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False advertising

An organization called Mythicist Milwaukee is putting on a one day skeptic/atheist conference called Mythcon, a “mythinformation conference”. I think they’re living up to the name. They’ve posted this announcement:

Mythicist Milwaukee’s upcoming conference is a place to share ideas. Yet, white supremacy, racism and sexism are not among them.
We vehemently stand against bigotry of any kind. Instead, we are focused on promoting dialogue about culture, religion and freedom of thought at our upcomoming Mythinformation Conference.
Our speakers and attendees celebrate a wide diversity of opinion. However; those who engage in hate and violence under the guise of “free speech” or “protest” are not welcome.

Fine sentiments. One problem: three of their four speakers are Sargon of Akkad, Armoured Skeptic, and ShoeOnHead, people who have no reputation as skeptics, and are known only for their anti-feminist and anti-social-justice rants on YouTube. Nothing more. Any reputation they have is of the negative sort — they’re part of that cohort of gamergate/alt-right screechers that have monetized their presence on YouTube and Patreon and make money off strident bullshit against Anita Sarkeesian.

They’re free to do that. Mythicist Milwaukee is free to invite a cluster of neo-fascists to speak at a conference. However, what is appalling is that they’re advertising this as skepticism, and piously declaring that they oppose white supremacy, racism and sexism while hosting a trio of alt-right feminist-hating dorks to headline their event. I know if I attended a meeting that declared that they stand against bigotry of any kind, and first thing I saw was frikken’ Sargon of Akkad taking the stage, I’d walk out and leave because they’d lured me in under false pretenses.

It’s also chickenshit. You want to preach racism and misogyny, you get to do that; but why are you so cowardly that you hide your position with a dishonest disclaimer? Are you ashamed of your views? You should be.

If you want to know more about why these three are terrible choices for speakers, here’s a thorough rundown.

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In the year of my birth…

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a feature that allows you to look up by year the time words were first published. One curious thing I noticed is that there are huge numbers of words introduced in the 40s on, most of them technical and scientific words, but in more recent years the number of novel words is drying up. Why? I don’t know.

I did look up what words were introduced in the year I was born, and there were lots of them. But this series caught my attention.

I think it means that emotionally I am far more childish than my advanced years would imply.

Why I love Seattle, part eleventy-million

Alex Jones visited downtown Seattle to record himself ranting on street corners about immigrants and evil antifa, and posted the video. Sadly, he later took it down because, I suspect, the response of the locals wasn’t very encouraging.

…former Seattle City Council candidate Michael Maddux approached Jones. Jones, in turn, asked him to talk. Maddux responded, “I don’t talk to racist fucks.”

Only a candidate? He needs to make this the centerpiece of his next campaign.

But my favorite part was this:

While ranting, Jones was confronted by BlöödHag singer Jake Stratton, who called out that Jones was “trash.” When Jones confronted him, Stratton threw coffee on him and taunted Jones before telling him he was going back to work, “where they have more coffee.”

We have reached peak Seattle: racists fucks getting doused with coffee by the lead singer of a two-umlaut band. I’ve got to get back and visit sometime.

Steve Bannon: ‘The Trump presidency is over’

In the wake of his ouster as White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon sat down for an interview with The Weekly Standard and immediately took on his new adversarial role as many in the media predicted.


Just today, there has been a mass resignation from the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities and the Department of Commerce’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors. The American Red Cross, the Cleveland Clinic, and the American Cancer Society will no longer hold fundraisers at Mar-A-Lago. The director of the Office of Public Liaison George Sifaki has been fired.

And of course Steve Bannon is out.

It was a good day.

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Friday Cephalopod: Squink

If you’ve ever wondered what squid ink is made of, here’s your answer:

Generally, cephalopod ink includes melanin, enzymes related to melanin production, catecholamines, peptidoglycans, free amino acids and metals.

But mostly melanin. And mucus.

Trump to Steve Bannon: You’re fired

According to a breaking news report from The New York Times, President Donald Trump has decided to remove White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the controversial nationalist provocateur who was a huge part in Trump’s surge to the presidency.