This was on my mind before the bad news on Friday, but Jen and I have seen it pop up a lot over the weekend: now that abortion is criminalized, how long will it take for data brokers to sell out women based on their period-tracking software? I put an app on Finn’s iPad for this very reason, though I’m better at entering the information than she is. The Heath app on her iPhone is much more secure than this; by design all of the information stays local on the phone itself.

By the way: Not long.

Date posted: June 27, 2022 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

In 1994, after a series of mass shootings, Congress banned many assault weapons. A decade later, the ban expired, and these firearms flooded the market. According to the Wall Street Journal, before 1994 there were an estimated four hundred thousand AR-15s in the U.S.; today, there are twenty million AR-15s or similar weapons.

The New Yorker does a deep dive into the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting and how a troubled, bullied kid made a colossal series of mistakes and was co-opted by a whole slew of opportunists eager to exploit his situation. Nobody comes out OK in this story.

Date posted: March 12, 2022 | Filed under general, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Testimony and evidence showed that Reffitt brought an AR-15 rifle and a pistol with him on the trip. He took that pistol with him to Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, along with zip-tie style flex cuffs, a helmet, and body armor.

Excellent news: the first Capitol rioter to stand trial was found guilty on all counts after less than four hours of deliberation. Let’s get the rest of these idiots lined up and sent away ASAP.

Date posted: March 8, 2022 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

We’ve been keeping Finn up to date with world events as much as possible, which can be tricky because we don’t watch network news as a family. I mentioned the Tennessee school district recently banning Maus to her over dinner, and we explained a little bit about what the book was, then asked her to think about why they might be doing that. We had a pretty good family talk. I mentioned something Stephen King said about books being banned—when “they” start deciding what books we can’t read, it’s our job to go right out and read them and decide for ourselves what’s so bad about them. I reached behind me to the library behind our dining room table, pulled out our copy of Maus, and gave it to her to read. She’s currently on page 62.

Date posted: February 10, 2022 | Filed under finn, politics | Leave a Comment »

This seems like good news, so I’ll post it here: DirecTV has announced it will cease broadcasting OAN News, the batshit right-wing network promoting vaccine conspiracies. From an earlier Reuters report [emphasis mine]:

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV.

Date posted: January 16, 2022 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

The Democrats are now the party of only trying to stop things from getting worse; they currently control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency and yet they have accomplished very little, either because they are so corrupt or so self-defeating or so uninterested as to have accepted the idea that Accomplishing Very Little is what they are there to do.

Kelsey McKinney writes for Defector about what going back to normal means; she’s put something into words that I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to properly synthesize: the pandemic illustrates just how broken the American society we’ve built  actually is, how our elected officials can’t help us or fix it, and how a whole group of powerful interests don’t want things to get better. We are all experiencing trauma and most of us don’t have time or energy to realize or process it.

Defector is nominally a sports website but the writing reaches far above and beyond that. Every author is outstanding. I recommend subscribing—the site is owned by the authors and it’s worth every penny (and I don’t typically subscribe to many websites).

Date posted: January 15, 2022 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

…I think one of the things that was obviously very concerning is that Mississippi had suggested in its brief that women don’t need this right anymore, it’s OK to force them to be pregnant and give birth and have a child against their will because things are better now than they were 50 years ago.

Slate talked to Julie Rikelman, who argued the Jackson Women’s Health side of the abortion argument in the Supreme Court last Wednesday.

Date posted: December 6, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Some aides huddled in the area just outside the Oval Office where Trump’s receptionist had her desk, hoping the president would wave them in and ask for their advice. But Trump was not seated behind the Resolute Desk; he was holed up in his private dining room, where the television was turned on, and some aides did not want to intrude on him there.

The Washington Post has done a great, harrowing longform story on the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol; it’s worth the read (if you have an Amazon Prime account, I think you get The Washington Post for free).

[Liz] Cheney also encountered Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), another Trump supporter trying to overturn the results. He told her: “We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.” Cheney told him: “Get away from me. You f—ing did this.”


Date posted: November 1, 2021 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Jen and I have been talking for years about how we can’t understand the white evangelical embrace of the Great Pumpkin and his predecessors. A new book goes into the history of evangelicalism and traces its roots back to the beginning of the previous century, and the racism, misogyny and intolerance at its foundation.

Instead of theological criteria, what comes to define evangelicalism is instead your stance on issues of gender and sexuality, the embrace of patriarchal authority, belief in female submission. That’s how you determine who is in and out of the fold.

There’s an excellent interview with the author in the Jacobin; I highly recommend reading it for the overview.

Date posted: October 18, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Oh fucking hell. Apparently the asshats that run AT&T are super-conservative and have been funding and supporting OAN, the right-wing propaganda outlet our departed Pumpkin loved so much. Which means I’ve (through my wireless bill) been supporting this whole mess since 1999, when I got my first cellphone.

“If there was any story involving Trump, we had to only focus on either the positive information or basically create positive information,” said Marissa Gonzales, an OAN producer from 2019 until she resigned in 2020. “It was never, never the full truth.”

Date posted: October 7, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »