Wednesday, August 12, 2020

What My Keyhole View of Black Twitter Had to Say About the Kamala Harris Decision

Most simply, the reaction to Joe Biden selecting Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate was clearly positive. 

Some folks were very positive, as they had been all along, especially local activist Erica Mauter, who has done more to make me supportive of Harris than anyone, and Ebony Murphy. They mostly retweeted the approval of others, though, so I am not quoting them here. Here's a sampling that excludes overt Democratic operatives, as far as I know:

Elie Mystal: I know a lot of (white) people on my lefty feed have their reservations about Harris, but I'd like to point out that a lot of (nonwhite) people on my lefty feed are excited to vote for her... in a way people are not *EXCITED* to vote for the actual nominee.

Jemele Hill: I don’t know who needs to hear this, but let black women have this moment. And realize, people have demanded that black women support people who are waaaaaaay more problematic. So yes, we expect y’all to keep that same energy.

Zerlina Maxwell: I realized this morning that today is the first time I’ve felt joy deep down in any organic way since November 9, 2016. And especially the last few years personally have been so hard I’m just so relieved to be able to be genuinely happy about something. Representation matters!

Ibram X. Kendi: The Democrats now have a presidential ticket that reflects the American people better than the GOP ticket and every presidential ticket in US history. It’s not everything. It’s not the crushing of racism + sexism. It’s not the freeing of Black womanhood. But it can be the start.

Ida Bae Wells @nhannahjones: There're gonna be 10K Kamala Harris VP think pieces. I won't be writing one, but I'll say this: Not only are Black women the Democratic Party's most loyal base,BW are the most loyal to our fellow Americans, to community. BW vote for the common good at highest rates of all groups.

Jamira Burley: Let’s remember that a woman isn’t being selected for Biden’s VP because of her gender but because she overqualified and really should be President.

NK Jemison: Tolerable.

Nnedi Okorafor: Ok, that’ll do. #BidenHarris2020

Sherrilyn Ifill: Historic. First African American VP nominee of a major political party. #KamalaHarris

Heather McGhee: Congratulations to Kamala Harris! History is calling—in so many ways. The Democrats now have a ticket, and we all have work to do to win real, structural change.

Touré: It’s truly breathtaking to see a Black woman ascend so high. I’m emotional. #Kamala
The negative responses were from folks whom I would identify as being from the farthest left:
Crystal Fleming: Biden picked Kamala as VP to appeal to racist “law and order” Democrats — which is the very same reason that Obama picked Biden. The fact that Black and white politicians can appease racist voters tells you much of what you need to know about neoliberalism and white supremacy.

Tressie McMillan Cottom: I honestly wish I felt like everyone else does right now. I could use it. It sucks big time that I don’t.
(I need to follow more Black prison and police abolitionists... I guess I wait for them to be retweeted and right now the most prominent people have their accounts locked so I can't see if they've tweeted on this topic.)

Then there were the nuanced comments, which I really appreciate:
Blair LM Kelley @profblmkelley: I think we are in a survival moment. Literal survival. No one will have a chance to make it if we don't move past this moment. This isn't some revolution, but perhaps it can help us live to fight on a little longer. That's important too. I hope that this low, low moment can cause us to think differently about the things so many people in the middle have taken for granted. Because if this moment isn't a reason to think again about universal healthcare, a living wage, and access to education, I don't know what is. So I am happy to see someone that graduated from an HBCU have a possible seat at the table. Will that change everything? Nope. But it could help us survive and fight again for more. We who believe in freedom...

Cacje @CJ_Hende: Multiple aspects of my identity are reacting to this news and i am not balanced at all

@Lordeandcompany (who was replying to writer Kiese Laymon, who had a great tweet akin to this one, which he has since deleted): Do I feel a tinge if excitement imagining her crushing Pence in debates? Yes, a historically heavy and petty thing to imagine. (Sounds oxymoronic) Do I feel the ongoing hurt and fear from empire, even with a black woman leading? Absolutely. The point: black feeling has no bottom.

Roxane Gay: You can spend the next 3 months debating Harris’s blackness OR you could spend that time discussing her policy stances, where she needs to be pushed left, what she has to account for from her time as a prosecutor, and what the best version of her vice presidency might look like.

brittany packnett cunningham: Some folks love this choice. Some folks hate this choice. That was inevitable, regardless of said choice. Still, a choice has been made and *all of us* are responsible to keep pressing for the policy we need, the wins we need, and free the right to vote for everybody, everyday.
Also, lots of people tweeted a link to this Guardian article, called Why Black progressive women feel torn about Kamala Harris.

In closing, I really appreciated University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler's take this morning:
So I didn't say a lot on here about Kamala Harris yesterday, but I am going to say a couple of things now. And yes, I have been asked to comment and write but for now, radio silence in those formats (and you'll understand why later).

I am happy with Kamala as VP choice. I don't care about the representational politics that please folks. I know there is a lot to critique, but damn it, I need someone who can go after Trump and the Republicans with gusto.

I'm tired of weak ass Dems. I want a tough race. We are fighting against a party that does not give one happy damn about 160k people dying, and that think 600 extra in unemployment dollars is keeping people from wanting to work. They want kids in school and football games in a pandemic.

I want a fighter. I want someone who can dissect with a smile on her face these craven, evil people who don't give a damn about anyone who is not white. I want Kamala Harris to invoke KALI for the rest of this election cycle and bring them to their knees.

Last thing. I had a talk with a dear friend of mine who is a priest who is down for the people. White, male, academic. He still thought we could do that reach across the aisle BS. Folks, that day is over. We must make sure the Republican party is in tatters after the election.

The republican party on every local state and national level must be defeated. It is not a party anymore, it is an ideology that has merged with the poisonous element of Trumpism and conspiracy theories like Q. Left to continue to fester, the party will kill Democracy and America.

America is not only fighting the coronavirus. It is fighting a virus of racism, selfishness, and craven gain that is destroying our nation. That virus is Trumpism. Time to bring that virus of evil, stupid, asinine racism and self aggrandizement to heel.

Biden/Harris 2020. This is not an election to sit around focusing in on hypotheticals, holding back your vote, any of that shit. VOTE. And then be prepared like Belorussians to get out in the streets. Because we may very well have to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Another Commission Won't Change a Thing

From Buzzfeed, a 12-minute explainer video about the history of our country's multiple commissions on police reform and how they have led to nothing. Featuring Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of the great book, The Condemnation of Blackness.



Monday, August 10, 2020

Thank You, Mom

In today's post on The Weekly Sift about the NRA leadership's fraudulent activities, Doug Muder spent some time talking about the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which is a recruiting document the John Birch Society published decades ago. Its last chapter encourages everyone who reads it to buy more copies and distribute them to their friends, thus furthering the cause (and the Birchers' conspiracy). As a byproduct, those sales would also make the author rich.

Muder's larger point — which he is not alone in making — is that "entering the conservative information bubble puts you in a high-grift zone." Right-wing media is full of ads for gold, multi-level-marketing scams, pseudo-medicines, and get-rich schemes. It seems that folks who watch and read this stuff are fools waiting to be taken.

At this point, I want to thank my dear departed mother. Way back in my early teen years, I remember her impressing on her daughters one through four that chain letters were never to be passed along in any form. They should immediately be discarded, no matter what they threatened.

It was a good lessen in skepticism that has stood me in good stead. I've seen virtual chain letters on Facebook, passed along by friends I respect. Sometimes they were innocuous in their content, but I stuck by my mother's admonition even then. These things should not be fed.


Here's a depressing stat: last week, Fox News's evening line-up (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, etc.) had the top ratings of all television shows. Not the top "news" channel line-up, not the top cable channel line-up... the top evening line-up among all channels, whether network or cable.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Old and New from the North Shore

I made a whirlwind trip to Duluth and Two Harbors recently. Most of what I have to show is old and cool... two of the new things are not so cool, but one is.

From Two Harbors, this is the typewriter that was used to start the company now known as 3M, which as any good Minnesotan knows, started in Two Harbors —even though it's been based in Saint Paul (er, the suburb Maplewood) for most of its existence:

Also in Two Harbors, I saw this gilded glass lettering, which is degrading in an interesting way:

Then, in Duluth, I came across this gorgeous lettering and archway...

...and this gold painted lettering:

It was on a safe, now located inside a cookwear shop. The thing about this lettering is that it's probably 100 to 110 years old, but you can still see the guidelines that were used by the person who hand-lettered it. (Click to enlarge the photo and look closely by the NNs in MINN.)

As for the new things that are not so great, while I was in the Lincoln Park area to get ice cream, I saw two typos on signs:

Yes, that does say Linclon Park up there on the billboard-sized sign above the ice cream shop. (Do they all know it's up there and hope we are not noticing?)

But of course there are lots of great new things as well, and I didn't take photos of them. One that I did capture was this, just inside the entrance of the Global Village store:

I liked both the quote and the collaged fist.


Blogger has launched its new administrative interface, so apologies for any wonkiness in the appearance of this post.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Just in Case

I wonder how many times someone hung clothing on a sprinkler head before someone else felt the need to mass-produce these signs?

The fact that this plastic, two-color printed sign exists: I don't know whether it makes me want to laugh or cry.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Yes, It's in the Air

University of Colorado-Boulder chemistry professor Jose-Luis Jimenez, who studies aerosols and air pollution, recently summarized his thoughts so far on COVID-19 transmission on Twitter. It's exciting (and sometimes a bit confusing) to watch scientists talking to each other about all of this in real time on Twitter, but it beats hearing from the current occupant:

My current estimates on modes of transmission and mitigation measures. From work on this and talking to a lot of scientists, my thinking is evolving. I thought it'd be useful to present my updated estimates, with hope of generating debate, finding new info to further polish this.

I have talked to many scientists, who have their own estimates, but prefer to not make them public. My estimates are not an outlier, many people are in same ballpark, not everyone of course.

Transmission varies with setting, preventive measures. Attempt at averages for non- or low-symptomatics.

These are the things that we know need to avoid, which I later relate to my estimates:
  • Indoors
  • Crowded
  • Low ventilation
  • Long duration
  • No masks
  • Talking / shouting / singing
  • Close proximity
 My estimate for non/low- symptom “talking” transmission:

~75% aerosols: 1/2 (37%) at close proximity, 1/2 (37%) at room-level, 1% long range
~20% surfaces / fomite / direct contact between people
~5% ballistic droplets, mostly accidental sneezing and cough. (generate aerosols too)

These correspond with the amount of available evidence. Aerosols have a ton of evidence, and are the explanation for close proximity transmission for non-symptomatic people. Fomites have some evidence, but are not major. Droplets are for sure more important for transmission from symptomatic people who are coughing

Now let’s examine the things to **avoid** and what modes of transmission they eliminate, assuming my estimates are approximately correct:
  • Close proximity: this is directly one of the modes
  • Not being outdoors: no room-level and long range, less close proximity (wind, UV), less fomites (UV)
  • Not Crowded + long duration: reduced close proximity, room-level, fomites, and droplets
  • Low ventilation: reduced room-level and long range
  • No masks: reduced close proximity, room-level, long-range, fomites, and droplets
  • Talking / shouting / singing: reduced close proximity, room-level, long range, droplets (also less generation of fomites)
So that’s my take. When all is said and done and we know the answer a lot better, I'd be extremely surprised if this doesn't look like a good guess based on what we knew at the time.
The notable thing there is the high percentage of transmission Jimenez sees coming through aerosols and particularly through what he calls "room-level" — not from close proximity with another person. It's not measles- or Legionella-levels of airborne transmission, where the disease travels through the air across great distance and even through air-handling systems, but it's a lot more than we in the general public are generally thinking or the WHO or CDC are communicating.

Another scientist I've recently been following on Twitter, Harvard epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, has been calling on these public health bodies to be clearer about this messaging, and that improving ventilation (in addition to masks) is key. 

Tell us some truths about this.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

NRA: Not a Charity, and FInally, Someone Is Doing Something About It

I have been doing just about everything except following the news closely lately, and my mental health has been the better for it. I did catch the gist of the Tish James/NRA story today, though (yay!), and want to share a Twitter thread from Cory Doctorow that I assume sums up a lot of the reasons for the legal case:

If you think about the NRA, you probably concentrate on the organization's program activities: raising stupendous sums from terrified musketfuckers and spending them to lobby for the most lethally irresponsible firearms policies imaginable.

Which is understandable! Terrorizing ammosexuals is a pretty odious business, reliant on racist dog-whistles, conspiracy theories that victimize the parents of children slaughtered in school shootings, and so. much. red-baiting.

But the NRA isn't merely a terrorist organization. It's a terrorist organization with a business-model. That is, it's a grift. A way to funnel bedwetting gun-humpers' money into the pockets of mediocre sociopaths who run the organization.

For years, the NRA has been mired in scandal, making lavish dispersals to its board of directors and execs.

And spending a fortune helping its president-for-life Wayne LaPierre buy a multimillion-dollar mansion is definitely NOT part of its "charitable purpose."

And because there is no honor among thieves, the NRA has also been roiled by internal brawls, as "internal coups" briefly displaced LaPierre and replaced him with (I shit you not) Oliver North, who was then swiftly deposed.

The NRA isn't just a terrorist organization. Nor is it just a grift. It is also - and this is VERY important - a tax-exempt charitable nonprofit. Which means that it is very tightly regulated.

In theory.

In practice, it has been largely left alone as it lost more than $64m over three years, paid for execs' fancy meals, vacations, and private jets, guaranteed LaPierre $17m in post-employment benefits without Board approval, and did some way shady accounting with its PR firm.

Finally, the grift has become impossible to ignore, and so the attorney general of the NRA's home state has filed suit to dissolve the organization and force LaPierre to pay back his corrupt gains.

Here's a fun fact: the NRA is headquartered in New York!

New York Attorney General Letitia James is NOT fucking around. And she's got a hell of a case, thanks in large part to the NRA itself: when its internecine struggles spilled over into the courts, warring NRA factions exposed a lot of the organization's darkest secrets.

The timing couldn't be better. The NRA spent tens of millions backing Trump in 2016. Now, they're not just broke - they're also battling for their lives.
Cory provides links to supporting news stories in the thread.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Twenty Is Plenty

I'm probably being a bit naive about how effective it will be, given the way our streets are designed and our local driving culture, but I'm excited that Saint Paul and Minneapolis are implementing lower speed limits on our city-owned streets.

Over the next few months, our arterial streets are getting signs that say 25 miles per hour and our side streets (so-called residential streets, as if people don't live on the arterial streets) will be 20 miles per hour.

In case you don't already know this, a pedestrian who's hit by a motor vehicle going one of these lower speeds is much less likely to die or be badly injured than a person who is hit by one going 30 or faster (since we all know many drivers speed on streets that are signed for 30 miles per hour). And older people are much more likely to die if they are hit.

So yay for the blue "Twenty Is Plenty" signs that are appearing along our streets, and the official Speed Limit 25 signs I've been seeing posted by the Public Works Department.

Twenty Is Definitely Plenty

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Monitor Pets

Some people have "monitor pets" that aren't actually pets and don't really sit on their monitors.

I have these mice, made from Fimo clay by Daughter Number Three-Point-One, which make their home on the base of my monitor to keep me company:

There are just three of them, but I did such a bad job of photographing the gray one that I have faked in a slightly better shot of it at lower right.

This trio keeps company with a Cascarets coin, eight plastic mice from a long-ago Mousetrap game, and two small two monkeys with bananas, which I somehow got at a fundraiser about 20 years ago. The latter creatures have appeared on this blog previously.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Out with the Orange

Some neighborhood graffiti:

Speaking of which, have you read Ed Yong's just-published masterpiece in The Atlantic, How the Pandemic Defeated America?

One quote from it:

“When you have people elected based on undermining trust in the government, what happens when trust is what you need the most?” says Sarah Dalglish of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who studies the political determinants of health.

“Trump is president,” she says. “How could it go well?”

The countries that fared better against COVID‑19 didn’t follow a universal playbook. Many used masks widely; New Zealand didn’t. Many tested extensively; Japan didn’t. Many had science-minded leaders who acted early; Hong Kong didn’t—instead, a grassroots movement compensated for a lax government. Many were small islands; not large and continental Germany. Each nation succeeded because it did enough things right.

Meanwhile, the United States underperformed across the board, and its errors compounded. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Facts About Bones and Bodies After Death

The latest issue of Discover magazine (which is not online at this point, but here's the magazine's page in general) had some startling facts I never knew.

First, there was an article on how archaeologists are now comparing skeletal remains to the bones of modern athletes instead of those of average modern humans because they're a better match for comparative lived reality. From this, I learned that both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals from 40,000–120,000 years ago covered more ground more than even the average cross-country athlete who's done 80–100 miles a week since adolescence, and that Central European farming women from 2,000–7,000 years ago had more upper body strength than a range of competitive women athletes, including rowers. (I wonder if they checked on shot-putters.)

Second, an article called "Life After Death" gave a nice summary of all the ways people in the U.S. (and some in other parts of the world) are making after-death arrangements that help the earth instead of deplete and hurt it. From this, I learned:

  • Our bodies, on average at death, contain 82 pounds of water and 54 pounds of other mass "we borrowed from the plants and animals we ate while we were alive," none of which is returned in a useful way to the earth if we are embalmed or cremated.
  • Embalming was not common until the Civil War, when many bodies had to be shipped home over distances and there wasn't enough ice. And then Abraham Lincoln's embalmed body was taken on tour around the country, creating a giant advertisement for the practice. 
  • "Soon, morticians were holding fairs to show off their skills, and chemical companies were sponsoring 'best preserved body' contests to drive discovery of the best mixture of fluids. Many embalmers originally claimed that preservation was permanent, until lawsuits from horrified families who kept loved ones at home too long forced them to cease these promises."
  • Cremation not only requires energy to burn the body, it also puts out greenhouse gases. And if a body is embalmed before being cremated, you're also burning formaldehyde and putting that into the air.
  • Wood funeral pyres are driving deforestation in parts of the world, too. 
  • Conventional cemeteries often require caskets to be placed inside metal vaults underground so  the ground doesn't settle as the casket decomposes... Because the ground has to be easy to mow, of course. Even more waste.
  • The Green Burial Council estimates that conventional burial in the U.S. annually uses almost 65,000 tons of steel, more than 1.5 million tons of concrete, 20 million feet of hardwood, 17,000 tons of copper and bronze, and more than 800,000 gallons of toxic fluids for embalming.  Plus the lead, zinc, and cobalt that are used in some casket designs. 
I'm a fan of Recompose, a Seattle-based public benefit company that has a section in the article. Its founder, architect Katrina Spade, has been developing a way and a building structure to allow for our bodies to be composted in a ceremonial way that honors our lives and deaths.

Here's a calculator that was part of the Discover article:

It looks like Minnesota's options at this point are somewhat limited. This locally based green burial page has some info, generally about burial within cemeteries, such as Roselawn in Roseville or Prairie Oaks Memorial Eco Garden in West St. Paul. So-called green cremation is available at a couple of Minnesota sites, also. According to that link, the chemical process has a 75% lower carbon footprint than flame-based cremation.

I hope to hold out for composting in some form or other, ideally somewhere other than an official cemetery.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Twitter, Exhausted, July 2020

And now it is the summer of our COVID/white supremacy/Trumpian/climate catastrophe discontent. I think July 2020's month of tweets is significantly shorter than usual, maybe because I've had a couple other Twitter-based posts this month or... maybe it's complete exhaustion from the fire hose of putrid sludge that passes for news these days.

First, there's the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the related economic crisis, including the criminal mismanagement of Mafia Mulligan, his administration, and some (not all!) other Republicans around the country:

I don't know who needs to hear this but:
Landlord can't pay mortgage on second property — lose their investment, which they made knowing risks. *Still have a place to live.*
Renter can't pay rent — *becomes homeless during a pandemic.*
Hilary Agro

A 1% drop in GDP is a recession. We called a 6.5% drop in GDP "The Great Recession". In 1929, we called a 15% drop in GDP "The Great Depression". What the fuck do we call a 33% drop in GDP?
Richard Lionheart @LionheartNYC

U.S. COVID death count has surpassed 150,000. *Whew* Good thing we didn't elect the woman who "overprepared" for the Presidential debate.
Carolyn Porter

y'all realize that 30 million people getting evicted in one month is going to result in utter chaos, right?

I have a feeling some of [the assumption that public transit would spread COVID-19] was due to people's perception of poor people, and public services often used by poor people, as being inherently contaminated and contagious
Michelle Allison @fatnutritionist

Imagine that the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting, and Sandy Hook had all happened on the same day, in the same state. That's how many Texans died from COVID yesterday.
Angus Johnston @studentactivism

Please stay 432 picas apart. #GraphicDesign
Carolyn Porter

This is going to sound like an exaggeration but it is literally true that instead of funding testing and food and rent and schools and preventing layoffs and evictions republicans proposed a full write-off for the three martini lunch and more money for the F-35.
Brian Schatz

If your governor won’t take action until there’s a refrigerated truck outside the county hospital, you can do better.
Andy Slavitt

Over a 1,000 people died of Covid-19 in America today. You know how many people were murdered? Statistically...45. And yet Donald Trump is going to send 75,000 federal goons to keep the streets “safe.” He doesn’t care if you die as long as you’re terrified when you’re alive.
Jeffrey Lieber

It costs an estimated $790 to fully dress a police officer in riot gear. It costs an estimated $11 to dress a medical worker in PPE. Which one of these groups do you think is running low on equipment across the nation?
Ben Jealous

Dear media: Since Trump won't bring doctors to his daily Covid briefings, help America out by NOT sending your White House correspondent BUT instead send your medical experts to ask Trump questions. Your Drs can then challenge Trump's lies and misinfo LIVE on TV.

"each individual is free to do what they want as long as they don't hurt others" is an impractical philosophy during a pandemic because few people are able to responsibly manage the risk of hurting others thru COVID transmission. crazy that event organizers don't understand this.

The NYC Subway alone is carrying more people than all of the nation’s airlines. Guess who got their bailout first tho.
Shabazz Stuart

Just astonishing. If you remove New York State from the equation, here's our progress with this epidemic since March 5th. Congrats, everyone:

Josh Marshall [dated July 16]

This is who the States will be sending Covid data to instead of CDC? “Caputo moved to Russia in 1994, after the fall of the Soviet Union, and was an adviser to Boris Yeltsin. He worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S.”

Sorry Charlie @smacktuna

Not too much to say that the entire weight of the federal government is now harnessed to hiding information about the pandemic and force-marching the economy and schools into a dead cat bounce to salvage President Trump's reelection prospects. That's really it.
Josh Marshall

I’ve been wearing an underwire bra since I was twelve you can wear a mask
Jennifer McAuliffe @JenniferJokes

right now in congress they're having spirited debates about what is the exact amount of money that will keep people the appropriate amount of poor while not rioting

I mean, who should you trust in the middle of a pandemic? A medical expert with more than 50 years of experience and no political motive, or a reality show host who can’t pronounce Namibia and who wants to date his own daughter? It’s a tough choice.

At this moment a U.S. passport grants you access to only 24 countries.
Joshua Potash

It's become very clear at this point, that there are entire categories of businesses that are basically screwed for an indefinite period of time: nightclubs, music venues, theaters or any kind come to mind. There's gotta be a specific rescue package for them or they're gone.
Chris Hayes

Not everything that is collapsing needs to be saved.
Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

The messaging has left me confused. We’re told not to visit family, but we can patronize restaurants? We’re told we need to wear masks, but bars were opened — how do you drink a beer with a mask on? The only consistent message we’ve heard is this: any rise in cases is our fault.
Nithya Raman

hard not to think about how Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges just a month before all of this started. it was as if the universe was explicitly giving us a chance to get this guy out of here before it was too late.

I am now hearing the term "mask bully" to describe those who call out non-mask wearers. Mask-wearing protects others from you. People who don't care about infecting others feel aggreived by those who point out their self-centeredness. What a self-centered way to think
Joseph N. Cohen

NOTE TO PARENTS: Donald Trump and Mike Pence did nothing to protect your children from being killed at school by gunfire, so do you really think they are going to do anything to protect your child from being killed at school by a virus?
Mrs. Betty Bowers

My calculations found that banks made around $17 billion in profits off of the PPP. Total federal spending on homelessness in the 2020 budget is $2.8 billion.
Amanda Fischer

probably won't ever stop thinking about the sentence "White House officials hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll"

Re: planning for school/college this fall, but it applies to so much else: “Plans right now are just to manage our anxiety.” –Tressie McMillan Cottom

A flag is a symbol. A mask is a protective garment. Not the other way around.
Hari Kondabolu

“So far, Congress has allotted $3.5 billion for child-care help during the pandemic. That’s less than the emergency aid for Delta Air Lines.”
amy walter
As I've already written about in a couple of other posts this month, there were a lot of tweets about "cancel culture," a new moral panic similar to the one about "political correctness" (which I also have no patience for, as regular readers may remember). Here are a few stray tweets that didn't get caught in the earlier posts:
In most cases what people call “self censorship” is actually just being polite. Maybe not saying that racist or sexist thing that popped into your head. Listening hard to others and thinking about the impact of your words. It’s a good idea. We live in a society.
David M. Perry @Lollardfish

“Cancel culture” is the new “virtue signalling” in that the instant someone says it you can stop listening to them
Sam Adams

Funny that universities were at their freest according to the dude when they were largely segregated and women and faculty of color were closed out. Fascinating. Telling.
Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders

Also please note that white people being publicly racist is "free speech" but Black people saying "Hey, that's racist" is "cancel culture"
Melissa Hillman @bittergertrude

The "free speech" letter is just respectability politics from the usual suspects. Your speech will always, always be tone-policed as yelling fire in a theater.
McKinnon Literary

Black women are fired for wearing their hair natural, fired when they speak out about workplace discrimination and harassment, and fired when they demand equal pay. It's rich to see people writing op-eds and letters in national papers about how cancel culture has come for them.
African American Policy Forum

If you are concerned with how "cancel culture" is creating unjust outcomes in the workplace, wait until you hear about racism and sexism
Judd Legum

jk rowling: i demand free speech
others: okay, you're transphobic
jk rowling: not THAT free speech
Chuck Tingle

“Leading intellectuals” is code for people who can’t handle criticism of their worst ideas.
Hemant Mehta
Of course, there were tweets about the 2020 presidential election, "voter fraud," and real voter suppression:
Fun Constitutional fact: if the Electoral College doesn’t name a new President by January 20th following the designated election year, the Speaker of the House becomes President until one is elected. Sure, let’s delay!
Ryan of Minneapolis

Bill Barr testified under oath that there is NO evidence to suggest we are at risk of voter fraud by using mail in ballots. But on that topic...Press Sec Kayleigh McEnany:
- Voted by mail in Florida elections.
- While living in Washington DC.
- Using a NJ drivers license.

the funniest thing about all of this is there was no considered thinking behind the electoral college. it was basically chosen at random by a bunch of exhausted delegates who just want to go home at the end of a long summer.

Trump is not going to accept losing the election. It's bad but not relevant. We need the Republican party and the military to accept him losing the election. That's still up in the air.
David M. Perry @Lollardfish

The Constitution makes Congress the primary judge and guarantor of presidential elections — not any officials who take orders from the Oval Office. It’s a muscle Congress has never had to flex and imo leadership needs to prepare to use it (and not surrender it to the courts again).

It just feels like our political system sees even epochal catastrophes as existing to make elections interesting, rather than elections existing to help resolve the catastrophes. There’s a toxic solipsism in that inversion, and in the disinterest in finding the best solutions
Will Stancil

“I was going to vote for Joe Biden, but then I realized he’s not for the Confederate flag” is a demographic that the president seems really convinced is real and in urgent need of political attention
Benjy Sarlin

Trump message, distilled: “Vote for me, or your whiteness will be erased. Your whiteness will be cancelled. Vote your whiteness.” Let’s just be clear what his entire campaign message is over the next four months. It’s this. Nothing else.
Jon Reinish
There were also tweets about Republicans and their complicity in all this generally:
It has become increasingly clear, at least to me, that the majority of Republicans in Congress and in the White House are an existential threat to this Republic.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

As empires collapse they devolve into hysterical paranoia, venomous factionalism, and become hotbeds for fascistic, authoritarian cults of power. Histories of collapse are riddled with bizarre and disturbing insanities.
Jared Yates Sexton

Call me crazy but my idea of making America great always involved fewer swastikas.
The Volatile Mermaid @OhNoSheTwitnt

In 2018, the GOP was routed in suburban communities from coast to coast. Many 2020 polls show Trump facing unprecedented deficits for a Republican with white college+ voters. How many of them look at this picture and say: yes, where I belong is in the same political coalition as that woman?

Ronald Brownstein

Democrats: government can help people with this problem
Republicans: keep government out
Compromise: create a government program that works terribly so everyone hates it
Todd Berman @theartdontstop

I’m so, so, angry at white America. And even that anger is not really productive. Instead, let’s care for each other. We are the South Africa we told ourselves we were better than.
Adam Miller

When Trump and the GOP say they love “America” they mean they love “white rule.”
Tea Pain

I spent 12 years in Congress. It’s not divided because people don’t know how to play nice. It’s divided because some think the rich don’t have enough money and everyone else has too much. Candidates who claim that they’re going to walk in and “mediate” are naive or dishonest.
Keith Ellison

You know how your parents used to call every console a "Nintendo"? That's how conservatives use the word "socialist" to describe everything to the left of hunting the homeless for sport.
Voodoo Pork

Stop saying both sides gerrymander! A new study finds a 9.1% point increase in the GOP House seat share following Republicans control over redistricting in last 20 years. It's 0% when Dems control. This has netted the GOP 27 House seats.
Marc E. Elias
I guess there had to be a few about Mafia Mulligan himself and all he has wrought in general:
“Economically, Trump’s America is Soviet. Politically and socially, it resembles Nazi Germany. And culturally, it’s Taliban-esque, aggressively retrograde. That’s a lot of ruin for one country, which is why it’s so hard to put into words.“
Red heart @umairh

I’ve been thinking today about the media outlets that decided in the wake of trump's election that they missed the story. They were right, but the story they missed is the enduring power of racism and misogyny, rather than Trump as the new voice of white poor people.
David M. Perry @Lollardfish

We have two systems of justice in America: one where Trump helps Roger Stone avoid prison time, and another where a Black 15 year old girl is incarcerated during a pandemic for not doing her homework.
Kamala Harris

The White House orchestrating a hit job on one of the country’s most respected public health officials in the middle of a pandemic isn’t just dangerous and repugnant - it’s one of the politically stupider moves they’ve made in a long time. I’ve seen multiple focus groups now where swing voters will specifically mention Trump’s tendency to put his own ego over the advice of public health experts as a reason they’re not voting for him this time.
Jon Favreau

Had I not seen it with mine own eyes...

Benjamin Dreyer

We couldn’t fathom that George W. Bush read to children for an extra seven minutes on 9/11 and now the president literally doesn’t know how to read, his only dealings with children are putting them in cages, and he is responsible for a 9/11’s worth of deaths every four days.
Gabe Delahaye

Read this again: "the President naively elevated Russia -- a second-rate totalitarian state with less than 4% of the world's GDP -- and its authoritarian leader almost to parity with the United States." The harm that has been done is incalculable
Shooters Grill
And who could miss the intentional clusterfuck in Portland and related topics:
In the years after 9/11, Homeland Security has ballooned into the third largest agency in the U.S. government, employing 240,000 people, including more than 60,000 law enforcement agents — nearly half the total number of federal law enforcement agents.
The Intercept

the word “anarchist” was deliberately semantically pushed to mean “bomb-thrower” because like five dudes died in anarchist bombings around the year 1900, meanwhile liberals and conservatives have bombed millions of people but it’s okay because they signed the proper forms
Bruno Dias

To state the obvious: solving and reducing crime requires the trust of policed communities. Armed military forces occupying a city, by definition, can't and won't get that. So it's not about "crime." It's about suppressing political dissent and stoking violence. Duh.
David Roberts

Who could have predicted that an agency called Homeland Security would be authoritarian?
Jeet Heer

These idiots went from, “wearing a mask is tyranny,” to “the government can snatch people off the street in unmarked vans,” in two fucking weeks.
Mikel Jollett

"good trouble" is powerful as a shorthand for the idea that disrupting the rules in pursuit of the greater good is honorable and righteous. the danger is when people use it to demonize the "wrong kind" of protest (protest that makes them uncomfortable, missing the entire point).
wikipedia brown @eveewing

The federal government won't demand people wear a small mask to end an epidemic but it will come to your town with millions of dollars of tactical gear and throw someone in a van because someone else wrote "ACAB" on a wall
Lydia Kiesling

Notice again how the establishment is quick to label universal healthcare as a dangerous socialist concept but when unidentified federal forces are snatching folks off the street in unmarked cars, they still can’t bring themselves to call it fascism.
Bree Newsome Bass
Early in the month, it was July 4, our ironic holiday:
The story of America is that rich white men said everyone is created equal and spent the next 250 years being surprised that people took them seriously.
Shaenon K. Garrity

“Freedom isn’t Free.” This is a sticker on a veteran’s car. Freedom should be free.
Judith Browne Dianis

As general rule, white people don’t have the moral authority to tell other racial groups who they should admire. In other news, Thomas Jefferson was 46 years old and Sally Hemings 15 when he made her his lifelong sex slave. #HappyFourthOfJuly #FvckTheFourth:


I prefer the holiday where ghosts and princesses shake you down for candy to the one where the neighbors shoot noise and smoke at your house.

Patriotism is demanding that your country live up to the ideals and principles it claims to hold so dear. Patriotism is fighting until the land of the free is truly a land where everyone is free. Remember the past. Celebrate the future.
Aisha Tyler

Folks are REALLY invested in the idea that u can fight for justice without upsetting anyone and it just doesn’t work that way at all.
Then, there was my usual list of topics, starting with racism, white supremacy, and police brutality:
the funniest thing about “DC and Puerto Rican statehood are dangerous power grabs” is that the people making the argument concede from the start there’s no chance Republicans could make ground in either place, but never bother asking why.

If we don’t require social scientists to be fluent in the history and theories of racial oppression, they end up saying stupid mess that furthers racial oppression. Yes. This is probably subtweeting who you’re thinking. Because...all of them.
Phillip Atiba Goff

History lesson. American suburbs were engineered in the mid-20th century by law and financial policy to be a place for white Americans to do two things:
1) Own homes —> build wealth —> build faith in American capitalism
2) Live far from Black, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish people

I, for one, did not realize how much 2020 was going to reveal who’s a racist. Maybe we should get cards printed or something.
Adam Miller

I swear, any journalist who refers to Trump's "suburban dream life" tweet as "racially charged" or "racially tinged" or "playing on racial anxieties" instead of just plain old "racist" should be launched into the sun
Parker Molloy

Social change happens at the speed of white.
Hari Kondabolu

You ever notice how mafia activity is romanticized but gang activity isn't?

Every single day, at his day job, at his side job, and his off hours, Derek Chauvin worked to plunder wealth from Minneapolis. He made Minneapolis poorer with every low-level arrest on a record, every dollar of salary spent in Washington County, every tax he cheated.
Alex Schieferdecker

Honestly, cops are lucky we’re only demanding defunding future payments and not demanding a refund of the money they’ve stolen from us for decades of justice they’ve failed to provide.
Andrew Ti

Basically half of all white folks.
This is where we are.
After all that we’ve been through.
Whiteness over democracy.
Whiteness over safety.
Whiteness over justice.
That is what these numbers mean.
49%. smh

Ava DuVernay

I wish white reporters would stop asking if Trump or anyone else ever used the n word. The word is vile, but it’s not the depth of racism. Black people never had a march to protest someone using the n word; we’ve marched vs denying voting rights, police violence, and segregation...
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

So Ghislaine Maxwell who is charged with sex-trafficking minors - ignores police when they knocked on her door then goes to another room “quickly shutting the door” was arrested without incident. But Breonna Taylor sleeping in her bed was shot 8 times and killed?
Ayman Mohyeldin

a lot of dystopian movie plots are just what would happen if white people were suddenly oppressed the way everyone else is
Becca O'Neal

There really should be a whole bunch of different Native and Black and Brown people on different [television] networks (all of them) to break down and interpret what’s going on in the world. Honestly, at this point white people as navigators is obsolete — y’all really don’t know what’s going on.

When a white person tells a racist joke is isn't just "offensive." It is a violent act of claiming their space for white supremacy.
Nathan Irons Roberts

So frustrated by cis het affluent white men who cannot fathom that we, most fundamentally, are the problem.
Adam Miller

The first American police department to be founded as a police department and not a slave patrol was in the 1830's - so from the 1600's to the 1830's, every police department was linked to slave patrols...That history is ingrained in every police department.
Transformative Justice Coalition

Who would've guessed? Shopping malls happened because racism. Also? Our rabid consumption is killing us. 40% of all US GHG emissions are tied to the production of goods. We will confront our racism, climate, poverty, & consumerism at once, or we fail to solve any of it.
julie kearns @juliejunket

Can you believe that cops are resigning all over America because they’re being told not to choke, beat or kill black people anymore?

What is it with white people who never served [in the military] talking about their Dad or whoever being a reason not to kneel, instead of listening to Black & Brown vets who are at a higher risk of police brutality?
Mikki Kendall @Karnythia

The society is organized around marginalizing people based on how Black they look, while everyone devotes endless energy to pretending that it’s somehow more complex than that. I’m so over it. That’s why I don’t want to hear none of y’all’s Black on Black crime narratives anymore. Folks have GOT to find a way to divorce themselves from these racist ideas of the menacing Negro who must be constantly policed and controlled in a way the white and wealthy NEVER are (even when they’re committing rampant crime like child sex trafficking). Y’all are killing us.
Bree Newsome Bass

ive said it before but it cannot be understated that elon musk is the beneficiary to wealth made from apartheid

If we are committed to dismantling white supremacy, we are required to interrogate American homeownership, which is one of these most widespread monuments to it.

Every time the media is like, “No but this guy is the *smart* bigot” it always turns out that the guy is not actually smart, just white and wearing a tie.
Sexism, misogyny, and toxic masculinity:
great news! I started removing "just"s and "i think"s and extra exclamation points to my work communications and started receiving complaints that I'm coming off as "attacking and aggressive"!

the right wing was like "fuckin feminazis" for 30 years and now all of a sudden they're like "you can't just call people Nazis for disagreeing with you

going to start saying "male journalist" and "male comedian" and "male engineer" so people start to hear how fucking stupid it sounds
ellory smith

Use caution when describing barriers.
Being Black is not a barrier for me.
White supremacy is the barrier.
Being female is not a barrier for me.
Patriarchy is the barrier.
Name the systems of power.
These are the barriers.

How many guys would die rather than see their big trucks, guns taken away? Why? Not because they're practical. Because the threat of violence gives them power over other people. And they are bullies. Also why no one wants to challenge them.
Angie Schmitt

I resent the fact that the security of my civil rights hinges on an elderly woman's ability to repeatedly defeat cancer

Something I think about a lot: A lot of people have said that Hillary Clinton would have done a better job if she'd been more relaxed and shown her "real" self. At the same time, a lot of people say that Kamala Harris laughs too much. Women in politics so often just cannot win.
Mangy Jay

I'm watching the Flintstones and Wilma's maiden name is canonically Pebble!? this makes it so deep that she named her daughter Pebbles like it's a desperate act of reclamation in the face of patriarchy
Saladin Ahmed

The thing that’s the big tell for me that libertarianism is mostly just white male identity politics is the way they can’t seem to get very upset about government forced births.
Angie Schmitt

So, now that employers control birth control coverage for their female and male employees (and families), does that mean they need to include a warning of sorts in their job postings? Kind of like EOE, except this one will be MRBTYB (My religious beliefs trump your body)
Mary Morse Marti

never ever forget that salman rushdie told padma lakshmi she was a “bad investment” as a wife because she has endometriosis
Caroline Reilly
The climate crisis and renewable energy:
Wow. Actual accountability. Irish supreme court tells govt it has to come up with a better climate plan
Bill McKibben

The next generation will tear down the statues of climate criminals.
Alex Steffen

A quarter of Bangladesh is now underwater. The average American produces 33x more carbon emissions than the average Bangladeshi. Climate justice demands we act now
Bill McKibben

As climate breakdown begins to drive human displacement, we must affirm that every person should have the right to access safe and habitable parts of the planet. Defending this principle will be a defining struggle of the 21st century.
Jason Hickel

Okay, it's time to lay down some "net zero by 2050" questions.
1: That's a nice 2050 target. What's your plan for 2025?
2: What are your 2-year or 5 year budgets?
3: What happens if you miss those targets? (Nothing? I thought so)
4: What do you mean by "net"? Explain yourself
Ketan Joshi

It should not be "normal" to burn fossil fuels and destroy the life-supporting capacity of our planet. But everything in our society supports this behavior. Finance, politics, advertising, travel, food, car infrastructure, the way we think... everything.
Peter Kalmus

That the excess emissions of a few rich nations will devastate the lives of billions of people in poorer nations, who have contributed nothing to climate breakdown, is a crime against humanity and we should call it that.
Jason Hickel

And lest you feign surprise, the oil industry has funded violent/fascist militias in *every single oil producing country on earth.* This is *how oil works.* This is *what you pay for with your car.* Don't tell me you didn't fucking know.

The republican response to COVID is a preview of what their response to climate change will look like in future years as climate change becomes a more pressing issue.
-blame "others"
-take the opportunity to loot while claiming to help
-wait for us to just die

Eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, climate change will make Covid look like a brief summer thunderstorm.
Chris Hayes

BREAKING - Court orders Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down #NoDAPL #GoodNews #StopLine3
Melissa R Partin

If mankind is going to survive the next century, we have to fundamentally reshape our society. History tells us that doesn't happen without direct action and mass mobilization. Indigenous communities are the ones doing that. The best chance for survival is following their lead. #NoDAPL

Rebecca Nagle

In case you’ve lost count THREE pipelines have come to a halt this week...
Keystone XL
Atlantic Coast
Dakota Access
At the center of all three campaigns was Indigenous resistance.
Rebecca Nagle

That everyone is not utterly obsessed with climate change, which is bringing about the end of the 10,000 year stable period that gave rise to human civilization, shocks me every day.
Eric Holthaus

Did you know that over 90% of climate scientists think global warming will be so severe by 2038 or so that we'll hit temperatures shown to be hot enough to wreck the basic crops humanity relies upon for decent survival, or do you get your information from ad-dependent newspapers?
Ben See @ClimateBen

"If geoengineering research is going to happen at all, it should be rigorous, transparent, and not proprietary. It may indeed be a very bad idea. But it will certainly be a bad idea if the equivalent of, say, a Mark Zuckerberg gets control of it."
Alex Steffen

Right now the dominant plan in economics is to double the size of the global economy in the next 20 years. Take all the extraction, production and consumption we're doing right now and double it by the 2040s, on a planet that's already buckling. That's what 3% growth entails.
Jason Hickel
Livable cities and sustainable transportation:
Still think drivers pay their way & people on bikes are “getting a free ride?” If commuters had to pay for their impact on society, drivers would pay 87 cents/km. People on bikes would GET 25 cents/km. Commuting by bike saves society money.
Brent Toderian

One of these vehicles doesn’t belong on city streets….

Shabazz Stuart

I'm getting real sick and tired of people calling bus and bike lanes "gentrification" when in reality they just wanna park and go 50 mph without giving up a lane to public transit and non-polluters.

The Republican relief bill gives almost $7.5 billion to air travel, but $0 to transit, walking and biking, which millions of Americans rely on to reach essential jobs and services.
Streetsblog USA

Why are we bailing out the kind of high-polluting transportation infrastructure rich people use for leisure (airlines) while letting the kind of sustainable infrastructure poorer people use for necessities (transit) go bust? 12 percent of Americans account for two thirds of air travel. More than half of Americans don't fly in a typical year. Congresspeople fly a lot but almost never ride the bus.
Angie Schmitt

“If a city had increased its road capacity by 10% between 1980-1990, then driving in that city went up by 10%. If the amount of roads in the same city then went up by 11% between 1990-2000, the total number of miles driven also went up by 11%.” Via Wired
Brent Toderian

Departments of Transportation keep trying to solve the problem of how to accommodate more cars, which is futile, economically disastrous, and also the wrong problem. The problem to solve is how to reduce the number of Vehicle Miles Traveled. They need to stop equating moving cars with moving people.
Heidi Perov

Crosswalks as art! So much of our city is an unpainted canvas for public art & beauty. It doesn’t take much — usually just for City Hall to stay out of the way. Hamilton Canada is helping it happen:

Brent Toderian

LGTBQ people often migrate to bigger cities for relative safety, and a many of us love good urban infrastructure. I personally love good transit systems because to me it is a symbol of a safer city/region to be in, one with functioning government that prioritizes people.

I love that on buses, little kids have agency, that they can pull the stop cable and the bus stops. I love that they're not physically restrained and strapped down. I love that they're part of our community and we're part of theirs, and all of us are better for being together. We've ceded so much of our public space to cars (including by ruining adjacent spaces with air/noise pollution) that buses are one of the few remaining community gathering spaces where everyone who's anyone might show up and sit, keep to themselves, or chat with a stranger.

reminder that we have all the bus and bike infrastructure we need, it's just covered in cars

Do people realize two years' worth of the money we spend on pavement for cars in California is just about enough to build shelter for all 150,000 homeless Californians? Yes, it is a tradeoff. Money spent on car culture exacerbates homelessness and the housing crisis.

100:1 — My estimate of the ratio of time spent worrying about not having enough parking to actual neighborhood disruptions caused by insufficient parking. And about the neighborhood disruptions caused by having too much parking, we hear far too little.
Jason Segedy

The reason we don't have (enough) bike lanes is not that they are too expensive, it is that they are too cheap. So no one from construction advocates for them ...

David M. Levinson @trnsprtst

According to FBI 2019 analysis, 6 police officers in the entire country were murdered while conducting a traffic stop. 36 police officers were killed in traffic accidents. The most prominent danger in traffic enforcement, like all things in the U.S., is getting killed by a car.

8 years ago, a prominent mayor of a major city (who is still mayor today) insisted to me that in 10 years we would all be riding in driverless/automated vehicles. I said we wouldn’t be close to that in 10 years, & if we were, it wouldn’t be a good thing for cities. 2 years left.
Brent Toderian

When cars are going too fast: raise the speed limit to the speed of the 15% most reckless! When bikes are going too fast:

Sean Hayford Oleary

If you want to funnel private vehicles at higher volumes and speeds down our highest density residential/community corridors and bus routes, you might be very confused about how things like racial/economic equity and transportation efficiency and community and planets work.

There is not enough “carbon budget” left in the developed world to switch to EVs at scale.
The Leys Eco-Schools

But nobody bikes when it rains!
Or snows
Or is hot
Or cold
Or cloudy
Or Mondays
Face with rolling eyes
No, that’s wrong. Nobody really bikes when it’s unsafe, and inconvenient. So let’s build bike infrastructure taken from car space to tilt the scales in favor of sustainable transportation.
Lou Miranda

only when they’re gone does one truly realize the extent of cars’ terrible dominance:

Oliver Roeder

It never occurred to me that dead end streets (cul de sacs, as we like to say in the suburbs) are essentially private streets. Anyone *can* use them, but who would, other than the owners (and visitors, garbage haulers and snowplows)?
Lou Miranda

House flips in LA are a purer example of gentrification/displacement than new buildings that represent net new housing units. In a lot of cases people are just mad about “change” and just want a virtuous reason to oppose it; they don’t really care much about displacement.
Jason Damas @labelscar

This is Princeton and this is what every city should be doing:

Florian Ederer
So puzzled that schools can't regulate if students wear a mask but are happy to cut Native students' braids, expel Native students without cause, and punish Native students for speaking their languages.
Alec Calac

There is one banner that the far left and far right seem to consistently unite under: Forcing kids to learn things they don’t want to learn is good for them and prepares them for life.
Philip Mott

The students who will lose out the most in online learning are those living in poverty, but teachers also shouldn't be forced to risk their lives going back into school buildings. What a terrible situation. It didn't have to be this way. Never forget it didn't have to be this way

As the K-12 school year bears down, seemingly impossible, it’s notable how quickly everyone has essentially admitted that the hundred-year history of compulsory school in America was mostly a subsidized childcare effort meant to drive business, employment, consumption, debt, &c.
Ian Bogost

Betsy DeVos is the most baroque combination of ignorance, incompetence, and monied arrogance to be found anywhere.
Charles P. Pierce
Income/wealth inequality, wage theft, and a better way to organize the economy:
Since 1980, 28% of new income from global GDP growth has gone to the richest 1%. In other words, nearly a third of all the labour we’ve rendered, all the resources we’ve extracted, and all the CO2 we’ve emitted over the past half century has been done to make rich people richer.
Jason Hickel

funny how everything is a “handout” besides generational wealth

I love a graph that’s dropping a hint


If we're serious about addressing racial inequality, rather than arguing about how to fix the "meritocracy," how about not redistributing so much income to the top, so it doesn't matter so much who is on top and who isn't.
Dean Baker

Capitalists are for "science" when it makes them money and against science when it costs them money.
Professor Fleming @alwaystheself

They make markets of everything. Even relief and disaster assistance. And it is an absolutely unethical and ineffectual approach to human suffering.
Imani Perry

America is amazing because the people who make $600,000 a year think that the people who make $15,000 a year are greedy for wanting to make $30,000 a year lmao

Whither (wither?) the USA? Is it any surprise that a society that (over several decades) affirmed private wealth over any attention to the general public good is now disintegrating through the crisis of Covid-19?
Langdon Winner

Why is it easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism?

"If Amazon’s 840,000 employees owned the same proportion of their employer’s stock as Sears workers did in the 1950s — a quarter of the company — each would now own shares worth an average of about $386,904." —Robert Reich
Alec MacGillis

Imagine believing that what's actually wrong in the world is the people with the least power in the world.
Benjamin Dixon

I think one of the major lines of division in political thought is between those who recognize capitalism to be a system of organized theft held in place through racist state violence and those who believe it’s a philosophy of free will and economic opportunity.
Bree Newsome Bass

It is irrational to expect that an economic system that is predicated on externalizing the costs of ecological destruction will somehow automatically stop driving ecological destruction.
Jason Hickel

A succinct argument for the estate tax:

Kriston Capps
And finally, the best of the rest:
Something to consider for the next Democractic president: raid the Defense budget for whatever you need and ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Chris Hayes

Noah couldn't stop laughing when I told him that my beard just grows out of my face.

In-person conferences are fun and enriching, but what's happening right now is that knowledge is being shared more quickly, more democratically, and with less ecological impact than before — and that is absolutely worth embracing.
Jason Hickel

If the federal government were to hire every unemployed American and pay them a living wage of, say, $58,000 a year, it would cost roughly $1.1 trillion annually
Bloomberg Opinion

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862 in Mississippi

Haymarket Books

Housing is no longer shelter but a class of investment asset.
Richard Florida

The population of Wyoming is 578,759
The population of Puerto Rico is 3,194,000
You could make PR into 5 states with none of them being the smallest state in the union.

If I could actually cancel one thing it would be the idea that we ought to have calm, dispassionate discussions of demonstrably cruel ideas.
Maggie Koerth

Just not in that order:

Cory Doctorow

“Intersectionality is a theory of oppression not a statement of identity, and you have to teach it that way....It’s about vulnerabilities and oppressions; it’s not about how many identities you can embody.” Dr. Loretta Ross #MsTeachWGSS
Amy Scott

The government cannot be trusted with the power to kill our fellow citizens. The death penalty is a failed public policy rife with racism, abuse, and errors. Abolish this immoral practice now.
Sister Helen Prejean

Parents who hit their children lack empathy and self awareness and are walking around with a dead child inside themselves. If they could truthfully recover their own childhood memories and repressed feelings then they would never repeat this behavior with their own children.
Stacey Patton

Europeans' out of offices are like "I will not be working until 18 September. All emails will be automatically deleted."
Americans: "I am in the hospital. Email responses may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Sorry for the inconvenience! If urgent, please reach me in the ER at..."
Leanna Orr

I think on some level many people know punishment doesn’t do all the stuff they claim is does but it’s often easier to pretend it’s about deterrence and what not rather than saying you want blood.
David Kaib

shoutout to whoever in trivia didn't know richard i's nickname and called him dickie onestick, that's his new name and i'm never calling him anything else
trees @tornadosw

it's easy to think of Ayn Rand as a terrible person with an evil philosophy, but if you've ever read her books you'd know she was also a terrible writer.

Movies are escapist I suppose but getting a pile of books at a used bookstore while imagining a world in which you actually read them is a true escapism.
Chris Steller

Reading about the history of the early 1970s and there’s a strange dynamic where lawmakers talk about a problem and then Congress passes legislation to fix it.

I remember someone arguing brutal Russian prisons were a "deterrent" so I googled the murder rate for Russia vs. Finland and yikes. Narrator voice: prison cruelty doesn't deter crime:


A lot of people seem to think we should have a museum filled with nothing but statues of assholes.

rules of US government: anything that helps anyone live in any way is too expensive
anything that kills people is necessary and cannot be overfunded
this hideous mindset is def embedded in both parties btw
Talia Lavin @chick_in_kiev

What ends up happening, with statues and memorials and paintings and even curricula in public schools, is that complex, faulty people are turned into religious idols. That's the crux. American history has been made into a religious myth all of its own where we worship men.
Jared Yates Sexton

Just call them the Washington Racists. It has the same number of syllables, starts with the same letter, and is an accurate portrayal of their values as an organization. #NotYourMascot
Joseph M. Pierce

You may not recognise it at first glance, but this is London, and it's the earliest photograph ever taken of the city. Camera M. de Ste Croix in 1839.


When the world seems to be falling apart, it's easy to feel a loss of control. The best cure for helplessness is helpfulness. You might try generosity day. Set aside an hour a week for people you can help and problems you can solve. Small wins restore efficacy.
Adam Grant