The secret Trump voter

Reveal podcast recently ran a show on the secret Trump voter. One of the Trump voters they talked to was Richard Spencer, white nationalist. Spencer invented the term “alt right” for his political movement, which calls for a racially pure post-American nation state. He talks in his interview of the importance of white identity — which, along with a belief that whites are treated unfairly, is a powerful predictor of Trump support.

Brexit update

Time to check in again with the glorious brexit revolution. S&P has confirmed the downgrade of the UK’s credit rating. In The Sun, Kelvin McKenzie admits he’s regretting voting Leave. It’s increasingly clear that the pro-brexit politicans have no plan for what to do next. Well, except Theresa May — she’s already planning to abandon the European Convention on Human Rights. Families are being driven apart as kids realize their parents voted to screw their futures.

Compelling explanations

Ari Handel, screenwriter for “Noah”, in an interview: In that vein, while there’s a lot of diversity shown in the animal kingdom, there’s no racial diversity in the cast. Can you speak to that? From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter.

Dodging issues the Ron Paul way

I’ve come to realize that Ron Paul’s rhetorical positioning is extremely clever, in that it allows him to appeal to both sides of many issues. To put it another way, he is able to take a theoretical stand against bad things while advocating policies that would lead directly to them. Consider racism, for example. Ron Paul believes that the Civil Rights Act should never have been passed. He thinks that companies and individuals should be free to be as racist as they like.

Crayon names

I just learned that in 1997, Crayola introduced a color they call Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown . As fans of Dad’s Army may know, Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a colonialist term for the Hadendoa warriors. As such, “Fuzzy-Wuzzy Brown” is a truly unfortunate choice of name for a crayon. Given that Crayola already had to rename “Indian red” because people thought it was racist, you’d think they’d do a few Google searches before launching any new name.

The Bradley Effect

During the 1990s, UK TV series Spitting Image included a song “Thank You Tory Voters”, listing disasters caused by the Conservative government. One memorable line was “Voting Tory’s like a fart, no-one admits they’ve done it”. This was the point at which opinion pollsters noticed something interesting: Conservatives would routinely lose in every opinion poll, and then win the election. Studies were carried out, and it turned out that a surprisingly large number of people were so embarrassed by their support for the Tories that they would routinely tell opinion pollsters one thing, and then vote differently in the privacy of the voting booth.


Number of black soldiers who fought at Iwo Jima: 900. Number of black soldiers in Clint Eastwood’s film version: 0. (Guardian) Number of racist murders in Britain, 1995-2004: 58. Number where the victim was white: 24. (Guardian) Pay increase limit imposed on UK nurses: 1.5%. This year’s pay rise for Cabinet Ministers: 2.8%. (Guardian, UK parliament)

The trouble with LiveJournal

[For more cases of LiveJournal Abuse Team behaving abusively, check out]

For several years I was a paying user of LiveJournal. Now I pay for web hosting and run my own content management system. It’s not by choice; this is the story.

In a nutshell, following an altercation with a racist troll, LiveJournal suspended my account without warning, even though I had not breached their Terms Of Service. They didn’t suspend the troll’s account–instead, they announced that (contrary to their written terms of service) racist comments were in fact perfectly acceptable on LiveJournal.

Attempts at compromise to resolve the issue were ignored and rejected, even when I offered to delete offending comments. The money I had paid for the service they were refusing to provide was not refunded.

Check your preconceptions

Recent research reveals that if you have a “white-sounding” name like Emily or Brendan, you are 50% more likely to get invited to a job interview than if you have a “black-sounding” name like Latisha or Jamal. Of course, it’s easy to criticize others—and fun, too—but less easy to evaluate one’s own implicit biases. That’s where implicit association tests come in. Through the magic of Macromedia Flash and statistical science, you can now measure your own unconscious bigotry in the privacy of your own home!