Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Facebook jail on bread and water: the problem with gratuitous speech and implicit content (when mimicking Donald Trump)


On Sunday, a Facebook friend got suspended from posting for 24 hours after he posted a satirical mockup of what he obviously saw as Trump administration discrimination and racism. (That is, making fun of the appointments of "President Poopiepants", the Child who runs the free world.) 
  
He had posted: "MAD MAN IN WASHINGTON D.C. SEEKS NEW CHIEF OF STAFF: Only serious and qualified persons should apply. No blacks, Latinos, women of self-esteem, faggots, Muslims, non-Christians, people with HIV, marijuana users, Haitians, immigrants from predominantly non-White countries, Salvadorans, and citizens of shit hole countries.”  I guess Stephen Miller qualifies. Maybe Jeff Sessions.  And running mate Mike Pence.  


Facebook wrote back: “It looks like something you posted doesn’t follow our Community Standards. We remove posts that attack people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity.”


The friend describes “Facebook jail for 24 hours on bread and water” as if it were a square on an monopoly board. He also believes he was “reported” by another user.  He also noted the risks of "public" postings (not restricted or whitelisted to friends' lists). 
  
There is a serious problem is a major social media site cannot accept what should be obvious satire.
   
I’m not sure what to make of this.  Does Facebook really believe that an illiterate user will believe that is is literally an incitement to racist behavior?  Is the speaker morally responsible for misuse of his speech by the illiterate?  

You could call this the “gratuitous speech” problem.  Over 12 years ago, when I was substitute teaching, I was essentially compelled to suspend myself after a screenplay short film I had posted (on my own) was circulated, in which a substitute teacher is “seduced” by a charismatic but possibly underage teen (much as in “Call Me by Your Name”, although the teen would be of  legal age in Italy). Remember the line, “Am I offending you?” But of course, there is a fear that if someone finds it, they will see it as enticement to carry out what happens in the screenplay, so what is my “purpose” in posting it?  
As far as "literacy", I remember being taught about satire in high school English.  We all read Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal."  This is poking fun at something that badly needs to change.  This is "vicious satire."  

There's another affiliated concern:  the mere mention of something, reminding others of it gratuitously, suggests that the underlying problem is not settled and that it needs to remain in the air, so that some people will perceive a justification to continue the discriminatory behavior just because other speakers dare them to. 
The legal term for this problem is “implicit content”, and I’m surprised it isn’t discussed more openly in legal forums about Internet speech.  It actually did get mentioned in the COPA trial back in 2006.  It needs to be separated from the "fire in a crowded theater" problem, as there is no imminent threat of lawless action (rioting) but in some people's minds an implicit endorsement of continual subterfuge of nice proletarian order. 
  
A variation of this problem used to come up in "personals" ads with the "no fats or fems" lines, now often not accepted.  Milo Yiannopoulos will cry "dangerous". 

Note the video above and the definition of "Poe's Law for the Internet".

Sunday, January 28, 2018

NYTimes article slams the practice of buying social media followers; is there a way this can work legitimately? ("The Follower Factory"); Also, Mommy blogs today


The next time you see a huge number of Twitter (or YouTube, Instagram, and other) followers on someone, be skeptical.
  
That’s the message of a long piece by Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J/ X. Dance, Richard Harris and Mark Hanse. “The Follower Factory” (almost an online book), with the byline “Everyone wants to be popular online; Some even pay for it; Inside the social media black market”.  So people are paying for the privilege of appearing to influence.  
  
The article names an obscure company Devumi.  If you go to the page, there is no shame in what it sells.

But the NY Times article indicates that many of the followers, besides fictitious characters or groups constructed by bots,  are made up copies of real people.  This would mean that sometimes they are unverified accounts when the real people (if genuine celebrities or experts in their fields) have Twitter checks (although those are getting more difficult these days; Jan, 8 post).


The article also notes writers (at least one) being forced to buy followers to keep their jobs. 
I get “followers” wanting to sell me more followers all the time.  I don’t respond, and they usually unfollow in a few days. I have never bought followers.

This reminds me of the debate over paid book reviews (Books blog, Dec. 22, 2017).

I’ve had one case of a fake Facebook profile created of me, with no posts.  It was caught by a friend and removed before I knew about it. It sounds credible that a conniving plot to use another person’s identity online could destroy their reputation, lead to firings, and in extreme cases, framing for crimes (even maybe child porn). A foreign enemy might try this sort of ruse, and I don’t think we’ve imagined what could happen.  (That’s not quite the same as the fake news bot attack of the Russians during the election.)  I’m not aware of any fake Twitter profiles.

The Twitter Purge on Dec. 18 might have eliminated many of these.

The NYTimes story has many series of smartphone illustrations showing how all this works.

A quick check on YouTube shows testimonials of people having business success buying followers.  But it is hard for me to understand how this can be legitimate or, at least, sustainable. This NYTimes story needs more examination, to be sure.

Here’s another controversial story in the Washington Post by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “How the Mom Internet became a spotless, sponsored void”   Yes, the article goes back to Heather Armstrong’s “Dooce”   Again, there is a problem with bloggers driven by the demands of advertisers and an unsustainable operation.  I was different because I did not need for mine to be “profitable” on its own, but that can pose its own inverse ethical problems.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

George Soros "threatens" Google and Facebook in a Davos speech


George Soros made a remarkable speech in Davos, Switzerland, with Trump present, calling Google and Facebook (and other large companies that survived the Dot-com bubble, remember)  
  
While I appreciate his comments about how to handle North Korea, he goes way overboard in accusing.

 Facebook and Google for manipulating people who don’t have enough cognitive skill to realize they are being manipulated.  


“Against Crony Capitalism” even headlined its story about Soros’s speech making it a threat: “Their days are numbered”.   AC2 notes that Soros doesn’t like average people (me??) having their own voices.

The Guardian carried similar headlines, here
  
Soros was quite vocal after the financial crisis of 2008, calling for “better regulation” rather than just for more regulation. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The "general public" seems to lack the cognition to interpret all the free speech thrown at it on social media


George Will led of Thursday with a column “When thewhole country becomes a campus safe space”, which reminds me of “when the world is led by a child” by David Brooks (the “child” has become “President Poopiepants” on Facebook).
  
Will talks about “Truth Decay” as if our impromptu  social media system needed root canal therapy at the dentist.  The public has trouble distinguishing facts (from a shared set) from opinion or interpretation. Remember Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” oxymoron?  (She is an attorney and should know what a “fact pattern” is.) One problem is that social values are often presented (particularly in religious contexts) as facts (like how marriage used to be presented) when values can be spun by speakers.  The “morality” of how I have led my own life would be very much a matter of opinion related to postulated moral values.  We think about the “Axiom of Choice” in mathematics.

The Washington Post continues with a no-brainer editorial, “social media sites can’t allow fake news to take over.”
  
  
We’re getting uncomfortably (or Milo-dangerously) close to an assessment of who has the right to be heard as an individual.  People can reasonably want me to meet certain expectations (aka requirements) before having my own floor, and I can retort by saying “you” have no principles involved, only what clinical psychologists call “reactive responses”.  You could certainly reasonably question me about apparently low community engagement (formal volunteering, especially after belonging to a group and taking orders from others), or, the lack of legitimate marketing campaigns, that would be present if I could really meet consumer “needs”. 
  

I can say that, having downsized and moved into a smaller (condo) space, I am trying to tool up to actually “sell” a novel, a screenplay, and some music (some of it composed in teen years) through legitimate channels.  This leaves little or no time for more conventionally “other-directed” social interactions.  I have to play “Good Doctor”.  O do need to get some skills up, and I can imagine how they could improve my ability to help others more directly.  (One example: get better at tournament chess again.) 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Could the "electromagnetic pulse" warnings in conservative media be baiting me with "fake news"? Actually, I think it's real, and we need to get our act together


Readers who visit my blogs, especially on Wordpress, know that I have paid a lot of attention to the accelerating threat to the US homeland from North Korea, especially the less often presented idea that North Korea (or any other rogue state in the future) could circumvent the problems of landing a nuclear-tipped missile at a target with an airburst to cause an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) effect, more likely E1 (which can fry personal electronics and newer car ignitions) than E3 (like from solar storms, which could fry power grid transformers).
  
I’ve noted that the EMP bogeyman gets discussed largely in right-wing and conservative sites, as well as doomsday prepper feeds.  There are some reasonably technical sites like Resilient Grid (based in New Hampshire).  Huffington Post recently covered it, but then took the step of banning unpaid contributions (although I don’t think the article on this subject was self-published).  Vox (which is liberal to moderate) has covered it once or twice.   I don’t recall seeing a detailed article on it on CNN, NBCNews, ABC, or CBS.  I have seen it on Fox (Trump’s favorite), and on the Examiner, and, repeatedly, The Washington Times. I have to admit on a recent motel stay in a Holiday Inn in Ohio, I gleefully left Fox News on while I worked.  It says something that Fox was one of the first channels to come up.


This set of circumstances would invoke the question, as to whether there is a “fake news” aspect to the EMP controversy.  A foreign power could reason that if ordinary US citizens are convinced their technological way of life could be wiped out in an instant (as in “One Second After” or “Lights Out”), the US might be less aggressive in foreign policy.  For example, it might not issue a preventive pre-emptive strike against North Korea (as if the danger to South Korea weren’t enough reason).
  
My own commitment is to get to the bottom of it. I’ve talked to a Congressman (Beyer, 8th district, VA, in a forum) and to tech executives myself, and I get the personal feedback that DHS, the power industry, and software industry are all working on it.  What seems missing is private industry consensus on what should be done and how much it would cost.   A real businessman president (with more stability than Trump) would take this up.  I can imagine Mark Cuban dealing with this.  Actually, so would Mark Zuckerberg (who will be 36 in 2020).

I’ve done a little gumshoeing myself.  In 2010, I overheard a conversation about it in a biker bar near Baltimore, and wound up checking the museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds (you probably can’t get in now). I’ve visited Oak Ridge (in 2013)  – which has written about the problem, as has the National Academy of Sciences.

It should be self-evident that local power generation, especially with renewables (solar) would add to resilience. 
  
We do need to get our act together on this issue.  Consider the singularity. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Does the idea of a new constitution belong in our "Overton Window"?


I wanted to point of the blog of Ars Technica’s Timothy B. Lee (whom I met when living in Minneapoplis when he was an undergraduate there), particularly his recent article Jan. 19, “Our constitutional system is broken and we should fix it”, link here

 Indeed, there a numerous opinions maintaining that Trump’s presidency comports with a global trend toward authoritarianism, of politics by base and reparative expropriation.



Yes, a parliamentary system is easier to re-steer.  But Lee makes the important point that consideration of a new constitution needs to be placed in our “Overton Window”.  That can be dangerous, as I have pointed out in my books (the People’s Party in 1972), or encouraging (my “Bill of Rights 2” discussions and reviews of John Vile’s work on the constitutional amending process 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

YouTube narrows volume requirements for ad eligibility, and adds human scrutiny honor wishes of advertisers


YouTube is tightening the requirements for its channels to become eligible for ads, as explained here. There had been a requirement of 10000 total views but now there is a requirement of 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours watch time within the past twelve months.

There is also increased scrutiny over Google Preferred channels, with more manual supervision of content for appropriateness for their advertisers, who do not want to appear on videos that appear to be “hate speech” or sometimes sexually explicit.

The New York Times has a story about the policy by Daisuke Wakabayashi here.

Google does not seem to have enforced minimum volumes for Adsense on blogs or other sites. But that may have to do with the way Adwords is sold or pitched to publishers (as on YouTube). 
      
My own videos, mostly shown on Wordpress, are generally short and I usually take them at events or of outdoor attractions on trips.  They would not have achieved the required volumes to qualify for ads.  But if I were to increase the quality of videos and focus on a narrow, compelling topic (let’s say some national security issues right now, with Trump in office) I certainly can imagine qualifying.

But controversy is more likely to attract visitors and viewing hours.
  
I have some higher quality videos on Vimeo, here , where it was easier to upload big files. They would probably attract more visitors if moved to YouTube. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Should "you" give to panhandlers?


Here’s another little problem.

A woman leaves a note and a treat on the Metro.

When she sees me taking a cell picture, she whisks this away.

Do you give to someone like this, or is this a scam.  Or is it just a matter of very low wages.
  
There’s one pandhandler all over Arlington with a sign that she needs money for surgery for her mother in Ecuador.  (Not El Salvador.) 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Language concerning downstream liability and Section 230 under FOSTA and SESTA seems tempered, sometimes angering trafficking victims' adovcates


The Washington Examiner Jan  16 issue has an important article about FOSTA and SESTA on p, 8 by Melissa Quinn, “Victims groups and privacy advocates cry foul over online sex trafficking legislation; Despite bipartisan support, opponents are still concerned bout legal limits and online privacy.”

So far the article is not available online.

Tech companies have become more supportive since November as language has narrowed their exposure to downstream liability in Section 230 exceptions to wanton reckless disregard or actual knowledge legal standards.


But some sex trafficking victims’ groups probably believe user content should stop if that is what it takes to stop trafficking.  Ungated speech is not necessarily a constitutional right. So some fear that tech companies will remove speech that even remotely suggests a possible sex transaction.

Tech Liberation has an article from Dec. 2017 by Jennifer Heddleston Skees that notes that platforms will not be pursued just because of “deeper pockets” and would have to be complicit in actual crimes.  But for very large sites, like Google’s there still could be a statistical expectation of problems.
  
See also COPA blog article Jan. 9.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Facebook "announced" that it wants more actual effort from users, but is this really just about personal interactions?


Facebook is changing its algorithms to reduce the emphasis on news content and encourage more social interaction with people.

Or perhaps, news content that attracts quality (longer) comments will tend to still tend to be fed well.
     
CNN has a video interview by Laurie Seagall with News Feed’s Adam Mosseri.


Ars Technica’s Timothy B. Lee just tweeted “Facebook declares war on introverts”.

It does appear that Facebook wants more person-specific content that generates a response.  But does this mean it wants people to pimp their own GoFundMe campaigns?  I don’t do that.  I generally don’t get into a lot of very personal conversations about need online.  I don’t even use Snapchat.  If I want that kind of interaction, I’d rather it be in person or by phone.

But this reminds me of the problem of going to a disco and “watching” the perfect cis white males and refusing to dance with the “others” when approached.

Mike Isaac has a detailed story in the New York Times. 
  
I haven’t noticed any real change yet in my own Facebook news feed.  But I’ve always had a certain balance between non-partisan news, and more personal stuff. 

Update

  
 Look at this article on FB by David Ginsberg, including the comments (mine), about time on social media. 
  
 The WSJ writes about the potential effect on "organic posts" (essentially free distribution from companies that did not pay for ads) here.  There are also some speculations that FB might not consider some companies at all in its algorithms, or might now allow many sites to be linked or to expand in preview mode. 

Update:  Jan 17

Here's an article on prospecting on Facebook.  I'm not tribal enough for some of this.  But the advice on max 3 posts a day makes sense, and on leaving out links (but put them in comments instead of the main post) makes some sense.  I am not in the business of having to mass recruit prospects or sell a service or commodity.  I think for journalists, the advice would be different.  FB seems to want to reduce journalism, but what it really needs is good journalism and factually true stories (from original, not just corporate) sources.  




Update: Jan 19

The Washington Post reports that Facebook will take user surveys of various media companies to consider in distributing feeds to users.  Users can rate media as to credibility and truthful reporting. 




Update: Jan 21

Is a new site called "HomeFundMe" representative of the networking Facebook wants to see?  This would be a revolutionary way to look at one's life. 




Update: Jan 23

Rupert Mudock wants Facebook to pay for news feeds (from established media outlets), story.  This needs followup. 

But Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wants Facebook to be regulated like a cigarette company, story

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Should others be able to tell me that I "should" donate organs even while alive? "Should" give to or promote a specific charity?


Dylan Matthews of Vox media offers a rather strident piece,Why I gave my kidney to a stranger, and why you should consider doing it too”, dated back in April.

The piece is rather long, almost a short book. But I get concerned when others tell me what “you” should do, out of collective values. 

When I was growing up, heroic medical interventions were rarely expected because they weren’t yet possible.  Apart from blood drives, you rarely heard about organ donation. But the culture has changed in recent years, as Robin Roberts demonstrated on ABC about her own receiving a bone marrow transplant to stave off an unusual leukemia.

Gay men got bounced out of the blood and therefore organ donation loop by HIV in the 1980s, and only very recently have been allowed back in with very strict conditions of previous long term abstinence..

But a bigger point is a sense of body sanctity (even if I don’t wear shorts anymore).  Simple blood donation is one thing; plasmapheresis is another; but undergoing major surgery sounds over the top. I can imagine other places this goes ("Be brave and shave"). 

Yet, I don’t have the ability to bond intimately with people to get beyond these sensitivities.


I saw a tweet from a friend (in the media) noting a charity he had donate do (regarding displaced Syrians) with the comment “you should to.”  Again, it’s not appropriate for others to decide what my priorities should be.  But in this case, I looked up the small charity, and set up an arrangement for a small automated monthly contribution from my mother’s trust.  So the “should” worked.

There is some karma here.  In the past, even before AIDS was a well known problem, there were incidents in my own personal life involving the possibility of dialysis and also of a lymphoma-like cancer among personal friends. And of course HIV took over everything in the 80s.

There was an incident at work around 1993 when I was embarrassed at work about not being able to join a blood drive.  Yet during the aftermath of the Russian anti-gay propaganda law of 2013, I actually heard the comment that gay people were viewed as undermining the solidarity of the public over blood and organ donations.

I generally do not allow “other people’s causes” to take over my own presence or self-branding.  I don’t use my social media pages for “other people’s fundraising” or political activism, but I will give links to these. I don’t allow my home or car to display ads for other causes (other than the Libertarian sticker on my rear bumper).  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A childish president Trump again whines about American libel laws, given the Dossier controversy


Here Trump goes again, wanting to shake the nation’s libel laws, so that public figures and leaders with political bases to hold don’t face extra scrutiny when suing speakers of potentially defamatory statements, NBCNews story.

Libel laws are controlled in part by states, and there is no simple way Trump can do this.  NPR has a good discussion of the difference between US and UK libel laws for public figures, and also "Rachel's Law", as well as reforms in 2013 in the UK to reduce "libel tourism". 


Buzzfeed made a major update of its “dossier” today, with this post.  Buzzfeed apparently has been served withlitigation. Buzzfeed actually solicits confidential tips from readers on the story.   
   
Here’s the full dossier related to Christopher Steele  sure to make the movies soon.
  
And Trump is bee-stung by Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” bedtime talk book.  It looks like my copy from Amazon doesn’t arrive until Jan. 31.   There are mixed reports on the sales so far.

Theoretically, “President Poopiepants” (as a Facebook friend calls him) could sue me for libel for merely linking to the Dossier. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

Twitter verification: the idea could mean more without net neutrality down the road, but new applications appear suspended


I’ve encountered some controversy over Twitter verification recently.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before.

A verification check is supposed to mean that (1) Twitter has verified that “you” are who you say you are as the owner of the account (think about identity theft) and (2) you are a person of some public importance.  The second idea seems very subjective and we’ll come back to that.

First, it seems that Twitter has suspended the ability to apply for the verification check (as of November 2017).  All of this happened before its “Twitter Purge”.   The FAQ page right now doesn’t tell you how to apply.  “The Verge” seems to confirm this impression.

But there have been a few articles according people to try to get the badge.  There is one on “MakeUse Of” but the best piece seems to be by Tom Ward on Forbes, last  April.


It appears that you need to be mentioned by other people besides yourself, that “self-publishing doesn’t count” here.  It is also helpful if you are published on sites other than your own.  (I would expect “Blogtyrant” to look into this.)

The idea seems similar to Wikipedia’s idea of “notability”.  You can’t write your own Wikipedia article, and whoever does can’t be too close to you (can’t be paid to, for example).
   
Twitter doesn’t rule the world, like Vantage (private joke from work at ING!, in the past). But the concept, and the observation that Twitter keeps it obscure, suggests a potential gatekeeping trend that could grow troublesome with the loss of net neutrality.  Potentially, someday, people might not be allowed to have their own domains connected until they had all proven some kind of public worthiness.  That certainly sounds like where things in China are headed already.  Could it happen here?

The video above (from a British conservative) explains why this can be abused (by the “Left”) and suggests that Twitter identify people only with legal or public records documents.

I seem to get plenty of followers without verification now.  About 30% of the followers are junk (spammers) who drop me pretty quickly.
  
Note the video. Milo Yiannopoulos is a “bad boy”?  Dangerous? 

Friday, January 05, 2018

Substitute teacher in Catholic school fired after being doxed for association with alt-right policy group


There has been an incident at a Catholic high school (The Academy of the Holy Cross, for girls) in Kensington, MD where a substitute teacher, Gregory Conte, was fired after he was doxed, outing him as a associated with the National Policy Institute, under the alias of Gregory Ritter.  The group is supposedly associated with the “alt-right”.


The lead story on WJLA7 in Washington in here.
  
Conte was not fired over social media or other self-published postings.  And the school is a private Catholic school, not a public school. Nevertheless, the story is a disturbing reminder of an incident in 2005 that happened with me (see July 27, 2007 post).

Conte's behavior would not have violated my own idea of "conflict of interest" as I have discussed it before because he did not have real permanent authority over students, to grade them.  His use of a pseudonym is also irrelevant;  he has only one "identity".  I have a nickname ("Bill" for "John William"); his was a language translation, still pretty obvious.  



I did find this Wordpress blog posting with a simple Google search, and what it claims is rather disturbing. But the post would appear to come from sources related to Antifa.  However, if a blog post like this was what doxed the teacher and led to his firing, that alone is disturbing, too. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

OK, I waffle on Donald Trump; but no one gets to bargain with my own life (especially with fictitious nuclear buttons)


I wanted to open this blog in 2018 by noting my own inconsistent attitude toward our president, Donald Trump.

I used to watch the Apprentice in the mid 2000’s, and at the time I though his judgment in the boardroom, on who to fire, made sense.  I recall especially one episode where he fired someone for a “life threatening” admission which reminded me of my own experience when substitute teaching. I thought the episode where Troy McClain “took one for the team” (allowing, as Trump even notes in “How to Get Rich”, his legs to be waxed on camera) was interesting, and later Trump offered to pay all of Troy’s college tuition.  Troy indeed allowed a major bargaining of his own body integrity. 

But as a political candidate, his willingness to give in to hypertribalism seems shocking, and goes way beyond the behaviors I would have expected from “The Apprentice”. He acts like a quasi-dictator who will play to his base and settle a score against the intellectual “elites”.  Resentment, grudges, and “take care of your own” mentality can feed both fascism and communism.

I was concerned that he would turn on individual Internet users as posing unnecessary security problems with gratuitous behavior;  instead, he embraced Twitter himself and went after only the mainstream liberal media. He has hinted that he could jail journalists or defeated political opponents, as if that is how you make things right for your base.

Now, I watch the very real possibility that he could have boxed himself into a corner on not allowed North Korea to have nuclear weapons.  That’s a theory that I have gone along with, part of the  McNamara “Domino Theory” in Vietnam that I covered in my own DADT-1 book (especially my summer of 1968 at the Pentagon, described in Section 10 of Chapter 2).  But his increasing “rocket man” tweets and the latest exchange over who has the biggest nuclear button, something else is going on. Trump mentions the starving people in North Korea, but doesn’t see he defeats his own point.  People in South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, and eventually all of the continental United States are relatively “rich” and have lives that can be bargained away in a “limited nuclear war” designed to prove something for the future. We’ve seen this test of resilience before.  As I noted in my books, the Vietnam era draft, which Trump avoided, but which sheltered a lot of us (including me) with student deferments and better treatment in the military but which let “McNamara’s morons” become cannon fodder, plays into the argument.  Who individuals show resilience when faced with common challenge is always a moral issue.
I have tweeted Trump, trying to calm down his most reckless comments, and reminded him several times that even the continental US could face am EMP threat (especially E1) which might be easier for North Korea to pull off than an actual nuclear strike on a city.  I have had some success in getting the major media start taking this seriously.  I have played ball with Trump on some other issues, saying you can solve health care if you do all the math (on subsidies and reinsurance) first.

Let me add that Trump personally doesn't seem hostile to cis-gender gays (as he had some as candidates on The Apprentice), but makes jokes distancing himself from the debate when be allies himself with people known for anti-gay activity in the past (Pence: "He wants to hang 'em all".) He seems to have a problem with gender ambiguity itself.  
    
Populism may air grievances and put former “elites” in their place (maybe in tombs) but it doesn’t solve problems.  It just spreads around the sacrifices, and you don’t know when they will hit “you” personally.  But when they do, it’s entirely on “you”.
  
But I still refuse to play identity politics or intersectionality. i can't join somebody else's group to pimp my own victimhood.  I have to get my own work done first to be of any good to others.  If Trump or anyone else bargains that away, I’m gone. 

Picture: Accuweather advertises my own books back to me.