The truth is, he’s out there: Blink 182 lead singer Tom DeLonge really wants to tell the Hillary Clinton about UFOs

Published: Salon (October 11, 2016)

Blink 182 is well-known for their use of toilet humor, but who knew they were gazing into the stars as well as the sewers?

Former lead singer Tom DeLonge wanted to introduce HIllary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, to some “very interesting” sources on UFOs, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.DeLonge was referring to either military personnel or other former government officials, which isn’t in itself surprising.

Prominent state officials from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to former President Jimmy Carter have claimed to see UFOs in the past. That said, they may not always do this in total seriousness, as indicated by this tweet sent out by one of President Barack Obama’s senior advisers in February 2015: read more

A deep dive into the alt-right’s greatest YouTube hits

Published: The Daily Dot (September 7, 2016)

When Hillary Clinton pointed out the connection between Donald Trump and the alt-right, she wasn’t talking about an ordinary political movement.

As the Daily Dot’s Amrita Khalid notes, the alt-right is a “younger, ballsier rejection of the GOP establishment and political correctness as a whole—think the Tea Party meets Pepe the Frog.” But it’s also perennially attacked as a hub for white nationalism. “For the alt-right, ‘Make America White Again’ is not an ironic dismissal of Trump’s campaign slogan,” she concludes. read more

Jill Stein and Donald Trump are both linked to a dangerous anti-vaccine myth that just won’t die

Published: Quartz (August 3, 2016)

Green Party candidate Jill Stein likes to present herself as a pro-science, more idealistic alternative to Hillary Clinton. Stein has so far managed to stay out of the media maelstrom, but a series of troubling comments are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. One of Stein’s most problematic opinions resurfaced this week when her campaign deleted a tweet in which she claimed there is “no evidence that autism is caused by vaccines.” (The Tweet was eventually replaced with one that qualified her position as “I’m not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.”) Although she hasn’t gone quite as far as Donald Trump—the Republican nominee has openly suggested that vaccines cause autism—Stein’s statements are at best irresponsible and misinformed. They are also baffling, given that the Green Party likes to tout its pro-science credentials. read more

The ‘Paranoid Style’ of Alex Jones: Why the right-wing ‘Jade Helm’ insanity won’t go away – and why that’s extremely scary

Published: Salon (July 8, 2015)

Brace yourself: After months of frantic conspiracy theorizing, Operation Jade Helm is finally underway next week.

One week from today, one of the largest military training exercises in history — dubbed “Operation Jade Helm 15″ — will occur across seven southwestern states. According to Bastrop County Republican Party Chairman Albert Ellison, there is good reason for Texans to worry that Obama is secretly planning to use this event as an opportunity to take over the state, a conspiracy theory popularized by right-wing radio host Alex Jones earlier this year. “In the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists,” reported Ellison to The Washington Post on Saturday, later adding “Obama has really painted a portrait in the minds of many conservatives that he is capable of this sort of thing.” read more

Ted Cruz’s birthplace matters – but not for the reason you think

Published: Daily Dot (March 24, 2015), Salon (March 26, 2015), Interview with CBC – Edmonton (March 26, 2015)

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

Much mirth has already been derived from Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is running for president in 2016; Twitter users were sharpening their rhetorical knives with cutting hashtags in preparation for his official declaration, while pundits from Jamelle Bouie of Slate to Donny Deutsch of MSNBC’s Morning Joe have gone on record to proclaim that Cruz is unelectable. read more

Why We Want To Believe Conspiracy Theories

Published: Good Men Project (March 5, 2015)

Matthew Rozsa holds conspiracy theorists to the same standard of skepticism that they claim to use.

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Maybe it was my mistake. After all, what kind of person expects to hear intelligent political analysis from two drunks in an alley?

Granted, it was the alley adjacent to my house, and while I was nowhere near as inebriated as my two new acquaintances, I was buzzing from a couple of beers myself. Even so, I was taken aback as I heard one of my companions declare, “You know what the problem is? The world is run by the media, the Jews, the banks, college elitists … All of ’em!” read more

Anti-vaxxers shouldn’t use my autism to justify their bad choices

Published: Quartz (February 18, 2015)

I still remember the first article I ever wrote about growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome. It was compelled (I’m reluctant to say inspired) by some of the controversial reports that circulated after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting claiming gunman Adam Lanza had an autism spectrum disorder. Two years later, confusion and misinformation about autism continues to thrive, most recently as part of the ongoing debate over mandatory vaccinations in the United States. While the debate has been become a highly polarized, not to mention politicized, topic of discussion, the question I hear the most from readers is one that those engaged in the debate rarely address: When anti-vaccination activists blame inoculations for childhood autism, what message are they sending to the autistic community? read more

3 Reasons Obama should make it illegal not to vaccinate your children

Published: Daily Dot (February 5, 2015)

“The science is, you know, pretty indisputable.”

Those were President Obama’s words in an interview with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie earlier this week during which he urged parents to get their children vaccinated. While it’s tempting to praise the president for standing on the side of science, he has been inexcusably reluctant to fulfill his constitutional responsibility to protect the general welfare—in this case, preventing a potential epidemic by making school vaccinations mandatory. “He was clear that we don’t need a new law,” explained White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest on Tuesday, “we need people to exercise common sense.” read more