Marie Stopes, Eugenics and Abortion

Marie Stopes, a contraceptive and abortion pioneer, was in favour of eugenics. This is a beloved trope of anti-abortionists, who argue that everything Planned Parenthood is tainted by this original sin.

marie-stopes-in-her-laboratory-1904-via-ms-australiaStopes’ politics are not a comfortable fit with the ideologies of the modern age. The Guardian’s Zoe Williams goes as far as arguing that Stopes’ politics were “slightly to the right of Hitler’s, just because her definition of defective is so broad”.

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The post-truth nature of Arron Banks’ Hillsborough response

A major story in the run-up to the Stoke by-election has been UKIP leader and committed fantasist Paul Nuttall pretending to have lost a friend at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. Major donor Arron Banks seems to have decided that this hole wasn’t deep enough so dug deeper by attacking victims. He’s argued that the preventable disaster and cover-up of police failures which took 27 years to overturn have been treated as “some sort of cultural happening“.

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George Soros’ Professional Protestors

A common claim of the alt-right is that anti-Trump protests are fake movements, financed by the Democrat-supporting Jewish billionaire George Soros. This claim solidified in November 2016 with the claim that protestors were being hired via CraigsList. Politifact define the trustworthiness of the story as ‘pants-on-fire’; Snopes as ‘false’ and Media Bias Fact Check define it as a ‘blatant lie’.

One of the most prominent articles supporting this claim is a focus on social media posts showing that a woman who is part of a campaign group also attended a protest in her free time.

The woman in question is an employee of the ‘New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice’. The group’s Facebook page (which has just over 1500 fans) describes them as being “dedicated to organizing workers across race and industry to build the power and participation of workers and communities”. Three of the eleven reviews are 1-star, one of them because “this is the group who attempted to disrupt democracy”.

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Things You Should Realise about Trump #3: Crowd Claims Reveal a Loose Relationship with Reality

Donald Trump has spent a large portion of his first week in office obsessed by the size of his crowd.

250 thousand isn’t anything to be ashamed of – it’s a large number. Given that Trump’s shtick is that he is supposedly one of the few people willing to tackle difficult issues, he’s not going to be as popular as a unity candidate like Obama. Add in that Obama’s 2009 inauguration was on a Monday and Trump’s on a Friday, meaning that supporters could take the time off work more easily, and it’s not hugely embarrassing that Trump failed to hit the historic highs for inauguration attendances.

A wide variety of news sources shared a side-by-side comparison of photos from the 2009 Obama and 2017 Trump inaugurations. This includes those who lean right ideologically – the images are a dramatic way to put the news into context. For Trump opponents like ourselves, it’s a fun way to get at Trump’s thin skin. But it’s actually quite scary how thin his skin is.

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Obama’s Drone Legacy

Obama’s reputation has improved since the reality of President Trump began to sink in, but we mustn’t sentimentalise him.

One of the key aspects of the Obama administration has been the growth of the use of predator drones. Although underreported in the western press, drones are a major development in warfare, often not properly regulated By the way the United States gathers information, males of military age are by default classed as Enemies Killed in Action. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimate that 800 civilians could have been killed by drones in a range of countries. The use of drones has meant that children in Pakistan have learned to fear clear blue skies, because they are better suited for the use of drones.

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Things You Should Realise About Donald Trump #2: He’s a Political Insider

Of all the ridiculous lies spread during the 2016 presidential campaign, probably the most ridiculous is the idea that Donald Trump is a ‘political outsider’.

In the late 1980s when under investigation, mortgage broker Frank LaMagra claimed that Donald Trump was a participant in mob money laundering and offered to wear a wire to expose him. The federal agent in charge of the case, Tony Lombardi, discussed the case with his boss – Rudy Giulani – before going to talk with Trump, who became the co-chair of Giuliani’s 1989 mayoral fundraiser. LaMagra’s offer was never taken up. In 2009 Donald Trump gave $170,000 to the Republican Governors’ Association; in 2010 Chris Christie agreed to write off a $30 million Trump Casino tax bill for $5 million; in 2011 Trump donated another $450,000 to the group. Trump has repeatedly contributed to groups working for the re-election of attorneys general who were considering investigating his businesses, including Pam Bondi in 2014, and Kamala Harris between 2011 and 2013.

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Things You Should Realise About Donald Trump #1 He’s a Very Unsubtle Thinker

Donald Trump is a man who incites strong, contradictory opinions. One thing we should be able to agree on – he is not subtle.

This is evident in his Twitter feuds. After her measured criticism of him, he announced that Meryl Streep is “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood”. Streep is an actress who pretty much everyone seems to rate – Kramer vs Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and so on. Even 2015 Trump admired her, choosing her second after Julia Roberts when asked to name the actresses he admired. The smart line of attack would be to admit she’s a good actress, but undermine her political expertise, maybe paint her as a ‘Hollywood liberal’. This is what pretty much every Trump supporter who we’ve seen react to Streep has done – none of his supporters are as unsubtle as the man himself. In Trump’s mind, it appears, a person being bad means that they are bad at everything.

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