Help a Liberal Today!

Remember this?

I live in a Muslim neighborhood and it’s making me sick thinking about how terrified everyone must be. I’m going to talk to a Muslim coworker today about who to approach and how, and exactly what I can do.

Time for all those grateful Muslims to repay the kindness:

I’m sure Muslims and Jews just love being accosted at work for their views on the Middle East because some white liberal is “scared”, almost as much as they love random idiots coming up trying to “help” them.

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America’s Embassy in Israel

From the BBC:

US President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, senior administration officials have said.

He is due to announce the controversial decision in a speech later.

Mr Trump is also expected to approve moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but not for several years.

Nowhere in this article does it mention that in June the US Senate voted on a resolution to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital which passed by 90-0. To do so would detract from the narrative that Trump is making rash, unilateral decisions which bring the world closer to war.

Israel welcomes the changes but the Palestinians and Arab leaders have warned they will jeopardise any Middle East peace process.

Note they don’t specify which Middle East peace process would be jeopardised, presumably because none exists.

Successive presidents have signed waivers to get round the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates moving the embassy.

Oh. So basically Trump is the first President to actually uphold a law that was passed by Congress over 20 years ago. This is a bad thing, apparently.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud told Mr Trump the relocation of the embassy or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world”

Could it be that, having listened to Muslims all over the world spending the first year of his presidency branding him an enemy of Islam, Trump isn’t really interested in what they think at this juncture?

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned of “the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world”

Yeah, that might have worked ten or twenty years ago, but it’s now worn so thin you can wear it as a mask and still watch TV.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for a “day of rage” this Friday and said “Palestinian people everywhere [would] not allow this conspiracy to pass”

Business as usual, then.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country could sever ties with Israel

I doubt there are many in Israel counting on ties with Turkey since Erdogan’s rise to power.

France, the European Union and the Arab League have also expressed concern.

The Arab League? We have proxy wars raging in Syria and Yemen, Qatar and Saudi Arabia at each other’s throats, Iran and Turkey sending troops to prop up Arab governments, Libya overrun by jihadists and Egypt heading in the same direction. I didn’t even realise the Arab League still existed, but the minutes of their AGM must make interesting reading.

By recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital President Trump is fulfilling a campaign promise. There is no other obvious reason he is doing this now.

Fulfilling campaign promises, enacting Senate resolutions, upholding the law as passed by Congress? Is there nobody who can save us from this monster?!

Administration officials said he would simply be acknowledging reality

A rare trait among modern politicians.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia are custodians of Islam’s holy sites and have issued strong warnings that this move could inflame the Muslim world.

Okay, we’ll add it to the list.

It sounds like the Palestinians will get nothing.

Except for the four or five hundred million dollars per year the US sends them, of course.

Perhaps there is a wider strategy at work but it looks like a workaround so the president can satisfy his pro-Israel voters.

And comply with the Senate, Congress, and the law in a manner that his predecessors refused to.

In other news:

The BBC is to launch a new scheme to help young people identify real news and filter out fake or false information.

They’re perfectly placed to do it.

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More in Trump’s Twitter Trolling

Polkamatic makes the following comment under my post on Trump’s Twitter trolling:

So the POTUS sees trolling the media as an appropriate activity for a sitting POTUS. Maybe even his top priority, by the looks of it. And by reporting on this bizarre state of affairs, the MSM is somehow wasting its time and money, because there’s nothing the viewing public is less interested in seeing than a tawdry spectacle.

This deserves a proper response. Let me take this part first:

So the POTUS sees trolling the media as an appropriate activity for a sitting POTUS. Maybe even his top priority, by the looks of it.

This is obviously true: Trump seems to spend as much time trolling the media as he does anything else. Is this appropriate for an American president? Personally I don’t think it is, but then I also believe it’s a moot point.

If Americans wanted a president who acts in a presidential manner, then they ought to have left the door open for such a candidate to step forward and get themselves elected. Instead, the media and political establishment decided they would back the Democratic candidate regardless and carry out a complete and utter character assassination of the Republican candidate. I remember when Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama: he was called a Nazi, a religious fundamentalist, a misogynist, and a tax-evader. He then spent the entire campaign mumbling apologies, explaining himself, and reacting to every media revelation his political opponents aired. Sure enough, he lost by a mile. Had Jeb Bush won the Republican nomination in 2016, the same thing would have happened to him and we’d now be listening to President Clinton screech at us from our TV screens.

I’ve said it many times on these pages, Trump is a symptom of the malaise in American politics, not the cause of it. The reason you have an egotistical asshole in the White House is because the media and political establishment made it impossible for any decent non-Democrat to win a presidential election. Any Republican candidate who would have behaved in a presidential manner in office would never have got close to the White House, he’d have been destroyed by the media using every dirty trick in the book to bring him down. This didn’t work on Trump because he simply didn’t care, had his own money, owed nobody anything, and refused to apologise.

My post was simply to point out that Trump figured out the media’s role in American politics and rather than reacting to every story they put out about him, he plays the tune while they dance. And let’s be honest here: if he wasn’t doing this, and he had settled into the role and was doing his level best to do his job in a highly professional manner, the media would still be pumping out one anti-Trump hatchet-job after another, wailing about Russia and calling for his impeachment. Anyone who thinks the media, political establishment, and Democrat supporters would allow a Republican president to quietly get on with the job at hand is absolutely deluded.

And by reporting on this bizarre state of affairs, the MSM is somehow wasting its time and money, because there’s nothing the viewing public is less interested in seeing than a tawdry spectacle.

As I said in the original post, the people screaming about Trump are preaching to the choir. Part of the reason Trump was able to shrug off the media attacks during the election campaign was because millions of Americans had come to believe they are interested only in political campaigning and are hence highly selective about the stories they choose to cover. The diminished influence of the MSM was laid bare when, against all their dreams and predictions, Trump won and Hillary lost. If there was ever a time for self-reflection and recalibration, that was it. Instead, they’ve just trebled-down on the hysteria and hammered the point home they’re partisan hacks with no interest in reporting objective truth.

Is the public interested in a tawdry spectacle? Well, it certainly provides plenty of Twitter-fodder but the likes of the NYT, WaPo, BBC, and CNN are not tabloids: I am sure most Americans would prefer it if they started reporting the news properly instead of pasting up headlines regarding who said what about Trump on Twitter. Now maybe the MSM is enjoying healthy profits by pursuing this approach, but my bet is they’re losing money hand over fist.

On another note, I don’t think Trump’s method of communication is part of some overall grand strategy, I think he’s just doing what comes naturally to him. But regardless of why he’s doing it, the effects are substantial. I don’t know why he retweeted the videos that Britain First put up but it caused all manner of journalists, celebrities, and politicians to vent their outrage at what they see as his endorsement of a racist party. This has had the knock-on effect of:

1. Highlighting the rank hypocrisy among Britain’s political and media establishments. Jeremy Corbyn is a long-standing supporter of the IRA and Hamas, anti-semitism is rife across the British left, people with blood up to their elbows are welcomed with open arms, yet Trump retweeting a video from Britain First is deemed beyond the pale.

2. Exposing who is thinking what in Britain’s supposedly Conservative political circles. I wouldn’t expect any Conservatives to endorse Trump, but if they’re queuing up behind Labour politicians and left-wing media loudmouths in calling him “racist” and “not welcome in Britain” and “irresponsible” then they’re doing everyone a big favour. I suspect much of the British public couldn’t care less about Trump’s tweets and when they hear he’s posted something on a subject their own political classes refuse to address, they’re probably quite glad. I haven’t seen the videos in question (I generally find this sort of thing on Twitter to be presented in a wholly misleading context), but if the political classes think Trump tweeting videos of Muslims allegedly being violent and murderous is something that will horrify the public, they’ve not been paying attention.

3. It is now confirmed that retweeting does indeed equate to endorsing. Expect the trolls to have some fun with this over the next few weeks.

Trump’s tweets are often filled with infantile posturing, but the reaction to them is stuff that will fascinate historians and social anthropologists for years to come.

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Trump’s Twitter Trolling

North Korea is lobbing missiles around again and the hapless Theresa May is shipping billions of pounds over to Europe in the hope they’ll make her life a bit easier next month, but here’s the BBC’s lead story:

It’s reached the stage that I think Trump is simply trolling. The outrage machine is still going full blast more than a year since his election, but there he is, still sitting pretty as president. He knows that by simply clicking a few buttons on his iPhone he can send the world’s media – who hate him anyway – into one meltdown after another, giving them no time to catch their breath in between. Historians are going to look back on this and recognise it as masterful media manipulation; he really is playing with them like a cat does a mouse.

What really gets me is the disparity of effort. Master trolls don’t hang around writing screeds online, their role is to throw petrol on a fire and walk away, leaving everyone else to waste days or weeks fighting each other. In Trump’s case, he can tie up tens of thousands of his enemies’ manhours and get them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by retweeting a video, an action which takes less than a second. This must be costing the media companies an absolute fortune, and for what? The BBC won’t care because they extort money from the British population, but for the rest who rely on selling copy or getting eyes on screen, Trump’s making them dig their own graves. For all the million articles and interviews decrying Trump, nobody’s much changed their minds about the man: all they’re doing is preaching to the choir. They desperately need to start covering stories professionally and recapturing their lost audiences in order to survive, but instead they’re stuck with this blinding obsession. How none of the shareholders or executives realise this is incredible.

Trump is unlikely to leave office remembered as a great president or even as a good politician, and I suspect his legislative changes won’t even amount to much. But I think there’s no doubt he will be remembered for the manner in which he completely outflanked a hostile media and led them straight over a cliff. For all his other faults, Trump is probably the first major political figure to really understand the power of social media. Twitter should give him a seat on the board when his time in office is up.

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Al Franken is an arse, but he shouldn’t resign over this photo

Earlier this week, a judge by the name of Roy Moore stood accused of sexually assaulting a teenage woman in Alabama, the state for which he will shortly run for senator as a Republican. The accusations date back decades meaning we’re never going to find out what happened, but the guy comes across as a slimy bastard at best: he did an interview with Sean Hannity which only served to make him look shiftier, and the comments from his lawyer can’t have helped much. If he had any sense he’d withdraw from the race, and Republicans would back someone less dodgy.

The trouble is, Moore has become the trench in which many Republicans have selected to fight what they see as Democrat hypocrisy, particularly over Bill Clinton. Why should Moore resign over ancient, unproven allegations of sexual assault when the Democrats defended Slick Willie for decades and still wheel him out at fundraisers and election campaigns? The Republicans have a good point, but defending Moore is an odd way to go about it: certainly, I’d not want to be among those defending him. Innocent until proven guilty is an important principle to uphold when dispensing justice, but I am happy to accept a lower burden of proof when someone is merely running for office.

But things took a stupid turn yesterday when former comedian and Democrat senator Al Franken was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a model by the name of Leeann Tweeden when they visited Iraq in 2006. A picture has emerged of Franken allegedly groping Tweeden as she sleeps:

This photo – taken by Franken’s brother – is being held up as being proof of Tweeden’s allegations and a lot of people are now calling for his resignation. The way things are going, they’ll probably get their way.

Now I really don’t like Franken. I didn’t know of him until I saw him question Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, during his nomination hearings and he came across as a deeply ignorant partisan fool. If he resigns it’s hard to see how American politics would be worse off, but to do so on the basis of that photo is stupid. Now it’s clear Franken is an idiot and taking photos like that is not the wisest thing to do. But it was before he was a senator at a time when he was a comedian, or what passes for one these days, and it was obviously meant as a joke. Tweeden is asleep but wearing a flak jacket, and it’s not even clear that Franken’s hands are touching it. It is humiliating for Tweeden, and Franken should have been given a bollocking for it, and perhaps Tweeden’s claim that he forcibly kissed her should be taken more seriously – but to say this photo is proof of sexual assault on the same level as that which Moore is accused of is absolute nonsense.

It’s probably been a long time coming, but America is in the middle of a moral panic over sexual assaults both real and imagined. Unable to deal with it sensibly, everyone is just digging political trenches and lobbing hand-grenades at the other side when this ought to have nothing to do with politics at all. Unfortunately, everything is about politics these days and as such we’re being subject to ever-more bizarre displays of political posturing. The worrying thing is I don’t think we’re anywhere close to rock-bottom yet, and moral panics rarely end well.

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Blue on Blue

This is amusing:

An internal investigation has been launched at the Detroit Police Department after two different precincts got into a turf war as they converged on an east side neighborhood.

Sources say it started when two special ops officers from the 12th Precinct were operating a “push off” on Andover near Seven Mile. That is when two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles.

But this time, instead of customers, special ops officers from the 11th Precinct showed up. Not realizing they were fellow officers, they ordered the other undercover officers to the ground.

FOX 2 is told the rest of the special ops team from the 12th Precinct showed up, and officers began raiding a house in the 19300 block of Andover. But instead of fighting crime, officers from both precincts began fighting with each other.

Sources say guns were drawn and punches were thrown while the homeowner stood and watched.

The first question asked by the investigation team ought to be why are police posing as drug dealers? If they have resources to spare capturing people who show an interest in buying dope, Detroit must be in much better shape than I thought. Or is this just an easy way to get arrest numbers and conviction rates up, rather than catching those who have made Detroit the city with the second highest murder rate in America?

Anyway, this reminded me of a story I heard about when I was in Lagos. All expats working in my company were issued with an emergency radio thing, a bit like a walkie-talkie but also with a GPS tracker and a panic button. On this device we’d receive regular text messages warning us of any incidents we ought to avoid, and one day we were notified of a shoot-out at a crossroads near a supermarket popular with expats. The next day I got more details from someone who worked in security.

Apparently the army was doing something – marching, protesting, who knows what? – and had blocked a road. A well-to-do woman in a fancy car decided she wasn’t making a detour and ignored the road block. This enraged one of the army officers who stopped the car, dragged her out by the hair, and pistol-whipped her. Only it turned out her father was an admiral in the Nigerian navy and when she called daddy he dispatched a unit of marines to the scene. From there the whole thing escalated into a shooting match between the Nigerian army and navy, right there in the middle of Lagos. Apparently there were casualties, but as is always the case with these things you’ll never get the full story.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking Africa is like Europe only less developed and poorer. It isn’t. Africa is…well, different. I expect Detroit is, too.

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The Purpose of the US Military

A few stories have caught my attention over the past day or so, all on the subject of the US military. Here’s the first:

Facing low recruitment levels, the U.S. Army quietly lifted its ban on allowing people with a history of mental illness, self-mutilation and drug abuse to serve in the military – despite warnings from the industry about the risks involved.

The new rules green-light recruits who have bipolar disorder, depression and issues with cutting – a process in which a person takes a knife or razor to his or her own skin – along with those who bite, hit or bruise themselves intentionally.

What could possibly go wrong? Then there was this:

An active-duty service member has received gender-reassignment surgery, the Pentagon said Tuesday, amid ongoing debate over whether transgender troops should be allowed to continue to serve in the military.

Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White said the surgery was done Tuesday in a private hospital and was paid for by the military’s health coverage because the doctor deemed it was medically necessary.

Thirdly, this:

A leading organization of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans wants the Department of Veterans Affairs to change its motto because, the group’s leaders say, the words first issued by Abraham Lincoln — “To care for himwho shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan” — are outdated and, more important, they exclude the many contributions made by military women.

“By excluding women,” Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Executive Director Allison Jaslow wrote in her letter to VA, “it … communicates to women veterans that they are unwelcome outsiders.”

If a woman feels that her service is not valued, her sense of deserving mental health care also will suffer. This is not to say that feeling undervalued necessarily leads to suicidal thoughts, but rather that feeling this way can create barriers to seeking support.

Developing a sense of belonging, through specific outreach from VA and by using more inclusive language in its motto and messaging to veterans, would help close this gap.

Okay, what these three stories show is the real purpose of the US military, at least in part – a part which is growing larger as time goes on. One would be forgiven for thinking, as traditionally was the case, that the purpose of the US military was to defend America’s interests against foreign enemies. Even if we’re going to buy into the NeoCon rubbish about spreading liberal values throughout the world by bombing places like Iraq (I confess, I fell for it), you can at least make the argument that bombing places and killing people is what the military is for, even if the causes are somewhat questionable. Whatever you thought of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the military appeared be doing what militaries do: wreck stuff and kill people.

I suppose the US military still performs that role in some capacity, but a large portion of it now appears to have been turned over to something different. In part, the purpose of the military is to serve as a vehicle (one of many) for progressives to enact their deranged fantasies as part of an overall aim of undermining society and the institutions on which it depends as far as possible. Now perhaps I’m wrong in this, but one thing is for sure: the purpose of the US military is no longer fighting enemies in the hope of winning. It may still do so, but this will be in spite of the new direction, not because of it.

But the story doesn’t end there. Obviously America is still keen to go around smashing things up and killing people and they’re not daft enough to think they can do that if they have a load of drug addicts, trannies, and anxious women making up the squads and platoons. So they’ve sort of separated the military in two, from what I can tell: on the one hand you have the military the public hears about which is basically a social welfare program with all its attendant progressive virtue-signalling; on the other hand you have bands of special forces roving around in places like Niger for decades at a time doing whatever they like without the civilian government in Washington having the slightest idea why they’re there (or even where Niger is). The ZMan has talked about this in one of his podcasts, and when he said the government – meaning Congress – has lost all control of the military he is right. But you can be sure that wherever there are American forces in places we’d find surprising, killing people and blowing stuff up, there won’t be many lunatics, transexuals, or women around.

The other effect of this split in the military is the increased use of mercenaries, contractors, and foreign troops to carry out what would previously have been done by regular American forces. Proper fighting is best done by tough, young, aggressive men and that doesn’t change just because progressives have filled the military with just about everyone else. One way or another, the fighting will still be done by those who do it best and if that means those who would ordinarily join the army go and become mercenaries, that’s what they’ll do. If the US military is deploying somewhere it will still need fighting men, and if they’ve been forbidden from including them in their ranks they’ll simply hire them on location or enlist their services by other means. But as we saw in Iraq, this leads to even less transparency, accountability, and control over what is being done in America’s name. Occasionally I hear rumblings about the use of contractors and mercenaries, but we haven’t had anything like the Blackwater scandal for a while. I suspect this is because senior people in the military know they are now more dependent on these people than ever before and are keeping a lid on things. Eventually something will go horribly wrong and there will be a public outcry (especially from the SJWs whose policies have brought this about), and everyone will be reminded how the US military operates in practice. Until then, it’s worth remembering that the US military is not what people think it is, and it doesn’t serve the purpose they think it does.

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Why Trump is fond of Putin

This is hardly surprising:

President Vladimir Putin feels insulted by allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, Donald Trump has said after meeting him briefly at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.

“You can only ask so many times… he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election,” the US president said.

Mr Putin later dismissed the allegations as “political infighting”.

The US intelligence community has already concluded that Russia tried to sway the poll in favour of Mr Trump.

President Trump has refused to acknowledge a reported assessment by the CIA and other intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the run-up to last year’s presidential election.

You don’t actually need to trust Putin an inch to believe he is telling the truth that he didn’t try to swing the outcome of the US election. None of this passed the smell test from the beginning, and the whole think reeked of an effort to explain Hillary’s catastrophic loss and an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency. I always suspected Putin found all of these accusations highly amusing; other than the usual shit-stirring that Russia’s spy agencies have been involved in since the Soviet times, exploiting divisions in US society to sow chaos as part of their zero-sum rivalry with America, I very much doubt Russia had any involvement in the US election. For one thing, it’s never been explained why Putin would have preferred Trump to Clinton.

Of course, those who don’t want very much to change in US politics are aghast at this:

This says less about how much Trump trusts Putin than how little he trusts branches of his own government. And who can blame him? Both the FBI and Department of Justice disgraced themselves during the election with regards to Hillary Clinton, and Obama spent eight years politicising other branches such as the IRS. Moreover, Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp” have been met with ferocious opposition from what people call the Deep State, or (a term I prefer) the Permanent Government, i.e. those who have done extremely well from the status quo and for whom Trump represents an existential threat. Is the CIA part of this? Of course it is. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Trump could probably get a warmer reception walking into a branch of the Russian government in Moscow than an American one in DC. I’d even go so far as to say parts of the American government represent a far greater political and even mortal danger to Trump than Putin does. If you were Trump, who would you believe? Putin – who at least doesn’t pretend to have America’s interests at heart – or known liars in the American government who have sworn to remove Trump from office using fair means or foul? That’s a tough one.

Then there’s this from Andrew Neil:

Let me take a guess. Perhaps Trump has realised that the entire American political establishment wants him gone and is doing everything they can to undermine and remove him; half the American electorate has gone into meltdown and, a year on from his election, are calling him a white supremacist Nazi when they’re not screaming at the sky; and supposedly intelligent and educated foreigners, particularly Europeans, are acting in a spectacularly immature manner over Trump while their own countries descend into chaos. Standing out from all this is Putin who, for all his faults, is remaining reasonably calm, acting like an adult, and not throwing around childish insults. Little wonder Trump is taking him more seriously than anyone else.

The lessons that ought to be drawn from this are that if you demonise your own president and try to bring him down, he will take his friends where he finds them; and if you insist on acting like a child, the adults in the room will ignore you and talk among themselves. Thus far, the reaction seems to indicate the exact opposite.

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More Fake News

Yesterday morning I saw a headlining story on the BBC about how Donald Trump had tipped a whole box of fish food into a pond full of carp, heavily implying he lacked the patience or intelligence to feed them slowly with a spoon as he was supposed to. I ignored it as the usual anti-Trump bollocks from the BBC but I wish I’d screen-grabbed it because it later disappeared. However, CNN’s coverage remains online:

Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into koi pond

The moment happened as Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe headed to lunch. The leaders were escorted to a dining room that overlooks a koi pond at Akasaka Palace.

As an aide clapped loudly, Abe and Trump tossed spoonfuls of fish food into the pond. Then, with a look of enjoyment, Trump quickly poured his entire box of food into the pond.

Most major news sites have a video of the incident, including CNN and The Independent – which uses the caption:

Mr Trump upends the fish food into the collection of precious koi carp as Mr Abe looks on and smiles

Dozens of news outlets relayed the story and Twitter piled in, with most using a graphic like the one below:

This was the graphic the BBC used, with a similar caption, before the story mysteriously disappeared. So why did they pull it? Because it was fake news of course:

Moments before, Shinzo Abe threw his entire box into the pond and Trump simply followed suit, and all of this can be seen in the unedited clip. But major news channels like the BBC and CNN decided to go with a carefully edited clip which showed Trump looking foolish, and ran it on their front pages. Someone, somewhere in these organisations are quite deliberately making these decisions, abandoning all pretence of impartiality and accurate reporting. What’s amusing is this sort of stuff gets exposed within hours in the modern era, yet still the mainstream media behaves like this and insists they are bastions of truth and knowledge. It’s why Trump’s “fake news” remark was so effective and why the term has become so widely used. I suspect it’s also why Iranian authorities view anyone who work for such organisations with deep suspicion and throw them in jail as political subversives. If they showed the slightest capacity for self-awareness, they’d be addressing these practices immediately.

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Unfair Dismissal

You don’t need to agree with this woman’s actions or political beliefs to think she’s been harshly treated here:

In a Saturday interview with HuffPost, Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two, said she was stunned that someone had taken a picture of her giving Trump the middle finger.
As the photo circulated online, Briskman decided to tell Akima’s HR department what was happening when she went to work on Monday. By Tuesday, her bosses called her into a meeting and said she had violated the company’s social media policy by using the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook.

Management can stipulate what you put on social media, eh?

“They said, ‘We’re separating from you,‘” said Briskman. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”

Would this apply to a gay man at a Pride event?

Briskman, who worked in marketing and communications at Akima for just over six months, said she emphasized to the executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.

Was she the marketing and communications director, the public face of the business? If not, then what’s the problem? Perhaps a picture of her going hunting might hurt their business, or a pic of her at a political rally, or at a gay club? What’s this got to do with her employer?

Virginia is an employment-at-will state, meaning employers can fire people anytime and for any reason.

Still, I expect she has grounds to sue under First Amendment rights here. Worth watching, I think. If she does, I hope she wins.

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