Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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Sacred cows barbecued here.

Today's word that socialists use that bugs me as too damn jargony: praxis. But I do understand why they like it. It's pretty. It sounds like a girl's name.

"Bustamante's analysis places Warren's Native American ancestor between six and 10 generations ago, with the report estimating eight generations." If we are generous and assume six generations, her story about her parents having to elope has to be bullshit.

Friday, September 11, 2020

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The only consensual sex work is sex work that's done by people who don't have to work for a living.

A think tank is a place where people with similar ideas try to drown independent thinking in a tank.

 If I could conform, I would. Life is much easier with conventional beliefs. #WeDoNotChooseWhoWeAre

Every date on the calendar is associated with a great tragedy. Partisans only pick a few.

The center of Democratic centrists is the center of Wall Street.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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2018: When you read an account of a flame war, including mine, remember that you're reading a partisan and may be reading a participant. You may even be reading an instigator.

The anti-diversity crowd and the anti-appropriation crowd are natural allies. They both see trees instead of a forest.

Readers, buy my work with confidence. The plots are gluten-free, the dialogue is 100% organic, none of the drafts were tested on animals.

2016: Is "I eat organic" synonymous with "I don't eat poor people's food"?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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 2019: Walter Mosley Exits ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Writers’ Room After N-Word Complaint “I couldn’t use that word in common parlance, even to express an experience I lived through.” I sympathize. When I was a boy, racists called me niggerlover. Am I supposed to say "N-word lover" now? They were not saying that I loved the "n-word".

2018: If you mock things as vanilla, you're kink-shaming people who like popular things.

People who blame individuals for systemic problems—for not driving more fuel-efficient cars, for not eating organic food—are always bragging about their virtue and often bragging about their money.

2017: Your identity does not make you an expert on anything but yourself, and you may be completely wrong about that.

2016: Remember to question the sites that you trust, because they're the ones that will be most successful in lying to you.

Monday, September 7, 2020

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Gossip is propaganda, not information. Even the most accurate gossip is filtered through the gossip's beliefs, which include a belief in gossiping.

When people talk about white accents being privileged, they invariably mean the upper class version of those accents. There's no white trash accent privilege or chav accent privilege.

"An armed society is a polite society." -Robert Heinlein
This is why the US is the politest country, and Yemen is the second politest (Some sources say Serbia is second. Maybe Yemen and Serbia should have a shoot out for the title.)

Many people on the left and right refuse to credit discomfiting news until it's announced on a site that's part of their echo chamber.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

What riot apologists leave out when they quote King

Riot apologists love quoting this:

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” —Martin Luther King

They leave out this part of the same speech:

“Riots are socially destructive and self-defeating.” — Martin Luther King

King was explaining the cause of riots, not condoning them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

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2018: In 1960, you could buy 10 comic books or three 35 cent paperback books for about $1, the minimum wage. Today, an hour's work at minimum wage, $7.25, will buy two comics or one paperback.

Appropriation theorists never talk about appropriating from the working class. For example, in the oldest stories, Robin Hood is not a nobleman. He was "a violent yeoman who steals from the dishonest and helps those whom he pleases".

Fred Hampton of the Black Panthers rejected the tactics of black bloc Antifa

The first two minutes show the Weather Underground, aka the Weathermen faction of SDS, rioting during the Days of Rage of 1969. At the end is this:

"We believe that the Weatherman action is anarchistic, opportunistic, individualistic. It's chauvinistic, it's Custeristic. And that's the bad part about it. It's Custeristic in that its leaders take people into situations where the people can be massacred--and they call that a revolution. It's nothing but child's play, it's folly. We think these people may be sincere but they're misguided. They're muddle heads and they're scatterbrains." —Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

Note that this is before the Weathermen split off from SDS and began setting bombs.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Best videos I've seen for understanding the Kenosha shootings

Quick take: Why I am class-first and reject the botherism of "class and race"

Someone on Facebook was arguing that we should deal with class and race at the same time, without, of course, saying how to do that. I replied with this:

I think that ending poverty will be an enormous aid to ending the problems of racism, given that police killings are almost exclusively of poor people and racism is worst where economic gaps are greatest.

And there's the fact that no one has been able to say how we end "systemic racism". So I figure we should end poverty, then tackle what's left of racism.

Women ruining science fiction?

Has anyone in the last fifty years actually said women are ruining science fiction? When I was a boy in the '60s, one of my first faves was the ubiquitous Andre Norton. By then, her readers knew she was female. Because of her, I thought Andre was a girl's name.

Andre Norton was SFWA's sixth grand master, chosen before Clarke, Asimov, Bester, or Bradbury.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

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2019: It's said the poor value quantity, the comfortable value quality, and the rich value presentation.
That explains why people from expensive schools are obsessed with policing words and why they focus on identity. Symbolism matters more than survival or practicality.

2018: Tip for leftists who don't want to be called fascists: Don't support censorship in any form.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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2019: I sometimes feel stupid for not figuring out until I was an adult that dancers are athletes and dance is a sport. But then I remember there are adults who still haven't figured it out.

2017: Superhero fans laugh at the idea glasses would hide your identity, but accept the idea a domino mask would.

Formal education tends to be indoctrination, and the educated tend to continue indoctrinating themselves.

2015: Philanthropy is like a $10 tip from your mugger: better than nothing, but not the solution.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

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2019: For all my life, I've watched the rich do nothing serious about pollution. I'm beginning to suspect they want a disastrous form of climate change to get rid of as many of us as possible. They know they have the resources to survive and we do not.

Left identitarians insist identity issues are leftist. If they are right, the Log Cabin Republicans have always been to the left of neoliberal Democrats, who never mention that DADT was created by Bill Clinton and ended by the Log Cabin Republicans.

2017: Some socialists think Americans will revolt in the near future. They're the left's version of Christians who expect Jesus any day now.

I've been following some Irish people. I'll probably start saying "Jaysus".

Friday, August 21, 2020

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2019: Leftists, if you want the national news to notice an event, announce it's being held by the alt-right.
Bonus: More leftists will come to protest an alt-right event than to support a leftist event.

2018: It would be interesting to visit the universe where only white people appropriate culture.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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2019: People who blame old people or white people are invested in not blaming rich people or capitalism.

2017: Conformists have shallow friendships.

Centrist: the middle part of a donut.

If space aliens are aware of Earth, our TV convinced them we must be avoided. Now our social media is convincing them we must be eradicated.

Monday, August 17, 2020

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2019: Tonight's movie: The Shootist. John Wayne plays a gunfighter dying of cancer. His best performance. Astonishing supporting cast if you know westerns. Very fine performance by Lauren Bacall. It's a shame they couldn't have filmed it in black and white.

The most striking thing about Antifa is their claim to be using the tactics of 1930s antifascists without noticing that those tactics not only failed disastrously, they gave Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco an excuse to expand police power.

The left's last great victory was the civil rights movement, and yet much of the modern left rejects the tactics of King, Parks, and Rustin.

The US would be just as strong—and maybe stronger—in the Middle East if it shifted its support from Israel to Palestine.

If our elected officials can’t go there, our money shouldn’t go there either. #Israel

2017: "People who say you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs are sure they won't be eggs." —Simon Kongshøj

Moving statues to a history park is not erasing history. Add plaques putting them in context, and it's boosting history.

I'm sorry I'm not the person you're looking for. I'm still working on being the person I'm looking for.

Anything that keeps people from thinking about capitalism is useful for capitalists.

Friday, August 7, 2020

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2019: Class privilege doesn't mean your life hasn't been hard. It means that wealth isn't one of the things making it harder. How capitalists lie with facts: When they don't want something like MedicareForAll, they talk about what it'll cost instead of what it'll save. When they want something like a war, they talk about the need instead of who will profit. 2017: By identitarian logic, the only people who may criticize you are your identical twins and your clones. Mail addresses with "Or current resident" mean "support recycling." 2014: I just got blocked by someone I was agreeing with, but I was not agreeing strongly enough with him for his taste. Oh, humans, we are funny.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

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2019: If you want a pretentious name for bullshit jobs, use Sisyphean jobs. Sisyphus was not condemned to an impossible job—he was condemned to an unending, meaningless one. I've long been frustrated by the way Americans use one word, class, to describe both social and economic class. I just learned that Max Weber used status for the first and class for the second. I should adopt that. Old labor joke: Kid: Why is our house cold? Dad: Because there's no coal. Kid: Why? Dad: I got fired. Kid: Why? Dad: Because there's too much coal. 2017: Socialist jokes are only funny if everyone gets them. Regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki: I periodically wonder about the people who said, "We're winning this war, the Japanese have indicated they would be willing to surrender if the Emperor can continue to be Emperor, but we've got these two bombs we want to show off."

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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2019: Just rewatched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It's not a perfect movie—I'd love to see someone like the Coen Bros remake it—but it is a great movie because it asks questions that don't have easy answers.

The First and Second Amendments are very different. The First has no context for the rights it covers. The Second does: "well-regulated militias".
That means we have the right to be vocal assholes, but we don't have the right to be assholes with a gun.

2018: I am always a bit amused when people who do not support free speech complain about being censored. But I still support them.

2017: How the two-party system works: if the right fist doesn't get you, the left one will.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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2019: ‪If the US had Basic Income, the only beggars would be non-citizens. As a universalist, I wish that wasn’t so, but I see no way around it. Xenophobes and nationalists should like that.‬

2018: Neoliberalism: the ideology that dare not speak its name.

I'm constantly surprised by atheists who assume all religious people are as literal-minded as they are.

2017: Young people today are safer and more afraid than their parents were, and their parents have more to do with the second fact than the first.

Two types to follow online:
1. Guides take you where they've been.
2. Explorers take you where they haven't.
Warning: I find guides boring.

2016: Coffee first, internet later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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2019: Popper's paradox of tolerance (loved by liberal censors and, oddly, #antifa) amounts to "to protect the human right of free speech, we must oppose it". It's the logic of the US officer during Vietnam who said, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."

Today's reason for #basicincome: End violence caused by economic despair, which includes suicides, murders, and muggings.

2018: The problem with all-or-nothingism is nothing usually wins.

2017: The internet destroys the definitions of words. Effectively meaningless now: all political labels and all words describing prejudice.

Two cards palmed by people who say everyone should work for their money: inheritance and capital gains.

2016: Punishing someone for attempting suicide is not a punishment for trying—it's a punishment for not succeeding.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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2019: It's good that respect is given rather than deserved, because those who do not give respect do not deserve respect, yet they should be respected anyway.

Hierarchists think respect goes upward from the lesser to the greater. Egalitarians know it goes outward to everyone.

2018: When someone says, "Everyone is X", you can only be sure that that person is X.

2017: Whenever someone becomes the richest person in the world, we should throw them a big party and give their businesses to their workers.

2016: Really, what isn't a cat toy?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Three Things People Miss in King’s Birmingham Jail Letter

Three Things People Miss in King’s Birmingham Jail Letter

If you need to bypass Medium's paywall, click here.

Race is about Your Life, Not Your Looks; or How I Avoided the Pocahontas Mistake

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2018: Does anyone deserve to be called bad? There are broken people. They didn't choose to break.

2017: Reminder: Death threats are how the internet says, "I beg to differ."

2014: Conquerors always blame the conquered for resisting.

Internet politics: People who don't have the power to support something fight with people who don't have the power to oppose it.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

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2019: I could support censorship if I believed there was a person who could not be corrupted by the power to silence us.

Free speech includes the right to refute ideologies we despise. I will never give up that right.

I would love to know how many Germans during the Weimar Republic thought there should be more censorship, and regretted that when Hitler gave them what they asked for.

I will never understand people who claim to be antifascists who want the state to have more power to suppress speech. #antifa

I wish Facebook and Twitter had subscribers instead of followers. Followers sound like cult members. Which is accurate in some cases, of course.

2018: Tip: If you want to discuss something less controversial than politics, do not say anything about any form of cooking.

2017: Reminder: In 2009, the Democrats had the power to do what they wanted to. Unfortunately, there wasn't much they wanted to do.

The US political discourse quadrant: the rude right and left and the snobbish right and left. (I reluctantly side with the rude.)

You do not change the world by changing language. You change the world, and the language follows.

2016: When the message is true, the messenger is irrelevant.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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2019: Hollywoodspeak 101:
Based on a true story: Mostly bullshit
Inspired by a true story: Totally bullshit

I often agree with Marcus Aurelius, I often think he left out something. For example:
"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." —Marcus Aurelius
That's sweet, but he left out "to be emperor".

2018: Really enjoyed Sorry to Bother You, but it's not for everyone. Reminded me of my love for movies like Brother From Another Planet and Repo Man.

2017: Dear Israel and Saudi Arabia, history says religious states always make their religion look bad.

My response to charges of cherrypicking: "If it wasn't a cherry, I wouldn't have picked it. What's your real objection?"

2016: People who talk about "righteous anger" are leaving the "self" silent.

I am so old that when I see people talking to themselves, my first thought is not that they're on the phone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Red Mask, the first black masked hero?

The following art is from Out Of This World: Early Black Comic Book Heroes: The Red Mask, The Comics of Syndicated Features: Adventures of the Red Mask, and Facebook's comic strip appreciation group, where Stefan Wood posted black and white scans of the Red Mask's entire story.

The newspaper strip ended there. In 1939, The Adventures of the Red Mask were reprinted in four issues of Best Comics. After the first issue, they drew him as white on the covers, but they left him black inside.

The Red Spectre, a post punk pulp story, begins on Medium

A weekly serial begins on Medium, inspired in part by the Red Mask, the first black masked hero in comics.

The Red Spectre, Ch. 1. The Islander

Interesting fact: In 1936, several weekly newspapers in Alabama carried this strip with its black hero and its white recurring villain.

Monday, July 20, 2020

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2019: I am impressed by the ability of identitarians to discuss sexual abuse by rich people without criticizing capitalism.

2018: The difference between Twitter and Facebook is the difference between drive-by shootings and trench warfare.

"Reliable sources" usually means "sources that share my prejudices".

"I have always supported the right to speak for everyone, especially people I disagree with. That’s what free speech is about. The alternative is fascism." —Nina Paley

2017: In an update of the Book of Genesis, God would divide humanity by creating the internet.

Irony triggers the earnest.

Basic ethical behavior: If there's a fixable problem with the way someone does a job, give a warning before firing the person. #NoContext

2016: The right to disagree is a human right, and therefore I want it for people who disagree with me. #FreeSpeech

Saturday, July 18, 2020

What I said on Facebook after a bullshit accusation

I just got a bullshit accusation about my beliefs, so I will say this now for anyone who does not know me:

I have literally bled from the blows of white racists because I stood up for integration in a much more racist time than today. I have opposed fascism at every opportunity. I reject authoritarianism and hierarchy in all forms, and because of that, I am constantly accused by authoritarian neoliberals and identitarians of believing things I do not.

If you're unclear of anything, just ask me.

ETA: Yes, comments on this blog are off. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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2019: Dear artists, your job is not to comfort rich people. Unless you want their money. Then it is. (Religious leaders, ditto.)

2018: We thought the internet would let people make a better world. Instead, it's given the powerless a place to rage at each other.

"Contrarian" is like "heretic": it means someone disagrees with something you believe.

2016: Socialists, what's the theory called that's about making things worse so people will revolt and socialism will win? Besides "stupid".

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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2019: If Mussolini ruled Italy today, he would claim that criticism of fascism was antiCatholic and antiItalian.

2018: Haters hate nuance.

Another odd thing: The people who mock civility complain about Trump's manners.

2017: 3 Necessary Things I Hate About Writing
1 Killing good characters
2 Ending stories
3 Writing

If Dr. Who's scripts are good, no one will care about the doctor's gender. If they suck, execs will say it was a mistake to cast a woman.

Monday, July 13, 2020

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2019: ‪Our cat was clearly jealous that we were at #Narrativity: around 4am, he set off the motion sensor for the home security system. We got called, rushed home, and found all well. To teach him not to do that again, I gave him a fresh can of cat food. (And moved the motion sensor.)‬

2017: Never let the enemy have the moral high ground.

2016: Humans make a lot more sense when you stop expecting them to make sense.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

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2019: Having a fine time at Narrativity. Liking the panels and am reminded that music circles can be grand things. Emma sang “Gray Funnel Line”, which I hadn’t heard in too long.

2018: The colonoscopy found a few small polyps, but the doctor says things look good and barring some surprise from the test results on the polyps, I won't need another for 10 years. Yay!

Also, I was congratulated on my prep. On the one hand, it's good to get acknowledgment for doing something grueling well, but that isn't going on my resume.

My memory was that magnesium citrate wasn't especially unpleasant. I should get my memory checked next.

2017: Knowing the manners of the rich lets snobs feel superior by being rather than doing. To them, mastering snobbery is proof of superiority.

2016: "Don't throw away your vote on a third party! Support Stephen Douglas!" #IfThisWas1860

#TypingTip To create non-breaking ellipses:
Mac OS ellipsis: OPTION + semicolon
Windows ellipsis: ALT + 0133

Saturday, July 11, 2020

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I can't support racial or gender quotas, but I could support ideological ones: six Catholics on the Supreme Court is radically unrepresentative.


Pre-colonoscopy low-fiber diet tip: Make it a two-day low-fiber celebration. Study what you can eat, then stock up on things you love that are legit. (I really should've made waffles.)

The last glass of the colonoscopy prep mix is the hardest to down. Knowing it’s the last doesn’t help a bit. Most torturers understand the principle behind this.

Friday, July 10, 2020

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If you enjoy puzzles that have a physical component, replace a toilet in an old house.


_An amusing thing that OCR wanted to do to the Liavek ebook_

I'm proof-reading Liavek stories in order to start releasing ebooks in the next week or two. Because the anthologies came out in the '80s, before publishers believed personal computers were here to stay, we don't have electronic files of the edited stories. So we sent paperbacks off to a cheap OCR service. The scans are pretty good, but things sneak by. Catching the typo I'm about to share means I'm not a completely inept proofreader, because my word processor's spell-checker merely said, yep, that's a word, and didn't flag it with squiggly lines.

The OCR has trouble with "rm" and "rn—it often interprets "burn" as "bum" and "turn" as "tum". But I could never have guessed what it would do to this sentence: "Birth magic tingled along her arms..."

The OCR's version: "Birth magic tingled along her anus..."

For a moment, I was tempted not to change it. It's not as impressive as the Wicked Bible's "Thou shalt commit adultery," but as typos go, it's decent—at least, if your sense of humor is as juvenile as mine. But while they say all publicity is good publicity, the story and its author deserve better, so I fixed it.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

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The problem with thinking of capitalism as a pyramid with most of us at the bottom: Capitalism is an upside-down pyramid. Most of the wealth at the top.


To people who think the US's poor should be grateful:

No one suffering at the bottom of a pyramid of wealth is grateful for being denied enough wealth to end their suffering, even if they know it would be worse to be at the bottom of another pyramid.


So long as you have capitalist nations, open borders will serve capitalists—the Kochs love open borders because they weaken unions and make workers compete for lower pay. I want no borders, not open borders.


Today's invented breakfast: Avocado oatmeal. Better than I expected.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

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Two things you should never do without being asked: Criticize a parent's parenting or a writer's writing.


Philanthropist (n): A very rich person who gives less than they could to a cause that many people admire.


The class struggle isn’t “the working class versus the rich”; it’s “us versus capitalism”. Some working-class people oppose the class struggle out of ignorance; some rich people support it because they want a better world for everyone.


I don't like "the elites" as a way to describe the bourgeoisie because they feel flattered by the name.

Friday, June 26, 2020

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Civility is not niceness or etiquette. It is only the most formal form of politeness. It is loved by diplomats and hated by people who love war.


The rightwing and leftwing fans of incivility have confused changing the world with having a hissyfit.


I long thought the "civil" in "civil disobedience" meant "polite" because Gandhi, King, and Malcolm X were polite, even—or especially—when they were angriest.


Neoliberals hate being called neoliberals for the same reason racists hate being called racists: they know many people hate what they promote.


Dear people still struggling to understand that neoliberalism is a descriptor, not an insult:

Under the old liberalism, the wealth gap was narrowing. Under the new liberalism that began with Jimmy Carter, the wealth gap is expanding. The new liberalism's name is neoliberalism.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

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Insults are how arrogant people admit defeat.


Anyone who claims to be objective is a liar or a fool. The latter is the safer bet.


To people who see the world in black and white, gray is evil and color is madness.


Batman's greatest foes should be Broom Guy and Tennis Racket Girl.


Stereotypes come in three forms, the idealized, the demonized, and the comic.


In English, metaphorical truth trumps literal truth. A "real gentleman" isn't an actual nobleman.

Monday, June 22, 2020

securing your garage

A simple trick that thwarted someone who tried to break into our garage

Yesterday, I found the handle of my garage door was broken. Someone had twisted it hard to get in.

But we had put a bolt in one of the holes of the door's track so it couldn't be raised. A more committed thief would've broken a window or broken the door down, but most thieves want to get in and out fast. The bolt was enough to make this thief move along.

Obviously, putting a pin in the track adds a little nuisance if you have a garage door opener, but it doesn't take long to pull the pin before you go out and put it back in after you return.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

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I wish people who say civility is a tool of the upper class would go up to the biggest guy in a working-class bar and be rude to him.


You cannot shame the rich. You can only make them furious at the idea they are not as admired as they think they should be.


Why I don't like the term "gaslighting".

1. If someone's lying, be blunt: say they're lying.

2. If you say someone's gaslighting you, we have to wonder if you're paranoid.

ETA: This complaint is about the general use of the term. When used precisely to describe one person's manipulation of another in an intimate relationship, it can still be useful shorthand, but the second reservation still applies.


Why do people feed alt-right trolls by protesting them? So far, they haven't been able to get a thousand supporters to show up for a rally. That's about as many people as show up at a mid-sized science fiction convention, and no one thinks they're news. This is a nation of 328 million. A thousand idiots can be safely ignored, and should be ignored when they're craving publicity.


Today's reason I will unfriend or block someone: Insisting your definition of a term trumps the common dictionary and encyclopedia definitions. Both the left and the right love to do this—see conservatives insisting "concentration camp" only refers to Nazi extermination camps.


The people who say calls for civility benefit the powerful tend to be graduates of expensive schools. Working people tend to like politeness.


Privileged people oppose free speech because they believe their government would censor responsibly. History says they're wrong.


Most evils are done by leaders who turn the good intentions of young people into weapons.


In the hell for libertarian socialists, I'll have to choose between supporting the libertarian right or the authoritarian left.


The turtles of appropriation go all the way down.


Strange reader trick #1: Assuming that writers never fail to communicate perfectly, so if they upset some readers, they must have meant to.


If you know a cult's buzzwords, you know when people who say they want discussion are only after your conversion.

Secular cults are harder to spot than religious ones. But not much harder.

Cultists always give themselves away when they get angry: they love the insults for outsiders that their group uses.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The Astonishing Ignorance of Nathan J. Robinson

This is a collection of tweets I made today:

Instead of writing "The Astonishing Ignorance of @NathanJRobinson", I will make a thread about Isn’t “Right-Wing Populism” Just Fascism?
"Socialists like Martin Luther King and the Black Panther Party have believed in radical economic equality but have also made it clear that specifically racial harms cannot be considered secondary issues. Their approach is “intersectional,”..."
That sentence is pure ignorance.

"Intersectionality" was coined by Kimberle Crenshaw, a neoliberal who wanted to talk about identity without talking about class. The original "intersectionality" was exclusively about race and gender. Like her mentor, Derrick Bell, Crenshaw had no interest in socialism.

When identitarians realized they could not continue to ignore class, they framed it as a social identity, not an economic relationship. This is why they talk about "classism" and want rich people to treat poor people with the capitalist equivalent of noblesse oblige.

The Panthers were class-first:
“we believe our fight is a class struggle, not a race struggle.” — Bobby Seale, co-founder Black Panther Party
King was class-first:
"...there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike." —Martin Luther King
The hardest thing for identitarians to grasp is that class-first is not class-only. Adolph Reed saw that years ago when he noted that for identitarians "there can be only the Manichean dichotomy of those who admit racism’s existence and those who deny it."

To be class-first is to put material needs first. While identitarians want to discuss racism and sexism endlessly without offering practical solutions, class-first socialists want to end poverty immediately. (King's solution, Basic Income, would end poverty in a month.)

This is class-first:
"when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. ...We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.” —Fred Hampton
Hampton's use of "solidarity" points to the conceptual flaw of intersectionality. The intersectional model says there are many disconnected forms of oppression that occasionally intersect. The solidarity model says we must unite because the division that matters most is class.

Two useful articles on the reality of identity reductionism and the myth of class reductionism:

The Myth of Class Reductionism by Adolph Reed

Beware the Race Reductionist by Briahna Gray

I may start a thread later on Robinson's inability to see gradations of conservatism. He links two fascist dictators, Hitler and Mussolini, to Saagar Enjeti, who strikes me as an Eisenhower Republican. This seems like pure Manichaeism to me.



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I wish people who say "It's not my job to educate you" would stop trying to educate me.


Annoying phrase of the day: "and you know it." When I hear someone use it, I wonder if they're in the habit of saying what they know isn't true. I'd rather be called ignorant or stupid than a liar.


Only safe ideas are permitted in safe spaces.


You're offended? That's fine. #FreeSpeech includes the right to be offended.


"We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them." —Anonymous Florida farmer, 1960 (Harvest of Shame, CBS documentary)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

shared on June 18ths

Watching billboards along the road, I wondered, How many encouragements to eat does the average American see in a day, and how many did the average American see 150 years ago?


I have an awful memory for faces, so if I know you & appear to ignore you, say hi. Or if I don't know you, say hi & pretend I know you. It's all good.


Now that the rich favor inconspicuous consumption and diversity, the Monopoly man should be slender, androgynous, and casually dressed, perhaps in the Steve Jobs/Elizabeth Holmes black turtleneck.


Identitarians insist the voices of white men have dominated for centuries, but the voices of working-class white men have always benn heard less often than the voices of bourgeois women and people of color.


The villain in the killing of Philando Castile is not a frightened cop. It's a system that trains cops to react quickly with deadly force.

Monday, June 15, 2020

shared on June 15ths

We live in a world where it's possible to make eighty million dollars in a year. Well, a few people live in that world. Not you or me.


Tired of articles about Einstein being racist because of what he wrote in his youth. The man of the 1920s was not the man of the 1950s.


Humans should not go to another planet until we’ve proved we can take care of this one.


Online, the outraged only share what outrages them, so they believe the world looks like their outrage.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

shared on June 13ths

I've been thinking about whether powerless people can be called part of a powerful group. Tentative conclusion: Only if you think pawns are powerful.


If "political correctness" was just another name for politeness, social justice warriors would never complain about civility or "tone policing".


If responding to speech with violence helped our cause, the police would not pay provocateurs to do that. #antifa #freespeech


Whenever I read Forbes' lists of self-made billionaires, I am struck by how many overcame the handicaps of rich parents and expensive private schools.


Dear far left, it would be nice to have a more sophisticated position on speech than "If you say something we don't like, we'll hit you." #antifa

Monday, June 8, 2020

shared on June 8ths

US serving sizes are ridiculous. Who would limit themselves to two tablespoons of guacamole?

Guacamole haters, shut up.


An interesting difference between alcohol during Prohibition and marijuana where it's been illegal: the 18th Amendment was only about the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors”—it was legal to drink and own alcohol, and homebrew was mostly ignored.


On the list of words that have been made meaningless when used politically: antisemite. It now means anyone who thinks Israel should treat Palestinians better.


For most of us, changing your mind is a sign that you can listen and adapt.

For a politician during a campaign, changing your mind is a sign that you’ll say anything to win.


The current generation will have as many genders as they can imagine. The next will have none.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

shared on June 7ths: free speech absolutists, wonder woman, more

No tolerance means no opportunity to learn from a mistake.


A free speech absolutist does not believe in a right to make other people listen or to speak anywhere we want. That's an asshole.

A free speech absolutist believes adults should be free to discuss any subject in their own spaces or in common spaces without fear of punishment.


Think carefully about the principles you support and the exceptions you allow. If they can be used against you, they will be.


When people complain about white men, I wonder if they're antiracists being sexist or feminists being racist. They don't see that privileged people of all races and genders share similar traits: arrogance, self-righteousness, and an indifference to the needs of the working class.


On Amazon Island, lesbians are the norm. A non-conforming Wonder Woman is an amazon who loves a man.

Friday, June 5, 2020

shared on June 5ths

I'm a stranger from the internet, and I'd like to know why you don't want to engage with a talking point you've heard 1000 times before.


There's a missing book of Genesis where Adam and Eve whine about how spoiled the kids are.


Pride events should have an expiration date, maybe twenty-five years after a group has full legal equality.

Sorry, St. Patrick’s Day.

(Since gay folks only got the right to marry recently, gay pride would be around for a couple of decades.)


#TrollLogic Anyone who says anything you disagree with must be called out and shamed.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The very white, very Antifa origin of the Minneapolis riots (Expanded June 4)

Because I support the protesters and have been a critic of black bloc tactics ever since I saw them used two decades ago at a protest against the Iraq sanctions (which gave the police an excuse to move in and end the protest early), I have written this explanation for why I believe fans of antifa's black bloc tactics began the riots.

While the black organizers were calling for peaceful protests, the police were holding back and letting people protest. This shows the heavily white black bloc fans ignoring the black organizers and breaking into the parking lot to smashing cars.

This shows more destruction and the police response. Note the white man at 0:30 who is dressed in classic antifa gear.

This is the white Umbrella Man who broke windows at Autozone, which was then looted and burned. The use of umbrellas is rare in Minneapolis, but common in west coast protests.

These are white kids who were stopped by other white kids.

And here's a look at who was trashing the police station before it burned.

shared on June 4ths

My procrastinating is so good it makes everyone else's look like fancrastinating.


Resolved: Tomorrow, I will stop procrastinating.


Proper consequences of free speech: Being refuted or mocked. Improper: Being jailed or fired.


Where governments can jail you or the rich can fire you for speaking, speech is not free.


Conservatives think free speech is a right to fire workers who say things you don't like.


My angry politics show I'm righteous; yours shows you're deluded and dangerous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

shared on June 3rds

Capitalist libertarians think the people with the most money should have the most liberty.


Star Wars Storm Troopers miss on purpose because they've been forced to fight for something they don't believe in.


The craziest thing about our legal system is it's based on the belief humans are sane.


The First Amendment has nothing to do with free speech. It only puts limits on government censorship. #freespeech


Few things spoil my day like a touching story about rich people spending a whole lot of money to make their children happy. (This comment was inspired by a parent who paid an unspecified amount of money to scalpers so his daughter could see Hamilton at the height of its popularity.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

shared on June 2nds

Writers, every word is a victory. Do not feel bad if you only write one today.


Brutal oligarchs have one-party systems. Clever oligarchs have two-party systems.


Authoritarians assume you use force to impose what you believe, so they can't understand that there are right and left libertarians who think things like abortion are morally wrong, but the law is the wrong tool to use for their cause.

Monday, June 1, 2020

shared on June 1sts

Why Antifa and the KKK should both be ignored:

We don’t fight wars until every idiot hiding in the woods has been defeated. We declare victory and move on, and eventually the idiots die or rejoin society.


The internet is full of people proudly fighting wars that have already been won.


Coolest thing about Wonder Woman toys: boys will want to play with their sisters' swords.


Capitalism is very effective when someone will profit. Alas, there's no profit in saving the Earth from ecological disaster.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

shared on May 31sts

‪Under capitalism, workers have two jobs. The first is to earn their pay. The second is to earn their bosses’ profit. The faster they do the first and the more they do the second, the more their bosses love them.‬


I hate talking about morality and politics because

1. They cannot be neatly separated.

2. Including morality usually turns the focus away from politics.

3. My morality is centered on liberty, so my politics let my allies disagree on morality so long as we agree on politics.


The media knows outrage sells. Don't buy.


Stories with magic that has well-defined rules are science fiction. In fantasy, life's greatest mysteries are unknowable.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

shared on May 28ths

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


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


"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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


Those who can't answer, censor.


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.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

shared on May 24ths

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.

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.


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

Sunday, May 17, 2020

shared on May 17ths

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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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.


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%.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.””


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

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


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.


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.


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.‬


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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.


‪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?‬


“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.


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


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


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

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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.‬


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


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.


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?‬


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


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Cultists want to turn the world into their echo chamber.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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?


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"

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.


‪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.‬


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.


‪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.‬


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.


‪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.‬


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.


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


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


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?"


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


“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.


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.


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


#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.


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


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."


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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....

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


it takes more strength to be kind than cruel.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


In 2017:

Happy eggs and bunnies day!


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.


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


Reminder: Do not engage with Lost Cause Clintonites.


Feels beat facts.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


When TV shows decline, they become their own fanfic.


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?


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


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.


‪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.‬


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


"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.


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

You're welcome.


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


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


The only thing artists should respect is art.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

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‪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.‬


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


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

—via Simon Kongshøj


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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