Friday, August 7, 2020

shared on Aug 7ths

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

shared on Aug 6ths

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

shared on Aug 5ths

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

shared on Aug 4ths

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.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

shared on Aug 1sts

2019: If you're tempted to donate to some of the obscure candidates, just send that money to me. I also don't have the slightest chance of winning.

I've been thinking about why there are Warren supporters who despise Sanders. My current theory is it's because her manners and accent are like those of the elite, while his working-class background can be heard in every word he speaks.

2018: When Malcolm X and St. Peter said we should respect everyone, they were only endorsing the Golden Rule in its negative form: Do not treat others as you would not want them to treat you.

Jews should feel no more responsibility for Israel than Christians should feel for the Jim Crow US or apartheid South Africa. All good religions are abused by bad governments.

2017: Ad Hominem assumes you are wrong because of your identity. The Lived Experience Fallacy assumes you are right because of your identity

I rarely find story ideas on Twitter or Facebook, but I often find them on my bicycle.

2016: It's odd hearing people say they "believe in" science as though science was no different than the Easter Bunny.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

shared on July 29ths

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

shared on July 28ths

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

shared on July 27ths

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

shared on July 26ths

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

shared on July 23rds

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

shared on July 20ths

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.

shared on July 18ths

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

shared on July 16ths

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

shared on July 15ths

2019: "40 acres and a mule" vs. today's reparations movement:
The 40 acres and a mule were supposed to come from the wealth of the slaveowners and be given to poor freed slaves. Modern reparations would come from everyone who isn't black and be given to rich and poor blacks alike.

2017: Many people's revolutions went badly. They were still necessary, and the blame still lies with the rulers who drove them to revolt.

It's odd that the French have a military parade on Bastille Day. It's the day the people won.

Dear character, I'm sorry I must kill you. I hope Death will be as sorry to kill me. At least you may return in another story someday.

Monday, July 13, 2020

shared on July 13ths

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

shared on July 12ths

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

shared on July 11ths

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

shared on July 10ths

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

shared on July 9ths

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

shared on July 5ths

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

shared on June 26ths

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

shared on June 25ths

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

shared on June 22nds

We are all prisoners of subjectivity. People who claim to be objective suffer from Subjective Stockholm Syndrome.


What offends me most about bourgeois black fans of reparations like Coates is they live in luxury and push for a program that will give them even more while it only helps 1/4 of the Americans in poverty.

King wanted Basic Income because it ended poverty.


If Trump won because of racism, why did Obama win twice and a Jew do better in the polls against Trump than the Christian who lost to him?


There is no statement in English that cannot be interpreted maliciously by those who hate you or themselves. Including this one.


People keep knocking the Democrats, but you have to admit they're very good at keeping the old guard in power and the new kids out.


I can't think of one rich person who deserves to be rich, but I can think of some who deserve to be poor.


Hate is the highest praise from bad people.


From 2017:

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

shared on June 21sts

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.



shared on June 19ths

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

My favorite "class reductionist" quotes

"I am human, nothing human is alien to me." —Terence the Playwright

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." —Thomas Paine

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." —Paul, Galatians 3:28

"Workers of the world, unite!" Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

“...back of the problem of race and color, lies a greater problem which both obscures and implements it: and that is the fact that so many civilized persons are willing to live in comfort even if the price of this is poverty, ignorance, and disease of the majority of their fellowmen.” —W.E.B. Du Bois

"We must approach the problem as humans first, and whatever else we are second." —Malcolm X

"I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation. ... but I don’t think that it will be based upon the color of the skin." —Malcolm X

"...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

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.” —Martin Luther King

“We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and 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’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.” —Fred Hampton

“we believe our fight is a class struggle, not a race struggle.” — Bobby Seale, co-founder Black Panther Party

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

shared on June 9ths

"If you want to know what white privilege looks like, [Meghan McCain] is a great example of it." —Joy Behar

Almost a valid example, but really, it's just princess privilege, as anyone who ever met a Black American Princess or a Jewish American Princess knows.


I hate gofundme healthcare. I hate knowing some of the people are scammers and some are honestly desperate, and many are too proud or too ignorant to try the only option left to them.


People who say they are centrists either don't know their own politics or don't want you to know them.


Identitarianism: politics of social inequality that exclude class issues

Socialism: politics of class inequality that include social issues


What Hollywood constantly forgets: great directors and great actors cannot save bad scripts.


The idea of "white people" was not created after Bacon's Rebellion to privilege rich Europeans—they were already privileged. It was created to divide working people so they would not rebel together again.


Dear privilege theorists,

Do you blame all Jews for abusing Palestinians or all Muslims for what Islamists do?


Why I try to listen to people whose politics I reject: People who draw the wrong conclusions may still have useful information.

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.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

shared on May 30ths: best evidence Jews were always white, more

Pretentiousness tip: Don't say "take apart". Say "deconstruct".


Perhaps the best evidence that Jews were always white in the US: When the Nazis studied US laws for ways to segregate German Jews, they didn't study US laws about Jews. They studied Jim Crow laws about black people.

Bonus fact: Nazis decided the one-drop rule was too strict.


When fans of capitalism reveal their ignorance about Marx, they usually reveal their ignorance about capitalism too. See Jordan Peterson's failure to understand that exploitation is simply profiting from someone else's work.


For the debate about whether the Irish sent to the Americas should be called slaves:

"The character of an Irishman... He's..a Valluable Slave in our Western Plantations, where they are distinguish'd by the Ignominious Epithet of White Negroes." —E. Ward, London Spy, 1700


The worst thing that could happen to the left in the US is becoming known as the enemy of free speech. #Antifa #freespeech


When artists do homages, they hope you'll recognize the source. When they do ripoffs, they hope you won't.


Regarding the Wall Street statues of the Bull and Fearless Girl:

Fearless Girl does not want to kill the Wall Street bull. She wants to ride him over the rest of us like her brothers in the 1% do.

Friday, May 29, 2020

shared on May 29ths

It's odd so many of the people who object to rhetoric that might diminish the horror of slavery and Jim Crow will insist white non-Protestants like Italians, the Irish, and the Jews were not white. They don't see any differences between racial, religious, and national prejudice.

They may not see differences between racial, religious, and national prejudice because they think identity is personal—we are what we think we are. But that hides the reason racism is worse than tribalism: you can change your tribe, but you cannot change your race.


The most effective education is the education we never notice.

Indoctrination is the dark side of this truth.


The job of universities has always been to produce capable rulers. Part of that job is teaching the students that they're righteous so their creativity will be used to perpetuate the system that shaped them.


Climbing Mount Everest shows us that rich people are willing to put time, hard work, the risk of death, and tens of thousands of dollars into avoiding helping the poor.


Diversity and universalism are always in tension: diversity values our differences while universalism values our similarities.

Star Trek’s subtext was always about the tension between diversity and universalism, but as neoliberalism began promoting identity, a divide can been seen in DS9 and Voyager: Voyager is the choice of identitarians. DS9 is the choice of universalists.‬

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.

Monday, May 25, 2020

shared on May 25ths

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

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


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

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

Sunday, May 24, 2020

shared on May 24ths

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


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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

shared on May 20ths

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


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


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

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

shared on May 19ths

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


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

Monday, May 18, 2020

shared on May 18ths

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

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


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


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


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

Sunday, May 17, 2020

shared on May 17ths

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


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.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

shared on May 14ths

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

shared on May 13ths

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


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.

Monday, May 4, 2020

shared on May 4ths

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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


from 2019:

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

The ride back was beautiful too.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

shared on May 3rds

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


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"

Sunday, April 26, 2020

shared on April 26ths

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


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


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


I keep wishing we had a democratic Democratic Party.


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


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


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


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


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


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

Saturday, April 25, 2020

shared on April 25ths

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


‪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....

Monday, April 20, 2020

shared on April 20ths: Christian Zionists, more

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Sunday, April 19, 2020

shared on April 19ths

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


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?