Harvard Study Says Media Are Very Biased Against Donald Trump

23 May 2017 /

According to a Harvard University study, the mainstream media are very biased against Donald Trump.

Here’s a chart from the study, showing that the tone of some news outlets is negative in as many as 98% of reports:

Tone of Trump news coverage

I’ve noticed that even our local news station is about 90-10 negative on Trump coverage.

We have to look at the way the media handled Trump before he was elected. How many newspapers in the entire country endorsed Trump for president? I don’t think the number is zero but it has to be very close to zero.

Some newspapers — The Washington Post and New York Times come to mind — were virulently anti-Trump on the editorial page, which bled over into the news coverage.

Every news network except Fox was anti-Trump, the only positive news being that he was most definitely not going to be elected. Well, actually it was that he was definitely not going to be the Republican nominee, and then that he was definitely not going to be president.

The Huffington Post refused to cover Trump at all as part of its political reporting. All Trump news was published in the entertainment section.

And then he was elected president!

So everyone in the media had to either a) recalibrate their self-image from “We are super smart people who knew in advance that Trump would never be president” to “We are the dumbest people in the universe,” or b) commit to spending the next four years (at least) finding ways to say “we told you so,” e.g. “We told you he was a monster,” “We told you he was a moron,” We told you he was crazy,” etc.

Here’s a chart showing the tone of Trump coverage compared to other recent presidents:

Tone of Trump coverage

The media are setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president. No president in recent history is even close. Note that the media were mostly cheerleaders for President Obama.


Anything Bothering You?

23 May 2017 /
Brushing teeth

“Anything new?” the dental hygienist asks. “Anything bothering you?”

“Oh my god yes,” I reply. “The media coverage of Trump, for one thing.”

“I meant with your teeth,” she says.

“Oh my teeth are fine.”


I’m a Winner!

23 May 2017 /

I’ve been doing the daily challenges at CodeFights for quite a while and yesterday’s challenge is the first time I got first place! (CodeFights ranks solutions by fewest number of characters, with solution time as the tiebreaker.)

Codefights leader board


Voltaire and Me

22 May 2017 /
Voltaire

According to LibraryThing, Voltaire’s library and my library have three books in common, even though Voltaire died almost 200 years before I was born.

The three books are:

I also have in my library one book — Candide — written by Voltaire.


Homophobic Slurs

20 May 2017 /

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf fined $10,000 for using homophobic slur against a ref in Game 4SBNation.com

I thought he must have called the ref a faggot. That’s the one that usually gets you in trouble. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 a few years ago for calling a ref a faggot, but $10,000 is the maximum allowable fine under the NHL’s CBA.

But in watching the video, it looks like (there’s no audio) Getzlaf yells “Wake up” at the ref on the rink, then when he gets back to the Ducks bench, says “fucking cocksucker” to nobody in particular.

I don’t see “cocksucker” as being “homophobic.” Cocksucking is a respected activity of long standing. Women do it, men do it . . .

I’m not aware of anyone in hockey or other sports being fined for slurs like “cunt,” “pussy” or “motherfucker” that might be disrespectful to women and/or mothers, only for slurs with homosexual overtones.

It seems inequitable to me . . .


Why Are Black Americans Against School Choice?

10 May 2017 /

Most or all of the people booing Betsy DeVos know little or nothing about her except that they’re expected to dislike her for reasons that they may know are related to her views on public schools and school choice.

But why are black Americans against school choice?

I don’t want to overgeneralize — my son went to public schools and got a good education — but it’s all on the kids and their families to make it happen. Without school choice, public schools don’t have the right incentives.

People running public schools aren’t paid by customers who voluntarily send their kids to those schools and who could choose to send their kids to another school if they wanted to.

Public schools are paid for by taxing citizens who may or may not have kids in the schools and regardless of how well the schools actually perform. The funding is independent of customer choice. Each child is assigned to a particular school.

So where is the incentive to provide good education?


Justice

10 May 2017 /


The Blindness and the Wretchedness of Man

8 May 2017 /
Blaise Pascal

When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me in conditions of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.

— Pascal, Pensées

The Myth of Fingerprints

8 May 2017 /
Fingerprint

Over the mountain
Down in the valley
Lives a former talk-show host
Everybody knows his name
He says, “There’s no doubt about it
It was the myth of fingerprints
I’ve seen them all and, man,
They’re all the same”

Paul Simon, “All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints”

Some Folks Lives Roll Easy

29 Apr 2017 /

Some folks’ lives roll easy as a breeze
Drifting through a summer night
Heading for a sunny day
But most folks’ lives
Oh, they stumble, Lord, they fall
Through no fault of their own
Most folks never catch their stars

And here I am, Lord
I’m knocking at your place of business
I know I ain’t got no business here
But you said if I ever got so low
I was busted
You could be trusted

Some folks’ lives roll easy
Some folks’ lives never roll at all
They just fall
They just fall,
Some folks’ lives

Paul Simon, “Some Folks Lives Roll Easy”

I wore the mask as long as I could . . . I wanted to take it off but everyone thought it was my face.

Posted by on 24 Apr 2017

Stop in the Name of Pug

17 Apr 2017 /

Stop In The Name Of Pug


One Last Goodbye

16 Apr 2017 /

We spread Lightning‘s ashes at Huntington Dog Beach this weekend. We didn’t make a big production of it — it’s probably illegal, for one thing — but we hiked out to the end of the rock pier and gave him back to the sea.

The Dog Beach and the Irvine Dog Park were the places he was at his best — off-leash and able to be his dominant alpha pug self.

For example, here’s a (blurry) photo of him assassinating a puggle who carelessly but intentionally blindsided him at the dog park:

Lightning at the dog park

Lightning wrote a poem he wanted us to read when we spread his ashes. I think he plagiarized it, to be honest . . . he wasn’t much of a poet but we loved him . . .

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.


Looking For a Vet in Orange County?

8 Apr 2017 /

We took Lightning to Animal Hospital of Irvine his whole life — 13 years. We boarded him there too when we went out of town. They took excellent care of him.

How do I know that? Because years ago we used to board him at PetSmart and it was always a struggle. He didn’t want us to leave him there.

I thought it was because he didn’t want us to leave him anywhere but when we started boarding him at Animal Hospital, his tail was wagging like crazy when we dropped him off. They gave him lots of attention and took him for lots of walks and even let him out of the kennel and let him walk around the office.

We had to let Lightning go last weekend. Wendy, one of the staff members, came into the procedure room where we were waiting and said how sorry she was. She was crying.

Lightning was her favorite. Wendy is older than the other staff members and what she liked most about him is that the effects of aging never affected his heart or his personality. I hugged her and told her that I know he loved her and was always happy to be there because she took the best care of him.

This week in the mail we got a picture frame and a sympathy card from the staff.

Card and picture frame

Animal Hospital is probably not the least expensive vet in town (is there such a thing as an inexpensive vet?) but they really do care about the animals and their owners . . .


Praised Be Blindness

6 Apr 2017 /
Ignatius of Loyola

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, published in Rome his spiritual exercises. There he wrote this testimony of blind submission:

“Take, Lord, and receive all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will.”

And as if that were not enough:

“To get everything right, I must always believe that what I see as white is black, if the Church hierarchy so determines.”

— Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors

A Question for Michelangelo

5 Apr 2017 /

In the fresco The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel, we all fix our gaze on the finger that gives Adam life, but who is that naked girl God is casually yet lovingly caressing with his other hand?

The Creation of Adam


Happy Birthday, Pope Urban VIII

5 Apr 2017 /
Pope Urban VIII

Pope Urban VIII, the most recent pope to use the pontifical name of Urban, was born on this date, April 5, 1568.

He is probably best remembered for his demon-killing exorcisms used to chase from the head of Galileo Galilei the devilish notion that the earth revolved around the sun . . .


Lightning, 2003-2017

1 Apr 2017 /

Lightning alert

Lightning sleepy

We got Lightning as a Xmas present for our boy in 2003.

Things we learn from dogs:

  • Unconditional love
  • Nothing lasts forever

Later in life, Lightning lost most of the use of his back legs. He had to drag them a little when he tried to walk. He couldn’t jump anymore and couldn’t go up or down the stairs but he never complained about that.

He also lost his eyesight. Never complained about that either. He never got sad or frustrated when he occasionally walked into a wall or a piece of furniture. He had a good mental map of the house and didn’t need or want help to get around.

Last year, the vet thought he might have a leaky heart valve but that turned out not to be the case. His heart was invincible all the way.

The only thing he ever got sad about was toward the end, he didn’t like to be alone. He whimpered if I was in the house and he couldn’t be wherever I was. He couldn’t be fooled on this. He could smell when I was anywhere in the house.

My wife and I were with him all the way to the end. I didn’t cry until afterwards.

Last meal: In-N-Out cheeseburger and a pup cup from Starbucks.

He would probably like to be remembered like this . . . a video of a family trip to the beach when we were all more or less in our prime . . .

RIP Lightning


Goodbye, Everybody

1 Apr 2017 /

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

This is going to be my last post. I wish you all could have as happy a life as I did. I gave all the love I had and I got all of it back. Thanks for reading my blog.

The first needle made me feel sleepy. All my memories are coming back now. I can see my mom and dad and my brothers and sisters. I can smell them. They’re all here now. Every moment I want I can live again.

The 2nd needle. So sleepy. It’s like falling, but being wrapped and cozy too. I don’t need to breathe anymore.

Goodbye, everybody . . .

— Lightning paw

Lightning

Tags: , ,

Arguments of the Faith

1 Apr 2017 /
Burning of the Heretics (Auto-da-fé)

Burning of the Heretics (Auto-da-fé)

For six centuries and in several countries, the Holy Inquisition punished rebels, heretics, witches, homosexuals, pagans . . .

Many ended up at the stake, sentenced to roast over a slow fire fed with green wood. Many more were subjected to torture. Here are some of the instruments used to extract confessions, modify beliefs, and sow panic:

the barbed collar,
the hanging cage,
the iron gag that stifled unwanted screams,
the saw that cut you slowly in two,
the finger-stretching tourniquet,
the head-flattening tourniquet,
the bone-breaking pendulum,
the seat of pins,
the long needle that perforated the devil’s moles,
the iron claw that shredded flesh,
the pincer and tongs heated to fiery red,
the sarcophagus lined with sharp nails,
the iron bed that extended until arms and legs got pulled out of their sockets,
the whip with a nail or knife a the tip,
the barrel filled with shit,
the shackles, the stocks, the block, the pillory, the gaff,
the ball that swelled and tore the mouths of heretics, the anuses of homosexuals, and the vaginas of Satan’s lovers,
the pincer that ground up the tits of witches and adulterers,
and fire on the feet,
among other weapons of virtue.

— Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors

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