Category Archives: Media

Trump’s brass revealed as the gold plate rubs off

In our previous post, a compilation of Trumpisms from the London Review of Books, The Donald explained himself precisely in a mere nine words, seven of them — of which two have two syllables, the rest have one:

‘The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.’

The beauty of Donald Trump is one of class, an arrogant classy sort of class, characterized by his Wharton sense of branding — one given a gold-plated veneer [toilets included] and burned into his properties like a Texas cowboy used to brand his steers.

Through a combination of a primate predispositions and relentless programing [in both senses of the term], our inner ape’s attentiveness to hierachy and sex has been captivated by Trump’s relentless multimedia self presentation.

Trump’s voters are male, while women dominate the now-solidly leading Hillary half of the polls. For them, Trump is an exciting guy because they’re secretly both jealous and aroused by the shit he gets away with. He is correct in asserting that his only real attraction is the wealthy persona he’s crafted. But more than that, it’s a secret admiration.

And sufficiently ample women are drawn in by that same allure, ny the repitlian gaze and the sheer, unapologetic hubris of it all. Hell, the guy is rich, and some of it’s gotta rub off, right?

[And that’s not to say that nature dominates nurture; we’ve all seen lots of folks less susceptible to a purely reactionary mode, nor that we’re doomed to endless manipulation. We can gain control of the

But that golden luster is suddenly looking bit tarnished, the brass underneath revealed as the thing layer of gold plate is rubbed away.

The latest tarnish is sexual

First, from the Guardian:

A wave of claims about Donald Trump’s alleged sexual transgressions and inappropriate behaviour – in one case with a 10-year-old girl – has emerged, threatening the Republican presidential nominee’s already fragile campaign less than a month before election day.

Ever since video of the real estate mogul surfaced on Friday showing him bragging about how he could grab women’s genitals with impunity, more and more women have come forward to claim they were demeaned and touched inappropriately.

By late Wednesday evening the list of new allegations against Trump included:

  • two Miss USA contestants who claimed Trump deliberately walked in on them when they were naked in a dressing room.
  • two women who allege Trump groped or kissed them without consent – one in the first-class seat of an aircraft.
  • a claim by a woman that she was groped at a Trump event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
  • a People magazine reporter who says Trump forced himself on her shortly before she was due to interview him and his wife in 2005.
  • an incident in which Trump appears to sexualize a 10-year-old girl.

An allegation in detail

From CBS News Digital:

As Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign tries to move past a recently released 2005 tape of his lewd remarks about women, more video of similar comments made by Trump is surfacing.

In an “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas feature in 1992, Trump looked at a group of young girls and said he would be dating one of them in ten years. At the time, Trump would have been 46 years old.

The video, released Wednesday evening, was shot at Trump Tower.

In the clip, Trump asks one of the girls if she’s “going up the escalator.” When the girl replies, “yeah,” Trump turns to the camera and says: “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

It is not the first time Trump has made reference to his interest in dating much younger women.

In 2006, he made a similar comment about his own daughter, Ivanka Trump: “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” Trump said.

Companies gave California cops your media posts

Big Brother is has been watching your social media posts in the Golden State, especially if you’ve been Tweeting, Facebooking of Instragramming about protests, cops in many California cities [including Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego] are reading what you write and looking at your pictures and videos.

From the American Civil Liberties Union:

The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that we have seen marketed to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters.

We are pleased that after we reported our findings to the companies, Instagram cut off Geofeedia’s access to public user posts, and Facebook has cut its access to a topic-based feed of public user posts. Twitter has also taken some recent steps to rein in Geofeedia though it has not ended the data relationship.

Further steps are required if these companies are to live up to their principles and policies by protecting users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse. So today the ACLU of California, the Center for Media Justice, and Color of Change are calling on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to commit to concrete changes to better protect users going forward. Read our letters here and here.

We first learned about these agreements with Geofeedia from responses to public records requests to 63 California law enforcement agencies. These records revealed the fast expansion of social media surveillance with little-to-no debate or oversight.

But as we continued to comb through thousands of pages of documents, we saw emails from Geofeedia representatives telling law enforcement about its special access to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram user data.

In one message, a Geofeedia representative tells police that the company has arrangements with Twitter and Instagram for user data. Right after that, the representative promotes a product feature that “covered Ferguson/Mike Brown nationally with great success.

Read the rest.

Headline of the day: The snitch in your in-box

Another gem from the London Daily Mail:

REVEALED: Yahoo ‘secretly scanned the incoming emails of hundreds of millions of customers for the FBI and NSA’ while Edward Snowden urges people to delete their accounts

  • Sources say company complied with classified U.S. government directive
  • They scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI 
  • Intelligence officials wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters
  • Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to obey the directive roiled senior executives, former employers claim
  • It also led to the departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook, in June 2015
  • Not known what data – if any – was handed over
  • Raises questions about whether intelligence officials approached other email providers with the same kind of request
  • Microsoft, Google, Apple and Twitter have all issued statements denying similar activity within their companies

Headline of the day: Can ya hear me now, St. Peter?

From the Guardian:

It’s time to accept that we will die at the hands of our smartphones

What end could be more fitting for the self-respecting modern human than death by a randomly exploding handset?

Chart of the day II: Bigoted Twitter neologisms

Since Twitters nominally filters tweets to block the most outrageous expressions of bigotry, bigots have done what they usually do: Create neologisms to refer to the hateful words disavowed by respectable folks.

WYNC radio host Alex Goldman has parsed the meanings of the new lexicography of intolerance and has tweeted their meanings:


More from the London Telegraph:

The code seems to have originated on message board site 4chan, which is often described as the dark side of the internet. On a channel about Google’s Jigsaw program that tackles abuse, someone commented that the system couldn’t block them if they used “a common word in place of something racist, like if they started using ‘google’ instead of ‘n*****’.”

Some of those who have been using the code have expressed support for the US presidential hopeful Donald Trump. During the presidential debate last week one user wrote on Twitter, “Trump is not a National Socialist. If he was, he wouldn’t have kids that married Skypes.”

And one of the swapped words — “Skittles” for “Muslim” — is an explicit reference to the controversy last month when Trump’s son compared a bowl of skittles with Syrian refugees in the US.

This isn’t the first racist code to appear on social media. Earlier this year Google blocked a Chrome extension that added “(((triple parentheses)))” to Jewish people’s names called “echoes”, which was being used to perpetrate racial hatred online.

Chart of the day: Partisan views of institutions

Given the relentless endorsement of the Republican agenda by the nation’s leading news network, the GOP view of the press is rather ironic.

From the Pew Research Center:


Headline of the day: Turning their backs on HRC

From the London Daily Mail:

Selfie obsessed? Astonishing image shows entire crowd with backs turned to snap perfect picture of themselves with Hillary Clinton

  • Crowd of supporters were pictured taking selfies with Hillary Clinton
  • Photo has already been retweeted more than 20,000 times since Sunday
  • Twitter slammed ‘narcissistic ‘ generation and called the picture ‘sad’
  • Clinton had suggested the idea of the group selfie telling the crowd that anyone who wanted the picture to ‘turn around right now’
  • Photo of a similar campaign event from 2008 showed stark contrast
  • Supporters reached out for handshakes and autographs in older picture