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A moment of faux outrage over Barron Trump.

. Please don’t forget that the youngest Trump got his name from one of the characters Donald created in the 80s when he wanted to call the NY press and plant fake stories about himself. He been bullying that child since before he was a zygote so the GOP can miss me with all the fake outrage.

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Stanford University professor Pamela Karlan testified in the impeachment hearing yesterday and she used Trump’s 13-year-old son to illustrate the limit of the President’s powers in comparison to a king.

Oh no! Leave the kids out of it! Don’t bully that child! How dare she! Wait, what did she say though?

That part has been lost in the midst of all this generated outrage by the GOP. Just so we’re all on the same page, this is the comment that has the Republican Party pretending to clutch their pearls and manufacture a story to distract from what’s really going on.

That’s it. That’s the whole quote. Now everybody from Melania to Kellyanne is pretending that’s the worst thing anyone has ever said about a child.

Remember when Sasha and Malia went on Spring Break and Sean Hannity pitched a fit because “we” had to pay for their security details while they go on vacation?

Remember when the Bush twins spoke out to defend Obama’s daughters because the right wing media brought them up too much?

Remember when America decided keeping kids in cages was the same as summer camp?

But “Trump can’t make his son a baron” is the line in the sand.

Y’all. Please don’t forget that the youngest Trump got his name from one of the characters Donald created in the 80s when he wanted to call the NY press and plant fake stories about himself. The only reason he stopped using “John Barron” as one of his pseudonyms is because he got sued and had to admit to using it in open court. He been bullying that child since before he was a zygote so the GOP can miss me with all the fake outrage.

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Athletes

Simone Biles and the Twisties.

If Simone Biles could compete, she absolutely would. She’s SIMONE BILES okay?

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Simone Biles shouldn’t have to explain herself, but the Internet Age means there are a whole lot of people who get winded walking to the car giving big opinions on why she didn’t compete. When she pulled out of the Team competition, I hoped it was a very temporary setback and she would compete for the All Around and Individual medals. I wanted her to be the first woman to successfully defend her All Around title since 1968. When she didn’t compete again, I wasn’t really sure why, but I also didn’t really need the details.

Simone Biles is inarguably the most impressive athlete in the history of women’s gymnastics. She won a World Championship title with a kidney stone. She’s competed with fractures and strains over and over. She’s fallen completely off of an apparatus (sometimes more than one apparatus!) and still pushed forward to ultimately win the competition. Given her talent, work ethic, and determination, if Simone Biles says she cannot compete, then that’s the final word. If there was a way for her to push through, she would.

I was under the (misguided) impression that the pressure of the competition coupled with the blatantly discriminatory undervaluing of her skills alongside her status as the last of Nassar’s victims still in elite competition finally got to her. She was carrying the weight of the sport on her shoulders and it got to her at the worst moment. That was fine with me because she doesn’t owe me or anyone else anything. Watching her documentary on Facebook gave me fresh insight into who she is as a person, and I felt that if she reached her mental limit at the Olympics, then so be it.

Good job, Simone. You did your best and it must be devastating for you to have finally buckled a little  at the most inopportune moment.

But she didn’t buckle at all. She didn’t collapse under the moment. I’m sure she would be devastated if she couldn’t close out her career the way she wanted to because her nerves got to her, but the truth must be even more devastating: Simone Biles got The Twisties. I’ll let this thread from a former gymnast/diver explain.

A quick aside about that penultimate tweet: comparisons to Kerri Strug competing on a broken leg are not making the point you hope they are. Kerri Strug 1) didn’t even need to vault, because if the Karyolis could do math, they would’ve known the US had already won gold and 2) it ended her gymnastics career. Keri may have retired after Atlanta anyway, but the choice was no longer up to her. Is a gold medal really worth that kind of sacrifice? These young women don’t get any prize money. No trust funds, no scholarships, no pensions. They compete for a week and are largely relegated to the dustbin of history unless they find a way to become a meme or America’s Sweetheart for a few endorsements.

Athletes do not owe the US a medal. Bodies don’t get pushed to the breaking point so people on the couch can feel a burst of patriotism for thirty seconds. Athletes compete for themselves, not for you. You aren’t doing anything. It’s not your medal.

Simone chose not to compete because Simone could not compete safely. Kerri Strug was not given that choice. She told her coaches that she couldn’t feel her leg and they pushed her to vault anyway. Simone told her coaches that she couldn’t feel herself in the air and they respected her as an athlete and as a person who knows her own body.

Back to the twisties…

There hasn’t been enough explanation, in the coverage I’ve seen anyway, of what Simone is actually experiencing, so I wanted to pull that thread out for y’all. If you’ve been an athlete in any sport, you may already have a name to put to it (the yips in baseball, the yanks in golf). If you’re a musician, you may have experienced a similar phenomenon where your body just randomly forgets how to play a piece, and you have to re-train or re-practice to help your body remember what it’s supposed to do. The neurons just aren’t firing the way they’re supposed to, and after the Team and All Around competitions, Simone still can’t feel herself in the air.

If Simone landed that way in competition, she could die. I’m not sure people recognize how dangerous gymnastics is because the athletes make it look so effortless, but death is an actual risk anytime they compete. If your kinesthesia is off in golf, you might hit the ball too hard. If your kinesthesia is off in baseball, you might throw the ball too short. In both cases, the ball feels the effect. If your kinesthesia is off in gymnastics, you might land on your head and break your neck.

I’m proud of Simone Biles. I don’t know that I would have the mental fortitude or depth of spirit to work for something for five years, have my body fail in the 11th hour, and face the public with grace and positivity. She’s smiling, she’s cheering, she’s in Tokyo with her chin up as though she just won a gang of gold medals.

Oh wait — she already has.

 

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News

The Tokyo Olympics are a showcase of men behaving badly.

Holocaust jokes? Fatphobia? Sexism? Eating s***? What is going on in Tokyo?

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Raise your hand if you think the Tokyo Olympics should have been canceled a long time ago.

Raise your hand if you think they should just put Simone Biles in her home gym with a camera crew, broadcast her doing her routines, and mail her medals to her with a note of apology for the inconvenience?

Since that’s not happening, we’re all just watching the car crash in slow motion. The most perturbing thing is, a lot of these issues having nothing to do with COVID — it’s just men being terrible.

Olympics Director stepped down after Holocaust joke surfaces.

Organizers were forced to fire Kentaro Kobayashi, director of the Opening Ceremonies, just a day before the event is scheduled to take place.

He and another comedian suggested staging a baseball game with a paper bat and ball. The other comedian rushed to one side of the stage supposedly to get a collection of paper-cutout human figures, at which point Kobayashi said: “Ah, from that time you said, ‘Let’s play the Holocaust.’”

(cont. WaPo)

A few weeks ago, a tweet went viral asking people what they would be canceled for if they became a notable person and something from their past resurfaced. I don’t have anything to apologize for where I was intentionally trying to be “provocative” get a reaction. I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them, but they were all instances where I didn’t know what I said was offensive until it was pointed out. Then, you learn, and you take accountability.

A Holocaust joke isn’t a mistake. You know exactly what you’re doing when you make a Holocaust joke, and the kind of person who uses genocide as a punchline shouldn’t be the Creative Director of an event whose slogan is Unity in Diversity.

Before that, previous Creative Director resigned over fatphobic comments.

Creative director Hiroshi Sasaki resigned on Thursday after making demeaning comments about a well-known female celebrity in Japan.

Last year he suggested to planning staff members in online “brainstorming exchanges” that well-known entertainer Naomi Watanabe could perform in the ceremony as an “Olympig.”

Watanabe is a female fashion icon and very famous in Japan. Sasaki’s “Olympig” reference was an obvious play on the word “Olympic.”

(cont. NBC News)

And Before that, Tokyo Olympics President resigned over sexist remarks.

The head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee has resigned after he was criticised for making “inappropriate” remarks about women.

Yoshiro Mori, 83, was quoted as saying women talk too much and that meetings with many female board directors would “take a lot of time”.

(cont. BBC)

Nobody talks more than a man with nothing important to say, but okay Mr. Mori. Sure.

And today, Olympics Composer resigned after bullying comments surface.

Keigo Oyamada, aka Cornelius, is the official composer for the Tokyo Olympics, and when I read that he’d stepped down, I initially didn’t look any further into it. The headlines said he bullied some of his classmates in school, some of whom were intellectually disabled, and I figured it was typical (not acceptable, but typical) schoolyard bullying, the kind of thing you grow out of. You called a few people the r-slur in 5th grade, forgot all about it, grew into a normal person who would never do that as an adult, and went about your life. Then, when you become a visible person, the comments come to light and it’s like, “oh dang, I forgot all about that, I was a real douchebag as a child and I’m so sorry I was like that.”

But no! It’s way worse, and I’m almost certain this guy is still some sort of sociopath.

Keigo Oyamada, who is better known as Cornelius, initially resisted calls to quit after reports surfaced last week of magazine interviews he gave in the mid-1990s in which he appeared to boast about the incidents.

Oyamada told Quick Japan magazine in 1995 how he had confined a classmate in a cardboard box and forced a boy with an intellectual disability to eat his own faeces and masturbate in front of other children. He made similar comments in another magazine interview a year earlier.

(cont. The Guardian)

Let’s be blunt: You don’t make your classmates eat shit as a child, brag about it to a magazine as an adult, and then magically regret your actions as an older adult. The fact that the Olympics committee accepted his apology at first is a real disappointment, but thanks to the enduring power of social media and public shame, you can’t brush it under the rug once it hits the internet.

So. Around ten athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and Tokyo is experiencing their highest infection rate since January. You would think nothing could overshadow a highly infectious contagion threating to run rampant through the Olympics community, but never underestimate the power of a man in charge flapping his gums in the wind.

 

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Politics

Trump sues the Internet, because he needs money.

He’s filing a suit he can’t win so his cult will give him more cash.

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Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google yesterday because he misses being able to shit in America’s face whenever the mood strikes, and because he needs money.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he will lead a lawsuit over alleged censorship against Twitter, Facebook and Google – three tech companies that removed him from their platforms after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

The lawsuit will be a class-action, with Trump as the lead plaintiff, claiming that he’s been censored by the companies. He spoke about the legal action from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important… development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said. “In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”

(cont. Fox News)

Fox News is reporting this story to its viewers and readers the way it reports everything else: with half of the truth and a Conservative tilt that builds a false reality in the minds of its consumers. Trump is indeed filing suit and he does indeed feel that his First Amendment rights have been infringed upon, but if Fox News would just say plainly that these suits have zero chance of success, people would be less likely to send Trump money, which is all that orange bastard wants in the first place.

Donald Trump’s entire fundraising strategy is to present himself as a champion of white Conservatives who feel they’ve been silenced. They feel like he’s the only one who’s fighting for them, so they send him — a supposed billionaire in their eyes — money to fight liberals, to fight Democrats, to fight the legal establishment, to fight media elites. Fine, if you want to throw away your money so your champion has enough cash to fight the good fight, that’s your right.

Where’s the good fight though? These are lawsuits for show. They won’t be pursued because they have no chance of winning and Trump hates to lose. From a legal precedent, we just had a ruling on this exact same situation less than two weeks ago, and it was in Florida where Trump filed his lawsuit.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect Thursday, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional.

(cont. WaPo)

Speaking of Florida, you can’t sue Facebook or Twitter from Florida. You have to sue them in California. I’m not a legal scholar and I don’t know why that is. I would suspect that a company would choose to set up shop in a state whose legal system was more likely to side with the company should an issue arise. If I’m a gun manufacturer, I’d rather be sued in Texas than in New York because my Texas judges will probably see it my way. Whatever the reasons, we all agree to file suit against Facebook and Twitter in California. When you sign up to use the platform, it says in the Terms of Service that any dispute you have must be filed in California.

It’s a done deal. Case closed, before it’s even open. Courts almost always uphold Terms of Service agreements unless there’s something egregiously illegal or unconstitutional in them, and specifying a jurisdiction in which to file a lawsuit is so commonplace, there’s no court that would even look twice at this filing from Florida. The Terms of Service agreement isn’t suddenly rendered invalid because you don’t like what you agreed to or you didn’t read it. It’s a legally binding contract that you agreed to, and if Trump wanted us to believe even for a second that he would pursue this lawsuit seriously, he would’ve at least bothered to file it in California. It’s so clearly Trump’s latest grift to wring money out of his cult, a way to keep his name trending, and another virtue-signaling tactic to his brainwashed followers that says, “hey…I’m still fighting for you guys.”

But he’s just fighting for his bank account.

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