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.

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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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Things shared on Feb 11ths: being called Hon, paying attention to politics, more

I really like it when strangers call me "Hon".

Noted because it just happened and a lot of snobs online throw hissyfits when working class people address them in a familiar way.

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The more I pay attention to politics, the worse they get. I am very sorry about this. I'll try to stop.

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Claiming antiZionism is antisemitism is an example of neoliberal identitarianism. It’s no different than claiming people who criticized Clinton are sexist and people who criticized Obama are racist.

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What's antisemitic is saying "It's about the Benjamins" is antisemitic. The Benjamin's last name is Franklin. AIPAC is a Political Action Committee. Being about the Benjamins is literally what PACs are about.

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When talking to defenders of capitalism, remember who defended feudalism: those who benefitted from it and those who could not imagine a better way.

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Matthew 5:5 unites my primary concerns, ending poverty and protecting the planet: The poor shall inherit the earth.

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From 2016:

Dear Clinton feminists, please stop bashing women who think politicians' policies matter more than their gender.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Things shared on Feb 10ths: manned space flight should not be a priority, more

Dear people who think manned space travel must be a priority,

I am sorry I said anything. I know the dream of human space travel is important to many of us because I share it. I hope as much as you do that humans are able to survive in space for long periods of time and therefore we can reach the stars someday.

But I realize I'm a heretic for having other priorities now.

The discussion has taught me more about secular religions. As with spiritual religions, believers have one of two basic attitudes: they think those who are not against them are with them, or they think those who are not with them are against them. This was best illustrated by the people who compared favoring robotic space travel to being anti-progress or anti-tech. How anything I said could be seen that way, I cannot see, but I know how Calvinists saw those who were predestined to be damned, so I'm not greatly surprised.

And honest, when I keep saying I want the Star Trek future, that includes a way to travel through the universe.

Insert a joke here about what Kirk boldly does on strange new worlds.

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If you can’t understand why some people support fascism or imperialism and you support silencing your opponents, look in your soul.

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If you were rich and had an expensive car you didn't want, would you...

a. Give it to someone who needed a car.

b. Send it to Mars.

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Why do people who defend shooting an expensive car into space talk about PR budgets? It's not like Musk sent his car to Mars and is now asking for donations.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Things shared on Feb 9ths: on Clinton vs Sanders, and abusive people online

Two kinds of abusive people online: The clueless can't tell what they're doing. The delicate flowers can't take what they give.

Can we erase the internet and start over?

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On Clinton vs Sanders: You can vote to support the women and men who would benefit from things like universal health care, a high minimum wage, and free college education that other nations already provide their citizens, or you can vote for a woman. You can't do both.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Things shared on Feb 8ths: people who say Jim Crow has not ended, Bezos blackmail, more

‪People who say Jim Crow has not ended‬

‪1. Do not want to talk about class.‬

‪2. Minimize the horrors of Jim Crow.‬

‪3. Disrespect the memory of the civil rights leaders who ended Jim Crow.‬

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I respect Bezos for standing up to a blackmailer. I still want to nationalize Amazon.

Some leftists are saying we shouldn't give Bezos any credit because he can "afford to fight". But fighting blackmailers isn't about being rich. It's about being willing to take the social consequences in order to expose a blackmailer. Wealth makes it easier to cave than fight.

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A reminder of why #BLM should be #PoorLivesMatter

The racial statistics of police killings and poverty are identical. Twice as many white people than black are in poverty, twice as many whites than black are killed by the police, and almost everyone killed by the police is poor.

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In Canada, Manfred Mann is now Personfred Personn.

I wish everyone in Personchester England would stop whining about progress.

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Ever since LBJ announced the War on Poverty, capitalists have said, "We can do X and end poverty." They did X. #PrioritiesMatter

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I'm disappointed in the sf fans who don't grasp the difference in cost between manned and robotic space exploration, or that the scientific gains are equivalent. But I understand that sf fans react to the idea of not going into space like Christians react to the idea of not going to heaven.

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Capitalists love to compare workers with other workers by contrasting well-paid workers like professional athletes with poorly paid ones like teachers. Socialists compare workers with their bosses.

Pat Bowlen, major owner of the Denver Broncos, has a net worth of $1 billion.

Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Pathers, has a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Now let's talk about how the US's ruling class values public school teachers.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Things shared on Feb 7ths: on the DK Effect and more

When Musk sent his car into space: Who will be the next billionaire to send something into space that most of us can't afford, and what will it be?

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The more you act like an asshole, the more likely you're wrong. #DunningKruger #CognitiveDissonance

An implication of the Dunning Kruger Effect: if you only know that someone is smug or arrogant, the smart bet is that person is also wrong.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Things shared on Feb 6ths: saying "honestly" makes us doubt you, and more

Whenever I see "honestly" used as an intensifier, I wonder, "Why would they think I thought they were lying? Are they?"

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I wish Facebook had these three emojis:

1. I respectfully disagree.

2. Please do more research before you discuss this again.

3. Are you willing to share the powerful drugs you are on?

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Yachts are a measure of how well the rich are doing at our expense. The first great surge in yacht building was during the Great Depression. We are in the second.

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Prince John’s courtiers have to be quick to dismiss those who praise Robin Hood.

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Tax tip: When you're listing dependents, don't forget your boss who takes a piece of the money made by your work.

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I always feel like a failure when I fail to convince someone about something important. Then I remember no one before me managed to convince them either.

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From 2016:

Clinton supporter arguments:

#1: Better a woman whose policies will harm working-class women than a man whose policies will help them.

#2: Better a woman who can effectively collaborate with corporatists than a man who would oppose them.

#3: Better a woman who will work to keep things the same than a man who will work to make them better.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Things shared on Feb 5ths

I am old enough that it still seems strange to call this the 21st century. But the reason isn't because I'm old. It's because we underestimated the rich and therefore got a new century that looks too much like the old one.

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Maybe I'll start calling the 1% the Siphon Class. You can't make that kind of money by working for it. You can only make it by siphoning it from other people's work.

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From 2016: Has "progressive" become so meaningless that Hillary Clinton's supporters really believe she is one?

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The rich see poverty as the failure of the poor. Bullies always say the bullied deserve what they get.

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Your tactics reveal your principles.

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When you're absolutely sure you're right, the smart bet is you're demonstrating the Dunning–Kruger effect.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Things shared on Feb 4ths

I wish Facebook required us to post at least three happy things for every post that's the least bit political. I'll try to set a better example now.

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Opposing the death penalty is not supporting what a criminal does. Supporting free speech is not supporting what a speaker says.

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I'm starting the Bowling Green Avengers. Our motto: Never forget we're really pissed at something.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Things shared on Feb 3rds: about guillotine jokes, more

If jokes about guillotines upset you:

1. I want to end the rich as a class. No deaths are necessary.

2. The guillotine may be the most merciful method of execution ever created. Capitalists have always been more brutal when killing those who threaten their privilege.

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The brilliant rhetorical trick of privilege theorists was removing the economic component from privilege so white people and people who can walk and people who own private jets are all described as privileged—and all need to acknowledge their privilege rather than end it.

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The most important lesson from the French Revolution: Don't let bourgeois theorists like Robespierre run anything more than a library.

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Save us from people who think they can make a better world by striking the first blow.

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With every presidential election, I fall into a less plausible alternate universe.

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From 2016: Silly meme I saw 2x today: idea that free speech means people have to listen to a speaker. Don't want to listen? Don't attend. Easy!

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If I was a politican and a decent human being (yes, there are a few) and my party wanted me to resign for something stupid I did decades ago instead of what I had done since then, I would not resign. I would join another party. #Northam #AlFranken

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When the rich say the poor envy them, they imply everyone wants to exploit the working class. But people's rebellions from Spartacus's day until the present have had the goal of ending privilege, not replacing one boss with another.

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Silly humans insist their politics are true to human nature, but other people's politics are shaped by their societies.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Things shared on Feb 2nds

The question is not "Why do the rich owe us anything?" The question is "Where's the guillotine?"

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In the capitalist utopia, workers give the profit from their work to their bosses out of gratitude for the opportunity to work.

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Politicians should be forgiven for who they were decades ago. The important question: what is their relationship to Wall Street now?

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Marx was right about history repeating as farce: brownshirts in the '30s, Antifa today.

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On some days, all I need on Facebook is a laughter button and an anger button. Those are not the best days.

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I identify with Michael Servetus because he made both Protestants and Catholics want to kill him. Taking the third path is never easy.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Things shared on Feb 1sts: censors are like murderers, life advice, more

We're in life for the long haul. Stop regularly for maintenance.

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I wish censors would stop saying what they're doing isn't censorship. But I shouldn't be surprised. Murderers often claim self-defense.

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People who say they will use their privilege for good rather than work to end it show the logic of noblesse oblige.

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When leftists knock the white working class, they reinforce the idea that Trump is their defender. Truth: he shafts the whole working class.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Things shared on Jan 31sts: Israel's "right to exist", awards, LeGuin, 32 questions, more

Treating Europe and Asia as separate entities is stupid. I think Asia meant to the Romans, "the area that keeps beating our butts."

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Supporters of Israeli expansionism talk about Israel's "right to exist" because they do not believe Palestine has one.

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How ideologues argue:

Kicking babies is bad. We can end this if we all stop walking and hop instead. You won't hop? Baby-kicker!

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I hope this is the last day I look at the temperature and think, “Thank God it’s only too fucking cold.”

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I am surprised by the number of awards that have revealed that they are given for deportment rather than achievement.

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For the record, I completely disagree with Ursula LeGuin's claim that fantasy is escapist. The best fantasy is not escapist; it's inspiring. Yes, we need to retreat from the world sometimes to heal or grow stronger. But we always need to resume the fight.

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A common difference between a good and a bad protest chant: scansion.

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From 2017: Have any of the people who reported yesterday's murderer was Muslim apologized for rushing to share false information?

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32 Questions (answered in 2017)

1. Who are you named after?
My uncle, a pilot in WW2 who was shot down by friendly fire over Italy in an event the WW2 buffs will recognize. It's on the list of reasons I hate war and hate people who think war is a good solution.

2. Last time you cried?
Not sure. I heard hard news about a friend last year; that was probably it.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
No. But Emma says I have good handwriting. Go figure.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Let's interpret that as favorite sandwich filling, which is probably a Tofurkey Italian Sausage from Trader Joe's or the wild rice veggie burger at Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub. Or hummus.

5. Who is your best friend?
Probably Steven Brust and Doselle Young, but Emma is my bestest friend.

6. What's your longest relationship?
Uh, with what? Emma and I are at 35 years married and something like 7 years as best friends before that.

7. Do you still have your tonsils?
No

8. Would you bungee jump?
Instead of the Death of a Thousand Cuts? Let me think about it.

9. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
I want to say ginger granola, but I have oatmeal almost every day with different things in it, and I'm especially fond of it with apples and cashews.

10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Hate laces. I usually wear slip-ons of some sort, and I bought elastic laces for my exercise shoes so I hardly ever have to adjust them.

11. Do you think you're strong?
I'm going Garrison Keeler here: a little stronger than average.

12. Favorite ice cream?
Hmm. Current favorite grocery store brand is Talenti, but I'm not sure I have a single favorite flavor.

13. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
If the person is an attractive woman, the first thing I notice is her mind. With guys, I suppose it's physical size and manner.

14. Football or baseball?
I don't really get team sports. But I like going to watch baseball and roller derby with Emma and drinking a beer and eating a brat or fries.

15. What color pants are you wearing?
Charcoal grey.

16. Last thing you ate?
Crab and lobster pasta from Aldi with Masala simmer sauce from TJ's. An even better combination than I thought it would be.

17. What are you listening to?
The cat killing a toy.

18. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Tangerine? If they have tangerine, I'd like that.

19. What is your Favorite smell?
Apple pie.

20. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
I hate phones. But I check in with Emma now and then, so I'm going with Emma.

21. Married?
Yes, see bestest friend above.

22. Hair color?
Brown and grey? Okay, grey and brown. Maybe grey and dark grey? Maybe I'm not as vain as I think I am, 'cause I'm not sure.

23. Eye color?
Hazel.

24. Favorite foods?
Yes. Mostly vegetarian, but sometimes fish, and rarely, meat.

25. Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy endings.

26. Last movie you watched?
Dr. Strange for the second time. I think Denial before that. Both at the Riverview, both recommended, though I know there are fans of each who would not like the other.

27. What color shirt are you wearing?
Green

28. Favorite holiday?
Halloween

29. Beer or Wine?
Yes. Also, cider, which is what I would choose if I could only choose one.

30. Night owl or morning person?
Night owl.

31. Favorite day of the week?
I don't have a day job. If it wasn't for classes at the Y, I would completely lose track of what day it is.

32. Favorite season?
Fall.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Things shared on Jan 30ths: Pavlov's Web, trophy hunting I could support, comfort food, more

I am tempted to start calling the internet Pavlov's Web.

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Trophy hunting of lions and bears should be legal, but only if you cosplay Tarzan in a loincloth with a knife.

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Quick comfort food I invented last night: Instant Thanksgiving Leftovers

Make stovetop stuffing, stir in green peas and chopped slices of turkey. Surprisingly satisfying on a cold night.

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Every group in poverty has a unique historical reason for being there. Yet Martin Luther King knew the solutions are all the same: end poverty with Basic Income.

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Free speech is freedom from unreasonable consequences. Unreasonable consequences include getting censored, banned, or fired for what you say off the job. Reasonable consequences include mockery and rebuttal.

I say reasonable because the point of free speech is to be able to reason with others, which includes the ability to reject someone's reasoning.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Things shared on Jan 29ths: religious wars and terrorism, etc.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame Judaism for Deir Yassin and the bombing of the King David Hotel.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame Catholicism for IRA terror.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame the Church of Latter-Day Saints for the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame Christianity for every crime committed against the first inhabitants of the Americas.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame Buddhism for the massacres of the Rohingya.

If you blame Islam for Islamist terror, blame Hinduism for Hindu terror like the Hyderabad Massacre in 1948.

Beneath every war blamed on religion is a war for land, wealth, and power.

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"Tough on crime" means "tough on the working class". No one in the US is tough on upper class crime—that's what privilege buys.

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Near the top of the long list of unnecessary online squabbling is the one over a simple fact: Sex and gender are not the same. Yet some people on both sides of the gender wars insist they are.

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Zionism is to Judaism as the Crusades were to Christianity—either you approve of taking land and homes in the name of religion, or you do not.

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Dear people who say Flint's water is a crime against black people: Flint is 41.39% white. Not one of them got better water.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Things shared on Jan 26ths

People who say "ending poverty won't end racism" don't want to end poverty. They want to talk about racism instead.

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The political internet: where sociopaths go to feel self-righteous about their lack of empathy.

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When the authoritarian left opposes a human right as fundamental as free speech, they make the right look better.

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If you’re brave enough to enter a monster’s den, some cowards will insist you must be a monster too. #ChelseaManning

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My money says the Trump administration has been great for alcohol sales.

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#immigrantdescendant The Shetterlys came to the US to be farmers just before the Revolution. We believe we're from Alsace, but things are fuzzy before the 1770s.

My father's mother's family name is Dutch. How far back, I don't know. She was from Oklahoma, and Dad thought she had Indian blood because she looked Native, but she denied that and claimed her people came from a group of "black Dutch". Someday I should do a gene analysis.

My mother's father was first-generation Norwegian-American. His parents would've come to Minnesota late in the 19th century.

My mother's mother's family came from Germany, but I'm not sure when.

What matters is based on our current understanding of human development, everyone in the Americas is descended from immigrants.

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Dear pretty young woman who wants to friend me, you have a lovely butt, but I fear you don't respect my mind, so I must decline.

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What you oppose, you promote. Sometimes you have to oppose it anyway, but always know the consequences.

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I can't stand elitist jerks, but I enjoy arrogant jerks. Yes, sometimes I need more info before I can tell them apart.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Things shared on Jan 27ths

Capitalists who think socialists should never celebrate anything the USSR did right should never celebrate anything the US did before ending Jim Crow.

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I'll give Azealea Banks credit for this in her rant about the Irish: 'You lot are a bunch of prideful inbred leprechauns who have ZERO global influence and ZERO white privilege". It's nice to see an identitarian admit privilege theory has limits.

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Kids, capital letters matter. Not all Democrats are democrats—a truly democratic party would not have closed primaries and superdelegates. And Libertarians are only right-libertarians—left-libertarians are socialists.

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Race keeps getting trickier: I love The Good Place, but a joke didn’t work for me. It was about the Judge learning that on Earth, she’s a black woman. I hadn’t known the actor, Maya Rudolph, identifies as black. In the old south, she could’ve passed as white easily.

ETA: As I commented below, I did look it up. She is half black. But I didn’t know that until I looked it up, so the joke didn’t work for me.

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Isolationists hate appropriation. Integrationists love fusion. They, not east and west, are the twain that shall never meet.

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There has never been a wall so tall that a ladder could not get over it.

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#StupidTattoos Anti-racist shot at Yiannopoulos event was thought a white supremacist because of confusing swastika in a "no" circle tattoo.

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Dear Left, always ask "What would a police provocateur do?" then do something else.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Things shared on Jan 26ths

What I love most about the web: asking about things I don't know and having strangers do their best to help.

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When intervention makes a problem worse, you become the bad guy no matter how good your intentions were.

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Why didn't Nancy Pelosi thank the air traffic controllers and the flight attendants who brought Trump to his knees? Because a Wall Street Democrat does not dare to acknowledge the power of the threat of a general strike.

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Leftists argue about which facts matter; conservatives understand that none do. The battle is won with hearts, not minds

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Arrogance isn't believing you're right—it's being offended by the possibility you're wrong.

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When I was young, I thought Democrats were the left. When I speak of the left now, I'm surprised when Clinton Democrats think I meant them.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Things shared on Jan 25ths

The most powerful workers in the US may be flight attendants. When teachers strike, the rich don’t care—their kids go to private schools. But when flight attendants threaten to strike, Trump has to reopen the government.

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On the internet, there is no distinction between news, entertainment, and gossip. There is only clickbait.

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Authoritarians on the left and right insist our choices that they like are made freely and our choices that they hate are due to cultural submission. But in a free society, only we know which applies. What matters is not what we choose, but that we are able to choose.

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Inclusivity requires the inclusion of diverse opinions.

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Trump's selective Islamophobia: he's not barring Saudis even though Bin Laden was one and they were 3/4 of the attackers on 9/11.

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I know two kinds of people who don't need jobs: most work anyway, for pay or as volunteers; the rest are depressed or bored. #basicincome

Friday, January 24, 2020

Things shared on Jan 24ths: the symbol of the hijab

I don't get the idea that a hijab being mandatory in some places makes it a symbol of oppression everywhere. I'm not oppressed by my pants.

Where the hijab is mandatory, it's not a symbol of oppression—it's a manifestation. Where it's not mandatory, it's a symbol of choice.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Things shared on Jan 23rds: punching Nazis, free speech, the authoritarian left

If the Nazi is not a threat, don't punch him. If the Nazi is a threat, don't punch him—kill him.

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The authoritarian left hates the libertarian left more than they hate either wing of the right. And they're making it reciprocal.

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The hardest part of defending free speech: you must defend the right to speak of people you really wish would shut up.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Things shared on Jan 22nds

2017: Two years ago, the left cheered the suckerpunching of Richard Spencer by a masked coward. Now the left wants to punch a teenager who grinned at a vet who came up to him with a drum. Will we be kicking babies in two more years?

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Anyone who shares the name of individuals to shame them should be mocked if they use the word "systemic."

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Many identitarians feel entitled to speak disdainfully of poor white people because, in their ideology, poor whites have white privilege and therefore must be responsible for their poverty.

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If you believe people should be punched in the face for what they say, please let me know so I may treat you as you wish to be treated.

Everyone who says people should be punched in the face for what they say should be punched in the face. Including me.

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Your tactics reveal your principles.

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Democrats shafted by the Electoral College: Clinton, Gore, Cleveland, Tilden. Republicans shafted by it: none. #EndElectoralCollege

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Things shared on Jan 21sts: whataboutism, "trust no one"

When people accuse you of whataboutism, they usually mean they want to stick with their reductionism.

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The tactics of Martin Luther King and his allies ended legal segregation in the US. The tactics of his critics have not accomplished a thing.

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"Trust no one" is not paranoia. It's advice to keep an open mind. Even the best sources are wrong sometimes.

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Why procrastinate today when you can procrastinate tomorrow?

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Republicans, please be precise. Democrats are not sore losers. They won the popular vote. They're sore winners.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Things shared on Jan 20ths: Protester advice, Electoral College, etc.

Protesters, it's about effectiveness. Are you helping the cause, or are you saving the state from having to pay more provocateurs?

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When I tell someone "Go in peace," I always mean it. But sometimes I wish they would go more quickly.

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How can the US explain to the world that our version of democracy sometimes lets the losers win? #EndElectoralCollege

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I am sadly amused when people who were not vigilant about Obama say we must be vigilant about Trump. True vigilance is not selective.

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Internet advice: Don't bring facts to a faith fight.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Things shared on Jan 19ths: asterisking words

Before people disguised vulgar words with asterisks, they used dashes. This is what Charlotte Bronte thought of that:

“The practice of hinting by single letters those expletives with which profane and violent people are wont to garnish their discourse, strikes me as a proceeding which, however well meant, is weak and futile. I cannot tell what good it does—what feeling it spares—what horror it conceals.” —Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë)

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Note to self: dance every day.

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From 2016:

David Hartwell may've been the first SF pro I met. I worked with him at Ace Books, and he was kind to the kid I was. Only a few years ago, he supported me in a minor clash within our genre. I'm sorry I never got a chance to show him how grateful I was. #RIP

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Things shared on Jan 18ths: Neofeudalism, Searching for Sugar Man, etc.

Capitalism is neofeudalism. The system is improved, but the world is still divided into lords, knights, and serfs.

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Phrase of the day: "bourgeois professoriate". It makes me laugh. I am almost certain to use it.

(Comment made two years ago. Haven't used it yet. Still makes me laugh.)

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To say Obama lost voters in 2012 because of racism is to say his personality was so awful that he made millions of people hate a whole race.

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A friend recommended Searching for Sugar Man and said it was best if I knew nothing about it, so I won't give away anything. Just know that it won an Academy Award for best documentary, a fact I had missed, so I was watching the first ten minutes or so wondering if it was a mockumentary, because I kept thinking I should know something about the story if it was true.

Okay, that's kind of a spoiler, but I won't tell you more about it than that.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 94%. IMDB gives it 8.2. See it.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Things shared on Jan 17ths: toxic femininity, cults

If the internet doesn't turn you into a misanthrope, nothing will.

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While googling about cyberbullying, I was struck by how many articles report that girls are twice as likely to be cyberbulled and how few report that girls are also twice as likely to be cyberbullies. #ToxicFemininity

‪If you read about the ways girls and women bully, you will see that the perfect tool to empower female bullying and mobbing is the internet. Some of the victims kill themselves. Which makes me wonder: is female bullying more often fatal than male bullying? #ToxicFemininity

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Successful cults have two modes for dealing with outsiders:

1. Civility in hope of winning converts.

2. Mockery to dismiss those who will not be converted.

Short-lived cults move from Step One quickly or skip it entirely.

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When people move from facts to insults, they're admitting defeat.

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Simplest test for whether people are honoring #MLK 's legacy or exploiting it: Do they support democratic socialism?

Race reductionists like King's Birmingham Jail letter, but leave out the part criticizing black people who dismiss the importance of class: "middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security ... have become insensitive to the problems of the masses."

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 16ths

Most “best actor” awards should be called “best role” or "best part" or "best character" awards.‬

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Toxic masculinity exists—there is nothing that humans believe that does not have a toxic form somewhere. It’s usually promoted by authoritarians.

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People who use asterisks in troublesome words expect you to fill them in. Trying to avoid vulgarity, they are coyly vulgar, and by making you guess the missing letters, they force you to dwell on the word they find troubling.

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When people say they want something explained, they often mean they want their assumptions confirmed.

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Reading is the second oldest way to build an echo chamber.

The oldest is simply surrounding yourself with people who think like you, or pretend to. That's easier for the rich than the poor.

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Critical Race Theory was a capitalist response to the socialism of Martin Luther King and the anticapitalism of Malcolm X, meant to disconnect their linking of racism with capitalism.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 15ths: on religious wars and violent protesters

What are called religious wars are not about religion. They're simply wars between people who have different religions.

Most wars can be called religious wars if religion is the only lens you use to understand the war.

In many revolutions, a rich minority has one religion and a poor majority has another, but religion is not the reason for the war.

Referring to the rich by their religion is often a way to avoid calling them the rich.

By definition, the rich are a minority, so poor groups and rich ones are included under the umbrella of "religious minority".

So when you hear of a religious war, look for the economic war that lies under it.

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Dear violent protesters, we don't praise Martin Luther King's tactics because they're nice. We praise them because they're effective.

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The Golden Rule applies to protesting: don't do to the other side what you would not have them do to you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 14ths

An early recognition that some socialist men fail at feminism:

"we often witness psychological contrasts in the same mind. A man is a sound communist devoted to the cause, but women are for him just “females,” not to be taken seriously in any way." —Leon Trotsky, 1923

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“I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you.” —Anthony Bourdain

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"A revolution does not deserve its name if, with all its might and all the means at its disposal, it does not help the woman—twofold and threefold enslaved as she has been in the past—to get out on the road of individual and social progress." —Leon Trotsky

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Call-out Culture has done more harm to the left than the right. #RememberMarkFisher

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Read the liberal and the conservative press critically, and you may find the truth. Trust either, and you never will.

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Because studies link profanity and honesty, the left should start a Fuck This Shit Party.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 13ths

The great lie of privilege theory is dividing the world between the privileged and the oppressed.

Under most systems, there are three groups:

1 The privileged who have special rights.

2 The citizens who have common rights.

3 The exploited who have few or no rights.

When we talk about apartheid societies, we're not talking about the privileged and the oppressed. We're talking about those who have full rights as a citizen and those who do not.

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Race reductionists love to mock the metaphor of not seeing race. They forget that until the invention of white people, no one saw race, and don't grasp that anyone who truly believes race is a social construct sees skin color, not race.

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When talking about sexism at the workplace, remember:

1 Women comprise 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force.

2 Women account for 51.5 percent of all workers in high-paying management, professional, and related occupations.

https://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/qf-laborforce-10.htm

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"Google’s overall workforce is 69 percent male and 56 percent white"

The US is 63% non-Hispanic white. By identitarian logic, this proves Google discriminates against women and white people.

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Is there a name for snow falling while the sun shines? #SoBeautiful

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Science will not save us if we let capitalists control science.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 9ths

The rich complaining about travel hardships is the update of complaining about how hard it is to find good servants.

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What To Talk About If You Want to Avoid Talking About Capitalism:

For conservatives: Crony capitalism

For progressives: Neoliberalism

For neoliberals: White men or old people

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I wish someone would pay me to procrastinate. Then I'd put off doing it.

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The internet has destroyed my irony detector.

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Identitarianism: cows and chickens fighting over who is more privileged while the butcher laughs.

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Intersectionality was coined to discuss exclusive categories: race, sex, religion, etc. But class is inclusive—people of all identities are in all classes. To resolve this contradiction, intersectionalists talk of the elite as white and male instead of rich.

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Dear journalists, "passed away" implies death from natural causes. People who commit suicide have not "passed away". They have died, and for their sake, we can hope they died peacefully.

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"The great American pretense is that communism is to blame for bread lines in Havana but capitalism isn't to blame for poverty in Detroit." —Freddie deBoer

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 8ths

It's beautiful day in Minneapolis—barely cold enough to freeze to death. (Written in 2018, but true on most Jan. 8ths)

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Internet, the US and Russia both have long histories of lying to their people. You don't have to choose to believe either. #ReserveJudgment

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The best petty reason to forgive: The person who forgives first looks best.

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Dear prudish Democrats, out of all the things you can criticize Trump for, you're choosing nude pics of his wife? #PlsGrowUp

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Clickbait is worse than old school junk media because you had to buy the old junk. The new junk rots your brain for free.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 7ths

The Kindle is an example of the petty redundant nature of capitalism: To isolate customers, it doesn't natively support epub.

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Twitter lets us shout at clouds without having to go outside.

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Someone should start a band called Name For A Band.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 5ths

News isn't about what's true. It's about what's new.

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The problem with capitalism is eventually you run out of other people's resources.

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If you have any degrees to spare, pls send them to Minneapolis. Celsius or Fahrenheit are both fine.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Things shared on Jan. 2nds

My social media vacation made me more frustrated with how it makes many of us behave. Yes, personal responsibility is an element, but so is the thing itself--bad road design creates road rage and gawking. This superhighway may be designed for both, purely for profit's sake.

I don't know if the internet makes me mean, but it does inspire me to respond meanly to mean people. A better social media system would give us an option to postpone responses for an hour or a day, and then ask us if we still wanted to reply when the time was up.

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In an armed society, the fastest draw wins.

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Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he can work for low wages for you for the rest of his life.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you can sell him a rod and reel, some tackle, maybe a boat....

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It is easy to argue that those who work hard deserve what they earn. It is impossible to argue that some children deserve to inherit fortunes and other children don't.

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Dear rightwingers who say Nazis were socialists: The Nazis imprisoned communists, not capitalists.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A point about How to Play Oppression Olympics, aka How Priivileged Are You

This may have begun as a conservative parody, but regardless of its source, one section is very revealing: Your economic circumstances are considered “status” instead of class or wealth. To identitarians, wealth is not a privilege, but being respected by snobs is.

Refuting the 1619 Project: Many of the US's founders hated slavery

Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence condemned King George for  the African slave trade. It was deleted to appease the delegates from Georgia and South Carolina, as well as northern merchants who were part of the slave trade.
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
Ted Cruz or, more likely, his assistant on Twitter offered these useful quotes:

“Slavery is an evil of Colossal magnitude & I am utterly averse to the admission of slavery into the Missouri Territories. It being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.” John Adams, founding father, 2nd POTUS

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” Benjamin Franklin, founding father, abolitionist

“…Neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity.” Benjamin Franklin, founding father, abolitionist

“Who talks most about freedom and equality? Is it not those who hold a bill of Rights in one hand and a whip for affrighted slaves in the other?” Alexander Hamilton, founding father, first Secretary of the Treasury, abolitionist

“It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honor of the States as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people....” John Jay, founding father, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, abolitionist

“To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.” John Jay, founding father, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, abolitionist

Things shared on Jan. 1sts

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme. . .
Believe that a farther shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Seamus Heaney

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"Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. ... The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." —Albert Camus

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My resolutions:

1. Every month, take a week off from social media.

2. Be kind to angry people. (Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to ignore someone.)

3. Dance every day, even if it's only in the living room.

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Dear authoritarian left, please stop boycotting publishers and making your allies defend free speech. Thx!

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If there was a procrastination contest, I wouldn't get around to entering it.

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Given my usual success with New Year's resolutions, I vow to:

1. Destroy the earth.
2. Slack off more.
3. Eat a lot of crap.

Not in that order, of course.