misstatement

PSA: DO NOT DONATE TO THE RED CROSS

DO NOT DONATE TO THE RED CROSS. To be clear we are talking about the American Red Cross. As an organization they barely lift a finger to actually help people. When we lost pretty much everything to Hurricane Sandy they did absolutely nothing. It was only when officials started looking into the huge amount of donations the Red Cross got and question where they went that they started doing stuff. If you want to read more you can read a bit at the links below. There are a ton more articles out there that tell you why you shouldn’t donate to them.

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/04/368453320/red-cross-misstates-how-donors-dollars-are-spent

http://gawker.com/dont-donate-to-the-red-cross-1652192522

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/14/the-problem-with-the-red-cross-cont/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/staten-island-red-cross-hurricane-sandy_n_2065209.html

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2005/010905redcross.htm This link is from 2005! They’ve been doing this shit for a long time!

An average of 17 cents of every dollar donated goes to “fundraising expenses”. Then there’s vague back-end costs of “management and general expenses” that subtract even more off your donation. They take full advantage of the loopholes of their 501©(3) nonprofit status to pay their CEO and high-ranking paid employees a cushy salary as well.

Charity Navigator is a really good resource for determining if a charity is worth donating to. They rank charities on a bunch of things from transparency to accountability to how much of your donation actually reaches its destination. Charity Navigator has listed here some good organizations to donate to that ACTUALLY help and are already prepared to respond to Hurricane Patricia:

Convoy of Hope, Direct Relief, GlobalGiving, Heart to Heart International, International Medical Corps, MAP International, Medical Teams International, and Water Missions Hospital.

These are all rated much higher than the Red Cross. Direct Relief is highest rated. It has a grade of over 99 while the Red Cross has a grade of just under 81. Heart To Heart International and MAP International each have a grade of over 97.

I think it’s clear that these charities are all doing a lot better with your money than the Red Cross.

(I wrote out this reasonably thoughtful reply to peetasallhehasleft‘s post, and then Tumblr ate it, and I just don’t have the spirit to go back and re-think those thoughts. So here’s what you get instead, and I’m sorry. It’s lame.)

But at the least what I’m saying is timely. 

Gale is no more a villain than Einstein was a villain or Oppenheimer was a villain or Truman was a villain or Tibbets was a villain. Even though the first man proposed E=mc2, the second invented the atomic bomb with his team of scientists, the third was ultimately responsible for the drop of the bomb on Hiroshima as President of the US, and the fourth man flew the Enola Gay and who therefore physically dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, murdering anywhere from 90,000-170,000 people. None of these men were villains. No one man was a villain. 

War was the villain. It always is. It is filthy and reprehensible, and it makes monsters of men. The people who suffer the most are those with the least to gain from it. It’s not the President Snows or Alma Coins who suffer. It’s the Prims. The Peetas. The Katnisses. The Finnicks. And even the Gales. It’s those who try to help. Who try to save their loved ones. Who follow orders. Who fight on the front lines. Who try to stay alive, at any cost. 

This doesn’t absolve any man of his actions in war… it’s just reminding everyone of who the real enemy is. I’m speculating, but I think SC would want us to know this… as someone whose father fought in Vietnam and whose war is stocked with its own atrocities. 

I’m not apologizing for Gale or making excuses for his actions. I think that SC fulfilled the character arc she promised us in the first book, the same way she fulfilled Katniss’ (who didn’t want to contribute anything good to an ugly world) and Peeta’s (who didn’t want an ugly world to take away his goodness). Gale asks Katniss, when she is faced with killing children in the arena,”How different can it be, really?” and, horribly and tragically, he gets his answer. He learns, too late, what Katniss and Peeta learned in the 74th Games: to murder innocent people costs everything you are. He is our cautionary tale and is as necessary to the story as oxygen is to fire.  

He didn’t ask for forgiveness. How could he? Can you expect someone to forgive you when you know you can never forgive yourself? Can you place that obligation on someone to respond in any way that isn’t filled with disgust and loathing- to try to make them look at you when you have just destroyed them? I personally couldn’t, and yes, everyone is different. But not everyone who can’t bear to ask forgiveness is a villain, either. They’re just weak.  

I think dialogue and discussion and differing opinions are essential, and I think SC would be proud that we’re talking about this. Especially today. The bomb on Hiroshima was dropped 70 years ago, on Aug 6, 1945. 

titania522: thanks for tagging me on the original thread!

According to the pundits, things that “mattered” at last night’s debate, versus things that didn’t:

What mattered:

–Mike Pence was polite (mostly)
–Tim Kaine was ruder than Pence was

What did not matter:

–Pence constantly misstated or lied about Donald Trump’s plans
–Pence constantly misstated or lied about his own record
–Pence’s record and positions on the issues
–Trump’s (lack of) policies and (inconsistent) positions on the issues
–Pence’s general abandonment of Trump’s positions (?!) across the board

#election2016

Things Neil deGrasse Tyson Did at His Lecture, “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies,” in Philadelphia Last Night:

  • Announced that he could say just one word and get a huge reaction from the audience, then said ‘Pluto’
  • Said more than one swear
  • Showed us beer commercials and critiqued the ‘science’ in them
  • ‘They’re assuming aliens have butts
  • Called Bill Nye and put him on speakerphone
  • Got called old by Bill Nye
  • ((Bill Nye said we have to ‘git ‘er done’ re. climate change))
  • ((Bill Nye also said we should try to get off this planet))
  • Lamented that his tweets pointing out science inaccuracies in movies are ‘so misunderstood’ because he just wants to provide cool fun science facts but then people get mad
  • Said he pestered Frank Drake at a movie premiere because a character misstated Drake’s equation about the number of alien civilizations in the galaxy
  • Frank Drake told him ‘it’s just a movie’
  • Admitted to being out-geeked by a Marvel fan when he calculated the weight of Thor’s hammer based on the density of dying stars
  • ‘The important thing we can learn from this image is that aliens do have butts.’
  • Declared that “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” has some of the best time-travel-related writing in all of cinema
  • Gave no fucks about making fun of political conservatives
  • Gave no fucks about making fun of evolution and climate change deniers
  • Said these people should not be in charge of a country
  • Talked about the time he bothered James Cameron so much about the night sky in “Titanic” that Cameron changed it for the remastered version
  • Got way too excited about the word ‘fractals’ being in a Disney movie
  • Put this doge gif on the screen to illustrate fractals
  • Said that when a friend showed him Romanesco broccoli he ‘couldn’t speak for half an hour’ and took 1,000 pictures with his phone
  • Showed us some of the pictures
  • Jokingly called Pumbaa out on saying stars are balls of gas burning billions of miles away instead of trillions, saying ‘but he is a talking pig’
  • One time you were a talking pig too sir
  • Made his ‘got a badass over here’ face then put the meme on the screen
  • Was told he typoed ‘Pennsylvania’ on his last slide and in response put the meme back up
  • Showed a scene from “Armageddon,” outing himself as a filthy Homestuck
  • ‘The government can’t keep the sky a secret.’
  • Squealed ‘ohmahgad

Things Neil deGrasse Tyson Did Not Do at His Lecture, “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies,” in Philadelphia Last Night:

  • Wear shoes
Hillary made it a point to misstate a lot of Bernie's policies

Bernie had to do a lot of clarification. Hillary should stick to her accomplishments and end the ‘Bernie disinformation tour’. My two cents.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We are proud to present our next Rifftrax Live offering, SHARKNADO.

Please join us as we celebrate this gem of independent filmmaking, and with it the vision, the heart, the very soul of the cinema. 

I’m kidding of course, it’s a big dumb TV movie that makes absolutely no sense save the common understanding that it features an entire nado filled with sharks.

Starring Tara Reid, who made the move from tabloid sexpot to confused grandma in a remarkably short period of time, and the sexy, leggy John Heard, who the kids just love. Ian Ziering rounds out the cast, and adds extra aggravation by pronouncing his name EYE-ann, and by being somebody about whom I should know but don’t. 

I guarantee a LOT of surprises at this show, but I’ll limit my guarantee to 2.5 surprises, and let the lawyers handle any misstatement I might have made about surprise guarantees. 

 So please join us Thursday, July 10th, and we will in turn promise you a screen full of digital sharks fallng from the sky and we three making jokes about them.  

http://www.rifftrax.com/live 

CREATOR OF ‘THE 99′ IS DEFIANT IN THE FACE OF ISLAMIC STATE DEATH THREAT

By Matt D. Wilson

Back in July, representatives for Islamic State, the jihadist group sometimes referred to as ISIS, or ISIL, publicly called for the death of Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, the creator of The 99, a Muslim comic about 99 young heroes who reflect the 99 attributes ascribed to Allah in the Quran.

In a column published in the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, al-Mutawa explained that the calls for his death originated from a fatwa that was issued based on “false accusations and misstatements” from an “ambulance chaser.”

READ MORE

4

Thank you to @kartoshinki, queeniceland, stomei97, and gwen-chan for sending these in and correcting me on some of the instruments I misstated :D (I really am bad at telling certain instruments apart, more than I originally thought!)

Sources for the instruments are below ^^ If anyone else has any more characters that they know of or other corrections, go right ahead and send them in!

- Admin England

Keep reading

…Brian Williams was, of course, one of the many mass media spinners, not only for the invasion of Iraq, but later catastrophic interventions in Libya and elsewhere. This suspension story, the falsehood told by Brian Williams, is the kind of story that the mass corporate media absolutely love, because it’s about an individual personality, it’s not about structural power; it’s about a personal flaw or a misstatement or deception or lie, if you will, but not about constant streams of lies coming from institutions such as NBC News and many others that have billions of dollars of capital behind them. And I think it’s important for us to remember that Brian Williams has run afoul of his fabulations, his lie that was told repeatedly to puff himself up in the context of glorifying the very kind of militarism that he was part of promoting in the first place. And if you look at his career—as of, unfortunately, many of his colleagues—we have to understand, or I think it’s important for us to understand, that the real tragedies, the real transgressions against truth, are virtually never challenged, almost never challenged, by those folks’ colleagues. And I would just sum it up this way: The Wall Street Journal front page yesterday described what Williams had done as telling a false war story, but in fact Williams and his colleagues are in the business of telling false war stories every day to, in effect, justify U.S. military interventions.

Trump’s Week of Errors, Exaggerations and Flat-out Falsehoods

POLITICO Magazine subjected the GOP front-runner to our fact-checking process. This is the result.

By Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf

Donald Trump says he is a truthful man. “Maybe truthful to a fault,” he boasted last week at a North Carolina rally where one of his supporters sucker punched a protester.

But truthful he is not.

With the GOP front-runner scooping up delegates in a march toward the Republican nomination, POLITICO subjected a week’s worth of his words to our magazine’s fact-checking process. We chronicled 4.6 hours of stump speeches and press conferences, from a rally in Concord, N.C., on Monday to a rally on Friday in St. Louis.

The result: more than five dozen statements deemed mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false – the kind of stuff that would have been stripped from one of our stories, or made the whole thing worthy of the spike. It equates to roughly one misstatement every five minutes on average.

Read more here

Seems people are still thinking Jonghyun responded to GD but yesterday’s BNR was pre-recorded

Anyway….

[Netizen Comments] Article: “SHINee and EXO can’t compose their own songs? … GD’s clueless statement”

Top Rated:

1. [+760, -39] GD needs to retain his humility. The truth is that the public doesn’t all like Big Bang songs, so the fact that he made a misstatement like this is downright thoughtless. Was that reply the best he could do? Tsk tsk. I’m part of the public too, but when it comes to talent and character, SHINee definitely seems better to me?

2. [+669, -25] Thank you for this article~~ Really, SHINee is actively participating in writing and composing~ And Exo’s only been around as a group for 3 years… Most people know they’re working hard on writing and composing but I guess some people still aren’t aware~

3. [+642, -29] GD’s statement yesterday has dumbfoundingly revealed what grand delusions he really has about himself. It’s like he lives in his own little world. The reporter’s write up is refreshing.

4. [+589, -31] GD’s self-love is stabbing the sky ㅋ

5. [+561, -26] Seems like GD’s comment is saying the songs he’s composed appeal so much to the public that they get used as title tracks, but honestly this isn’t quite right either because even Jonghyun released a solo album full of songs that he wrote and composed, and he gives songs to other singers too. And Exo is trending toward writing and composing more and more actively, so it’s true that what GD said is worthy of misunderstanding.

6. [+233, -10] Excuse me but, SHINee’s Jonghyun not only makes songs for his own group, but also makes songs for other singers?

7. [+224, -5] Whatever the case, it’s obvious that this interview will become a shameful memory in (GD’s) history..

8. [+221, -5] As a Seo Taiji maniac, the way I see it is that Big Bang, Exo, SHINee, etc. are all popular and have passed through a difficult systematic process to get to where they currently are now. But GD’s comment yesterday feels like he’s pointing fingers at SM’s system. I’m not sure if GD is indeed a “great” artist, but it’s true that he’s a “hot” artist. But among Seo Taiji’s songs, the songwriting and composing is credited to only three characters: “Seo Tai Ji.” But Big Bang’s songwriting and composing are GD + Teddy + TOP + other producers, etc. and it’s impossible to tell who created what part. Is it possible to see these as only GD’s songs? I think SM artists, who assimilate songs written by great producers really well, are talented singers too.

9. [+215, -7] Seems like GD doesn’t listen to his juniors’ songs at all ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ What’s worse is that SHINee and Exo’s latest albums, that they promoted at the same time, contain self-composed songs…

10. [+173, -3] Then.. can we also agree that actors can only assimilate a role as their own when they write their own script?? I guess actors…should also write drama and movie scripts their own selves~~* Wouldn’t it also be a skill to be able to assimilate someone else’s script or song superbly??

11. [+175, -7] GD’s comment wasn’t intended to mean what the reporter’s headline suggests. But it’s wrong to respond to a question that asks about the distinguishing factors between the groups by saying, “We create our songs ourselves, and the public likes that”; then what becomes of the songs written and composed by SHINee and Exo? They’ve also created songs that the public likes, the same as Big Bang.



Other comments:

[+159, -5] Seems like since fans keep upholding him as an “artist, not an idol,” he thinks of himself as a special artist who isn’t an idol.. Is he also dissing his fellow team members who don’t write songs.. ㅋㅋ

[+158, -5] I feel better seeing this articleㅠ Although I’m a SHINee fan, I also liked Big Bang. But I think if Jonghyun saw this news, the comment would make him feel like all the products of his worries and efforts until now have been in vain. Of course, even if GD didn’t intend it that way, I don’t think it was right to respond in such an irresponsible and immodest way in his position as a senior. I’m disappointed in GD ㅡㅡ

[+135, -5] He says he’s not interested in whatever you do in Korea because he’s a globetrotting world-class superstar~ And let’s have a listen to those title tracks you claim to have written yourself, look at this guy talking like he wrote them all by himself when he worked together with Teddy

[+104, -1] If he’d at least given a response that asserted that he makes his own kind of music, regardless of SHINee and Exo, I wouldn’t have cared. It’s true that he writes music and is popular, but. It’s indisputable that it wasn’t a good response to a question that asked about what differentiates them. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.

[+76, -2] Ahyoo, this kid is good at being silent when it comes to explaining plagiarism or thoughtless actions, but he never misses out on boasting about how he makes his own music when all his hits are collaborations ㅋ

[+67, -3] While you were doing drugs at the very least SHINee Exo were probably practicing for their future

[+56, -2] Anyway the clearest thing from this incident is that GD’s lost the public’s trust and goodwill

[+44, -0] Why does he think singers have to create their own songs to be recognized (as being talented)..? A lot of talented singers aren’t able to self-compose their songs.. Singers are people who sing, not people who create songs.. Although it would be even better if you could sing and write your own songs.. shouldn’t it not matter if you can’t? I don’t think it’s right to show off your talent or ability just because of the fact that your songs are self-composed..

(source)

reuters.com
U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.

The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money.

The new report focused on the Army’s General Fund, the bigger of its two main accounts, with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015. The Army lost or didn’t keep required data, and much of the data it had was inaccurate, the IG said.

“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.

The significance of the accounting problem goes beyond mere concern for balancing books, Spinney said. Both presidential candidates have called for increasing defense spending amid current global tension.

An accurate accounting could reveal deeper problems in how the Defense Department spends its money. Its 2016 budget is $573 billion, more than half of the annual budget appropriated by Congress.

The Army account’s errors will likely carry consequences for the entire Defense Department.

Congress set a September 30, 2017 deadline for the department to be prepared to undergo an audit. The Army accounting problems raise doubts about whether it can meet the deadline – a black mark for Defense, as every other federal agency undergoes an audit annually.

For years, the Inspector General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”

In an e-mailed statement, a spokesman said the Army “remains committed to asserting audit readiness” by the deadline and is taking steps to root out the problems.

The spokesman downplayed the significance of the improper changes, which he said net out to $62.4 billion. “Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” he said…

Some employees of the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), which handles a wide range of Defense Department accounting services, referred sardonically to preparation of the Army’s year-end statements as “the grand plug,” Armstrong said. “Plug” is accounting jargon for inserting made-up numbers.

At first glance adjustments totaling trillions may seem impossible. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. Making changes to one account also require making changes to multiple levels of sub-accounts, however. That created a domino effect where, essentially, falsifications kept falling down the line. In many instances this daisy-chain was repeated multiple times for the same accounting item.

The IG report also blamed DFAS, saying it too made unjustified changes to numbers. For example, two DFAS computer systems showed different values of supplies for missiles and ammunition, the report noted – but rather than solving the disparity, DFAS personnel inserted a false “correction” to make the numbers match.

DFAS also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system. Faulty computer programming and employees’ inability to detect the flaw were at fault, the IG said.

DFAS is studying the report “and has no comment at this time,” a spokesman said.

There is a meme I see a lot in progressive circles. The meme goes like this.

“Idea: a reality show where gay marriage opponents have to live under 100% biblical laws for six months so they can show us how awesome it is.”

The meme is credited in the version I have seen most recently to Molly Manglewood of Alternet, but I have seen variations on the theme posted in all sorts of places in different words.

I hate this meme.

I stated in an earlier post that I hate it for about seven discrete reasons but that’s a slight misstatement because really all the reasons are tied together pretty fundamentally.

Here they are.

- If you’ve followed me for any length of time or heard me talk about this before, you’ve already all heard the one I often raise first, a little defensively. The trope presumes that no one would be so far out and ridiculous as to actually keep the laws of the Old Testament in particular, because that would somehow be far too burdensome and ridiculous for anyone in the modern world to deal with. That patently isn’t true because Orthodox Jews exist. I know from my own experience and the experience of many of my friends and family members that there are people who live full and modern lives while keeping the dietary laws, the Sabbath, the imperative not to mix wool and linen in clothing, any supposedly “wacky” thing you can find in the Old Testament (or as we call it, the Torah), as well as any number of laws in the commentaries that I would argue are even more onerous, such as the laws of family purity. The argument implies that the people I know to exist and thrive cannot really be existing and thriving. It’s deeply Christian-centric in a way that I think really ridicules Jews. Ok, that’s obvious to me at least, but now it’s out of the way.

- The argument, as a result, completely fails to address homophobia within Jewish communities, which, as a bisexual Jew who lost my faith partly as a result of my anger at the biblical and consequent community attitudes to gender and sexuality well before I was willing to acknowledge my bisexuality as a real thing, is kind of a big deal to me.

- it presumes that homophobic religious people are hypocrites and it does that from a place of real and dramatic ignorance of scripture and doctrine. I know some people who like the meme like it because that has been their experience in the religious communities in which they were raised, but it still bothers me for a few reasons:

- it implies that religious homophobia stems from idiocy and a lack of contemplation basically, and proceeds to try to effect change on that basis. I understand the impulse to take that attitude but I think it’s naive, unrealistic, arrogant and strategically completely defeatist. When is the last time you ever convinced anyone of anything by insulting their intelligence and telling them that if only they were clever and farsighted like you they would agree with you? And haven’t you known otherwise intelligent people who surprised and even disgusted you with their positions on matters? Wasn’t there usually more to it, something slightly more complex and profound than “they were dumb I guess, despite all evidence to the contrary”?

- it implies that religious people don’t know their own texts better than snide atheists. First, I admit that I’m biased about this, as a Jew, since education about matters of Torah and the commandments is a huge component of my relationship with my culture and history and is so frequently a huge part of Jewish faith. I admit that sometimes certain religious groups do not encourage such study, leading to the presumed ignorance and the presumed supreme knowledge of people who pass the meme around. Often, though, this is emphatically not the case, and one example of when this is not the case is the trope itself. Unlike Judaism, Christianity does not demand adherence to a whole host of the laws of the Torah/Old Testament - it’s one of the formative aspects of Christianity. Someone can be a deeply faithful person who strives for Christian values and not keep many of the commandments of the Old Testament. A lot of the people who pass the meme around don’t know that, and I think if you’re going to engage people in debate about something that is deeply central to their moral and spiritual lives you should probably bother to do enough research to know that before accusing THEM of ignorance or of skating over biblical principles. There are great biblical arguments to have in a Christian framework about whether homosexuality was ever actually condemned by Jesus and whether the Leviticus statement should even be considered applicable. Have those instead; engage genuinely with biblical scholarship if you care what religious people think, which I feel you should. Similarly I see a lot of people saying things like “oh well everyone would just be stoned immediately if they tried to live according to the bible because that’s how people were punished” and I cannot speak for Christianity here but Judaism actually has addressed that - there are no courts of sufficient Jewish authority to give those punishments out anymore and additionally we have a religious obligation to follow the laws of the land and not wildly administer killings. There is a perception that religious people do not think about or tackle the challenges of living piously in the modern world. They often do.

- It implies that the main problem with religiously based homophobia is hypocrisy, and that if you are consistent you can be as hateful of queerness as you like. What do you say to someone who kept all the biblical laws in this hypothetical reality show and, far from finding them burdensome, found the whole experience fascinating and moving? Are they now given license by this meme to keep on keeping on with their belief that queerness is an abomination? Have they passed the test?

- What do we say to the genuinely pious? This is a huge issue I think we shy away from tackling - when you’re arguing with a religious person who wants to be good and kind and loving but also wants to live by their faith’s commandments, you are facing an argument where you are asking someone to betray themselves, to pit some of their values against others and make them choose. To decide that a part of your religion is false is to fundamentally change your life; a lot of ex-religious people understand that but a lot of people who pass that meme around have never been religious, have never understood what they are asking of a religious person when they ask them to reject something their faith demands they believe. We’re talking loss of moral centre, loss of family and community … it’s huge. You need an argument that is cognisant of that, not an argument that presumes they were never that attached to most of their faith in the first place.

- deep down it suggests that the main problem with keeping biblical law is that it is too hard, that the main problem with repressing queer desire is that it is too hard. That buys into the idea that the acceptance of queer people and queer sex and love is about buying into a culture of easy fixes, laziness, licentiousness, lack of personal responsibility, lack of discipline and childishness. Paying your taxes is hard. Being constantly mindful of consent is hard. Treating your fellow human with kindness and respect is often very hard indeed. The argument that you shouldn’t do something because it is hard or because other things asked of you by the same source that issued the directive are hard does not address the central problem of homophobia or of the characterisation of queer sex as an abomination. The central problem is not that it is too hard not to be queer. It is that that isn’t a fair thing to ask, that it harms people, that people should have the right to autonomy when harm is not being done … We won’t even get into it because there are heaps of arguments expressed possibly billions of times. The “it’s too hard” argument buys into myths about queerness that are already way too popular in religious circles and does no justice to the centre of the problem of repressing and punishing queerness.

“Today I have more comments on another subject near and dear to people of my general age and political persuasion: Bernie Sanders. 

I wanted to respond to the individual who wrote the topmost email in this note. The reader ultimately misstates the nature of Clinton’s appeal while ignoring that her apparent positives—steadiness, competence, a legislative record to run on, realism, pragmatism, political and bureaucratic mastery, etc—are actual aspects of Sanders’ legislative accomplishments.”

“The argument I’m not buying, and never will, is the “she’ll by gosh get things done” canard. This is a problematic argument for two reasons.

First, where is the evidence for this? In her favor, she was an adequate secretary of state (though if statecraft was measured by the number of miles traveled, Ben Franklin would look like a rank amateur) and she did great work in the Sisyphean task of starting to rebuild our foreign policy credibility after the Bush years.

However, she failed to anticipate, moderate, or meaningfully exploit the extent to which the Arab Spring allowed radical Islamists to seize power across the region, which will continue to have repercussions for decades. This relates to her earlier failure to anticipate the absolute fiasco that the Iraq War would become, her non-apologies for supporting that disastrous quagmire, and her “bomb first” tendencies (e.g. Syria) that contrast sharply with Obama’s more measured, level-headed, and reasonable approach to intervention.

The whole Benghazi thing, while technically and legally not her fault, was nevertheless her responsibility. Her ineptitude in managing the scandal, her tendency towards unreasonable secrecy and paranoia in the name of operational security, and her series of half-assed excuses for the events that led to the deaths seriously calls into question her judgment. And it makes me shudder to think of watching cable news for 4-8 years of a hypothetical Clinton presidency. (Think things are weird and bad now? How quickly we forget the ‘90s … ).

And on domestic matters? Again, I see no real evidence for Clinton’s apparent bureaucratic mastery or skills at agenda-advancing knife fighting. … She sure gets into a lot of fights with people, I’ll give her that. But name me one serious, real accomplishment that Clinton made as a senator or as first lady of either the USA or Arkansas. Can anyone? [CB note: If a Clinton supporter would like to respond to that question in some detail, please email me.]”

“If the arguments for Clinton are accomplishment, bipartisan cooperation and the ability to advance legislation under less than optimal conditions and bureaucratic/executive experience, suffice it to say that Sanders, who has held an elected office of one sort or another since 1981—longer than I’ve been alive—has it in spades. As evidence, look to his legislative record, or to his long history of working—against apparently immovable conservative opposition—to craft and enact legislation.

Not only that, but in many of these cases, his opposition is often won over and becomes an ally! This has been thoroughly documented not only in the New York Times (“As Mayor, Bernie Sanders Was More Pragmatist Than Socialist”), National Journal (“Bernie Sanders Is a Loud and Stubborn. Republicans Like Him Anyway.”), the Boston Globe(“Bernie Sanders Is Cold as Ice”) and even here in The Atlantic(“Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Mayor”).

So your reader is using distorted, emotional and unsupported arguments in a way that not only misrepresent the apparent and very hypothetical effectiveness of a President Clinton but also ignores  the very real political effectiveness of Sanders throughout his career.

This is not to say that a Sanders presidency would necessarily be transformational, that a Clinton presidency wouldn’t or that Sanders is an ideal candidate. I will admit to supporting him, and as I mentioned, I interned for him in college. But to be perfectly fair, my first job out of college was as an organizer on Clinton’s 2008 campaign. I like them both a lot and will vote for whomever makes it out of the primary with no (okay, a few) reservations. So don’t mistake this for an unconsidered screed from some overheated “berniebro.”

But to take as granted the argument that Clinton is de facto “the adult” in the race, with the resume, the accomplishments, the skills and the dead-eyed, depressing Kissingerian realism to succeed as president ignores two fundamental things: there’s no real proof for this argument unless your media consumption is 100 percent inside the Beltway pablum; and the traits that your reader is mistakenly attributing to Clinton are actually demonstrated to a large extent by Sanders’ actual list of accomplishments.”

What If Bernie Sanders is the Democrats’ Best Bet?

2

Spider-Man #8.

Okay, I’m a sucker for scenes like this hand-holding here. It’s a good moment where out three musketeers (yes, I’m sticking to that nickname) trying to comfort each other in the face of how trauma-inducting level of STUPID Bendis War is.

This issue has sooo many problems. From the starters, Bendis ignores continuity to write people how he wants. He still seems to think Sam never fought anything above a street level thug and certainly not Hulk(with whom he indeed fought). But that’s Bendis, he only cares about his own continuity. Like how Jessica Jones was hired to spy on Miles and found out his secret identity. It never happened to her before. Except the very first story with her, where she was in the same situation with Captain America. It was written by you, Bendis, how did you forget that?!

Tony Stark is a colossal asshole in this book. He goes to rant how Bruce Banner made one misstate that created the Hulk. I guess SAVING SOMEONE’S LIFE is a mistake in Tony’s book. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! That or Bendis forgot it’s not Ultimate Universe, where his origin is different. Then right after Banner’s death Stark tries to rally everyone against Carol, coming with some crazy conspiracy theories how she put Clint Barton there and told him to shoot. Such a sensitive approach, asshole! Jesus, never before I wanted to punch Stark so much in my life. And this is from a guy who writes his own comics series, no wonder it doesn’t sell as much as Marvel wants it!

And Miles grandma just crossed the line with hiring Jessica to spy on him I mean for the fuck’s sake, that’s just violation of privacy and quite frankly, shows an incredible lack of trust. Jessica’s advice for Miles to stop doing what makes his family worried is just missing the point. If his grandmother went so far to prove he is up to no good, then NOTHING he will ever do will make her think otherwise. I know that kind of people, you can climb to the top but they will still bring up every single smallest mistake you ever made to guilt-trip you into shutting up and doing what they say. This might have struck too close to home for me, but this whole ordeal is a sign of controlling behavior! His grandmother looks to me like a friggin abuser!

Oh and the dialogue is so cringeworthy and full of exposition dump, that even Sam has enough of it at one point. And art can get equally lazy, at one point the artist just copied the same face on two panels.

That being said, there are some good moments here. Like this above. Like conversation between Miles and Luke Cage and how Luke brings up what Sam Wilson things about Miles (that he has long way to go, but can be one of the greatest heroes in the world. Or how Luke pointed out that yes, it is important that Spider-Man is a kid of color. Good contrast to all the crap Bendis was pulling about how it doesn’t matter in the early issues.

iKON’s Solo Concert Sells Out in 10 Minutes

The tickets to rookie group iKON‘s upcoming solo concert have been completely sold out within minutes after going on sale.

The first round of ticket sales opened on January 6 at 8 p.m. KST, allowing fans to purchase tickets to the first concert held on January 30. Before the sales opened, “iKON’s concert” was the most searched topic on many Korean search engines.

It took only ten minutes for the slightly over 10,000 tickets to be completely sold out.

The tickets for the second concert held on January 31 will go on sale tomorrow, January 7, at 8 p.m. KST. Many fans are already thinking of new tactics to use for the second round of competitive ticketing, as success rate is often determined by broadband and clicking speed.

“iKONCERT 2016 SHOWTIME TOUR IN SEOUL” will be held on January 30 and 31 at 6 p.m. KST at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that 10,000 tickets were sold to the concert. More than 10,000 tickets, an estimated 14,000, went on sale today.

© SOOMPI
crooksandliars.com
Andrea Mitchell Explains Donald Trump: 'He's Turning People Against People'

After Donald Trump joined Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press, and refused to back off his comments that he said he saw Muslims in New Jersey cheering at the Twin Towers attack, the topic of fact checkers came into the debate with the MTP panel and how it affects Trump supporters. Andrea Mitchell correctly explained that Donald Trump’s serial exaggerations on important issues has been very damaging to the people he’s targeting, even though his supporters don’t care about the truth.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But it’s not only that that didn’t happen. “200,000 Syrian refugees are coming.” It’s not only that the facts are wrong. It’s that what he is saying is so emotionally and, you know, politically powerful. He is lighting fires. He is turning people against people. He is misstating the facts of what’s happening domestically, what’s happening with Muslims. The kinds of facts that he is misstating are so much.

EUGENE ROBINSON: Incendiary.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Incendiary.

MOLLY BALL: But here’s the political genius of Donald Trump, right. What he is doing is different. All politicians say things that are technically true but a little bit misleading or a lot misleading. They say whatever they can get away with. And if they’re called on it, they’ll walk it back a little bit. They’ll trim their sails.

CHUCK TODD: Truth is conditional. As we found out, mostly true, half true–

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