Aside from their political analysis, I really enjoy FiveThirtyEight’s other coverage. Their roots are in statistical analysis of sports and they tend to cover a lot of obscure topics from a statistical perspective. This article by Allison McCann is a great example of a side project, looking at the relationship between hip-hop and politics from a data perspective.
She includes some cool interactive graphics as well as a searchable database for political references in rap and hip-hop lyrics. Plus the article showcases a pretty cool video which is easily my favourite political song of the 2016 campaign thus far.
This morning I was unfortunate enough to come across the latest abomination Donald Trump has laid on us.
I’ve been thinking about what to say all day and I’m still not certain, but I think it’s important that everybody speaks out when people in positions of leadership act in intolerable ways.
I don’t agree with almost anything that Trump stands for other than perhaps his seemingly enlightened views on homosexuality, but it is my belief that there is a qualitative difference from many of his absurd views about the economy or the international order and publically documented sexually aggressive and misogynistic behaviour.
I even understand on some level his instinct to lash out and attack his victims, I don’t always hold some of his mealy mouthed answers against him either, there is some truth to the fact that when he talks he is not as polished as a professional communicator. You can’t do a retake on live television or on a debate stage. I can disagree strongly, but understand.
As a former teenage boy I even understand the concept “locker room banter”, but he crosses a line that can never be rationalized when he jokes about forcing himself sexually on women.
Donald John Trump must not be elected.
This might have been tolerable in 1966, I don’t know. I wasn’t alive then and I’m fairly happy that I wasn’t if this was normal, but it doesn’t matter because this is 2016. I’m glad to be part of a generation of men to whom this sort of behaviour is abhorrent. It’s not acceptable for this sort of behavior to be normative.
If you don’t agree that he is disqualified from the leadership of the Land of Liberty after hearing this audio then you need to listen to it with your daughter or mother or sister or best friend.
As a follow-up to: The Atlantic’s Endorsement of Clinton, I thought I’d share the article that drew me to The Atlantic’s website in the first place about the remarkable rise of Seth Meyers to become the foremost progressive comic satirizing this year’s presidential election.
I’ve not been a huge fan of Meyers until now, he’s certainly a good performer but I’ve not been an avid SNL watcher for a long time so I missed most of his heydey. But this year he has really done an incredibly job mocking Trump in his own unique style.
The Atlantic is a progressive magazine/website, however the editorial board have only ever endorsed two candidates for US President since its founding in 1857: one Republican and one Democrat.
Founded explicitly as an abolitionist magazine in Boston, it’s probably not surprising that they endorsed Lincoln in the 1860 election. A decade before my birth they would also endorse LBJ in his contest against Barry Goldwater. Goldwater for the uninitiated-non-Americans was an arch-conservative and United States Senator who had a deeply troubling platform and record on civil rights for black Americans, so far as to gain the support of the Ku Klux Klan.
But I won’t steal their thunder, it’s a damning indictment of Trump and it places him in the correct historical context. This is something the media has struggled and failed to accomplish until now.
Clinton is an immensely qualified candidate and would likely be a very effective president, she is also deeply troubling in her own ways and for me at least I find that she has a complex relationship with candour.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than earned, through her service to the country as first lady, as a senator from New York, and as secretary of state, the right to be taken seriously as a White House contender. She has flaws (some legitimately troubling, some exaggerated by her opponents), but she is among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency.
Donald J. Trump is catastrophically unqualified regardless of what you might think of his profound moral failings, his countless social views which have no place in the 21st century, or personal financial success.
He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.
I encourage everybody to read it, regardless of their personal views on this election.
I just finished watching this excellent Frontline doc by Jelani Cobb called Policing the Police. I think it’s one of the most interesting and even handed overview of race and policing in the United States that I’ve ever seen. It’s got a very strong thesis, but I think it provides a very evenhanded view of the situation from all sides.
Cobb goes on the streets in Newark with the police and with activists and you get to see through the camera what the situation looks like for many parties.
It’s one of the best episodes of Frontline I’ve seen in a while and definitely worth watching. Best of all it’s not geofenced in Canada!
It’s a somewhat breathless title, but I understand why the producers chose it since we are all unwitting witnesses to the end of a lot of cultural practices and the quite sudden destruction of an ecosystem that humans have been living on for thousands of years.
I’m not going to opine on the particulars since this is a set of issues that I’m just learning more about myself. I think it would be a good thing if a lot more Canadians in the South watched this video. It’s put together by the guys who run the AsapSCIENCE channel, though they’ve chosen to keep this video separate from their primary content which is a general science education channel and doesn’t usually delve into political issues.
It’s essentially about climate change and how it’s already beginning to seriously impact Inuit people, which most Canadians should already be aware are one of the most marginalized and most poorly served communities in the entire country. It has been produced in collaboration with Greenpeace, but don’t let that scare you off, if they did have a say in the production it was a very light touch and regardless of the conclusions or the call to action, the video itself helps to build more knowledge on the topic.
The short documentary is a deep background to a video featuring Bill Nye on as part of their normal science topics discussing Arctic ice melting as it relates to climate change and changes in the Arctic Ocean basin. It’s also a good watch.
If you’re interested in signing the petition mentioned in the documentary it can be found on the Greenpeace website here.
There are a lot of symbolic things that Trudeau and his new government have done today, especially when it comes to telegraphing that they will be serious about issues which have faced aboriginal Canadians. But the best soundbite of this morning’s ceremonies was his answer to the question of why the cabinet should be comprised of 50% women and 50% men.
“Because it’s 2015.”
I’m fairly realistic, I don’t expect this new government to be that dramatically different from other Liberal governments in the past, but it is pleasant to see them bowing to reality and facts for a change. The fact that women are underrepresented in leadership positions is something that was within their power to address at the top level so it is refreshing to see some action.
As a follow up to my previous post about Steve Paikin, The Agenda had a great election wrap-up show with excellent guests. Well worth the watch if you’re interested in the inside game of federal politics.