Thursday, May 28, 2020

shared on May 28ths

In war, religion is often the excuse but never the reason.

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If you worry you're a bad or worthless person, you probably aren't. The worst people are certain they're good.

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"Progressive" has followed an old path: it meant the radical left, then it meant the cool kids, then it meant the fashionable kids, now it means Democrat and maybe nothing at all.

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Re Hachette and Amazon fighting over business terms: the butcher and the meat market are fighting, and they both say they're doing it for the cows.

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Is there a name for people who hear things they don't like and contact the speakers' bosses to try to get them fired? In kindergarten, we called them tattletales.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

shared on May 27ths

Sometimes when I read intolerant posts, I check the user bio, then nod when I see the writer is single.

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There's no way to guarantee you'll find someone compatible, but there are many ways to guarantee you won't.

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This explains why tiny gatherings of racist idiots should be ignored:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." —misattributed to Gandhi

So long as you fight them, they think they're one step from winning.

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Orwell identifies the reason some people prefer the idea of a Job Guarantee to Basic Income:

“I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob… It is safer to keep them too busy to think.” —George Orwell

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Those who can't answer, censor.

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Historically, "feminist and socialist" is redundant, and "feminist and capitalist" is a contradiction in terms.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

shared on May 26ths: prequels

A prequel is a sequel that's set before the story that inspired it.

The best prequels tell us our assumptions about the original story's history are wrong. The worst assure us we already knew all we needed to.

At some level, the audience knows prequels are stories that didn't matter enough to be told first. We prefer sequels because they might matter as much or more.

Monday, May 25, 2020

shared on May 25ths

Why I'm not an intersectionalist: There is no intersection of the rich and the poor, the ruling class and the working class, the exploiter and the exploited.

Most people accept the side life puts them on. Some choose one. I've chosen mine.

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Adolph Reed uses a term I'm likely to adopt: race-baiting.

“It's particularly galling to see the Wall Street, Clintonite wing of the party attempt simultaneously to red-bait and race-bait the left instead of participating in honest debate over policy approaches that would improve the lives of all working people of whatever race, gender, or sexual orientation and lead the country forward.” —Adolph Reed

Sunday, May 24, 2020

shared on May 24ths

How can people be outraged by terrorists bombing children and shrug off nations bombing children?

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Human (n): a creature that can get upset about anything

Saturday, May 23, 2020

shared on May 23rds

I just saw a robin on the fence. As I was thinking how beautiful it was, it shat. Nature mocks my romantic impulses.

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Some people see similarities first; some see differences. I hope I'm in the first group.

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It may be easier for libertarian socialists and capitalists to get along than it is for authoritarians—right and left libertarians want to free people in fairly similar ways while right and left authoritarians want to restrict people in very different ways.

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Yesterday, at Harbor Freight, I mistook a white guy for a clerk. Noted for everyone who thinks this only happens to people of color. (I've been mistaken for a clerk, but now that I dress like a bum, it doesn't happen anymore.)

Also: The idea that being mistaken for a clerk is insulting is about as classist as you can get.

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Speaking as a straight man, I think homophobes are repressed homosexuals because they're much more interested in gay sexuality than I am.

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Dear NFL, the only gesture that's more respectful than kneeling is prostrating yourself on the ground.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

shared on May 21sts

The apology police criticize apologies because they do not want apologies. They want groveling.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

shared on May 20ths

If you think Jews are a race, you either think converts aren't Jewish or it's possible to be transracial.

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Dear internet, when you notice dozens or even hundreds of Americans being idiots online, remember that the US population is 322,762,018.

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In times of outrage, good people try to hear what’s said and wise people try to hear what’s not.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

shared on May 19ths

Humans have two attitudes toward history: some like rewriting it, some prefer the rewritten version they were taught.

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When cheering the symbolism of removing statues, remember the Taliban bombing Buddhas and the US staging the toppling of Saddam's statue.

Monday, May 18, 2020

shared on May 18ths

How to know you're talking to a race reductionist: If you say "class trumps race today," they respond as if you said race doesn't matter.

"Trump" does not deny the second thing matters. It only means the first matters more.

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Robert E. Howard explains the internet:
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split."

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I wish capitalists would distinguish between personal and private property, but they don't because they want everything to be treated like personal property.

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Gaslighting happens. But, like conspiracies, not as often as crazy people think.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

shared on May 17ths

People I half-agree with are less annoying than people I 95% agree with.

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The rich have no incentive to make a better system for us—it works well for them.

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The neoliberal take on the family is that both parents should be working to pay for nannies and cleaning services. They call that being pro-family and pro-feminist, perhaps because many of the nannies and maids are women who have families.

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People who like the Electoral College like it because it reduces the role of popularity in democracy.

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‪No one who voted for Clinton in the 2016 primaries is qualified to talk about electability.‬

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Why sheepdog theory is wrong: people aren't sheep.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

shared on May 16ths

Some say the Communist Manifesto calls for the abolition of the family, but it doesn't. It calls for the abolition of the bourgeois family as part of the abolition "of prostitution both public and private". Its meaning is simple: no one should have to serve another to survive.

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Has a boycott on a US state ever done more than ensure people who would share a better message won't perform there? A state boycott is like sanctions: it means you're willing to hurt everyone for what the powerful did.

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The difference between nationalism and patriotism:

Nationalism: "My country, right or wrong."—Stephen Decatur

Patriotism: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." —Carl Schurz

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People who believe in meritocracy should approve of basic income. It puts us one step closer to having jobs pay what they're worth rather than what desperate people will accept.

Friday, May 15, 2020

shared on May 15ths

I wish the Libertarian Party hadn't appropriated "libertarian" for the right. Their use of the word obscures the authoritarian effect of wealth.

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Note to self: Two things to do every day.

1. Dance or bike or take a long walk. You'll just get depressed if you don't.

2. Avoid discussing politics with Clinton fans. You'll just get depressed if you don't.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

shared on May 14ths

‪When the far left says we shouldn’t support social democrats, remember how well that worked out in Germany in 1931.‬

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‪If you want people to vote, you have to give them meaningful choices. I can’t decide if we get the candidates we get because political parties forget that or remember it.‬

‪“I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.” —Boss Tweed‬

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As soon as people start talking about intersectionality, you know nothing will follow that will be a serious proposal for improving people's lives. Checking your privilege is woke; Basic Income, M4A, a high minimum wage, and free public higher education are not.

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I would waste a lot less time online if I accepted that opinions always trump facts.

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Israel is the last colonialist empire. It's natural for other colonialists to defend it.

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People dressed in black who violently oppose free speech? Why would that make anyone nervous? #antifa

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The jury is out on whether men or women speak more, but in the debates, Clinton spoke more than Sanders.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

shared on May 13ths

Finishing writing a story is nice, but it's not nearly as satisfying as knocking down an old porch.

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The hard part about being old and having studied something for decades is 98% of the people trying to educate you will know less than you do. I am very grateful for the remaining 2%.

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It would take too long to list all of the more interesting things Game of Thrones could've done, but if they wanted to pit Jon vs Daenerys at the end, it would've been more interesting to turn Jon into a fascist than Daenerys into a madwoman.

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When people say "human nature", they mean "my nature as I believe it to be".

Monday, May 11, 2020

shared on May 11ths

If you don't understand why "social justice warrior" is an insult, you don't understand irony. Social justice workers oppose war.

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It is impossible to believe in the goodness of humanity and read the comments.

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From 2015:

Dear socialists, do you support Bernie Sanders or someone even less likely to get any attention from the media?

Also, what evidence is there for the sheepdog theory that supporting Sanders is only a way to sucker socialists into the Democrats' camp? It doesn't work in my case: I plan to support Sanders for as long as he's running, and then I'll support a socialist or another promising third-party candidate, or maybe I won't vote, though I continue to think that so long as there's anyone on the ballot who you like at all, you should vote for them, no matter how hopeless you think their odds are, because while it's very true that the US's two parties are controlled by billionaires, only our votes for third parties say we want more choices than two.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

shared on May 10ths

The shortest definition of neoliberalism: trickle-down economics.

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I wouldn't mind the self-flagellating left if they didn't insist on flagellating the leftists who focus on the right.

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Politics are as divisive as religions because politics are religions. Noting that they're secular religions is just quibbling.

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Why rich people shouldn't argue that the US's poor are better off than most of the world:

Because if that's your standard of good enough, there's no reason not to take from the rich until they live like the US's poor.

But I'll add that socialists want to raise the standard of living everywhere, so the rich should never be afraid that we will make them live as poorly as they make most people live now.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

shared on May 9ths

When it’s obvious something has failed to do what was promised, remember that it may have done what was intended. When warhawks promise peace and provide chaos, chaos was almost certainly the goal.

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I always thought the fact US prison populations are not racially proportionate to poverty was a lingering effect of racism, but Cedric Johnson points out that overpolicing the urban poor explains that:

”Blacks are disproportionately represented among those who are arrested, convicted, incarcerated, and under court supervision because blacks are still disproportionately represented among the nation’s poor. Hence, if poor neighborhoods and communities are overpoliced, then it is no wonder as Moody notes that “blacks are almost six times and Latinos three times more likely to be sentenced to ‘hard time’ in prison than whites.””

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Some names for the vapid answers that comfort secular and religious cultists:

Foma (from Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle)
Thought-terminating cliches
Dogma
Sound-bite ethics
Bacon's "Idols of the Marketplace"

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The worst defense of the authoritarian left's attempts to censor people is that they usually fail, so they must not be engaged in censorship. This is like saying that if murderers fail, they must not have been trying to kill.

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Note to self: Stay offline in the morning. You have never gotten an urgent email in the morning.

Friday, May 8, 2020

shared on May 8ths

If you don't like an ad on Facebook, it takes three clicks to get rid of it. That's two too many, even if you love capitalism.

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Some Zionists say the KGB created anti-zionism. They did not. Zionists created anti-zionism with the bombing of the King David Hotel, the massacre of Deir Yassin, and the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba.‬

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For rich people, there are no bad choices, there are only choices. They rarely feel the consequences of their decisions. They never have to skip a meal due to a choice, or even skip dining out, and when climate change hits hard, they'll be in mansions on high ground.

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Whenever you worry or feel smug about the things your online experience tells you, check the polls. Reality is rarely what you think it is, and everyone online is living in an echo chamber.
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If your explanation for anything is "people are stupid", you do not deserve the pass you are giving yourself.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Shared on May 7ths

Updating an old observation: Identitarianism is the socialism of fools.

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I thought tribalism and racism were opposites because people can change tribes but not races. Now I think racism is the tribalism of fools.

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If you wouldn't reveal the end of a mystery, don't reveal the end of any story. All stories are mysteries when first experienced. #spoilers

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Shared on May 6ths

If you say art should not offend, you are saying art should be innocuous.

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Frustrated romantics should be socialists: socialism takes economics out of decisions about who to date, love, or marry.

Which is why people who want to buy sex and love cannot support socialism.

ETA: This comment is only about people who want to be able to use money to influence other people's decisions. It's not about prostitution; as someone else has noted, that's about renting rather than buying sex or love.

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‪We could end desperation by sharing the wealth. Does this mean the rich don’t care about ending desperation? Or do they want most of us to be desperate?‬

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“Problematic” means, “I’m afraid I’ll be criticized if I don’t say there’s a problem with this thing, but I don’t know what it is.” If you say pineapples are problematic, pretentious people won’t question you for fear of revealing they also don’t know the problem with pineapples.

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The most annoying thing cultists say: If you're not for our solution, you're for the problem.

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Ostracism does not educate anyone. The ignorant learn by seeing the world has more choices than they knew.

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Capitalists use many words to describe for-profit journalism to avoid the simplest one: capitalist journalism.

Monday, May 4, 2020

shared on May 4ths

The rich have to despise the poor. If they didn't, they would have to end poverty.

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Rich identitarians are not interested in diversity based on class because they know the oldest rule of privilege: you don't socialize with the help.

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It's harder for identitarians to create diversity because they try to include people on the basis of race or gender. If they tried to include people on the basis of class, diversity would follow naturally because the working class is more diverse than the ruling class.

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The right talks about cultural Marxism. Why doesn't the left talk about cultural capitalism? Is it simply that we fish take our ocean for granted?

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It's a shame we don't have a neighboring country that's found a good model for health care that we could adopt.

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There're no such thing as new stories and old ones. There're just stories you haven't read and stories you have.

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Derrick Bell and Malcolm X show how neoliberals and anti-capitalists see the same problem. One blames society; one, capitalism.

"racism is an integral, permanent, and indestructible component of this society." —Derrick Bell

"You can't have capitalism without racism." —Malcolm X

I spent years wondering if Malcolm was wrong. Since the '60s, capitalists have been trying to create a class system that's racially proportionate. I finally realized Malcolm is right. Due to limited class mobility, the only way to end the effects of racism is to share the wealth.

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When someone says “intersectional”, think “neoliberal”. The meaning does not change. Derrick Bell and Kimberle Crenshaw were privileged liberals who liked capitalism and rejected the New Deal understanding of race, so they came up with a new approach that neoliberals embraced.‬

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from 2019:

Just took my first bike ride of the year to Fort Snelling. Beautiful trail along the river. At the end, I looked up the steep hill to the fort and said, "Not today."

The ride back was beautiful too.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

shared on May 3rds

The CIA and the NED were much better at overthrowing democratically elected governments in the 20th century.

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I could support any candidate who promised to give the ability to attack other countries back to Congress.


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If wearing a cheongsam is appropriation, it is not appropriation from the Chinese working class—it's appropriation from China's ruling class.

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If giving people money kept people from working, people who were born rich would not work. #basicincome

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If you say we can change our gender but not our race, you are saying gender is a social construct but race is not.

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Americans are slightly more willing to vote for a woman (92%) than a Jew (91%). Sanders faced more prejudice than Clinton did. #identity

Saturday, May 2, 2020

shared on May 2nds, shegetz and othering, more

I was just called a shegetz, which amused me, and more importantly, helped me see something that's obvious when written out: the first trait of racists is the use of insults that were created for the people they consider "other".

The second trait, of course, is the use of coded language to allude to their insults. So I was pleased that this person avoided code and went straight for shegetz.

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Every two or three days, there's a "free" flyer or paper left at our house. I pick it up and recycle it, and capitalism has taken another minute or two from my life.

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When naming yourself, remember that the qualities you claim will become suspect: liars claim they're honest, the mad claim they're sane, fools claim they're wise.

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For people who support depriving prisoners of the right to vote:‬

‪If you say any right can be taken away based on a judge’s decision, rights become meaningless.‬

‪Taking away a prisoner’s vote does not make prisoners better or society safer.‬

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Just vacuumed after much too long. Let me know if you need fur to make three cats.

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Social justice warrior: someone who would put makers of kimonos out of work in order to keep people who aren't Japanese from wearing kimonos.

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Manuel Zelayas of Honduras should send a sympathy note to Hillary Clinton. He knows how it feels to lose an office after foreign meddling.

Friday, May 1, 2020

shared on May 1sts

‪Can we have a 24-hour moratorium on “fascist” so most of the people who use it can look up what it means?‬

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As the wealth gap grows, identitarianism in its left and right forms grows.

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When people object to being mistaken for clerks, you know what they think of clerks. (I've been a clerk and been mistaken for one.)

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If you can't make your point politely, you haven't thought about it enough.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

shared on April 30ths: a better name for SJWs, more

Sartre wrote, "Let us imagine that moved by jealousy, curiosity, or vice I have just glued my ear to the door and looked through a keyhole."

He is imagining that he is Plastic Man.

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Pretentious word of the day: oeuvre.

When I see it, I think "egg" (yes, my sense of humor sucks).

Some people love English because it has many words that can be used to adorn vapid thoughts.

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I wish the person who named "social justice warriors" had named them "social justicists" instead. They are to social justice as Islamists and Christianists are to their faiths.

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If privilege theorists hope to understand social privilege, they need to distinguish between white privilege and Protestant privilege.

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Four kinds of borders:

1. None. Only possible when there are no states.
2. Open. Koch Bros' plan to make workers compete for less and less.
3. Humane. Sanders' plan.
4. Paranoid. Trump's plan.

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Cultists want to turn the world into their echo chamber.

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A confession: I respect people like the Dirtbag Left who neither give nor expect respect, and people like King and Malcolm X who tried to respect everyone, but I just can't respect people who expect respect and don't give it.

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I've been paying attention to the identitarian left and the universalist left for over a decade. It's time to shift my focus to the purity left and the pragmatic left.

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When you want to solve your problems by making people outcasts, remember you may magnify your problems by making them outlaws.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

shared on April 29ths

Pet peeve: writers who make the heroes stupid so they don't have to make the villains smart.

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Today, religious people tend to be tolerant of other faiths, while political people divide us into the saved and the damned.

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If the Boy Who Cried Wolf was about Presidents, the people in the story would believe him every time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

shared on April 28ths

Reformers always find something other than capitalism to blame. For left identitarians, it’s "systemic" racism or sexism. For radlibs, it’s fascism. For conservatives, it’s "crony" capitalism. They won’t name the beast because they want to tame and ride it.

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Four male presidential candidates have indicated they will only consider women for a second-place position, I mean, vice president.

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People who prefer the Job Guarantee say Basic Income makes people dependent on the government. They don't notice that JG has the same effect.

Monday, April 27, 2020

shared on April 27ths

There is no justice in the world, so people like it in their art. Fandom provides the things that a church does, community and stories in which goodness and perseverence succeed.

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A review of Endgame complained it is not a movie but a collection of moments. The writer is right, but wrong: Endgame is a conclusion to a multi-movie story.

My main quibbles: Black Widow deserved more time at the end, and time travel was handled okay this time, but it opens a huge can of time traveling worms for future stories.

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It's strange that feminists object when female characters give their lives to save men. In what universe do men never give their lives to save women? In my reality, men and women sacrifice themselves to save other people every day.

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I am baffled by activists who love making forgotten racists famous so they can fight statues and signs. But some people prefer symbolism to substance.

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Are there any liberal issues that Joe Biden was not slow to accept?

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8% of Americans would not vote for a woman and 9% of Americans would not vote for a Jew, so if you truly think it’s important to support a marginalized candidate, support Bernie Sanders.

* Source: Gallup

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Anyone who wants to run for office should first have to live in a slum for a year.

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Guess which of these eleven bands I didn't see.

1. I Don't Do Memes
2. Sometimes I Do Memes
3. I Like Pet Videos
4. Your Politics Suck
5. My Politics Rule
6. Be Jealous of My Meal
7. Be Jealous of My Vacation
8. Be Jealous of My Children
9 Pity Me For My Meal
10 Pity Me For My Vacation
11 Pity Me for My Children
12 Who Can Count to Eleven?

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For anyone who doesn't understand why the possibility of violent protest is not sufficient reason to cancel a speech:

"So then anytime they don't want to deal with a protest, they could just predict rioting to cancel the event"

Sunday, April 26, 2020

shared on April 26ths

Under intersectional imperialism, it's important to have the order to drop the bombs given by women or people of color—Obama and Clinton made a great team. If Buttigieg wins the nomination, we'll finally have LGBTQ imperialism.

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If you want to know who has an authoritarian streak, look at who opposes voting rights for all adult Americans. There’s no good reason to take away a prisoner’s vote.

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‪Equality of opportunity is impossible under capitalism. The children of the rich are given enormous resources from the moment they’re conceived. The children of the poor get few or none. You cannot have equal opportunity without equal resources.‬

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I keep wishing we had a democratic Democratic Party.

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When I read political news on Facebook, I should just flip a coin to decide whether to tick "haha" or "angry".

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If Kanye West was an identitarian, the internet would be filled with posts saying it's racist to criticize him.

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Duplicitous people understand that if you don't trust anyone, you can't be hurt. The price is being them.

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Loving humanity is no different than loving an individual: Be prepared to have your heart broken. Do your best not to become bitter.

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People who expect to find coded language everywhere will find coded language everywhere. See #paranoia

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Most days if I could change one thing about humanity, it'd be to eliminate greed. But some days, it'd be to eliminate gossip.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

shared on April 25ths

That socialists believe in "equality of outcome" is a conservative myth. Socialists believe in"from each according to ability, to each according to need." That is the opposite of equality of outcome. Socialists believe in equality of opportunity.

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‪5 Jobs I had‬

‪1. Cleaning dog pens at the age of 8 for 25 cents an hour.‬
‪2. Selling potato chips door-to-door at the age of 12. (Pay was a % of sales.)‬
‪3. Washing dishes at HoJos.‬
‪4. Thinking about jobs is depressing.‬
‪5. It’s about cleaning up other’s shit or making them rich.‬

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Why was Bernie treated badly at She The People? The same reason he was treated badly by Harvard students. Privileged people don’t like him.

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‪How stats lie about racial wealth: Because the rich are disproportionately white, the racial wealth gap appears to be growing while the gap between the first and the bottom four quintiles grows, and the racial proportions of blacks and whites in poverty hasn’t changed since 1960.‬

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Perhaps the least plausible aspect of the mirror universe I'm in: the left seeks to silence dissent while the right supports free speech.

Friday, April 24, 2020

shared on April 24ths: a voting test, more

I generally dislike the idea of tests for the right to vote, but I could support having to answer one question: “Do you trust your government?” No one who answers yes should be allowed to vote.

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‪When rich Americans say their family was driven from Russia or Cuba or China, they mean their family was exploiting Russians or Cubans or Chinese, then came to the US to exploit Americans.‬

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I don't have kids or grandkids, yet I get the impression that I care more about the world the next generation will inherit than most politicians who aren't Bernie Sanders. Definitely more than Fracking Hillary Clinton.

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People who accept superficial explanations and people who never accept the simplest explanation are equally annoying.

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I prefer big disappointments to small ones. Big ones make me fight them or accept them. Little ones nibble at my soul.

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99% of the time, I think women and men are essentially the same. 1% of the time, I think, "WTF is with the shoe thang?"

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Why do the rich think they need so much and the poor need so little?

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I love examples that begin with the premise "if the US or the Earth consisted of 100 people, then...", but they have a problem: If you think in terms of 100 people, you will fail to see how astonishingly rich the 1 out of 1000 is. The real wealth is not with the 1%, but with the .1% and the .01% and whatever percent it is who are the 62 people who own as much wealth as the poorer half of humanity.

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Dear people who hear coded language about race and gender: as Freud is alleged to have said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

shared on April 23rds

If you think your years of study have made you wise, think of the people who have spent years studying things you do not respect. The wise know that knowledge is only knowledge.

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Comparing democratic socialism to totalitarian communism is like comparing democratic capitalism to fascism.

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Depressing thing: "Democrats" defending party policies that keep "the wrong kind" of voters (like Erica Garner) from voting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Things shared on April 22nds: the problem with "socioeconomic", more

I don't find "socioeconomic" useful. Economic class and social class are distinct if you are willing to look closely—a member of the social elite can be unlucky enough to become working class, and someone who snobs consider "trash" can be lucky enough to become bourgeois.

A sneer is a powerful weapon in a conflict about social class. But when the war is about economic class, only capital matters.

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If you can't defend an idea without insulting people, you don't understand the idea well enough to defend it or the idea is indefensible.

Onlookers who don't already agree with you will assume the latter.

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“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” —John James Audubon

Anyone who claims to be a conservative who is not a conservationist is only a hypocrite.

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Some races are won by runners who come from behind just before the finish line. If that wasn't true, no one would race to the end.

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People, "progressive" just means "neoliberal" now. The New Democrats took it, so let them keep it.

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#LifeInTheFuture: Lasers fixed Emma's torn retina.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

shared on April 21sts: Basic Income is Living Insurance, Job Guarantee authoritarianism, more

I always suspect people who refer to others as idiots are projecting. From a tactical pov, namecalling is idiotic—it's counterproductive.

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You have to yell at clouds. They're too far away to hear if you don't.

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Basic Income could be called Living Insurance. I was mentioning to Emma Bull that the middle class should think of #BasicIncome as a form of insurance, something to cover them if things go bad, and she said, "It's not life insurance. It's living insurance."

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Job Guarantee and Basic Income supporters can be found in every major political group. Some of us would like both, but those who argue for only one can be roughly divided between those who think we need to be directed and those who think we should be free.

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Freedom of speech includes the freedom to ignore what's being said. People who scream or use bullhorns in confined spaces are not engaging in free speech: they're trying to take away your freedom to ignore them.

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People who say "freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences" are confusing free speech with censorship. The proper consequences for free speech are more speech, including criticism and mockery.

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Scenes with two characters are the most fun to write, but scenes with three characters are the most satisfying.j

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For their politician, it's all about ego; for your politician, it's all about principle.

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How neoliberalism works: Want universal health care? Hey, we'll give you Harriet Tubman on the $20!

Malcolm X's take on black nationalism rejects left identitarianism

Malcolm X:
I used to define black nationalism as the idea that the black man should control the economy of his community, the politics of his community, and so forth.

But when I was in Africa in May, in Ghana, I was speaking with the Algerian ambassador who is extremely militant and is a revolutionary in the true sense of the word (and has his credentials as such for having carried on a successful revolution against oppression in his country). When I told him that my political, social, and economic philosophy was black nationalism, he asked me very frankly: Well, where did that leave him? Because he was white. He was an African, but he was Algerian, and to all appearances, he was a white man. And he said if I define my objective as the victory of black nationalism, where does that leave him? Where does that leave revolutionaries in Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania? So he showed me where I was alienating people who were true revolutionaries dedicated to overturning the system of exploitation that exists on this earth by any means necessary.

So I had to do a lot of thinking and reappraising of my definition of black nationalism. Can we sum up the solution to the problems confronting our people as black nationalism? And if you notice, I haven’t been using the expression for several months. But I still would be hard pressed to give a specific definition of the overall philosophy which I think is necessary for the liberation of the black people in this country....

Monday, April 20, 2020

shared on April 20ths: Christian Zionists, more

The people who make the rules that let them win always think the rules are fair.

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Christian Zionists are never called antisemitic, but they may be the worst antisemites: They support Israel because they believe the Bible requires Israel's existence before God can send Christians to Heaven and Jews to Hell.

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If you prefer "liberal" to "neoliberal", you are hiding the way the wealth gap stopped shrinking and began growing under neoliberalism:

"1989, richest 1% owned 23.6% of US wealth. Rose to 30.9% in 2018.

Top 1% own a majority of all shares of stock.

Since 1989, bottom 50% of Americans wealth dropped from 3.8 to 1.2%.

Inequality worsened from Clinton to Trump. Capitalism's burden." —Richard D. Wolff

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Rich people have always known the solution to poverty for their own kids: give them money. They try to hide the fact that solution works for everyone. #BasicIncome

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It’s odd that people who claim to understand inflation think socialists don’t. Millionaires were the face of capitalism a century ago. Billionaires are its face now.

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The #Sanders campaign is doing a fine job of revealing which rich people care about working folks and which don't.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

shared on April 19ths

When someone says we need a woman in power, I remember Maggie Thatcher. When someone says we need a black person in power, I remember Idi Amin. Yes, identity should not limit you, but your politics always matter more than your identity. #WhatIdentitariansCannotGrasp

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Neoliberals, I'm sorry. I keep trying to find a name you won't object to, but nothing else is as precise. I realize that's why many of you object to it.

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We need a short name for the yacht-and-helicopter class. The 1% is a simplistic tool. It makes conservatives think Bernie Sanders and the Koch Brothers are peers.

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Politics finally make sense when you realize every political group, including your own, is a secular cult.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

shared on April 18ths

My problem: When I see sacred cows, I want to barbecue them.

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The funniest argument against raising taxes is the idea that rich people might fire workers. Rich people do not hire workers out of the goodness of their hearts. They hire them because they expect to make more money by hiring them. Taxes are irrelevant.

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I defend the right to speak of people I wish would shut up to protect the right to speak of people I want to hear. #freespeech

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it takes more strength to be kind than cruel.

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The questions matter more than the answers. Which is why I sometimes share things that have conclusions I do not support.

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When you stare into the abyss and the abyss stares back...get a room, you crazy kids!

Friday, April 17, 2020

shared on April 17ths

When people complain about Assange, they are complaining that Wikileaks revealed embarrassing truths about someone they like.

Reminder: Wikileaks has never lost a law suit.

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We need a term like "visceral socialism" to describe the unsophisticated anticapitalism of people like Malcolm X, who was killed before he had time to develop anything like Du Bois's communism or King's democratic socialism.

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The fastest way to make people hate you is to ask for evidence for things they believe without evidence.

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In 2019:

Just realized I'm a bear. It's a cool, wet, gray day in Minneapolis. I slept eight hours (more than usual), but all I want to do is hibernate.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

shared on April 16ths: two kinds of Basic Income, more

The silliest thing some leftists believe: That by hiding from Fox News, the left can win and Fox will be discredited.

Cowards never win. Speak bravely and patiently where anyone will listen.

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catastrophe = cat ass trophy. Coincidence? I think not.

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I could support either of two versions Basic Income:

1. A smaller UBI of around $1000 US a month, plus medicare and food stamps for all.

2. A larger UBI of $3000 a month that would let people eat freely and buy good private insurance.

Note that no form of UBI has anything to do with socialism. UBI only calls for taxing the rich. Socialism calls for nationalizing major businesses and redistributing land and homes so everyone has a share of the world we're all born into.

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In 2017:

Happy eggs and bunnies day!

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In 2016:

Wall Street! I'll talk to you every day for a year for what you paid Hillary for one talk. Heck, I'll even bring donuts. What do you say?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

shared on April 15ths

Notre Dame was a celebration of the human ability to make art. People of all religions and no religion came to see what people could do. They knew it belonged to us all. All great art does.

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Identitarian censors think the only form of writing should be autobiography.

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Reminder: Do not engage with Lost Cause Clintonites.

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Feels beat facts.

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A surprisingly hard truth for most humans to grasp: if you don't behave better than your opponents, onlookers will think you're just as bad.

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Historical quote of the day:

“Your socialist is the true abolitionist, and he only fully understands his mission.” —Virginia Senator Robert M.T. Hunter, March 25, 1850

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Critics of politeness fail to understand that it's effective. Or perhaps they do, so they want to deprive their opponents of its use.

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I’d happily call neoliberals a precise name they preferred, but I don’t know what it is. Calling them Clinton Dems when she’s not running seems silly, and “progressive” is both meaningless and claimed by people on both sides.

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Dear sexist Clinton fans, please stop promoting myth that witches are female. A dictionary will tell you they can be men. #AmandaMarcotte

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I'm tempted to start referring to the Clooney Class—the people who are rich enough to pay $353,000 to sit at a table with George Clooney at a fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton, whose definition of "Democratic" is not the same as mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

shared on April 14ths: black humor, more

When I say "I'm amused that...", I usually mean I'm choosing to be amused because the alternatives are rage and despair, and both are poison to the soul. Sometimes we have to laugh at horrors to keep doing what matters. People who criticize black humor don't understand its purpose.

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When TV shows decline, they become their own fanfic.

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I am always amused by people who think large newspapers owned by capitalists don't have a bias. You have to read between the lines with claims like "All the news that's fit to print." Who decides what's fit and how to present it?

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As belief systems go, politics may be more blinding than religion. Religious people are sometimes afraid they’re wrong. Political people rarely are.

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I have finished our taxes. Now I need something new to procrastinate about.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Shared on April 13ths

Neoliberals talk about structural racism in the same way conservatives talk about crony capitalism: they think the only thing wrong with capitalism is its present manifestation.

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‪Bernie Sanders shows how racialism has changed. Fifty years ago, the identitarian right would’ve attacked him for being Jewish. Now the identitarian left attacks him for being white.‬

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Writers, when you hit the third syllable of a word, ask if there’s a better choice. If not, keep the word.

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"Many" is one of the least helpful words. It only means "more than a few", but it's often used to imply something is greater than it is.

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Internet, only Hitler is literally Hitler. Anyone else is metaphorically Hitler.

You're welcome.

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The people who know the least about others are the most willing to claim to know all about them.

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What artists say about their work is never more than a half-truth. The work itself is the truth.

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The only thing artists should respect is art.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Shared on April 12ths

‪Fascism is totalitarian capitalism—that’s why fascists have always been supported by rich capitalists. You can see the fascist strain in US capitalism by looking at the people who oppose free speech in general and whistleblowers like Assange in particular.‬

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When politicians say they're going to take "a tough stand", they mean they're going to risk other people's lives.

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A fun fact for renters: "landlort" (pronounced almost like English "landlord") means "land turd" in Danish.

—via Simon Kongshøj

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When the ruling class says "we don't have the money", they mean "that money's gone to Panama accounts."

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Now that I'm over 60, I think "Don't trust anyone over 30" may be even better advice than it was when I was 20.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Shared on April 11ths: Assange, more

The only good thing about Julian Assange's arrest is the responses reveal who thinks we should be free to speak and who wants the power to silence us.

The only amusement that will come from Julian Assange's arrest: Journalists who love censorship will desperately try to explain why he is not a journalist protected by the First Amendment, but they are.

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Responses to Assange reveal the US political divides:

Left identitarians hate him because two women said he abused their trust during consensual sex.

Neoliberals hate him because he exposed Democratic Party shenanigans.

Nationalists hate him because he exposed US misdeeds.

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Everything in life is politics. In any system with rich and poor people, the rich are able to do more because the rest of us are able to do less.

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Listen and read are not passive verbs. To understand, you must engage. If you don't, you'll assume everyone else uses words exactly like you do.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Shared on April 10ths

The creepiest thing about left identitarians is, like right identitarians, they want to know your race and gender before they decide what to think about your opinion.

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When the rich want us to die for them, they tell us we’re fighting for democracy. When we want to have more say in our government, they tell us we’re a republic.

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We've been marching to protest war a long time—my first march was in the '60s. And the only good it does is remind us we're not alone. Which is good. But not good enough.

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I hate the "marketplace of ideas" metaphor because I hate the notion that speech can be bought and sold. The metaphor may be a bad translation of the original term. The agora was both a market and a commons, and it's the latter sense that's meant in the metaphor, I believe.

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Free speech assumes everyone is unequal—it is the only thing that allows the powerless to speak. It's why for so many years free speech was valued by American leftists and why groups like the ACLU were formed. The powerful, from Mao to McCarthy, have always hated free speech.

The social justice community's opposition to free speech can be traced to social justice's origins in organized religion.

To religious authoritarians, free speech is the freedom to sow discord and deny God's will. It is Satan's freedom.

Censorship comes from two assumptions:

1. Might makes right.

2. The censors are too weak to survive if they let their opponents speak.

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People who say "You always want the last word" mean "I always want the last word."

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If we value learning, we have to be able to admire people for what they get right and ignore what they get wrong. Only cultists require purity of vision.

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My preferences in religion and politics are the same: I hate the authoritarian forms and love the egalitarian forms.

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Self, don't click on anything that claims to offer the real reason for anything.

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Why am I so good at spotting other people's typos and so bad at spotting my own? #rhetoricalquestion

Adam Smith and Karl Marx quotes relevant to whether writers are working class

Thinking about whether writers and freelancers are working class brought me to two quotes, one by Adam Smith and one by Karl Marx:

“There is one sort of labour which adds to the value of the subject upon which it is bestowed: there is another which has no such effect. The former, as it produces a value, may be called productive; the latter, unproductive labour. Thus the labour of a manufacturer adds, generally, to the value of the materials which he works upon, that of his own maintenance, and of his master's profit. The labour of a menial servant, on the contrary, adds to the value of nothing. Though the manufacturer has his wages advanced to him by his master, he, in reality, costs him no expense, the value of those wages being generally restored, together with a profit, in the improved value of the subject upon which his labour is bestowed. But the maintenance of a menial servant never is restored. A man grows rich by employing a multitude of manufacturers: he grows poor by maintaining a multitude of menial servants. The labour of the latter, however, has its value, and deserves its reward as well as that of the former.” —Adam Smith

”Milton, for example, who did Paradise Lost, was an unproductive worker. In contrast to this, the writer who delivers hackwork for his publisher is a productive worker. Milton produced Paradise Lost in the way that a silkworm produces silk, as the expression of his own nature. Later on he sold the product for £5 and to that extent became a dealer in a commodity. But the Leipzig literary proletarian who produces books, e.g. compendia on political economy, at the instructions of his publisher is roughly speaking a productive worker, in so far as his production is subsumed under capital and only takes place for the purpose of the latter’s valorisation. A singer who sings like a bird is an unproductive worker. If she sells her singing for money, she is to that extent a wage labourer or a commodity dealer. But the same singer, when engaged by an entrepreneur who has her sing in order to make money, is a productive worker, for she directly produces capital. A schoolmaster who educates others is not a productive worker. But a schoolmaster who is engaged as a wage labourer in an institution along with others, in order through his labour to valorise the money of the entrepreneur of the knowledge-mongering institution, is a productive worker. Yet most of these kinds of work, from the formal point of view, are hardly subsumed formally under capital. They belong rather among the transitional forms.” —Karl Marx

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Shared on April 9ths

I understand why capitalists take it personally when socialists criticize capitalism—nobles took it personally when democrats criticized feudalism—but we don’t blame people for conforming to an existing system. We only blame people who try to stop the creation of a better system.

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Identitarianism is the belief that black and white mice should be ruled by a perfectly proportionate mix of black and white cats.

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When you say someone deserves to be rich, be ready to say who deserves to be poor for that rich person's sake.

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Identitarian neoliberals: "We could end poverty tomorrow with #BasicIncome but that wouldn't end racism or sexism, so let's not."

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From 2019:

My Facebook ads are all by Democrats I haven’t heard of who want me to give them money for reasons they won’t specify. The Democrats are determined to offer a neoliberal candidate for every possible identity. I expect a furry any day now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Shared on April 8ths

The ancients saw skin tones, not race. They divided us by culture, class, and sex. My favorite example:

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one...

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The idea that rich people deserve to be rich is the modern version of the divine right of kings.

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If you insist on talking about "dead white males", don't include anyone who lived before the Elizabethan age. We don't have any evidence of white people before then, and the evidence before 1680 is slight.

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I deleted a post about open borders. I may write a long piece on open borders and reparations, but if I ever do another drive-by post on either subject, mock me for wasting my time on irrelevant subjects.

To be clear:

My goal is no borders, but that's impossible so long as capitalism exists, and I want what Malcolm X wanted for reparations, the end of capitalism.

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‪Current frustration: Leftists who have a clear picture of what life will be like after the revolution (no borders, needs met, etc.) and no sense of the intermediate step. We must be able to explain to people with jobs, children, and mortgages or rent to pay how we can get there.‬

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If I was a superhero, I would be Captain Introvert: I would stay home and think about how tiring criminals are.

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If hunting is a sport, is assassination one too?

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The old left boycotted people for what they did. The new left boycotts people for how they make them feel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Shared on April 7ths: open borders, more

Anyone who thinks the only choices are open borders or closed borders is a victim of limited imagination. We need sane borders that do not drive the working class into the race to the bottom that the Koch Brothers dream of.

There is a way to have open borders without hurting the poorest members of the US's working class: Provide #BasicIncome to make up for the lost jobs and lower pay.

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A free press and a commercial press are not the same. A free press needs a right to say what a writer believes is true. A commercial press needs a right to lie.

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Dear internet, please learn to ask, "Who benefits from this?" For the pretentious: the Latin is "Cui bono".

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Dishonest rhetoric: Saying people in a civil war attacked "their own people." No. They attacked the other side.

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From 2016: If Trump's starting the big one, it was good to know you all. We were a species with a lot of promise.

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Sometimes when I'm petting Barnabas, I'm petting the ghosts of all the cats I've loved.

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A "real Democrat" is anyone that Democrats really vote for.

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Commercial media isn't about what's good for us. Commercial media is about what's good for its owners.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Shared on April 6ths

Games designed to produce few winners are meant to produce many losers.

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Thumbs up and down systems are for people who see the world in black and white. We should at least have a "meh" option.

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#1 reason most people's friends come from their class: You can afford to do the same things.

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Identitarians say they don't like poverty, which we could end in a month with #BasicIncome, but they prefer to talk about prejudice, which no one knows how to end. The logical conclusion: identitarians don't want to end poverty.

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‪Capitalists use “plutocracy” to refer to the worst forms of rule by the rich and hope we won’t notice that every form of capitalism is a plutocracy.‬

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Shared on April 5ths

Whenever I argue with doctrinaire leftists, I'm reminded of the old saying that generals fight the last war.

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Diversity of identity without diversity of thought is meaningless.

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If you don't think Easter is a fun holiday, remember that the eggs and bunnies are all about fertility.

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When a charity is named for its rich founder, its first purpose is public relations.

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I've yet to see a group that talks about diversity try to include poor white people, even if they have none at all.

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I hate it when my richer liberal friends support the candidate that richer liberals support. I would prefer a pleasant surprise.

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I'm feeling burned out on politics again. Don't expect anything political from me for at least half an hour.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Shared on April 4ths

When talking about top-down vs bottom-up politics, remember that Bernie Sanders was not born in or funded by the ruling class. He rose because working people responded to his issues.

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"That will never work. It goes against human nature."--what conservatives always say about social and technological change.

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"Human beings will shift their behavior in response to changing circumstances" is a fundamental truth that is grasped by few who claim to understand human nature.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Shared on April 3rds

Artists who sneer at other artists should be pitied for their insecurity.

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"President Trump" still sounds like the punchline to a joke I don't get.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Shared on April 2nds

Trying to explain why you like religion is like trying to explain why you like poetry: those who don't get it won't get it.

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When the promo text for a novel begins with the information that the main character is beautiful or handsome, I usually stop reading.

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Dear people who complain about the things I share:

Why are you following me? I share what interests me. If it doesn't interest you, ignore it or stop following me. I had thought anyone could figure that out, but I was clearly wrong.

You may think I will not block you because I hate blocking people. But I hate being bored more than I hate blocking people.

Will

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Criticizing capitalists is like criticizing slavers: it's not about the individuals. You can admire Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, and Thomas Jefferson while condemning slavery.

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I am learning my limits. I cannot argue with Zionists, identitarians, and neoliberals on the same day and maintain my sense of humor.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Shared on April Fools Days

If you want to make me smile, call me comrade or brother.

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It's not always true that arrogant people are ignorant, but it is the smart bet. #DunningKruger #CognitiveDissonance

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When people say someone is very smart, they mean that person appeals to their prejudices. Many of the world's worst people have been very smart.

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‪In the 1960s, men who turned evil got a goatee, except for Malcolm X. He got his when he turned good.‬

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From 2018, when Easter fell on April 1:

In honor of today's combination of holidays:

He is risen!

April Fool's!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Shared on March 31sts: sensitivity readers, more

Sensitivity readers tell you what people like them think, but that's not necessarily what most people of their race or gender or even their class think. Bourgeois people of color know more about bourgeois whites than they do about working class PoC.

To write sensitively, read sensitively. It is better for white writers to read many people of color than to hire one to read you.

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I wish people who love insulting people had their own internet.

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Why Universal Basic Income could make workers more powerful: It's a permanent strike fund.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Shared on March 29ths

Hard writing truth: Most rich writers were rich, then writers.

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Please don't accuse me of moving the goal posts when you've failed to see where they are.

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Often—especially in academia, art, and religion—the point of special knowledge is to convince the people who know it that they're special.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Shared on March 28ths

Social media is a game of Telephone with three billion players.

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"If identity politics is such a threat to power how come power loves it?" -Angela Nagle

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The simplest reason for Basic Income: it takes money to make money.

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I like to think mass media is making people less gullible. It's obviously not true, but I like to think it.

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If you don't know who the noisy neighbor is, it's prob'ly you.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Shared on March 27ths: history of "progressive", more

A history of "progressive"

First used by leftists—Sanders and Maxine Waters were among founders of Progressive Caucus.

Appropriated by New Democrats who did not want to call themselves neoliberals.

"I prefer the word 'progressive'" —Hillary Clinton

Meaning: whatever you wish

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The difference between a socialist and a liberal is the difference between an abolitionist and a reformer who thought slaves should be treated well.

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On social media, you are not the consumer. You are the product.

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" ...the problem is not classism, the problem is class itself." —Barbara Ehrenreich

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When a white person says all white people are racist, I hear them admitting they’re racist. Believing all whites are racist because this is a racist society makes as much sense as believing all Americans are capitalists because this is a capitalist society.

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‪Politics today are more religious than traditional religions. It’s easier to have interfaith friendships than interpolitical ones, and the best religious people are willing to adapt their faith to new facts, while the worst political people insist the facts must be wrong.‬

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Would Trump stop trying to get his own Great Wall if we promised to change the name of the Washington Monument to the Trump Tower?

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“The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.” -Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania

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The first requirement for a lynching is that the lynchers "believe the victim".

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From 2016:

North Carolinians, whenever you see a state rep in a bathroom, ask for proof their sex and gender are the same.

And today we remember that the rich may kill a man, but they cannot kill the message that the poor will inherit the earth.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Shared on March 26ths

Insomnia is boring. Why doesn't it put me to sleep?

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"Actually" is the polite way of saying, "If you bothered to do some research...."

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Thinking you can have art without politics while living under capitalism is like thinking you can have a life without radiation while living in Fukushima. Ignoring it does not mean it's gone.

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Religious states are bad for religions and states.

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People who say criticism of Israel is antisemitic are not worried about antisemitism. They're worried about criticism of Israel.

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Paranoia is the belief that you're being gaslighted.

Yes, sometimes paranoid people are also being gaslighted.

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When I criticize capitalism or feudalism, I'm not criticizing individuals. I'm criticizing the systems that make individual members of those groups support the suffering that's inherent in any economic hierarchy.

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Poverty is disproportionately composed of women and people of color. End poverty, and you disproportionately help women and people of color.

Which means people who reject class-based solutions are both racist and sexist.

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The advice for Americans pulled over by the police was to get out of their cars. Now it's to stay in the car with your hands on the wheel and pray the cop is also playing by the rules.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shared on March 25ths

If you can go out and maintain social distance, go for a walk or a run or anything that gets you out in the sensual world. I’ll go for a bike ride soon. It’ll be gray and cool and a bit stinky from the thawing of winter waste, and I will love it all.

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When people say "no doubt", they mean "we completely believe this even though we have no evidence".

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I am offended by people who want to restrict speech that offends them. Yet I respect their right to offend me.

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Your pay does not reflect what you deserve. It reflects what your bosses think they deserve.

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Why are people who know nothing about politics so partisan?

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I'm always struck by the angry arrogance of the ignorant. #dunningkrugereffect

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From 2019:

My beloved wife just pointed out that I used to be the guy who forgave everyone, and now there are people I would happily fight until one of us can't stand anymore. The internet is destroying my ability to empathize.

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From Easter 2016:

Today we remember the rich killing a man who taught that the poor shall inherit the earth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Shared on March 24ths

There's a strain in conservatism that socialists can appeal to. It requires a socialism that promotes liberty while helping the have-nots—a socialism that Marx and Engels loved, but Stalin and Mao did not. It's why Sanders did better in conservative Utah than Clinton did.

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The difference between a personal and a private business:

With a personal business, you do some or all of the work: you clean the stairs, cook the food, handle sales, etc.

With a private business, your bank account grows while others work.

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Good people read charitably. Bad people read maliciously--and they're the loudest part of the internet.

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‪If I kill someone, it’ll be because I’ve argued with one liberal too many—I can no longer tolerate snobs who are proudly against abstractions like racism and sexism but won’t support programs to end poverty like Basic Income. The person I kill will probably be myself.‬

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I need to learn the lesson Socrates never learned: Don't trouble people who are dreaming they're awake.

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Superheroes are inherently juvenile. The more "adult" you try to make a superhero story, the more juvenile it becomes. You may say Jessica Jones proves I'm wrong, but Jessica Jones works because she knows running around in a costume with a codename is juvenile.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Shared on March 23rds

If you live in a neighborhood most people can't afford, complaining about the price is just bragging.

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You don't have to deny that differences exist to say that differences don't matter.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Shared on March 22nds

It is astonishing how common it is for white identitarians to insist all black people are identitarians. They must only know bourgeois black folks.

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If I started every day online with a post about how I agree with Adolph Reed that racism exists and is awful, I would still be accused of being a class reductionist whenever I took a class-first position. Identitarians cannot imagine anything being more important than identity.

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‪American capitalists love pointing out that the Nordic countries are examples of how good capitalism can be. They just don’t want American capitalism to be that good.‬

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Why do we remember Anastasia, the murdered Romanov girl, and none of the girls who died under the brutal rule of the Romanovs?

#RhetoricalQuestion

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If you share a headline and say the subject is being ignored, I wonder

1. What you do think should be next? Skywriting?

2. How do you think you learned about it? Awesome psychic powers?

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When you endorse a tactic, you endorse its use against you.

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A bias may be for the right or the left—or it may be "centrist", with a love of neoliberalism and a fear of change. Example: PolitiFact.

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Dear identitarians, rich white males have more in common with rich people than with white or male people.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Shared on March 21sts

When people say they support symbolic gestures, they mean they oppose real change.

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A capitalist country cannot be a meritocracy. The point of capitalism is to give advantages to people who have money.

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Has anyone done a history of how "progressive" changed from meaning "stealth social democrat" to "stealth neoliberal"?

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"White flight" just sounds zippier than "middle class people of all hues who left poor neighborhoods". Bonus: erases class from the issue.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Things from March 20ths: How "white privilege" hurt the white working class, more

“I shouldn’t think something that can grow up and kill me is so cute.” —Me after looking at tiger and bear cubs. Also Oedipus’s dad.

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Liberals have much more to say about prejudice than poverty. I suspect the reason is no one knows how to end prejudice, but we’ve known since King’s day that we can end poverty with Basic Income.

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I’m always a little charmed by fans who expect capitalists to support their favorite things for any reason other than profit.

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Dear superhero TV showrunners:

Don't have a Big Bad stick around for more than four or five episodes. They become boring and start making the heroes look really incompetent. Burn story!

You can always have them return next season for another arc.

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Reasons for Basic Income:

End crimes of desperation.

Free people by giving them the resources to leave bad situations.

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How "white privilege" hurt the white working class:

"if the poor white plantation or mill worker became dissatisfied with his low wages, the plantation or mill owner would merely threaten to fire him and hire former Negro slaves and pay him even less." —Martin Luther King

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People concerned with worker productivity should support turning every large business into a worker co-op.

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From 2016:

Garage broken into, 2 bikes stolen. I don't like poor thieves any more than rich ones.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Things from March 19ths: evidence "white privilege" no longer applies, more

Evidence that "white privilege" has not helped poor whites in decades:

In 1965, there were twice as many whites in poverty as black. Today, there are still twice as many whites in poverty as black. If "white privilege" applied, the proportion of white poor would have decreased.

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Dear snobs, the "poor" part of "poor white men" means they're victims of the system that benefits you. Blame yourself before blaming them.

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Supporters of the Electoral College, why do you think people in big states should have less influence than people in small ones? Are New Yorkers less American than North Dakotans?

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Ilhan Omar's comments that have been called antisemitic were about AIPAC, which is not mentioned in any Jewish sacred text that I know of.

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If you won't let someone have the last word, you can't say that person's a troll.

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You can have a safe space or you can have a free space. You can't have both.

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Most people follow whims and claim they're rules.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Things from March 18ths

Either you trust the people to shape our society or you trust the rich. I'll never understand people who think we'd be better off if greedy people who don't care about us had more power.

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One of the first things my dad taught me was that life isn't fair, but we should try to be fair anyway.

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Democrats no longer talk about the reality-based community. That's because they left it in 2016 when they chose the candidate who was less popular with voters.

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from 2016:

There are people I don't like, but I would not wish my cold on any of them.

Well, if that meant I wouldn't have this cold, okay, I'd wish it on them.

Satan, my soul is available very cheaply today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Things shared on March 17ths

Censors think you silence a whistling tea kettle by putting a cap on it.

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If you don’t think capitalists will ignore the consequences of any profitable thing if they can, read about the Irish Famine and the Congo Free State.

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There is no freedom that capitalists cannot pervert. Their freedom of movement is a way to move cheap labor. Their free speech is a way for rich speakers to drown poor speakers.

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When I have a bad cold, the only thing I'm able to do is social media. This does not speak well of social media.

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The test for whether there's a global culture: where don't they like Hollywood movies?

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Anyone who knows history knows this:

1. The gender gap is narrowing.

2. The racial gap is narrowing.

3. The wealth gap is widening.

Neoliberals support all three of these.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Things shared on March 16ths

A worry about a Jobs Guarantee: it could create a work pool of scabs, ready to go wherever anyone threatens to strike. The only way to prevent that would be if JG workers unionize.

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Realist: the name defeatists prefer.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Things shared on the Ides of March: Job Guarantee, more

Two points about a Job Guarantee:

1. "Work gives you purpose" does not apply to bullshit jobs.

2. "Work will make you free" was the sign over Auschwitz.

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The eternal lament of the elite: Why don't the people we sneer at know their place?

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Two women on Facebook wanted to friend me this morning. I didn't take up their offer, but I am worried about whether they have enough clothes to stay warm until summer.

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When neoliberals play Guilt By Association by pointing at "problematic" people who endorsed Bernie Sanders, remind them that Ku Klux Klan leader Will Quigg endorsed Hillary Clinton.

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Internet, please don't whine about it if you're not doing anything offline to fix it.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Things shared on March 14ths: Basic Income thoughts, more

‪Dear people who say Basic Income would be a disincentive to work: If you got $1000 a month and Medicare4All, would you stop working and survive on that, or would you work to earn more?‬

Basic Income would result in more people moving to the country, not because they had to, but because they wanted to.

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Bailing out the basement is satisfying, but I can't really recommend it.

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Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and petty power corrupts pettily.

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Every time a Democrat posts something about how the Republicans gamed the system, I think how badly the Democrats competed. They could've had the country's most popular politician. Did someone at the DNC say, "Nah, that'd be too easy"?

Friday, March 13, 2020

Things shared on March 13ths

Conservatives are necessary: They ask if we might lose something important whenever we change.

Reactionaries are worse than useless.

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Our criminal system is designed to punish people who are poor or mentally ill.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Things shared on March 12ths: problems with reparations, more

Problems with #reparations:

1. Programs would primarily benefit their administrators, who would come from the richest 15% of black folks.

2. Cash payments would make a new racial hierarchy: the poorest black person would be richer than 3/4 of people currently in poverty.

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Dear everyone who says the Scandinavian countries aren't socialist:

Okay. Let's have that kind of capitalism.

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Underlying all internet arguments: Your ideology blinds you; mine reveals the truth.

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Every year, we should draw two names from a lottery of the #daylightsavings dead and honor them as the martyrs who died for the cause.

Our cat got fed early. He's the only one in the house who approves of #daylightsavings .

WARNING (for Americans who are not in Arizona): Time thieves will steal an hour from you tonight.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Things shared on March 11ths: Is a country socialist? daylight savings insanity, and more

If you're confused about whether a country is socialist or capitalist:

Are there capitalists, as there are in places like Norway and Venezuela? It's a form of capitalism.

Are there no capitalists because the people control the economy? Then it's a form of socialism.

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Identitarianism is no threat to capitalism. Log Cabin Republicans, black conservatives, and equity feminists care as much about social identities as any leftist.‬

‪The only threat to capitalism is socialism, which is why identitarians hate class-first leftists.‬

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Americans who aren't in Arizona, remember to set your clock ahead tonight for no fucking good reason at all. #daylightsavings

Statistics say at least one person will die because of daylight savings, so remember to honor their sacrifice and change your clocks.

The real reason for daylight savings? Governments like to mess with us.

How #daylightsavings reveals capitalist democracy: most Americans hate it, but retailers support it, so neither major party will end it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Things shared on March 10ths: idpol, reparations, more

‪The fight in the American left is between idpol and classpol. Idpolers believe identity disparities in wealth will end when racism and sexism do. Classpolers believe all wealth disparities will end when we share the wealth.‬

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The strangest cultural side effect of monetary reparations for slavery: the creation of a government registry for #ADOS.

The second strangest: white people would scrutinize their geneologies to see if they qualify as American Descendants of Slaves.

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Another of my crackpot issues: Get rid of pennies and nickels. Replace one dollar and five dollar bills with coins.

There’s an argument for getting rid of dimes too. When i was a kid, you could get two Tootsie Rolls for a penny. Can you buy anything for less than a quarter today?

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Conservative cognitive dissonance: big government is good for the military, bad for health care.

US conservatives say something that works in Canada couldn't work in US because of different racial mix. Canada is 80% white, US is 77%.

Canada is 22% Francophone white, 58% non-French white, & 20% non-white. US is 14% Hispanic white, 63% non-Hispanic white, & 23% non-white.

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I could love Sanders just for making the media use the word "oligarchy".

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Bayard Rustin answered race reductionists in 1970:

Image may contain: possible text that says 'confess difficult understand prejudice against the labor movement currently fashionable among so many liberals. These people, somehow reasons of believe white workers are affluent members of the Es- tablishment (a rather questionable belief, to put it mildly, especially people ing over $25,000 a year) and are trying to keep the Negroes down. The only grain of is that is competition between black and workers which derives a scarcity of and resources. But rather than propose an expan- of resources, stylish liberals under- competition by endorsing the myth that the unions are the worst enemy of the Negro.'

Monday, March 9, 2020

Things shared on March 9ths

From 2019:

American health care hoops: Emma went to get her medicines, but couldn't because her insurance declined her card. She'll spend time on the phone now, and with any luck, we'll be covered before she needs them. But if we had #M4A, she wouldn't have to deal with this nonsense.

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Nationalizing a big company would be easy. It just requires making the government the main shareholder and treating its workers as well as any federal employee.

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"The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided for those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed. . . ." —Thomas Jefferson

I especially like Jefferson's use of "labor" rather than "own".

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Things shared on March 8ths

Everyone is below average at something.

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I'm tired of the middle-aged dissing the under-30's politics. I'm a Boomer. All my life, I've seen kids paying more attention than adults.

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Most of us love confirmation more than facts.

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It's odd—but not surprising—when people say an American's prison sentence is too light rather than that most American sentences are too long. (Sentences were shorter when I was a boy, and European sentences are shorter than ours today.)

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The Young Adult Books Twitter community and the people word-policing Ilhan Omar’s criticism of AIPAC are surprisingly similar.

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Why smart capitalists fear Basic Income: A guaranteed monthly payment that is enough to live on would let workers go on strike for as long as necessary.

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The only political aspect of free speech is it lets everyone discuss politics. Otherwise, it's just a basic human right that authoritarians will always want to suppress.

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I get tired of being disappointed by people I had thought were friends. But I suppose that's the price of having friends.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Things shared on March 7ths: a double standard for Israel, more

Criticizing Israel is not unAmerican. Criticizing Mississippi isn't even unAmerican. What Is American is being free to criticize anyone and anything, including America.

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The oddest thing I hear from Zionists is that Israel should not be subject to special tests. I completely agree. Then they say, for example, that criticizing Israeli apartheid is wrong, even though we criticized South African apartheid. It's motte and bailey tactics.

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The job of a "thought leader" is to make people stop thinking.

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I want to see Bugs Bunny vs Superman. And before you assume you know how it ends, remember that Bugs Bunny is both cleverer and luckier than everyone he faces.

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Me: I will see your condemnation of hate and raise you by condemning war and poverty.

Democrats: Fold.

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Privileged people who rant about cultural appropriation always give themselves a pass for appropriating working class culture.

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Old quotes comfort me because they remind me that every generation is part of humanity's long, slow struggle to grow the fuck up.

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As I watch America's privileged attack Sanders for prioritizing economic justice over social justice, I fear he's too good for this nation.

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Historians constantly impose their ideas on the past. This is especially true of anyone who talks about white people before the idea of white people was invented.

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"Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained." —Lao Tzu

Friday, March 6, 2020

Things shared on March 6ths: "the talk", more

Where did the notion that white kids don’t get “the talk” about cops come from? My childhood was odd, but I can’t believe I’m the only white kid who got the talk. Every kid should get the talk—there are plenty of cases of white kids getting killed for doing innocent things.

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If you're a mediocre artist who craves commercial success, find a group that wants to be celebrated and validate their prejudices.

I wish you could judge people's politics by their art and vice versa, but there's no relationship between them.

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I'm amused anti-voting leftists believe Sanders has called himself a socialist for decades because socialism is so popular in the US.

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From 2016:

On the Democratic side, Hillary is clearly the mansplainer. Earlier today, Emma joked that Hillary suffers from male entitlement syndrome. I think these things should not be surprising: in the eyes of the Democratic establishment, and in her own eyes, she is now The Man.

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Ad hominem is how ideologues admit defeat.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Things shared on March 5ths: dishonest quoting, more

Dishonest quoting:

Bad readers #1: Quoting a fictional narrator and claiming it’s the author’s opinion.

Bad readers #2: Quoting something quoted in a book and claiming it’s by the author.

Evil readers: Putting their own interpretation of what the author said in quotes.

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Civility is the art of being honest without being an asshole.

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The most important division online is between the sane who want to convince us they're right and the insane who want to insult us.

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The best definition of the fuzzy US concept of "middle class" is Matt Bruenig's: The 50% who have effectively no wealth are the lower class, the 25% who have 75% of the wealth are the upper class, and the 25% who have the remaining 25% are the middle class.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Things shared on March 4ths

A conservative said the US should create its own health care model instead of imitating other countries. The problem is that’s what we did. Instead of imitating people who use round wheels, we’re bumping along on triangular ones.

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Today's useless fact: a canary's name implies it's a dog. The word refers to the islands, which, in Latin, mean "island of dogs".

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I wish Facebook had a setting that would count how many posts you've shared and when you reached a number that you could set—in my case, 6—it would tell you to get the hell off the internet.

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From 2014:

It may be time to give up on the idea of gender entirely.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Things shared on March 3rds

The rich don't think their wealth makes them different. They think our lack of wealth makes us different. We are their "other".

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Two kinds of politicians: most go where the country has already gone; a few, where the country should go. Sanders is the latter.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Things shared on March 2nds: working-class white privilege vs bourgeois white privilege, more

People who claim to care about intersectionality should distinguish between working class white privilege and bourgeois white privilege. When they don’t, they erase the difference between Bezos and homeless white people.

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Q. for fans of reparations:

Do you support a form of reparations that would lift black people out of poverty? If yes, since black people are 1/4 of the people in poverty, how do you rationalize not helping the other 3/4?

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The more we're attacked online, the more we seek validation online.

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When my family owned a trading post in northern Ontario, I noticed two things about the Ojibwe children: they were remarkably well-behaved, and their parents never hit them or spoke harshly to them.

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In 2016:

Emma and the cat are snoring contrapunto. It's sweet and funny.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Bernie and Birdie: A message from VAMP

Things shared on March 1sts

Profit is the money that would go to the workers if the owners didn’t take it.

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What I don't understand about anti-Sanders Marxists:

The polls make it clear that the working class wants a $15 minimum wage, Medicare For All, and free higher education. Why not help them get it?

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So long as Trump's policies help all rich people and hurt all poor people, I'm not interested in arguing about whether he's personally racist or sexist.

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Democrats, when you say Republicans hate Obama because of his race, you're saying his politics are like theirs.

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On almost every issue where Sanders and and his competition agree, Bernie supported it before it was popular with most Americans and his competition supported it after.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Things shared on Feb 28ths

We live in a time when having black friends, lovers, and employees will not defend you from accusations of racism. Bull Connor and Elijah Muhammad must be spinning in their graves.

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Poor kids who manage to go to expensive private schools are not representatives of the working class. They're the newest members of the upper class.

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If you want to speculate about the values of people in a post-scarcity society, look at people who inherited wealth. The main difference would be that they would have no one to feel superior to.

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Just realized my definition of "not political" is very political. Probably because I think anything affecting 2 or more people is political.

My current definition of "not political" is anything that doesn't make people argue.

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In Hollywood, "structural racism" means "nepotism's effect on people of color."

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The problem with election years is you learn who doesn't give a damn about the poorer half of the nation.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Things shared on Feb 27ths: no bourgeois person wants working class white male privilege, and more

I have never met a bourgeois woman or PoC who wanted the privilege of a white working class man.

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A class system with a growing wealth gap is how a country invades and colonizes itself.

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Proposition: Given the US's racially disproportionate class system, contempt for the working class is indistinguishable from racism.

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Just got the cruelest spam a writer can get. The title: Why isn't your book selling?

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Posts that we're asked to share to show we're good and caring are nonsense. 90% of humanity is good and caring. A useful post would say we're evil and don't give a damn.

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I'm amazed at how far to the right the Republicans have had to go to stay worse than the Democrats.

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Just saw an ad for a romance novel and realized the old joke about action duos works for romance too:

He's a chimp. She's the pope. They're lovers.

This is because most good action duos love each other.

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It's easier to forgive the enemies who fought you than the friends who failed to stand with you.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Bernie and Birdie: Meanwhile, on Wall Street....

Things shared on Feb 24ths: fairness vs justice, economic justice vs social justice, more

I'd rather talk about fairness than justice. Too many people who talk about justice are more obsessed with judging others than with making a fair world.

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Social justice explains why oppressed groups in the US are better off today than they were in the 1960s.

Economic justice explains why the gap between the rich and the poor is worse than it was in the 1960s.

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The class system is the structure for structural racism.

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Has social justice ideology hurt your ability to think critically? Did you believe Jussie Smollett? Believing a story without evidence can be rationalized. Believing an extremely implausible story cannot.

"Believe the victim" sometimes means "believe the innocent are guilty".

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The Dred Scott decision tells us to never say the Supreme Court got something right or wrong. It just got it the way it wanted to get it.

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Prequel: stuff that was too boring to include in the first story.

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Should you ask rhetorical questions if you're not prepared to have people answer them?

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Worst advice: Stop overthinking. Now I'm overthinking how anyone could possibly make themselves think less.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Bernie and Birdie: What does Russia want?

Things shared on Feb. 23rds

Capitalism isn't inherently racist and sexist; it's historically racist and sexist. Neoliberals want identity-blind capitalism, which is possible in theory. But in reality, capitalism's limited class mobility will keep its racist and sexist past with us until wealth is shared.

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The people who say Bernie Sanders is "too white" don't care that he's most popular with black people. Identitarians care more about presentation than policy.

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Dear #NRA

FYI, "Well regulated" is the opposite of "unregulated".

You're welcome.

Will

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There are more things everyone should know than anyone can know.

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From 2014:

the Dogness Monster?

Between the sidewalk and the street, there're a long mound in most parts of Minneapolis that's three feet high or more. When I looked out the window yesterday morning, I saw the upper body of a man walking with one arm slightly extended. About eight feet ahead of him, moving at exactly the same speed, was three inches of an upright, slightly wagging tail.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Things shared on Feb 17ths: on hoax hate crimes, muslims vs islamists, more

1. People who commit hoax hate crimes are mentally ill—they want attention. Have some pity for them.

2. “Believe the victim” is a bad approach because it presumes guilt. Better to treat accusers and the accused humanely while we seek the truth.

3. If you want to blame someone when hoax hate crimes are made, blame the people who believe the accused is guilty. A century ago, they would have joined lynch mobs.

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Dear anyone following me who can't tell the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist,

Please educate yourself. If you're up for reading a book, I recommend Reza Aslan's _No God But God_. But you could just do a little googling.

However, I won't know whether you've educated yourself because I have unfollowed you.

And if you leave a bigoted comment on one of my posts, I will unfriend you.

Sincerely,

Will

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Under capitalism, there is only one way to save the world: Let a billionaire own it. Until that happens, every industry fights for its own survival and none fight for the planet's.

Or we could try democratic socialism.

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There are so many articles that say people are happier when they quit social media that I don’t know which to share, so google if you wish. I nearly shared a study that found using more platforms can mean greater depression.

-

After favorably quoting some things said by Jarod Lanier:

I am skipping most of Jaron Lanier’s chapter on politics because it’s painfully naive. He’s an identitarian neoliberal who damns Gamergate and Berniebros. That women like ShoeOnHead can be pro-gamergate and pro-Sanders would explode his brain.

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Dear internet, actually, sometimes ignoring something does make it go away. Yes, this is a lesson I also need to learn. Love, Will

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Things shared on Feb 16ths: blame Facebook instead of the Russians, more

This country has never had a Jewish President. People who call Sanders "an old white man" to argue he shouldn't run are playing with antisemitism.

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If neoliberals are correct that Russia swung the election, shouldn’t their ire be directed at the US tool which they claim Russia used, Facebook?

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Social media is designed to manipulate us. That’s the business model: Rich people pay FB and Twitter to influence us.

So when we fight online, are we doing what we’re prompted to? Are we pitted against each other to keep us from uniting against the class that funds social media?

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The rich create the illusion of choice with duopolies: IOS and Android in tablets, Republicans and Democrats in US politics.

There are differences in duopolies, but the duopolies do not threaten the system. Any “loyal opposition” is loyal first and opposition second.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Things shared on Feb 14ths: my best Valentine's Day advice, and more

My best Valentine's Day advice

No matter how sure you are of your sweetheart's love, never stop trying to win it.

This has kept Emma and me together for more three decades.

Which is to say, yeah, Valentine's Day has been commercialized unbearably, but that's no reason not to do something a little special today for someone you care about.

Which applies to all the days that have not been commercialized, too.

Hmm. That reminds me of something wise atheists and theists have said: all days are holy days. For lovers, all days are Valentine's Day.

And if you're not in a romantic relationship? Do something nice for a friend, or with one, or for a stranger, or with one. There are many kinds of love, and Valentine's Day is for all of them.

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To know yourself is to hate no one.

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Racists, sexists, and censors are quick to reject the name for what they do. But what you oppose defines you as much as what you support.

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If you only want to support the right to speak of people who agree with you, don't donate to the ACLU. Donate to a censorship group.

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Because I'm a universalist, on Valentine's Day I get to say I'm sorry I forgot to buy everyone candy. But I still love you.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Things shared on Feb 13ths

Is there a secret internet for people who don't read superficially and go berserk? I hope there is, even if they don't think I deserve an invitation.

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You know who celebrates people dying? The Westboro Baptist Church. Don't be them.

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Convincing people you're right is harder if you first convince them you're a jerk.

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7 HABITS OF HIGHLY INEFFICIENT PEOPLE

1. Not finishing what they begin.
2.

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#Superman fact: In the 1940s, he fought for "truth and justice". During the Cold War, the radio show changed that to "truth, justice, and the American way."

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Moral panics promoted by middle-class Americans are not Stalinist. They're McCarthyist or neo-puritan. Our history is filled with them.

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People who talk about sheeple are creeple.

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Americans who mock people's spelling and grammar seem to be celebrating the US's underfunded and overburdened public school system.