Tag Archives: Lies

Trump, Fox News, White Supremacists Lie About South Africa

I have been South Africa many times, and have essentially lived there in a variety of circumstances for quite a bit of time. South Africa is a large, complex, and diverse country with an incredibly complicated history, so I won’t pretend to fully understand the place. But I’m sure I get South Africa far more, and with more nuance and detail, than the vast majority of Americans. So, allow me to tell you something about that beautiful country.

I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself at the listening end of roughly the same sequence of stories, more or less, from always white, usually but not always male, generally older, always Afrikaner (that is one of the cultures) there. There are several stories you hear again and again. The way this white South African lady killed a black with a rigged right side mirror on her backie. The way some blacks hid under the leaves to hijack a white driver but got run over several times instead. And so on and so on.

Make no mistake, South Africa, at the time I was there, before, and since, has had more than its share of brutal crime. The place is a real mess. Large swaths of the society have a huge percentage of fetal alcohol syndrome because wineries paid employees in “tots” (drinks) rather than money. Poverty is deep. The rich and the poor tend to be very far apart. International outrage about apartheid was significantly larger in magnitude than international help after apartheid. And so on.

But the story that Donald Trump is trying to sell, about the violent attacks on white land owners and the taking of their land, is nothing other than yet another steaming pile of shit dished out but post Apartheid angry white supremacists, and picked up and amplified by Fox News.

How Steve Goddard a.k.a. Tony Heller does bad science

Steve Goddard, or as I like to call him, Dorothy (because Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz is his avatar, and I think he might live in Oz) is one of those science deniers who now and then produces a graphic that shows that global warming isn’t real. He is increasingly being ignored by even the ingenuous, but his latest attempt to deny reality has been slapped down so effectively by scientist and blogger Tamino that thought you should see it.

I’m just going to give you a little bit of the story, and then send you to Tamino’s excellent post.

First, here is Goddard’s graphic attempting to show that global warming is not real.

See how temperatures are going down? How can that be? Note that this is average maximum temperature over time, 1918-present, in the US.

Why 1918 (the data set goes back farther)? Why the US? Also, why is he using absolute temperatures instead of the usually used anomalies? Maybe he knows something we don’t know. Or, maybe he is counting on his audience not knowing some stuff that all the experts know.

Now look at this graph, produced by climate scientist Tamino.

That’s a silly graph, isn’t it. It appears to show the mean latitude of something over time. Of what? Of the stations used to estimate temperatures. How is this relevant to the present discussion?

To learn the answer to that and other important questions, see: USA Temperature: can I sucker you?

Which happens more often: Trump tells a bald faced lie, or a cop kills a citizen?

During the last 347 days of the Trump presidency, Donald Trump has lied 1,950 times, according to the Washington Post, which is keeping track.

The same newspaper tracks the number of times the police in the US shoot and kill a person. During the 365 days of 2017, that happened 987 times.

So, Donald Trump lies about 6.62 times a day.

So, american cops kill about 2.7 people a day.

This means that by the time Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address later this month, he will have lied approximately 100 more times. This does not mean that he will give us 100 more distinct lies. Many of his lies are repeats. Then, in the inaugural itself, we’ll probably get another big batch.

Between now and the inaugural address, about 40 of us will be gunned down in the streets or in our homes by the cops. (For perspective, the total rate of death of Americans in this country’s longest war, in Afghanistan, averages out to about one killed every three days, while the number of Americans killed in Viet Nam, which is actually hard to estimate, is two to three times the rate at which the cops kill us. So, the cops kill us at a rate that is about the same order of magnitude as a recent, modern, war.)

Happy January!

By the way, I’m enjoying Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Trump Lied

I got a letter from a Minnesota-based teacher who is getting inundated by students asking questions about Paris. Many of those questions are dogwhistles (the students do not realize that) indicating that they’ve been getting their information from Trump supporters, or so I can confidently guess. (The school is in an area where many voted for Trump.)

Here’s my response. Short version: he lied about everything.

Most people in Minnesota who have asthma have it because of coal plant generated pollution. Shutting down the coal plants is a primary step in reducing climate change. So, even without climate change, if we could replace coal plants with clean energy production, which we can do, why would we not do that? Anybody in the room have asthma? Anybody in the room not know that asthma is not just an inconvenience, but a potential cause of death?

(And the list of diseases and disorders goes way beyond Asthma)

President says: “The green fund would likely obligate the United States to commit potentially tens of billions of dollars of which the United States has already handed over $1 billion. Nobody else is even close. Most of them haven’t even paid anything — including funds raided out of America’s budget for the war against terrorism. That’s where they came.”

Other countries have contributed a great deal. The US is the biggest per capita producer of Carbon, and stands to be in the top three countries to benefit from the economic benefits of Paris. So, we pay 3 billion of a total 10 or 11 billion.

This money is not from defense funds, that’s just a scare tactic. It comes from the State Departments economic support funds. In other words, it comes from human rights and such. Trump should love that.

Plus the money does stuff. We’ll get a return on that investment. Like less asthma.

President says: “We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”

NO, actually, you get to negotiate if you are in. The agreement was set up to have continuous negotiations.

President says: “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.”

Bald faced falsehood. There are no such restrictions or permissions on any country as part of Paris. The expectation is that market forces and consideration of other issues such as disease will reduce the use of coal very quickly over the next few decades.

Kids in todays classrooms will still have kids with asthma, because this is all going very slowly, but the grandkids will hear the word “asthma” and think the same thing folks today think when they hear “gout” or “scurvy” or “rickets.” Diseases that don’t happen any more.

President says: “Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates. This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs — not what we need.”

This is based on a study funded by the anti-science foundations US CoC and the American Council for Capital Formation, and others. It is pretty much made up.

The future jobs in this country are in clean energy. Solar and wind are creating jobs at a much higher rate than coal/gas/etc. Rebuilding the electric grid is going to require people, Americans specifically, and is going to support businesses. Especailly good for Minnesota. 75% of the North American new clean energy infrastructure was built by two companies based in Minnesota, and much of the trucking done to complete those jobs was done by a trucking company based in Minnesota.

President says: “Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that, this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount.”

First, that is not a small amount. Second, the Paris deal was compared in an MIT report to market forces working on their own. So, the Paris deal is market forces plus a little extra. Why is Trump against that? Third, the Paris deal is also the framework to allow countries to adjust the overall changes needed as time goes on. There are uncertainties, esp. with respect to carbon sinks. This is not a reason the Paris deal does not make sense. It is the reason the Paris deal does make sense. Without the deal, an optimistic 0.2 degree difference would become a 0.5 degree difference. That’s huge.

Maybe it would help if we changed units. Use the new unit I just invented, the “Trump”. There are 10,000 Trumps in a Kelvin. So, the Paris deal gives us 2000 Trumps. That’s YUGE!

President says: “China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years, 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.”

China is slated to cut its carbon use more than most other countries, as does India. This is just looking at a long term projection/plan and cherry picking part of it and ignoring the rest.

President says: “Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.”

Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we get out. Remember all those kids with Asthma? When the US is the only country causing a worldwide disease and people realize that, we will have liability.

President says: “As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does.”

Noe he isn’t, no he doesn’t, and no he shouldn’t.

See this post for many links to many commentaries about Trump’s folly. See this post for the Washington Post’s fact checking, which I used in part for this commentary.

Will Claims Of Voter Fraud Lead To Voter Suppression?

It is generally felt that Trump’s claims of voter fraud, especially, apparently, by illegal aliens — Or some kind of alien, not sure — could be a prelude, or excuse for some kind of widespread voter suppression campaign. In any event, these repeated claims were once thought of as an odd and embarassing bit of yammering by the President elect, but now they have become a keystone of the White House’s current activism, foregrounded by the hapless Sean Spicer, who appears to not believe the claims himself.

From NBC:

The White House doubled down on President Donald Trump’s widely debunked claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, costing Trump the popular vote.

“The President does believe that,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday, just one day after pledging to tell the public “the facts as I know them.”…

When pressed for evidence, Spicer said “the president has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has.” Spicer also cited a 2008 Pew study that he said showed 14 percent of people who voted were not citizens.

Those figures appear to come from two different studies.

A 2012 Pew report found millions of invalid voter registrations due to people moving or dying.

But the author of that report, David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, tweeted back in late November that this isn’t voter fraud….

The second study was a highly criticized work by Old Dominion University professors who found 14 percent of non-citizens said saying they were registered to vote. The study was based on a sample of a few hundred respondents.

During the campaign season, one of the authors said the Trump campaign was exaggerating the study’s findings.

Check out this rather astounding bit of news reporting on CNN:

They’re coming for him.

The Day After: Trump’s Blackmail Threat Is Bogus

I’ve been thinking about Trump’s attempt to blackmail the voters. He intimates that he might not accept the election results unless he wins. The word goes around that his followers will go to the streets and carry out acts of violence if Trump does not win. It is a bully tactic by a bully’s bully.

But I have been having thought about this, about how it is actually likely to go down. I mentioned this already. Some of his supporters will go and take over a wildlife reserve somewhere, for a few weeks. A few others will carry out acts of violence here and there, but by count, not much. Mostly, Trump will fade away from the political scene.

And, I was heading towards articulate thoughts perhaps worthy of writing them down when I ran in to Lawrence O’Donnell’s commentary, and he said pretty much exactly what I was thinking. Look especially for the part about the granite walls.