5 Things to Read Today (Jan. 11)

Today’s articles cover Internet fakery, bad forensic science, a huge malware attack, an awesome read about being a cable guy, and how your cell providers are selling your private data.

Bad Headlines & Poe’s Law

Reminder: Most people reading the news really only read headlines, particularly folks who get their news via social media. Y’all have to do better at headlines.

Two quick things about this screenshot.

First Thing: This headlines states that Donald Trump thought the the people he saw talking on the TV were talking privately to him. The article, however, is about an answer Pence gave to a question from NBC: “Which former presidents told President Trump, as he said, that he should’ve built a wall?” The answer was basically, “Maybe Trump saw it on TV.”

Look, guys, I know you’re trying to get clicks. We’re all trying to get clicks. But we’re dealing with a president who has an obvious mental impairment of some kind, and who seems to be in mental decline. You can’t go announcing that he thinks the TV people are talking directly to him, because that is shit we’ll all easily believe in real life.

You’re not helping.

Second Thing: The President of the United States is such a hot, festering mess that I just read a headline that said Trump thinks the TV people are talking directly to him, and I found that shit extremely easy to believe.

Like, it wasn’t a “Ha ha, he’s so dumb, I bet he does,” reaction. It was a “Yeah, he probably does, dude has dementia or something and dementia patients get confused like that,” response.

And that is terrifying.

5TtRT: Medicare for all, Facebook, facts matter, Tesla, & privacy

Today’s topics include working towards Medicare for All, Facebook being terrible, reality vs. facts in politics, Elon Musk and Tesla, and how advertisers track literally everything about you.

I’m on vacation for two weeks, and I’m having a nice, quiet day after Christmas. We’re gonna go see the new Spider-Man movie this afternoon and then I’m gonna spend the rest of the day being lazy and not looking at the trashfire of news. I may just go ahead and play Minecraft all day. If I get motivated, I might clean a thing, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up if I were you.

Here’s some stuff to read.

5 Things to Read Today

5 Things to Read Today (12/6/18)

Today’s topics: France’s “Yellow Jacket” riots, a crime story, journalism, the Internet, and spambots.

Good reading here today. In particular, “Blood Cries Out” was a fascinating and well-reported story, but it’s pretty long, just so you’re forewarned. The BuzzFeed article is pretty interesting, too.

5TtRT: George H.W. Bush, YouTube, Tumblr & Other News

Today’s topics include the death of George H.W. Bush, along with YouTube’s terrible recommendation algorithms, Tumblr kicking all the porn off their site (which basically means Tumblr’s dying), police violence, an interactive from CNN outlining the timeline of the Trump Tower/Moscow thing, and a huge, international Netflix stand-up series coming on New Year’s Day.

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, died November 30, at the age of 94.

I don’t remember Bush I particularly well. I was pretty young when he was president, so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention. He got us into the Gulf War, though, and a lot of kids I knew at the time had their dads sent off to war for that.

The thing I remember most was that at the time, if you had satellite TV, you could find raw feeds from various news agencies on different channels, showing footage from the Gulf. It was basically b-roll that news agencies were streaming back to their stations to be chopped up, edited, and played later on in the background while anchors did their thing.

A friend of mine had those stations playing pretty much 24-7 in her house. She was watching it in case her dad popped up on screen.

Bush I lied about Iraqis killing babies in hospitals to keep America ginned up and in favor of his war effort.

Bush I also arranged for a black high school kid to be lead into selling crack in front of the White House, so that kid could be arrested and Bush could go on TV to tell the nation that the drug epidemic was so bad, people were selling crack in front of the White House. He used this propaganda to kick off his War on Drugs, which has gone on to destroy the lives of, fuck, I don’t even know how many people.

He also helped shepherd the ADA into law, which I mention because this is the real world and almost no one is entirely bad.

He also insisted he wouldn’t raise taxes, and when he realized his tax policy was ballooning the deficit, went ahead and raised taxes anyway. This arguably lost him re-election because Clinton took him to school over it in the elections, but hey, it was fiscally responsible. It might have been the last time you’ll see a fiscally responsible Republican.

5 Things to Read Today

Photo: President George Bush on the Texans sideline. Houston Texans Vs. New York Giants Reliant Stadium. Houston, Tx. Oct. 10, 2010, by AJ Guel. (Source and licensing.)

Movie: All the President’s Men

“The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.” – Deep Throat, “All the President’s Men” (Movie)

Bob Woodward: The story is dry. All we’ve got are pieces. We can’t seem to figure out what the puzzle is supposed to look like. John Mitchell resigns as the head of CREEP, and says that he wants to spend more time with his family. I mean, it sounds like bullshit, we don’t exactly believe that…

Deep Throat: No, heh, but it’s touching. Forget the myths the media’s created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.


You can watch All the President’s Men at Google Play or Amazon (affiliate link, I need more stuff to read), and it’s worth the few bucks to rent or buy it – great movie, and unfortunately topical these days. You can also read the book (affiliate link). It’s a bit dry, but a good read.