Archive

May 26th, 2016

Outliers

« May 2016  
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1
2
7
8
10
12
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
24
27
28
29
30
31

Memo to the Facebook censorship thing, the CIA, and Larry Thomas: YOU ARE DUMB.

I did it. I found three things in the increasingly skimpy research pile that didn't have anything to do with the Presidential election or transgender bathroom usage. Don't ask me what the fuck I'm gonna do next week. But at least for now, we have a somewhat more diverse SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

OH NOES FACEBOOK IS CENSORING CONSERVATIVES. Or was. Or something. We all know that's not actually true, because pretty much the only way any of us know the politics of our acquaintances, distant family members, or co-workers is when we friend them on Facebook and their... Timeline? Wall? I don't know, I don't use Facebook. List of shit includes a bunch of racist Obama photoshops and Trump praise.

What does appear to have happened, though, is that human vetters would keep a news story from trending on Facebook if they looked into it and it wasn't a real news story, just some Breitbart / Glenn Beck bullshit that nobody else was reporting. That's going to disproportionally affect conservatives because that's what happens when you develop your own separate media universe. Just because Breitbart says things doesn't mean they're news. In fact, a preponderance of the evidence shows the opposite. Just do what you always do and make a right-wing Facebook and trend all the conspiracies you want and all ten thousand of you will be very happy.


Oh, hey, the CIA accidentally deleted its only copy of the report the CIA did on how the CIA tortured a bunch of people during the Great Torture Years of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice junta. Total mistake. They made a copy, deleted the original, then deleted the copy because a judge ordered them to preserve the report, which they took to mean delete it off their server. Totally honest mistake. I'm not sure what the point of shenanigans would be, since copies of the report exist outside the CIA, but hey, there's no I in Intelligence.

Oh, and also, the CIA may have tipped off the South African government in the 1960s, leading to the arrest of Nelson Mandela. Is it true? Who knows? Is it completely consistent with the history of the CIA, which has spent most of its existence supporting repressive governments on the wrong side of history in a misguided attempt to uphold completely wrongheaded US interests? Absofuckinglutely. When it comes to the CIA, believing the worst about them just means you're not cynical enough.


And finally, a headline from the future of the religious liberty wars and also from the present of South Carolina: "Cops: Barber Pulled Gun On Man, Told Him He 'Does Not Cut Black Hair'". Luckily, that kind of thing is still against the law in South Carolina. Not the business discrimination, just the pointing the gun part.

But that right there is what every religious liberty is fighting for. The ability for a business owner with deeply held beliefs to refuse service to people based on that belief. That's what barber Larry Thomas did in South Carolina, but because he did it with a gun he got arrested and because he did it to a black person most non-Trump-supporters would at least publicly say that it's wrong. But the only difference between "I don't cut black hair" and "I don't make gay wedding cakes" is in how you personally view the type of discrimination in question. There's no difference in the actual discrimination.