Dear Readers, we’ve been completely derelict in maintaining Denialism Blog. Please accept our apologies. Mark is training to be a surgeon, and Chris recently had an enormous baby! We hope to get back blogging soon. Please excuse our absence until life is back in order.
Check out this week’s New Yorker for a well-put insight into the Rand-infected mind. Nick Paumgarten writes about John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and his attitudes towards unions:
…His [Mackey’s] disdain for contemporary unionism is ideological, as well as self-serving. Like many who have come before, he says that it was only when he started a business–when he had to meet payroll and deal with government red tape–that his political and economic views, fed on readings of Friedman, Rand, and the Austrians, veered to the right. But there is also a psychological dimension. It derives in large part from a tendency, common among smart people, to presume that everyone in the world either does or should think as he does–to take for granted that people can (or want to) strike his patented balance of enlightenment and self-interest. It sometimes sounds as if he believed that, if every company had him at the helm, there would be no need for unions or health-care reform, and that therefore every company should have someone like him, and that therefore there should be no unions or health-care reform. In other words, because he runs a business a certain way, others will, can, and should, and so the safeguards that have evolved over the generations to protect against human venality–against, say, greedy, bullying bosses–are no longer necessary. The logic is as sound as the presumption is preposterous.
Take Pristiq. Warning: side effects include becoming a fat wind up doll.
Alex Pareene has given voice to what many longtime Post readers believe: Fred Hiatt needs to be axed.
Under editor Fred Hiatt, the Post op-ed page has gone completely off the rails. They picked up Bill Kristol after the Times dumped him for being not just wrong but boring and lazy. They openly allow George Will to lie, to straight-up lie, without fact-checking or corrections, because we all know reality is open to different “interpretations” and if a prominent columnist writes something patently untrue the best response is to then publish a “true” column by someone else as a counterpoint, because that doesn’t just represent everything misleading and terrible about the moden political press. They still publish Richard Cohen. The regular columnists are, for the most part, interchangeable ancient “moderate” liberals who haven’t written or thought anything vaguely interesting since 1974. Anne Applebaum was allowed to publish a blog post in support of Roman Polanski without disclosing that her husband is Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who opposes extradition. Richard Cohen, again.
Bloggers, under new guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission, you must disclose gifts or payments for products that you review! Also your endorsements cannot be false or misleading!
The FTC’s release advises:
The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
Also, the FTC is tightening the screws on weight loss products. It’s no longer okay to just say, “results not typical.” Instead they must present information about consumers may generally expect from the product (nothing!).
…advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.
…Using documents, both historical and little-known from B. Gates, NASA, James Joyce, Dadaism, Neil Gaiman, Fidel Castro, the Pizza Box Patent and many others, the game explores those strange moments where history turns or doesn’t, where unusual forces collide to create or topple storylines, possible futures. Complete with matchbook death rewards, strange marked up text and curious prophecies, The madness of the pages meets the madness of the game.
Here’s a fun article by the Chronicle’s Mark Morford on how to talk with complete idiots. You ignore them, in Denialism blog fashion.
Morford points to this youtube video, which is divine:
“Check out that fucking teabagger,” writes in tipster Stefan, referencing “Look At This Fucking Hipster,” the blog chronicling hipsters looking ridiculous. Unfortunately, while hipsters have to be sought out within the pseudo-bohemian enclaves of their respective parishes, people who can’t have any kind of normal, rational discussion about politics–or even a rational, agenda-based protest–are easily found at protests like the one going on today in Washington D.C.
Best pic comes from DirtyPerz: