Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Shared on March 31sts: sensitivity readers, more

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Shared on March 29ths

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

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

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

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Shared on March 28ths

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 27, 2020

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

A history of "progressive"

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

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

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

Meaning: whatever you wish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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From 2016:

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

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Shared on March 26ths

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

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

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

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Religious states are bad for religions and states.

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

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Paranoia is the belief that you're being gaslighted.

Yes, sometimes paranoid people are also being gaslighted.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shared on March 25ths

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

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

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

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

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Why are people who know nothing about politics so partisan?

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

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From 2019:

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

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From Easter 2016:

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Shared on March 24ths

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

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The difference between a personal and a private business:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Shared on March 23rds

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

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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Shared on March 22nds

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

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

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

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

#RhetoricalQuestion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Shared on March 21sts

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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Dear superhero TV showrunners:

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

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

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Reasons for Basic Income:

End crimes of desperation.

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

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How "white privilege" hurt the white working class:

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

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

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From 2016:

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

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Most people follow whims and claim they're rules.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Things from March 18ths

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

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

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

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from 2016:

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

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

Satan, my soul is available very cheaply today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Things shared on March 17ths

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

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

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

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

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

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Anyone who knows history knows this:

1. The gender gap is narrowing.

2. The racial gap is narrowing.

3. The wealth gap is widening.

Neoliberals support all three of these.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Things shared on March 16ths

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

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Realist: the name defeatists prefer.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

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

Two points about a Job Guarantee:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and petty power corrupts pettily.

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

Friday, March 13, 2020

Things shared on March 13ths

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

Reactionaries are worse than useless.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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

Problems with #reparations:

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

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

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

Okay. Let's have that kind of capitalism.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bayard Rustin answered race reductionists in 1970:

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

Monday, March 9, 2020

Things shared on March 9ths

From 2019:

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Things shared on March 8ths

Everyone is below average at something.

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

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Most of us love confirmation more than facts.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 7, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrats: Fold.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 6, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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From 2016:

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

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Ad hominem is how ideologues admit defeat.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Things shared on March 5ths: dishonest quoting, more

Dishonest quoting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Things shared on March 4ths

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

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

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

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From 2014:

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Things shared on March 3rds

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

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

Monday, March 2, 2020

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

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

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Q. for fans of reparations:

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

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

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

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In 2016:

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

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Bernie and Birdie: A message from VAMP

Things shared on March 1sts

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

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

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

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

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

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