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US news for December 8th 2016 weighted by the five-race model, one word for every 640,000 people (compiled before the death of John Glenn became the top story):

White (319 words, Democracy Now)

pruitt

Trump Picks Oil & Gas Advocate Scott Pruitt to Head EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has announced he will nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has been one of the EPA’s fiercest critics and has led a legal effort to overturn parts of President Obama’s climate change policies, including his Clean Power Plan. Pruitt claimed the science of climate change is “far from settled.” He is also seen as a close ally of the fossil fuel industry. …

Trump Picks Retired Gen. John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary

Trump also announced he’s picked retired four-star Marine General John Kelly to be secretary of homeland security. … Margaret Huang, executive director for Amnesty International USA, said of Kelly, “We’re particularly concerned that while chief of U.S. Southern Command, Kelly oversaw Guantánamo during periods of extensive hunger strikes and forced-feeding that was unsafe and inhumane.” Kelly has repeatedly testified to Congress that the U.S.-Mexico border represents a threat to national security, leading many to worry he will escalate the militarization of the border and U.S. immigration policy overall. …

Trump Attacks Carrier Union Leader Who Says Trump “Lied His Ass Off”

Trump attacked union leader Chuck Jones on Twitter on Wednesday … Last week, Trump appeared at the Carrier air conditioner plant in Indianapolis and boasted that he’d saved 1,100 jobs from being moved to Mexico. But Jones, who represents the workers, says Trump “lied his ass off.” Jones says Trump helped keep only 730 jobs in the U.S., not 1,100. In response to Jones’s criticism, Trump tweeted, “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”

HRW: Remnants of U.S. Weapons Found at Site of Yemen Airstrike That Killed 30 Civilians

dylann-roof

SC: Testimony Begins in Murder Trial of Dylann Roof

Report: Border Patrol Uses Desert as “Weapon,” Leading to Death & Disappearance

More

Latino (82 words, Univision)

raul-labrador

Trump meets with Rep. Raúl Labrador

It seems likely they will work together on the future of Dreamers, who Trump has threatened to deport, but yesterday said, “They were brought here at a very young age, have worked here, studied. Some were good students.”

Labrador, a Hispanic Republican Congressman from Idaho, took part in immigration reform in 2013 and campaigned for Trump in Florida and Arizona in 2016.

trump-horns

Trending: The horns of Trump and other mysterious details of his Time cover picture

Black (61 words, The Root)

dorseymontgomery

Felony Charge Dropped For Jury Foreman as He Served On Michael Slager Trial

Dorsey Montgomery, the lone black juror who also served as foreman during the Michael Slager trial, had a pending felony charge against him that was mysteriously dropped by prosecutors during the Slager trial.

cupcake

Popular: If You’re a ‘Pretty’ Racist, You Can Get Cupcakes From Trevor Noah

Asian (25 words, AsAmNews)

plotkin-vanessa-300x300

Three Asian Americans Among Dead In Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire In Oakland

gupta-vanita2-300x199

Vanita Gupta To Leave Civil Rights Division Of Department Of Justice.

Native (4 words, Indian Country Today)

falling_numbers_-_istock

Energy Transfer Partners tanks

– Abagond, 2016.

See also:

RationalWiki media guide

Some of what RationalWiki says, sometimes tongue in cheek (the words are theirs but edited here for length):

rational_wiki_406

RationalWiki – Liberal bullshit.

infowars

InfoWars & PrisonPlanet (Alex Jones) – Fake or distorted news/clickbait from an anti-government, anti-“globalist”, and generally pro-conspiracist stance.

breitbart

Breitbart – Far-right (or alt-right) exaggerations of news. Racially-tinged news (often bordering on white nationalism).

politifact

PolitiFact – has frequently been accused of muddled thinking and the balance fallacy.

snopes

Snopes – a surprising number of myths actually turn out to be true … a fun way to kill your day, right up there with TV Tropes and Cracked.

rawstory

RawStory – Center-leftist exaggerations or distortions of news.

fox-news

Fox News – a blatantly right-wing and dishonest presentation of the news.

msnbc

MSNBC – representative of the chaotic nature of the Democratic Party, with the hosts having a wider range of views than is seen on the more ideologically pure Fox News.

cnn

CNN – Pew Research found CNN to be the least biased of the three major cable news networks (with Fox and MSNBC having a much larger right and left wing slant, respectively).

bbc

BBC – has been accused of being anti-war, pro-war, left-wing, right-wing, socialist, liberal, and when all else fails, simply wasteful. Previously, it was being extremely Anglocentric, although that record has improved.

the-guardian

The Guardian – a British centre-left newspaper (beloved of organically-grown, muesli-wearing, sandal-hugging, tree-eating, disabled lesbian atheistic feminist social workers and teachers) with one of the most popular websites in the UK.

the-economist

The Economist – Most of its writers … are young and fresh graduates of Oxbridge. Because of the serious tone of the magazine, readers may be deceived into thinking they must be experienced and distinguished journalists.

daily-mail

Daily Mail – gossipy tabloid “journalism” for those who cannot digest serious news, with a flippantly wingnut editorial stance. … notorious for … hate directed at various minorities (lately focusing on Muslims), and willfully deceiving and lying to its readers.

the-young-tueks

The Young Turks – Gained fame for being one of the only news commentary outlets that spoke out against the Iraq War before it began, and consistently criticizes Democrats as much as Republicans … However, it has a lot of frankly frivolous entertainment content.

democracy-now

Democracy Now – news items with in-depth 10-15 minute segments rather than puerile slogans and sound bites. Its stories lean towards social justice, pacifist …, anti-imperialist, protectionist points of view.

huffington-post

Huffington Post – has a lot of good news and political content, albeit with an annoying tendency toward progressive orthodoxy (read: U.S. Democratic Party).

yahoo-news

Yahoo! News – a mediocre news website that mostly reprints news sources from ABC News, Associated Press, and Reuters, in addition to hosting original news coverage.

al-jazeera

Al Jazeera – based in Qatar, broadcasting news from the perspective of the Islamic world. … founded by former CNN employees … Most people in the “international affairs” business find the online English-language version invaluable.

rt

RT (Russia Today) – comes off like a state-sponsored Fox News, prone to coverage slanted against “the West” in general and the U.S. in particular and indulging in conspiracy theories and other fringe beliefs.

sputnik-news

SputnikNews – Mindful of RT’s unfortunately accumulating reputation as batshit insane propaganda, the same government department has launched the totally unrelated SputnikNews.

– Abagond, 2016.

Source: RationalWiki (2016).

See also:

523

typewriter_jpg-288x300

Note: This is very much a work in progress.

I am giving up the use of the following words except in quoted speech or when talking about the word itself. In other words, I will not use them in my own voice as if they were reasonable ways of thinking about things.

Note that this has nothing to do with what The Economist calls “trembling racial sensibilities”, with what the right calls political correctness and the left calls decency. Rather it is about avoiding some of the thinking (being) built into English.

Oscar, Grammy, Emmy – use White Oscar, White Grammy, etc.

mainstream culture – use “US television and schools”, “White”, “White mainstream culture”, etc, depending on what is meant.

The (mainstream) media – use Big Media if it comes from one of the half dozen or so companies that produce 90% of what people in the US read, watch or listen to.

The press – use White press, White Liberal Press, Big Media, depending.

(world) history – use White History, Western history, depending.

known world – known to whom?

America, American – use “US” if that is what is meant. For example, use US Whites, not White Americans. When talking about race in the US, use Black, White, Native, Asian and Latino – the five-race model. When talking about broad cultures in the Americas, use Anglo American, Latin American, etc. Most posts have to do with the US, so it is enough to make that clear in the opening and then just say “Whites”, “Blacks”, etc.

Indian – use US Native, First Nation, if not something more specific like Iroquois or Lakota.

European – use White (race) or Western (culture) or, better yet, something more specific, like British or Basque.

sub-Saharan Africa – use Africa, Black Africa, Black, etc.

Middle East – use South West Asia, Arab world, Muslim world, Western oil supplies, etc, depending on what is meant.

ethnic, ethnicity – these push a White Default and are so misunderstood that it is best to avoid them. Use “race” if that is what is meant.

tribe – use nation or First Nation.

terrorist, thug, savage – avoid. These stereotype Muslims, Blacks and Natives as naturally violent. Be more specific, like jihadist, drug dealer, etc.

settler, pioneer – use colonist or invader. Settler and pioneer push the idea that the land was unsettled, which is almost never the case.

illegal immigrant – undocumented worker.

God – use Allah.

women – use White women, if that is what is meant

alt-right – a marketing term. Use White nationalist.

populist – use nativist, racist, White nationalist, etc, if that is what is meant.

overwhelming support – use “overwhelming White support” if Trump is meant. Or “46% of the popular vote” or “won the Electoral College”. Otherwise it is a untrue.

working-class Whites – use just White if this is a classist fig-leaf to hide the fact that Trump had “overwhelming (White) support”.

smart people – avoid as a euphemism for the racists, Islamophobes, militarists and Wall Street bankers Trump is appointing to top positions in government.

quoting Trump – always fact check.

– Abagond, 2016.

See also:

539

#NoDAPL

Getty Images

(Getty Images)

#NoDAPL (2016- ), rhymes with apple, is the Twitter name for the protests that started in April 2016 against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation says the oil pipeline threatens its sacred lands and its water supply, the Missouri River.

Water protectors: Over 8,000 protesters have gathered at Standing Rock. Among them are green activists, military veterans (unarmed) – and over 320 First Nations from throughout the Americas, the largest such gathering since at least the 1970s, if not the 1800s.

Crackdown: The heavy-handed crackdown by DAPL security, police and the National Guard on unarmed, largely peaceful protesters has featured attack dogs, tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons (even in freezing weather!), sound cannons, rubber bullets and concussion grenades. Hundreds have been injured, hundreds have been arrested (Amy Goodman of Democracy Now among them).

The United Nations on the crackdown:

“The use of violence by some protesters should not be used as a justification to nullify the peaceful assembly rights of everyone else.”

“Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Environmental racism: The pipeline was to cross the Missouri River just north of White-majority Bismarck. Bismarck raised concerns that the pipeline would poison their water supply. So the pipeline was rerouted, guess where, just north of an Indian reservation, under the Lake Oahe part of the Missouri River – without even so much as an Environmental Impact Statement! On top of that, it crosses sacred lands and burial grounds without the agreement of Standing Rock – which is against the law. But the courts approved it anyway.

Standing Rock objected to the pipeline, but the pipeline company, backed by the courts and the police, blew them off. Thus the protests. (Standing Rock was the reservation of Sitting Bull and Vine Deloria, Jr)

_92244746_dakota_pipeline_map624

The pipeline crosses four states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. It is 87% complete. Just the bit near Standing Rock is left. That bit is to cross land and water claimed by both Standing Rock and the US Army.

On December 4th 2016, on the eve of what promised to be an ugly showdown between protesters and state police, the US Army Corps of Engineers said it would not approve the pipeline crossing, that the matter needed further study to determine the safest river crossing. That could take months to years.

dakwater

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Sunoco Logistics, who are building the pipeline, still say they:

“fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe”.

Enter Donald Trump: Trump, soon to become the US president, has come out in favour of the pipeline. In 2015 he had money in ETP and in Phillips 66, which owns a fourth of the pipeline. Kelcy Warren, the head of ETP, gave Trump money to run for president. Those close to Trump say he will review the matter in January.

stand-with-standing-rock

– Abagond, 2016.

See also:

541

Remarks:

This is from their album “Born to Sing” (2016), which won the 2016 Nammy for the Best Pow Wow Recording of the year. Young Bear (pictured below around a drum) are from Mandaree, North Dakota at the Fort Berthold Reservation, upriver from Standing Rock, where the #NoDAPL protests are taking place.

young-bear

Young Bear in 2015. Click on the picture to see them perform.

See also:

dream-journal

To find this page again, search for: abagond dream journal.

Entries listed from newest to oldest:

December 4th 2016:

I was in one of those hotels with breakfast included. I made my tea (in a soup cup) and was looking for a jelly doughnut and a place to sit. The hotel was in Washington, DC: a friend of mine was just outside looking at the Supreme Court building. She was uneasy. We were headed there on some kind of business. From how she dressed, it was spring or fall.

The friend is not someone I know in real life – yet (some of my dreams come true). She was not a girlfriend. Given the age difference (she was maybe 25) and the circumstances (travel to an extremely important court case), she was most likely a relative. She was light-skinned with what looked to be dreadlocks. She was dressed down like a university student, in an olive jacket and blue jeans. If she was a granddaughter, then it was at least the 2040s.

See also:

conspiracy theory

all-seeing-eyeA conspiracy theory is the idea that something is not as it seems because of a secret plot, of facts purposely hidden.

Examples:

  • The moon landings were fake.
  • Global warming is a hoax.
  • 9/11 was an inside job.
  • The Illuminati secretly rule the world.
  • Shape-shifting Reptilians from Alpha Draconis secretly rule the world.
  • Area 51 in the Nevada desert is hiding alien artefacts.
  • The CIA killed President Kennedy.
  • President Obama was not born in the US.
  • Big drug companies are hiding the cure for cancer.

s-l1000

Not all conspiracy theories are false. Some turn out to be true, like Watergate, Russian trolls, Project MK-ULTRA or Cointelpro. And that is the whole trouble with conspiracy theories: there is no easy way to tell the true from the false.

Compare and contrast:

  • A scientific theory comes to conclusions from known facts and provides a way to prove it false. It is falsifiable.
  • A conspiracy theory is based on secret facts no one can know, by their very nature, and is therefore hard to prove wrong. When people in the know deny it, it is seen as a cover-up. “They would say that, wouldn’t they!”

Is it true? Things to check out:

  1. Science: What does the science say? This is how many conspiracy theories are proved to be false. Science is not always right, but it is more likely to be right than a conspiracy theory. Global warming, therefore, is likely not a hoax.
  2. Leaks: are how many conspiracies are proved true, like Watergate by Deep Throat. The bigger the conspiracy or the longer it lasts, the more likely its cover will be blown by a leak. No leaks means there was probably no conspiracy to begin with. If the moon landings were fake, for example, their cover would have been blown long ago. Someone would have talked.
  3. Faceless Theys: The more faceless the They behind the conspiracy, the less likely it is true. Even when it comes to fake news and urban legends, the lack of concrete, confirmable facts (names, dates, places) is a dead giveaway.
  4. Occam’s Razor: the simplest theory that can account for the facts is most likely the right one. Conspiracy theories are often anything but the simplest explanation. Thus no Reptilian Overlords.
  5. Debunking websites: Check out what debunking websites say, like RationalWiki, Snopes and Skeptoid.com.

Keep in mind that even in the most tightly controlled scientific experiments, there are still coincidences and things that just cannot be explained. And most theories, true or false, will have strange facts that fit it, which can lead to confirmation bias.

Demographics: In the US conspiracy thinking is found on the left and the right, among the rich and poor, young and old, Black and White, and so on. Race and politics determine which conspiracy theories you are likely to believe in, but not the fact of conspiracy thinking itself. The only thing that seems to affect it is education: with more education, people are less likely to go for conspiracy theories.

screen-shot-2013-03-27-at-1-06-46-am

– Abagond, 2016.

Sources: mainly RationalWiki, National Geographic, Scientific American, MindChop, Noam Chomsky on 9/11.

See also:

536

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