huge budget. I’ve got me, my internet Brain Trust of volunteers, and whatever spare change people kick into the pot to pay my web costs.
There’s no need for me to repeat work that CNN (more…)
It’s all over the internet and everyone’s re-posting it, but it’s a myth. Best as I can tell, there’s zero evidence to the effect that Donald Trump ever seriously suggested we should use nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes. Sorry, Cillizza; Axios may beat BuzzFeed as a source, but this is still not real news.
Which in a way is kind of a pity, because it’s not as insane as it sounds.
I know, right? Not a high bar. But there really is a fascinating (more…)
I keep having to say the same thing over and over: That Donald Trump said something does not in and of itself constitute proof that what he said is wrong. Today’s case in point is the proposed purchase of Greenland from Denmark.
There’s two reasons this isn’t insanity. The first is that, on its face, the offer isn’t insane.
Half a dozen times in our history, the United States has purchased land from other countries. All things being equal, it’s easier (and cheaper) than conquering it outright, so from an American viewpoint it makes good sense. From a Danish perspective, it’s one of the last of their colonial possessions, so national pride would likely (more…)
This is a study in principles of military history. It’s here because it’s relevant to modern-day American life. Follow along even if at first you can’t see why it’s relevant; I’ll explain.
Pacification: the process of inducing peace on a population, often by forcibly suppressing or eliminating hostile elements
The United States has an excellent track record fighting wars, but historically we’ve had decidedly mixed results ending them, from Vietnam to the Wars On Drugs and Terror. We’re not unique; enforcing peace on a hostile populace is not a task for which modern armies, particularly those of nations with modern sensibilites, are well suited. In ancient times, it was the custom to brutally suppress the conquered with mass slaughter and slavery, but such methods (more…)
This is not being written in response to any particular event. There was probably one today or yesterday or last week, and CNN no doubt covered it with their usual attention to detail and mechanical concern. I’m probably pretty sad about it myself. This is why I’m writing this article on a day when the headlines are about something else. It’s important to keep perspective. You can’t create effective policy and solve social problems when you’re too busy yelling or sobbing or both.
Trouble is, I’m furious. Even today, I can’t help but be furious (more…)
There is a group of people on the fringe of Fundamentalist Christianity who are guilty of an error in doctrine. Normally, I’d leave this alone; someone else’s religion is none of my business. However, this is leading them to believe things, and to say things, and sometimes even to do things, that the rest of us quite rightly find hateful. That makes it my business and yours.
I want to be clear here: I’m not trying to preach to my readers; I’m not aiming to convert people with this. My goal is simple: If you’re a person who has been confused by this error, the following article will explain it to you. If you know people who are making this mistake, this article is intended as a guide to help them understand. And, if you have heard these hateful things spoken and thus hold Christianity in contempt, perhaps this will give you reason to reconsider. (more…)
I want to be clear on this: The Epstein case is outside my baliwick.
It’s a matter of justice. So long as it remains so, it’s for courts; it’s not politics. There may be political results, and when there are I’ll discuss them. Until then… it’s not that I don’t care; it’s that I’m focused on other things. Besides, any opinion I might have on a criminal case will necessarily be uninformed (more…)