RationalWiki:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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Wigoblog.svg Keep up to date with all the interesting blog posts, editorials, videos and social media activities that relate to RationalWiki's mission here. The most popular entries are found at Best of the blogosphere and the older entries found in the archives.

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May 2022

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14Alito’s blueprint to repeal the 20th century

April 2022

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17Twitter - not even Elon Musk is wealthy enough to bring absolute free speech to the platform
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15Why it's so hard to rid the courts of junk science
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7The race to save Melissa Lucio
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16 Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely StupidJonathan Haidt argues social media designed for viral amplification results in mob stupidity, erosion of trust, self-censorship, etc., across political divides and in institutions, and has some suggestions for making American democracy less brittle.
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15 The British Empire was much worse than you realize
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16Ken Ham's Ark Encounter theme park isn't paying off for Kentucky, despite a huge infusion of public funds
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16Birds aren't real: history of a fake conspiracy theory
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17Deception, exploited workers, and cash handouts: How Worldcoin recruited its first half a million test users
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28Putin's own home-grown Nazis — revealing another factor in Russia's hypocrisy, dishonesty and general barbarism.

March 2022

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8The truth about Ukraine’s far-Right militias: Russia has empowered dangerous factions in Zelenskyy's army
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21The hunt for Nigerians who can change into cats
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14Today's far-right has been shaped by an online landscape of edgy content. But the solution isn't to lament the internet – it's to find a way to build antifascism in its image.
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9Vladimir Putin: Do we love him, or do we hate him? Sean Hannity can’t make up his mind!
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12Florida Governor Ron DeSantis convened a roundtable including “Urgency of Normal,” Great Barrington Declaration authors, and antivaxxers. This was no coincidence, given the common talking points and causes between the groups.
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-5CJ Werleman argues that, though their arguments had relevance decades ago, analysts of US imperialism such as John Pilger and Noam Chomsky are no guides to the present
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23 ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ Is America’s Only Idea; or, how we failed to adapt the last time gas prices rose.
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22Turns out gas prices aren't really at a record high. (one word: inflation)
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13“Debate” and “censorship” vs. quality control.
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-32The Western Left doesn’t understand Putin – or the world outside the US
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7Oxford University took millions from key ‘crony’ of Vladimir Putin
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17It you start seeing Russians with a white letter Z? Watch it, it is the latest far right symbol in Russia.
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-11‘Double standards’: Western coverage of Ukraine war criticized; or, how implicitly racist media coverage of Russia's war on Ukraine compares with other conflicts and undermines trust in the media
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26American patriots love their country so much they have no trouble worshipping a vain-glorious bastard who'd love to destroy western democracies

February 2022

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8Inside the months of work that allowed the US and its allies to turn Russia into a financial pariah overnight
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9Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order
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9Dr. Seuss’ Satirical Lesson on Nuclear Armament and the Absurdity of War
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61Line Goes Up: The Problem With NFTs. Dan Olsen gives a broad look into the Crypto and NFT trend, the motivating economic factors behind it, and an examination of the hyper-capitalist implications of the tokenization of everything into a speculator market.
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16The Totally Normal And Perfectly Legal Ways We Stored Official White House Documents (satire from McSweeney's Internet Tendency)
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6We've officially hit peak Covid absurdism

January 2022

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30David 'Orac' Gorski again in fine form, Why is there now such an affinity between antivaxxers and fascism? I suppose the answer that both groups are despicable, self centred and hate filled would be a tad too simplistic.
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-25The Guardian tells us that Republicans don't actually live in a world of delusions and fake news, nor do they really believe that Donald Trump actually won the election. Rather, they profess to do so because they want to support "their own" and "trigger" their "opponents".
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13As Putin mulls a Ukraine attack, experts paint scary psychological picture of what makes Russia’s tyrant tick
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4The Old Internet Shows Signs of Quietly Coming Back
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22“Bored Ape” NFTs have racist undertones.
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32We Don't Care That Afghans Are Starving Because the Outrage Was Always About American Humiliation
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16Why are NFTs so Ugly?

December 2021

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33A critique of the 1619 Project
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28Woo pushers prey on desperate people who think they may be suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), an Alzheimer's-like fatal brain disease believed to be caused by repeated hits to the head. CTE is incurable and cannot be diagnosed until after death, but that hasn't stopped snake oil salesmen like Daniel Amen from taking advantage of people to build a lucrative empire selling medically unsound procedures and expensive supplements.
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28Financial "guru" William Neil "Doc" Gallagher, who shamelessly exploited Christian media, is exposed as a scam artist who ran a Ponzi scheme targeting elderly Christians. His reward: three life sentences in prison in Texas.
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17The ultra-violent cult that became a global mafia.
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9The Great (Fake) Child-Sex-Trafficking Epidemic. Dispatches from a moral panic
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13The Week in Patriarchy: Radicalized Christian nationalism is a growing threat to American democracy
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10The antivax assault on state medical boards has begun. Increasingly, antivaxxers and antimaskers have been targeting state medical boards. In Tennessee, it has been political. In California, it has been more physical.
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9Conservatism: An Elegy Conservatism has been "reduced to Fox News and voter suppression... How did a movement built on sympathy and wisdom lead to a man who possesses neither? How did a movement that put such importance on the moral formation of the individual end up elevating an unashamed moral degenerate?"
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10Marilyn Manson: The Monster Hiding in Plain Sight
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8January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.
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13 The death of televangelist Marcus Lamb highlights a different network of misinformation that has nearly as broad a reach in conservative circles but receives far less attention in political media: conservative Christian broadcasters

November 2021

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8Why workers are quitting their jobs, after the trauma of the pandemic
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6The American Prison System’s War on Reading
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5How Morale at Facebook Tumbled After Trump’s “Looting and Shooting” Post
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3Inside the FBI's Unlikely Undercover Operation Infiltrating a Radical Militia in Kansas
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1Tax Haven Ireland: the Tax Justice Network podcast. Ireland only has 0.1% of the world’s population, but they became one of the biggest tax havens on the planet. What’s that meant for Irish people, and their road ahead? Full audio transcript here
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4Ways to make social media less ‘viral’ When fake news spreads like Covid, what can platforms do to stop it?
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57Warhammer 40,000 publisher Games Workshop (finally) tells Nazi gamers to fuck off: "We won’t let you participate. We don’t want your money. We don’t want you in the Warhammer community."
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12Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and the problem of COVID-19 misinformation The 45 year career of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, whom multiple medical authorities including the Texas Medical Board and FDA have failed to stop, serves as a warning about how difficult it will be to discipline physicians for spreading COVID-19 disinformation.
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5Robert Zimmer and Steven Pinker resign from Anti-Cancel Culture University of Austin. Let's see what binary argument Pinker uses to justify this? Christ, his BBC show is going to be so bloody insufferable, isn't it?
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12 Propublica releases a detailed map, revealing 1,000 sites in America, where breathing the air can kill you.
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2In the latest Trump tell-all, Former Trump administration aide says she was warned about playing Taylor Swift music in White House
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12Meat consumption is associated with better mental health, meta-analysis finds
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15How a Nashville Radio Station Became a Conspiracy-Theory Hotbed in the ’90s
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9Award-winning Scottish writer Charles Stross' latest blog post describing the thorny realities of Brexit today
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13Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has COVID-19. He claimed to be “immunized,” but it turns out that he had used a “homeopathic immunization” instead of a real COVID-19 vaccine. Surprise! It didn’t work. David Gorski in fine form. (He could have used the line, Rodgers got medical advice from Joe Rogen. "Surprise, it didn't work")
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19American Politics Are Controlled by Voters With the Memory of a Golden Retriever
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28 We were the unpaid janitors of a bloated tech monopoly: What Facebook Knew All Along – Facebook's toxic influence, how its algorithms push people towards extremism.

October 2021

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14 This is what 3ºC of global warming looks like
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9Kyle Rittenhouse and the New Era of Political Violence I suppose it would be too easy to simply call Kyle and his ilk despicable, over-privileged scumbags in need of a damn good kicking.
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14A comedy website posts a surprisingly reasoned article on Anti-vaxxers and science, I'm shocked, but your results may vary.
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8The wealthy backers of the Alt-Right
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17Frances Haugen says Facebook is 'making hate worse'
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7London hospital uses ‘James Bond medicine’ to tackle rare heart condition
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15Reddit clone Ruqqus shuts down: "No one sees a frontpage that's nothing but racism and anti-Semitism and thinks to themself 'wow, all this free speech is great!'...Ruqqus failed - and all similar projects will continue to fail - because the userbase is spectacularly, impossible-to-satirize levels of unintelligent"
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9How Netflix executives are like Squid Game VIPs (spoilers)
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15Lethal ‘forever chemicals’ taint our food, water and even blood. The EPA is stalling
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5The nicotine-stained man frog that is Nigel Farage appeared on Irish national TV station RTÉ One's show, Claire Byrne Live and is left stunned by his own stupidity The look on his face at the end is beyond words. Full interview courtesy of Lusephur Dragajósið
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17Deplatforming controversial figures (Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Owen Benjamin) on Twitter reduced the toxicity of subsequent speech by their followers
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8The harsh truths of partition in Ireland can’t be avoided in the name of reconciliation
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31 How the wellness industry leads people towards right-wing conspiracy theories and QAnon.
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-25The hardest working man on Youtube does smallpox (its a youtoob. bite me)
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910 shocking statistics about the US death penalty that you won’t believe are still true in 2021 (beware of the comments section)
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39Oh my fucking god, get the fucking vaccine already, you fucking fucks

September 2021

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16 David "Orac" Gorski on "Astroturf and think tanks manufacturing doubt about COVID-19 public health interventions"
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23Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before the 2020 election, and almost all of Facebook's top Christian pages were run by eastern European troll farms
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9 Eat that steak, love those bacon butties. Food myths busted
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24Kurzgesagt: Can YOU fix climate change? No, but.... A brief primer on climate change and the solutions needed for a global, systemic problem.
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20Why Goats Became the Unconventional Weapon Against Wildfires (Soft paywall)
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25You Know Who Else Opposed Vaccine Mandates? Hitler. Or the social darwinist origins of antivaccination.
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14Inside the abandoned US detention centre where Afghan terror suspects were tortured.
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24 The Nib on "Never Forgetting 9/11" in the aptly titled, What We Forget.
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19 The Other Afghan Women
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11 The Journal of Controversial Ideas is an "open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal specifically created to promote free inquiry on controversial topics." The inaugural volume tackles subjects including creationism, gender, Black make-up traditions, COVID-19, deplatforming, and other issues.
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16 Biden's questions in a 2009 White House meeting exposed the folly of the Afghanistan War

August 2021

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10GB News' resident man-frog Nigel Farage has said that he is taking a short break from his show on the channel. Could he be following in former presenter, Andrew Neil's direction?
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21In 2012, an influential paper on dishonesty was published. Now researchers think there's evidence of fraud in that paper.
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13Why the USA keeps building corrupt client states (originally from The Economist).
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29Afghanistan Meant Nothing: A US Afghanistan Veteran Reflects on 20 Wasted Years.
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11 Explaining the U.N. climate report's five futures
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8NPR: How to keep your child safe from the Delta variant now that they're returning to the classroom.
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18The Terrain Model, which claims there is only one disease and viruses are just harmless "cellular debris", is the new popular variant of germ theory denialism.
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11GB News Presenter Nigel Farage Emerges in Unredacted FBI Files (Yep, you read that right, the mahogany skinned man-frog is now a TV presenter on a, ahem, 'news' channel
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18FAIR on the 'Both-Sidesing of Democracy'

July 2021

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-1 Bill Maher says that Tokyo Olympics are "out-woking" the Oscars, proving that cancel culture is "an insanity that is swallowing up the world"
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8Why neoliberalism needs neofascists.
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15 No, billionaires won't "escape" to space while the world burns. We're currently not technologically advanced enough to sustain human life outside the planet without the constant labor of thousands of scientists and engineers
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5France is not the "bastion of free speech" it claims it is, courtesy of Amnesty International.
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18 MIT predicted in 1972 that society would collapse in the 21st century. New research shows that we are unfortunately on schedule. However, this "collapse" means an eternal economic depression due the economy's inability maintain record profits indefinitely. It does not mean the end of civilization or the apocalypse
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8E-cig maker, Juul, purchased an entire issue of a scholarly journal, the American Journal of Health Behavior, and had every article therein written by somebody on Juul's payroll.
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21Why the left should welcome the revolt against Cuba’s dictatorship
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9 Trump sues eighty-one million voters for banning him from the White House (Satire from The New Yorker)
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6 The Rise and Fall of the Ultimate Doomsday Prepper
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8 The war they call peace: On the tenth anniversary of South Sudan and the failure of the UN-sponsored 2018 "peace deal"
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4The best feminist you've never heard of: He-Yin Zhen
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9 E pluribus unum: the Biden administration implements its own immigration reform
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23How a medieval Croatian city invented the concept of government-imposed quarantine during the Black Death.
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13How the CCP sold out the international communist movement.
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33According to a study by Arizona State University, Gen X’s and Millennial evangelicals are increasingly questioning the political strands and moral viewpoints of the movement, and many are opposing the conservative culture war.
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12On the fallacious nature of the human nature "argument" against communism.
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17How Pro-Trump Local News Sites Keep Pushing 2020 Election Misinformation – an insidious network spreads Trumpism by masquerading as local news.

June 2021

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36The developer of Higan, Near, commits suicide following a 3 year long harassment campaign by Kiwi Farms. Near explicitly named the site in their suicide note, making them the fourth victim of the site's harassment. For their part, Kiwi Farms acts like no suicide happened at all and claims Near tried to extort them by threatening suicide.
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-16The Population Bomb Doomsday Scam: The narrative we’ve been force-fed for decades is being abandoned by its strictest adherents.
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17Fulton v. City of Philadelphia: The narrow but awful decision, and the implications on how conservatives will attack LGBTQ rights in the future.
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7Today, the self is the battlefield of politics. Blame Michel Foucault.
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27 An American computer student was doxxed by The Daily Heil for having the audacity to put forward a motion for the removal of a picture of Queen Elizabeth from a university common room.
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26Israel-Palestine conflict exposes divisions among the US far-right.
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36Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

May 2021

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29An online petition has been set up to move the American-born French exotic dancer, WWII resistance hero and civil rights activist Joséphine BakerWikipedia to the Panthéon in Paris, which would make her the sixth woman and the first black female at the venerable mausoleum. Already it has received over 30 000 signatures in over a month.
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14 There are growing concerns about the objectivity of the French news channel CNews, informally known as the French Fox News, over frequent references to crime, immigration, violence and drugs.
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34A study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that 65 percent of all anti-vaccine content on social media originates from just 12 individuals, the Disinformation Dozen.
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9How will we remember COVID-19? Not in the way you think.
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12The Sunday Independent has sacked Irish columnist Eoghan Harris after discovering he had a secret anonymous sock puppet Twitter account, breaking contractual terms.

April 2021

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-39 Shame, Safety and Moving Beyond Cancel Culture: A debate between Contrapoints and journalist Ezra KleinWikipedia and libertarian Will WilkinsonWikipedia
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31How pseudoscience swept India amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (The Atlantic, soft paywall). Short version: Hindu nationalists with backing from the Narendra Modi government, eager to prove the superiority of "Hindu" culture and learning, have heavily pushed Ayurvedic medicine as a miracle cure for just about everything, including COVID-19, as well as issuing hydroxychloroquine and homeopathic remedies to frontline workers.
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21Here’s how unequal policing really is in Minneapolis, by the numbers. here's a no-need-to-register version.
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33 Despite widespread fears of political violence stemming from Trump's claim the election was stolen, most of the plots since January 6 have fizzled, and there seems to be a cooling of attitudes among Trump supporters
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11 A Survivor's Guide to the Chicxulub Impact tl;dr Distant troglodytes ftw!
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32 The History of the World According to Ancient Aliens: AlternateHistoryHub reviews/eviscerates one of the worst shows in TV history.

March 2021

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9 The long-term prognosis for human civilization is grim, but hopeful
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41 The Japanese Wikipedia is full of historical misinformation, apologism and propaganda
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35 The threat of authoritarianism is no longer on the horizon: It's arrived in the GOP
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14 Boris Johnson was portrayed as a liberal, but his draconian government is wrecking Britain
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29 Holocaust denial was already taking root in Britain during WWII and laid the blueprint for its later usage, according to a senior researcher
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9Elite Panic vs the Resilient Populace: How society often gets actual human nature very wrong.
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21How online subscription blogging/email platform Substack has been secretly promoting and commissioning anti-trans content, and protecting TERFs like Graham Linehan who violate their terms of conduct: posts by Jude Doyle and Annalee Newitz.
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38Ireland is trying to revive the memory of Violet Gibson, the Irishwoman who shot and almost killed Benito Mussolini during a 1926 fascist rally.
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37The much-touted Trump-brokered relationship agreements between Israel and several Muslim states have actually inflamed lines of conflict and made a lasting peace less likely.
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17March 15th is the 10th anniversary of the Syrian Civil War. Here's where things stand now.
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34Islamo-Leftism is the new enemy of the French right wing: a made-up movement of academics that supposedly is seeking to divide and undermine France by studying race and Islam, in the latest example of non-sensical culture wars (see also Cultural Marxism and Judaeo-Bolshevism).

February 2021

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9 American democracy at the start of Joe Biden's administration: More specifically, a plurality supports balkanization and a democratic system
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30 A US military veteran explains what the video game Six Days in FallujahWikipedia is getting wrong
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24 How misinformation fuelled a coup in Myanmar.
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20 How early megacities emerged from the jungles of Cambodia and what their chilling collapses tells us about climate change
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25 It’s Time to Talk About Violent Christian Extremism
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27 They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them.
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35 Poverty makes workers less productive and impairs people's ability to think

January 2021

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23 The "Bernie's mittens are white privilege" essay (see below) shows that liberals, not leftists, have gone crazy
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14 The Capitol insurrection was as Christian nationalist as it gets (warning paywall). If you can't read that then this may be along similar lines?
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40It’s Time for Justice, Not Healing. The United States needs to follow South Korea’s post-impeachment example
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31 I am a disappointed Biden voter who was told he'd immediately implement Communist rule (satire)
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23 QAnon's "Great Awakening" failed to materialize. What's next could be worse: Neo-Nazis are planning to draw disillusioned QAnon supporters into their orbit
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25 What Parler saw during the attack on the Capitol: ProPublica gathered a collection of 500 videos and sorted them by time and location for your viewing pleasure
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8Predatory pseudoscience journal publishes a laughable scam paper claiming that birds tending to look like fish occurred in areas most susceptible to climate change, while birds with weird beaks didn’t live in those areas
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40"Welcome to the Brexit" says a Dutch customs officer Martijn as he confiscates a gentleman's ham sandwich, has a social media phenomenon as many Brits were surprised that EU Customs would be banning the personal importation of food.
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25 DC residents put up with draconian security measures (some of them amounting to little more than security theater) because they thought it was worth something. It wasn't.
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28 A game designer’s analysis Of QAnon