Friday, May 29, 2020

Trump against fact-checking Twitter

What else could surprise you about the manic antics of US President Donald Trump?
Well, the  latest, of course, is his ire with Twitter for fact-checking his lies.

He wasn't amused. So, in retaliation, he is expected to sign an executive order redefining the legal protections given to social media platforms.
It means platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could be sued if they are judged to "deceptively" block posts.
The draft of the executive order says social networks are engaged in "selective censorship".
Meanwhile,it was reported that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is refusing to back down over fact-checking in the face of relentless criticism from the White House. 
The Daily Beast reports:
Dorsey’s company has become the target of Trump’s fury after it added a disclaimer to one of his tweets earlier this week. 
First, Trump threatened to close down social-media companies who he thinks are “show bias” against conservatives, and it was reported late Wednesday (May 27,  2020) that he will sign an executive order to remove important legal protections from sites like Twitter and Facebook. 
In a series of tweets, Dorsey wrote that Twitter will “continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.” 
He added: “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.” 

The Murder of George Floyd

A petition is out for justice for 46 year-old African Amercian, George Floyd, not just for Americans to sign but for global citizens too.

Here is his story. (The incident in Minneapolis, was also on video taken by a bystander who pleaded with the policeman to release Floyd from his knee choke.)

On Monday (May 25 2020), police officers responded to a call from a store about a bad cheque signed by Floyd. According to another report, Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 at the store. At any rate, the alleged offence did not warrant the brutal treatment against Floyd who was unarmed,.

He was arrested and handcuffed and then pinned down to the ground by one of the officers.

The officer was using his knee to pin down Floyd who died at the hospital late that day.

Bystanders were witness to the incident. The one who took the video could be heard repeatedly urging the officer to get off  Floyd who seemed to have deteriorated and then gone motionless.
On the video, the white police officer, was clearly seen kneeling for several minutes on Floyd who moaned: "I can't breathe."
Floyd's death has sparked outrage and protests across the country,.

The four officers involved in Floyd's death were fired from the department the following day, Minneapolis police said.
The officers involved in the incident were identified by Minneapolis police as: Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, according to the police website.
The incident is being investigated by local, state and federal authorities.
All four officers involved in the death have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, Freeman told CNN following the press conference.
"I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and trauma Mr. Floyd's death has left on his family, his loved ones," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told ia news conference.

A Shakespeare of Shit

Love this.
Wanted to post this a few weeks ago when someone forwarded it to me.
A delightfully funny take on that deranged man across the Atlantic.
Sure brightened my very dull and wet morning on another Covid-19 day.

Nate White, an English writer tells us why Donald Trump is not liked in the UK. 
Heck, Nate -- why he is disliked by the rest of the world, for sure.

Read it.

A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. 
He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. 

He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. 

He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. 

His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. 

But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
'My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."