19 March 2023

Link round-up for 19 March 2023

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

An attempt at censorship in China goes badly wrong.

Dogs confront a mystery, and go spiraling down.

This suit exists.

Apparently nobody at Netflix knows any Spanish.

Cats deal with modernity.

The recent Russian attack on a US drone mirrored the predilections of a certain recent president.

This dog learned from experience.

Ever seen a platypus up close?  They're odd-looking critters.

Use fruits and vegetables to make unique candles.

Ignore those "mix vaseline with toothpaste" ads.

Kick the wasp.

Creepy art here.

This tree exists, though I'm not sure it's native to this planet.

Lady M has more photos of oddities from around the world.

Supposedly this trick allows you to open the window of a locked car.  He's talking about getting a trapped child out, but presumably car thieves watch these videos too.  Take anti-theft precautions.

Seven thousand years ago they were gods.  Now they're forgotten.

How did the ancient Romans build Trajan's column?  It's an impressive feat of engineering that still stands after nearly two thousand years.

Franz Reichelt was a well-intentioned inventor whose obsession led to tragedy.

Game of Thrones is more unrealistic than you think.

Blogger Daal has another colorful report on her visit to Kolkata, India, plus some information on birth control.

Shohreh Aghdashloo (yes, of TV's The Expanse) shows solidarity with the uprising in her homeland.

This person exists.

They're the party of Christian family values.

I hate you for wanting to be healthy.

Fake imagery keeps getting more convincing.  Be aware.

"Cuteness" is being used to manipulate you.

Parents are supposed to support their child, not the other way around.

Women burn in Hell for being ungrateful.

This is lunacy.

The biology of parasites illustrates the idiocy of creationism.

Don't rely on "ChatGPT" for answers to anything.

Solar power will be the world's leading energy source by 2027.

"Screen time" hurts children's language and writing skills.

Here's a look at the dishonest word games used by defenders of "woke" to evade criticism.  Maybe we just need a more honest term.

Fauci-basher Jordan Peterson sounds like a scenery-chewing villain from a bad fantasy novel.

Elon Musk is being a hypocrite about free speech.

A "virtuous" lie is still a lie.

Treason is more acceptable than homosexuality, apparently.

Sex workers can be religious, but need to be flexible about it.

Here's one corporate CEO who lives in reality.

What is "drag" all about, really?

If you humiliate your workers, don't be surprised when they all quit.

A veterans group is calling for Fox to be removed from TV systems on military bases.

Shitty, out-of-control brats drive yet another teacher away from the profession.

After losing hundreds of millions on "woke" movies that audiences reject, Disney still hasn't learned its lesson.

Plan wisely for retirement.

Here's why there's unlikely to be another January-6-style eruption of wingnut violence, even if Trump is arrested.  At least some Trumpists don't plan to act up.

Enlightenment values are under attack from an ideology which is fundamentally medieval.

An "ivermectin influencer" dies suddenly.  It's not 100% clear that his regular ivermectin use was the cause, but the stuff is dangerous to humans and useless against covid.

My state is considering a "pilot program" to provide basic income to some homeless people.  I keep hearing about "pilot" or "test" programs like this in various places, but even though they invariably show huge benefits, the idea never seems to move on to full-scale implementation.

Green Eagle has a report from the outer reaches of the wingnutosphere.

Unisex toilets in schools are a nightmare.

A slave-owner's manual is still in wide circulation.

You'd have to be incredibly stupid to take Tucker Carlson seriously about the January 6 insurrection.

Providers in the Netherlands and India, outside US jurisdiction, will continue to provide Americans with abortion pills regardless of what forced-birth laws get imposed here.

A girls' basketball team in Vermont is barred from future competition after refusing to play against a team with a male player.

At Stanford university, a mob shut down a speech by a conservative judge.  After the law school dean apologized for this disgusting attack on free expression, several hundred students staged a menacing demonstration outside her classroom.  This image is now circulating, falsely claiming that what happened was merely a "walkout", ignoring the fact that the judge's talk was actually silenced.  Be aware that any "meme" you see from "Occupy Democrats" may be a lie or distortion.

Most provisions of Biden's budget plan are fairly popular.

Republican leaders denounce DeSantis's rhetoric of appeasement toward Putin.  Trump, however, also promises a foreign policy serving Russian interests and mostly gets a free pass.

"If you are threatening, if you are threatening to remove livelihoods, if you are saying 'this person is canceled,' that is the language of a dictator."

Anti-Semitism is about Jewish people, and it's harmful to pretend otherwise.

Forty-four days after the East Palestine derailment, the authorities are still bickering about things like exactly how to do dioxin testing.  There still seems to be no plan to relocate the affected population.  After the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviet state began evacuating the affected area the following day, with fifty-three thousand people being relocated by mid-afternoon.

The Vermont State Colleges System plans to get rid of 90% of the books in its libraries, triggering a huge backlash.

The North Dakota supreme court, despite being made up entirely of Republicans, unanimously rules to protect abortion rights in the state.

No forgiveness.  No mercy.  I agree.

Clean energy has widespread support in the western US, even in red states.

The "No Labels" third-party campaign could throw the 2024 election to the Republican, much as Nader and Stein did in 2000 and 2016.

Eventually you just need to block out the nonsense.

Threats of violence can be used to shut down free debate by creating security costs, though in this case the city council was culpable by absurdly passing on those costs to the parents group.

21% of Fox News viewers trust Fox less after the revelations of the Dominion lawsuit.

Bills promoting creationist drivel in the schools have failed in two states.

Biden's approval of the disastrous Willow project is a betrayal of the fight against climate change.  It also shows that we can't trust any promise he makes, on anything.  Environmental groups are suing to fight the decision.

Insurance companies are abandoning Florida.

More trains derail as the railway industry lobbies against improved safety regulations.

A medical company made millions selling fake implants for chronic-pain sufferers.

Evangelicals have the highest unfavorable rating of any US religious group, though atheists aren't popular either.

"Just trying to live our lives" -- and a lot more.

A horror story from Trump's past re-emerges.

Deregulation made Silicon Valley Bank's collapse possible.  Greedy, risk-taking executives made it inevitable.  The collapse could haunt Kyrsten Sinema in next year's election; the Fed, too, must be held accountable for its disastrous economic bungling.

"Forced teaming" is undoing the progress made by gay liberation.

In Canada, 71% of male prisoners trying to get into women's prisons are killers or sex criminals.  Here are some of those currently in US women's prisons.  Then there's this..... thing..... in Ireland.

The UK's Green party has trashed its own credibility.

If you do this kind of shit to people's kids, expect outrage.

In France, president Macron has now used a special provision of the Constitution to ram through his highly unpopular "reform" raising the retirement age, without a vote of the lower house of parliament, where he might have lost.  Renewed protests have erupted across the country, some turning violent, while widespread strikes are planned and union leaders express fear that popular anger could get completely out of control.  Some protesters in Paris demand Macron's resignation and invoke "the shadow of the guillotine".  Some legislators are trying to force a referendum on Macron's plan.

Macron's apologists have noted that most European countries have a higher retirement age than France does, but in fact it's hard to make valid comparisons between systems.  In any case, the willingness of the French to take to the streets to resist retrograde change is doubtless the reason why conditions are better in France than elsewhere.  Workers in the other countries should learn from their example.

Ukraine has two options for its upcoming counteroffensive, but it needs more ammunition.

Rival Russian military factions contend brutally in Ukraine.

Israel is helping Ukraine with data on the Iranian-made drones Russia is using.

The AUKUS nuclear-submarine plan to contain China is progressing.  The Beijing gangster-regime is throwing the usual tantrums, thus confirming the AUKUS plan's value.

Bali (yes, in Indonesia) is getting overrun with Russians fleeing the effects of Putin's war.  It sounds like many aren't planning to ever go back.

China's birth rate -- and economy -- may never recover from the effects of the former one-child policy.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced, Angry Bear, and WAHF.

My own posts this week:  an image round-up, a paradox in the Catholic Church, and a caveat on prosecuting Trump.

o o o o o

I'm not impressed by "gotcha" claims that people can't define words like "woman" or "woke".  We all know what those things are, even if we can't articulate an airtight definition.  A sufficiently tendentious and intellectually-dishonest person can poke holes in pretty much any definition of anything, but that doesn't mean we don't know what things are.

One hundred and eight days since railway workers were robbed of their right to strike for paid sick leave, it's clear Biden is not going to issue an executive order to force the railways to provide it.  Like his approval of the Willow project, it's a vile and utterly unnecessary betrayal.


Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

The only time I used Ivermectin was when I had pet rats and they got mites. You give them a tiny, bit the size of a grain of rice and it gets rid of mites and lice on them. I was surprised to hear anyone would actually ingest this stuff themselves.

Platypus are strange animals. I saw another strange animal the other day, it's called a frogfish. They look like they almost have hands, so weird.

19 March, 2023 12:08  
Blogger NickM said...

The "forced teaming" link is especially good. I recall when it was just LGB... And that was kinda more of a dating thing (like what sort of people you fancied) than some sort of metaphysical ideological thing. I think the wheel came off with the "+" which implies you can add anything at all whatsoever until you run out of alphabet. Then of course, like maths, I guess you can always plunder the Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic...

Possibly the most egregious is 2S which claims to be "Native American" but dates to a conference in Winnipeg in 1990. Not content with the genocide of Native Americans and, to a large extent, their cultures, people then decide to culturally appropriate whatever they wanted and give it some sort of faux-authenticity by nailing it to a totem-pole of their own desires. It's easy, really... If a culture or cultures have been largely destroyed you can just make them up in your own image can't you? Reality and history be damned. Once the slate has been wiped clean anything goes! It is cultural misappropriation which is at least as bad as the portrayal of "redskins" in bad C20th cowboy movies. They were basically just made for the money. This time round it comes with a generous self-helping of sanctimonious bullshit.

20 March, 2023 04:26  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary K: Medication should be specific to the species. It's mind-boggling that people would take medication intended for horses (or for mice).

I'd never heard of frogfish, so I looked them up. Odd-looking things. I can see how they got their name.

NickM: The "forced teaming" post is insightful. Back during earlier stages of gay liberation, its opponents often tried to link gays with pedophiles, but the gays vigorously rejected the association because they knew it would be fatal to the movement. They don't seem to have realized, at least early on, that this stuff would be almost as bad in the long run.

There is a long history of people in the West claiming that the current new sexual fad (whatever it is at a given time) has old precedents in various non-Western cultures -- preferably cultures which are extinct and didn't leave written records about themselves, and are unfamiliar to most people today. That way, pretty much anything can be attributed to them, on flimsy or distorted evidence. The amount of obviously-modern cliché rubbish I see attributed to American Indian cultures is amazing.

20 March, 2023 06:05  
Blogger NickM said...

I guess the usefulness of the "Noble Savage" myth never went away. It just bought a new a coat.

The Peadophile thing... Is that some sort of throwback to old Greek ways? I mean the mentor, pederasty thing where some old geezer shags a young fella. Plato was well into that caper. Or Socrates. I'm fairly sure at least one Socratic dialogue ends with Socrates saying, "Enough of this pondering the eternal mysteries! I hear there are some fine young lads down at The Forum!"

I guess it is more honest than modern philosophical discussions which inevitably tend towards, "This subject requires more study".

Trans: "I need to get funding for a grad student". I mean trying to get money out of a funding board can be demeaning whereas a good hard shag is a good hard shag.

Alas, that is a tautology. Must try harder. I did quite a bit of formal logic at university.

But, basically, certainly in modern times calling someone as a kiddie-fiddler is about as low as you can go. Celebs can come back from almost anything else with the right spin but not that.

20 March, 2023 07:10  
Blogger Martha said...

Fun and interesting round-up, as always! A friend of mine was searching for ivermectin when he and his family all got stick with COVID. I could not wrap my head around that. But he's fallen into the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and misinformation. Not sure when or if he'll ever come out of it. It's sad, honestly.

20 March, 2023 07:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: I think it's more just a tendency to lump together everything perceived as "weird" or contrary to Christian taboos (the ancient Greeks mainly practiced relationships between adult men and boys in the upper teens, which isn't really pedophilia and would be legal in the majority of advanced countries today, and in any case most fundies know very little about ancient Greece). The anti-gay fundies back in the twentieth century linked homosexuality with bestiality too -- I often saw arguments like "if they let gays marry, why not let somebody marry their dog". Even today some fundies seem to make a close link between homosexuality and atheism -- not that they think all atheists are homosexuals, it's more like they don't even quite realize that those are two separate concepts. Everything "anti-God" is the same to them.

Martha: Unfortunately conspiratardia is like a black hole -- once you get sucked in, it's almost impossible to escape. Any evidence that contradicts the nutzoid beliefs is dismissed as "fake news" or just part of the conspiracy. It's an impenetrable self-contained bubble of anti-reality.

21 March, 2023 07:02  

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