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.

5TtRT: Sinclair, a podcast, Portland burgers, Ammon Bundy, & fascism

Today we’re talking about Sinclair Media, a great podcast about Oregon’s white supremacist history, the Portland burger joint that some food critic supposedly killed, Ammon Bundy’s mind-boggling opinion on the caravan at the border, and a book about fascism.

Okay, got kind of a busy day/week ahead, and a lot of time sucked out of it already that involve things that do not actually equate to me completing my work, so this’ll have to be fast. Here we go.

5 Things to Read Today

Okay, that’s it. Go read good stuff!

Linkdump: So many things I’ve been saving up…

Lots to do and not much time to do it in, so I’ve cleaned out my linkdump folder and located a pile of good reading to check out.

I have three days to do a week’s worth of work and I already used up one of those days, so this’ll have to be quick.

🚀 First up, a new Oatmeal comic: On November 26th, a Mole Will Land on Mars. This is super neat and I just found out about it.

📚 Here’s a brand new free short story from John Scalzi: Automated Customer Service.

🍔 From Thrillist, “I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.,” the story of how a restaurant review killed an awesome burger place in Portland, Oregon.

📰 NiemanLab has an article on how journalists are being trained to detect “deepfakes,” or fake videos.

🤬 So, nationwide, cops are marking rape cases solved without actually arresting the perpetrator. Like, the rapist walks free, and the cops mark the case solved. Read it and get your rage on.

🚓 The New York Times has a longread about how cops failed to see the threat of white nationalism and now aren’t prepared to deal with it: “U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It.

💩 Bad news, guys. A significant percentage of the conversations you’re having online about current events are BS driven by bot accounts and bad actors. Read it in Wired.

⚠️ The Southern Poverty Law Center says “The Alt-Right is Killing People.” And yes. Yes they are.

🚨 Speaking of the “alt-right” and all that fascist, nazi bullshit, here’s a great article from Robert Evans at Bellingcat about how people get sucked into extremism.

📓 An oldie-but-goodie: Here’s an article in Strange Horizons, from 2005, about the Lovecraft influence in Stephen King’s writing.

To wrap things up, the Arrowverse crossover is coming up Dec. 9, and we’re up to four 30-second teaser trailers. Here they are:

Holy crap, I cannot wait for a full trailer to drop. These crossovers are the highlight of my TV year.

Quick Links: Doctor Who, Jeff Merkley, Jim Acosta, hate crimes, & the Arrowverse crossover

Today I’ve got news about this year’s Doctor Who special, Jeff Merkley’s possible run for president, CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration, and teaser trailers for the Arrowverse crossover in December.

Lots to do and not much time to do it in today, so here we go:

  1. io9: There’s No Doctor Who Christmas Special This Year—It’s a New Year’s Day Episode, Instead
  2. Willamette Week: Jeff Merkley Seeks Oregon Law Change to Clear the Way For 2020 Presidential Bid
  3. Vox: Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained
  4. Washington Post: The Daily 202: Hate crimes are a much bigger problem than even the new FBI statistics show
  5. Arrowverse Crossover Teasers: Barry Allen | Oliver Queen. Betcha we get one for Supergirl on Sunday. Or maybe she’ll get the full trailer?

Trump’s trashtweeting again this morning…

Trump’s trashtweeting again this morning, which usually means some bad news (for him) is about to drop. Not always, but usually. Keep an eye out.

Donald Trump trashtweets, 10/16/18.

Trump’s trashtweeting again this morning, which usually means some bad news (for him) is about to drop. Not always, but usually. Keep an eye out.

5 Things to Read Today

Keep an eye on Trump’s fundraising and spending, because I highly, highly doubt that he’s getting that much money from his fanboys.

Meanwhile, go get your damn flu shot, people. Like 80,000 people died of the flu last year.

News Stories You Probably Missed

Last week was a busy week, news-wise, but the Kavanaugh debacle swallowed everything else up. Here’s a quick handful of important stories you might have missed or forgotten about.

Last week was a busy week, news-wise, but the Kavanaugh debacle swallowed everything else up. Here’s a quick handful of important stories you might have missed or forgotten about.

💰 Donald Trump’s Businesses Are Basically a Criminal Endeavor

This is one of those stories where you’re like “Well, yeah, duh, obviously,” but seriously, pay more attention to this. The Trump Organization is pretty much a giant cesspool of crimes and frauds.

⛈️ Climate Change Is Worse Than We Thought and We’re on a Ten-Year Time Clock

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report on climate change and the news is all bad. The report says that in order to avoid catastrophic changes to our climate, the kind of changes that will pretty much kill us all and make us miserable the whole time it’s doing it, we need to enact painfully drastic changes right now. Since the odds of that happening are slim to none… I mean, I guess we’re screwed.

  • Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say – This is the Post’s article summarizing the IPCC’s report.
  • Washington Post: What climate change is actually expected to do – Does what it says on the tin. It’s tricky to predict what’ll happen exactly with climate change since our climate is a hugely complicated system, but here’s the experts’ best theories. Remember that in science terminology, “theory” doesn’t mean “guess,” it means “this is an idea that we have a lot of evidence for.”
  • Washington Post: Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 – The Trump administration’s own report predicts a 7-degree rise on global temperatures in less than 100 years. Such an increase would be… is there a word for something worse than “catastrophic”? I mean, that basically turns us into Venus, right? The Trump admin’s report concludes that we’re screwed so there’s no point in trying to fix anything and we might as well go full steam ahead.

The thing is that it’s already too late to completely correct the effects of climate change. But if we act right now, we could avoid the worst effects of climate change. That’s the ten year time clock. We have ten years to make it so we can still exist in some level of comfort on our own planet.

⚖️ The Department of Justice is Going After Anti-Trump Protesters

💻 Bloomberg’s Big China Hacking Story

When it comes to computers I’m not a hardware girl, but I follow a lot of hardware people on Twitter, and they all think there’s something hinky about this story. The general gist of their opinion seems to be that Bloomberg got close to a story, but what they reported isn’t actually accurate.

Both Apple and Amazon strenuously deny Bloomberg’s reporting, and folks in tech security and the government are all, “We have no idea what Bloomberg’s going on about.”

Apparently there were rumors of this sort of thing going around months back, but no one could confirm it. Bloomberg went ahead and reported it, so they seem to think they have it confirmed, but no one with any expertise in the arena agrees with them.

The upshot being, something’s not right with this story. @SwiftOnSecurity, a Twitter account that seems at first glance like a joke but that is run by someone with plenty of knowhow and expertise, has a long Twitter thread full of expert thoughts and resources on the story: Twitter thread.

Featured Image: Newspapers, by JonS on Flickr. Source and licensing.