Sunday, December 9, 2018

More Podcast Recommendations

I've been doing more painting lately, and so there has also been more podcast-listening for me. Here's what I've heard:

The most recent episode of Why Is This Happening with Chris Hayes, in which he talked to one of my favorite writers (and Twitterers), Dave Roberts of Vox. They both were undergrad philosophy majors and this episode is about how we (as humans) come to believe we know what we know, and how that relates to our current crisis of epistemic closure. Highly recommended. Oh, and the whole thing is transcribed on that link, so if you prefer reading to listening, this one is ready to go.

Call Your Girlfriend's episode on White Fragility, including an interview with Robin DiAngelo, author of a book by that title.

The Whose Streets? episode of WNYC's On the Media from late November. I really appreciated this one because it covered several stories related to how cities are (or aren't) made for people, starting with an interview with Angie Schmitt (another one of my favorites from Twitter), followed by a skeptical look at autonomous vehicles, info on an opera being written about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, and finally a short piece on transit rights.

All in all, some good listening!


Past podcast recommendations 1, 2, 3.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

No Coast, 2018

It looks as though I've been attending the No Coast Craft-o-Rama for almost as long as I've had this blog, but I've only mentioned it once back in 2008. I spent the morning and early afternoon there today, and I have these three photos (and some handmade holiday gifts stowed in a closet) to show for it:

This wasn't part of the show, but rather one of the permanent merchant spaces in the Midtown Global Market where the show is held. It's a place that sells a lot of cheese, and if you look closely at that pillar, you'll realize that mosaic is made of cheese labels rather than tiles.

Also not part of the show:

I spied this on the floor, lost among the people tabling with their wares. I guess it's from the adjacent parking garage, but I was caught by the words, which make it clear the ticket is considered a contract. No one who enters that garage thinks they have have agreed to a contract by going past the guard arm. And to top it off, it ends with a legalistic word 99.9 percent or more of the American public does not know (including me), "bailment." Now I realize that something like this is probably on the back of every parking card I've ever been issued, and it puts my teeth in a clench.

Finally, this sign from one of the craft sellers, two sisters who make clever needle-points. And one of them is a fellow daughter number three! They sell their wares on Etsy as well. Worth checking out!

Friday, December 7, 2018

I Have No Idea What this Means

It was enigmatic and small, but it caught my eye:

As seen along a street in Saint Paul.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

What the Heck, People?

This graphic popped out at me on a postcard I received from my community-based recycling service:

I think I probably throw away at most five pounds of socks with holes in them or other similarly unwearable or elastic-laden bits. And even then I suppose I should look into whether they are wanted in the clothing/rag collection process. The postcard says they event want worn-looking shoes... I wasn't sure if that was true, but now I know.

So far I have been donating wearable clothing directly to charities, but I may start putting it out with my recycling since they're running a pilot program in my area.

Eighty pounds, though. Whew. Don't these "average Americans" realize someone would be glad to wear most of those clothes?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

No Magic in NOMA

When reading a Seattle Times story on the problem of disposable (instead of durable) Christmas lights, and recycling and so on, I found out this fact:

Edison’s General Electric pioneered the first light sets in 1903, but they were costly – renting a set of 28 was $300 in today’s dollars. In the 1920s, the National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association, NOMA, took over the business with a more affordable option, and was the largest manufacturer in the world for the next 40 years....

In the 1950s, the popularity of aluminum Christmas trees, which were not decorated with lights, hit NOMA hard. It went bankrupt in 1966.
This is a great example of how children (in this case, me as a child) have no context to understand things that already exist when they begin to make sense of the world. We had a set of NOMA lights when I was a kid, which looked just like this:

To this day, I associate those lights and the name NOMA with the magic of Christmas, despite my cynical world-weariness. So to hear that they were made by something called the National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association is just... so startling. Not another association, and especially one that sounds so generic!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Refugee Cycle

I recently saw this great cartoon by Jen Sorensen, who I am embarrassed to say I don't recall hearing of before, despite the fact that she has been a Pulitzer finalist and won the Herblock Prize in 2014:

That sums it up pretty neatly. Thanks, Jen.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Does What It Says on the Tin

I took this photo because I liked the lettering on the can:

But just now I realized that the product is made by the Otis elevator company for cleaning and polishing... elevators. Which seems rather specific. Wouldn't some other kind of cleaner work just as well?

Maybe this was an early example of vertical integration. (Vertical. Elevators. Get it?)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Car's the Thing

I'm as fond of blaming Big Oil for climate change as the next person, but this thread by a Twitter user named Michael Sweeney makes some really good points. Sweeney appears to be a television editor... not a planner or anything like that. Just a guy who has thoughts that make sense:

A really potentially bitter debate (already frequently cropping up) that we need to be ready for is "charging the actual costs of driving means only the rich can drive, which is unfair, therefore we must continue to subsidize driving."

Automobile dependence is literally killing the planet that we live on, we have no choice but to reduce it. The rich will get privileged access to continue driving despite eliminating subsidies, because the rich have more money. That sucks!

But the solution to this problem is well known: progressive income and wealth taxes to reduce the level of income inequality combined with government provision for people's basic human needs: education, food, medicine, housing, transportation.

This solution works so much better than "fight for lowering the gas tax and untolled freeways and free parking spots" in terms of protecting poor people and hurting rich people (by the way, very few of the poorest people in the US drive compared to the general population).

Locking working Americans into car dependence isn't freeing them. It's chaining them to an extremely expensive consumer platform whose costs are designed in many cases to bankrupt them despite the enormous subsidies even poorer people pay to keep the system going.

This is why, across the world, left-wing parties fight for increased access to public transportation (and in the US that means fighting for increased density as well to make transit viable) everywhere they can. I don't know why American leftists do not understand this.

Imagine if the situation were reversed and we had great public transit and the alternative being proposed was "the private sector will compete to sell you a $20k vehicle with Wall Street financing, then you can go on a marketplace to insure it for several hundred dollars a month. In addition to your car payments and insurance you'll be on the hook for thousands of dollars of gas and thousands in maintenance and replacement parts over the life of the vehicle."
It would look like an insane neoliberal plot to rob working people of their wages.

This is the system I see many leftists step in to defend when they oppose high gas taxes or tolling freeways or congestion charges or charging for parking in the name that "it hurts the poor more than the rich."

Sustaining this system is a disaster for the poor!

That's even leaving aside the even more pressing issue that the survival of Planet Earth hinges on us not pumping carbon into the atmosphere and we can't stop with radically reducing auto dependency.

Anyway, please do not be one of these people!

Fight to liberate working people from the poisonous serfdom of car dependency, not to make the chains cheaper.
Combine that with this thread by Matthew Lewis, an energy analyst:
It looks like I’m on track to spend about $250 on gasoline this year. That’s not some sign of my environmental purity. I hate driving, and have built my life around avoiding it at all costs.

But it’s crucial that the climate movement get its head out of its ass on this topic. It keeps attacking the oil industry — an industry entirely tertiary to oil burning.

The primary cause of oil burning is land-use patterns; the secondary cause are carmakers who enable those patterns.

If you change land-use patterns, you drastically undermine the auto industry. I’m living proof. Like I said, $250 this year on gas, mostly to visit family in Oregon or friends in Mari.

If you decide changing land-use patterns is not your thing, then you can change the auto industry by forcing them to make cars/trucks that either don’t run on gasoline at all, or run on very, very little. Both approaches are failing, so far, though we’re told that will change soon.

But the oil industry shouldn’t even factor into this fight and I’m honestly embarrassed we keep focusing on it. They sell a product that’s only needed because we buy another product that we only need because we got fooled into thinking car-dependent suburbs are groovy.

And honestly, we have so many other campaigns where the (correct, in my opinion) solution is “stop buying the product that causes harm.”


Nah, let’s go after the magic water we put in these deadly devices.

Anyway, yes, I’m aware some people like driving and others “have no choice” and so forth, not everyone lives the same way. But you don’t solve problems by focusing attention away from their root cause.

And where we live is the root cause of oil consumption. Who’s fault is that?

I 100% guarantee you, it’s not the oil industry.
As long as our cities and urban areas are built to require car access, and car (and truck) manufacturing is seen as a key job sector both economically and by labor unions, not much will change until it all comes tumbling down.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Twitter, November 2018

This month's round-up includes many thoughts about the midterm election, immigration, and maybe even more than usual about climate change, given the recent news about that.

First, though, there's Mulligan and his ongoing debacle (both generally and specific to the Mueller investigation):

Every day is “What if Watergate but a stronger economy and Fox News.”
Seth Masket

Reminder: when David Corn first broke the Trump Russia story for Mother Jones *during the campaign* in 2016, it was chuckled at openly by the smart kids. Preposterous! Major guffaws. Corn couldn't even tell story on MSNBC — where he's a paid contributor!
Tom Watson

man, who could have possibly foreseen that Donald Trump would turn out to be an incompetent, corrupt, lying lunatic?
Tom Tomorrow

Remembering when this was satirical. "Springtime for Hitler":

John Scalzi

I feel like the only time an exclamation point should make its way into a Presidential statement might be something like "World peace achieved!" or "Racism has been eradicated!"
Jennifer Mendelsohn @CleverTitleTK

the funniest thing about this administration is that the most competent and least corrupt cabinet secretary appears to be rick perry
chris hooks

I don’t think prominent military figures are beyond criticism but I’ll just note that the Republican Party held a twenty-something Saturday Night Live comedian to a much higher standard than the president of the United States

Part of Fascism is the Forced and Unrelenting Ubiquitous Presence of the Dictator! Our media is voluntarily creating this scenario!
Barbara Arnwine

In a normal administration, someone with Whitaker’s record couldn’t get hired to answer phones at DOJ, let alone chief of staff to the AG, let alone actually becoming AG.
Matthew Miller

It’s really amazing that after being told a female candidate for president didn’t have the emotional toughness to do the job we’ve spent every day being updated on the fragile emotional state of Donald Trump.
Jared Yates Sexton

Great Quotation about Trump >> “He’s just a bull carrying his own china shop with him when­ever he travels the world,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said.
Steven Greenhouse

I still can't get over Trump refusing to honor fallen US troops in France and Arlington and then tweeting on Veterans Day that he didn't want overseas military ballots to count in Florida.
Ari Berman

After he spent two years attacking Hillary Clinton as frail and feeble, I am really tired of hearing about how this jackass can't go out in the rain.

Hillary had fucking pneumonia and attended a 9/11 memorial anyway and fainted and Trump and his supporters went bonkers and said she was about to die. Trump won't stand in the rain for a few minutes to honor the veterans of WWI. It's astonishing.
Clara Jeffery

Trump's idea of managing a forest is turning it into a golf course.

The GOP exploded after then-Attorney General Lynch had a tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton while Hillary was under investigation. But crickets now that Trump has an Attorney General who is on the record prejudging the Russia investigation before it concluded and suggesting it could be unfunded.

The White House has done more to punish Jim Acosta for gently brushing aside an intern, than they've done to punish Saudi Arabia for torturing a journalist and chopping his body up into little pieces with a bone saw.
Jules Suzdaltsev

Whitaker seems less like an Attorney General and more like a guy that boxes Indiana Jones shirtless under a Luftwaffe flying wing.
Aditya Sood

I know the CNN [Jim Acosta] story is a distraction. I know! But to be clear: The government is using an obviously doctored video to support an obviously made-up story. Here in the United States of America.
Brian Montopoli

Remember way back, like maybe a year ago?, when a pro-Trump terrorist sent bombs to liberals? This was before Sessions was sacked, the Most Important Election of Our Lives, the synagogue bombing... The human brain just can't assimilate crisis after crisis. Who benefits from that?
Alfie Kohn

Donald Trump isn't a President. He's a motivational speaker for racists.
John Pavlovitz

From a friend — a billboard spotted outside of St Louis. I don't like using the word "heresy," but I think I'll make an exception in this case:

Diana Butler Bass
Which flows into the midterm elections:
8 in every 10 white Mississippi voters picked the person who said she’d “be in the front row” of a lynching. In 2018.
Samuel Sinyangwe

Another way of looking at it: in January, House Democrats will represent:
79% of all Asians
72% of all Latinos
66% of all African-Americans
66% of all Clinton voters
60% of all college grads
54% of all House seats
45% of all whites
39% of all Trump voters
20% of America's land area
Dave Wasserman @Redistrict

In 8 months, we:
Organized a 35,000-person march
Increased youth voter registration in Central Florida by 90%
Broke records for youth voter turnout in Central Florida in both the Primary and General Election
Passed an amendment to an appropriations bill that helped fund mental health
March For Our Lives Orlando

When he gutted Voting Rights Act John Roberts said voting discrimination no longer “pervasive” or “rampant.” GOP voter suppression in 2018 showed how wrong he was. We’re becoming pre-Voting Rights Act country, with separate & unequal voting laws
Ari Berman

Just for a comparative point, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was only 13 years old when most of the people currently trying to dunk on her lack of worldly intellect declared emphatically that Iraq had WMDs.
August J. Pollak

Voter suppression is as great an affront to the ideal of democracy as attacks on the free press. The only people who don't recognize that are the ones who don't recognize the humanity and citizenship of Black, Latinx and Native people.

About 60 million people turned out to vote for Democrats for the House this year. That is a **crazy** number. (Republicans got 45m votes in the 2010 wave.) And this was sort of missed. Why so many stories about Trump voters in truck stops and not so many about "the resistance"?
Nate Silver

Stunning new stat out of Ohio: We already knew that Republicans got 12 of Ohio’s 16 US House seats despite winning only 52% of total congressional vote. But get this: Republicans also managed to hold supermajorities in the Ohio legislature despite LOSING the total state legislature vote.
Alec MacGillis

A Minnesota first: There are now more Xiongs in the Minnesota House (Jay Xiong and Tou Xiong both elected this year) than there are Andersons (1), Johnsons (1), or Olsons (1).
Greta Kaul

Honestly the funniest 2018 result would be: Democrats win the majority based on suburbs after reporters spend two years canvassing rural diners
Dave Weigel

24 states had new voting restrictions in 2018
60 mil Americans aren't registered to vote
21 mil don't have gov't-issued photo ID
16 mil were purged from 2014-2016
51% didn't vote in 2018
These are voting problems we should be focusing on, not GOP lies about stolen elections
Ari Berman

The real JUSTICE LEAGUE: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib


Has anyone commented on the fact that Donald Trump is actively whipping up hysteria over the Florida elections, to the point that crowds of his supporters are mobbing election offices, less than three weeks after one of his Florida supporters was arrested for a mail bombing campaign?
David Walsh

"I don’t know if it was designed to be voter suppression, but it smells like it." At polling stations, minorities are three times as likely to wait longer than 30 minutes and six times as likely to wait more than an hour to vote.
Pacific Standard

Crazy that Trump is talking more about Broward County now than when 17 people were shot and killed here.
David Hogg

"An electoral system designed from its inception to give undue weight to rural white men is giving undue weight to rural white men who, for whatever reason, value weapons at the expense of lives."
Hemant Mehta

THE HOUSE in 2019 (rough since some seats still to be finalized):
Democrats: 40% women
Republicans: 7% women
Amy Siskind

"Why are Republicans so inclined to see themselves as the victims of shadowy conspiracies? One answer is that while they see themselves as representing the strong solid middle ground in American public opinion, the available evidence suggests that the opposite is true. And so it is not surprising that the GOP, despite holding the reins of power throughout the federal government, sees itself as so embattled and oppressed. Nor is it surprising that so many of its supporters are so eager to retreat to the comfort of paranoid fantasies."
Angus Johnston @studentactivism

1.6 million ex-offenders couldn't vote in Florida in 2018, including 500,000 African Americans. Rick Scott only restored voting rights to 3,000 people in 8 years. Whites 2x more likely to have rights restored vs blacks, Scott now leads Nelson by 16,000 votes
Ari Berman

It's such a weird thing the way the media reports on countless voter suppression schemes before election day but then treats questioning the results of the election as sour grapes.

How about this rule: if you are taking part on in an election, you don’t get to impact the counting. That goes for Brian Kemp and Rick Scott. The idea that Rick Scott is deploying police to Broward is outrageous. Intimidation tactics used decades ago alive and well in 2018.
Neera Tanden

Whoa. As people waited for hours & hours to vote all over the counties that were strongest for Stacey Abrams — an investigation found that over 1,500 fully functioning voting machines were locked up by the state & unused. This is voter suppression 101.
Shaun King

Y'all notice how corporate media immediately moved forward with the narrative that the "progressive stars" had lost and how that was indication that progressivism wasn't successful? How they completely overlooked how tight the races were and the rampant voter suppression and cheating?
Bree Newsome

You can't love this country yet attempt to suppress the right to vote. Voter suppression is anti-patriotic.
Ron Harris

I like Beto a lot but it's wild to me that all these women of color won tonight and people go right to talking about how presidential the white guy who lost is
Saladin Ahmed

Georgia isn’t a red state. In fact, none of the South is. We’ve been manipulated by the Southern Strategy, voter suppression and gerrymandering. But Abrams, Gillium and Beto showed us if we organize, register and build fusion coalition all year round, a moral agenda can come to the South.
Rev. Dr. Barber

Beto lost by 223k votes. There are 3 million unregistered voters of color in Texas because the state has the worst registration laws in country. The Beto campaign couldn’t register any new voters for fear of criminal prosecution.
Ari Berman

Gerrymandered in Ohio: “the Republicans won 75 percent of Ohio's congressional seats (12 of 16) with just 52 percent of the vote statewide in the races combined.”
Bakari Kitwana

Super important for Democrats to spend the next 10 years addressing state-based gerrymandering, voter suppression, felony disenfranchisement, etc... if they ever want to retake electoral power.

Senate popular vote:
Democrats: 40,558,262 (55.4%)
Republicans: 31,490,026 votes (43.0%)
Senate seats: Republicans +3
Mark Copelovitch

LARGE parts of the Democratic Party want that “snapback” without putting the REAL work in. Nah girl. This is a long game. I’m feeling like tonight we won. Tomorrow we keep building.
Rachel Zo

I just want everyone to remember that the House is so gerrymandered we thought it was lost to Democrats for decades
Alexis Goldstein

NYT is projecting Democrats win a ~9% margin in the House popular vote. The last time we saw a margin like that was 08, amidst a collapsing economy and a loathed war. Unemployment is 3.7% right now. America isn't at war. A margin this big is nuts — a pure repudiation of Trump.
Ezra Klein

It seems like a big deal that the three states that delivered Trump the presidency in '16 — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all elected Democratic governors and senators last night.
Brian Fallon

every single election day I look at twitter and see so many reports of failures — of machines to work, to show up, of long lines, of poll workers badly trained. And every day-after-election-day the stories are only of who won and lost.
Sarah Jaffe

Just stop trusting black women and relying on black women. Align with black women. Vote for black women.Y'all have work to do.
Dr Tyffani M Dent

now just imagine what an election without gerrymandering and voter suppression would look like!!
E. Alex Jung

Oh so 9 million more people voted for Democratic senators than GOPs, resulting in...[checks notes]...the GOP gaining three seats.
Mat Johnson

I swear Florida could be voting between ice cream and a kick to the head and the results would be 50.5%-49.5%.
Benjamin Park

The Colorado cake baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple now has a gay governor.
Reverend Jes Kast

Just hit me that the House Science Committee will, for the first time in nearly a decade, be led by someone who accepts mainstream climate science
Maddie Stone

If you voted for Ted Cruz or Rick Scott, you should have to put pictures of them in your children's bedrooms.
Matt Fernandez

In 7 states — Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Tennessee & Florida — laws prohibit people who owe any court debt from voting. That is profoundly undemocratic.

Half of the voting machines at my majority-black polling place were broken, I waited almost three hours to vote in a gym with no ventilation, and it was so hot and crowded a 12 year-old passed out.
Ashley C. Ford @iSmashFizzle

These elections always come down to convincing white voters that other people matter too, and this bit is getting real fucking stale.

Whatever happens tonight, the results suggest a country that is on a knife’s edge — basically 50-50 — on the acceptability of racism, nativism, demagogy, lies, chauvinism, abuse of power, cruelty, and corruption.
Anand Giridharadas

what is so wild about this is how [Georgia Secretary of State and candidate for governor] Kemp clearly DOES NOT CARE if the public believes he stole the election. it’s just pure contempt for the idea that he must abide by the rules

In the first nine months of his presidency, President Trump made 1,318 false or misleading claims, an average of five a day. But in the seven weeks leading up the midterm elections, the president made 1,419 false or misleading claims— an average of 30 a day
Rachel Stassen-Berger

In organizing our communities for liberation, at what point do we teach on the concept of voting and how to act as a political bloc? I don't see how we wait until the current system collapses to introduce folks to voting if there's interest in having a post-revolution democracy. What concerns me most about folks saying "voting doesn't solve anything" is that it misunderstands what the function of voting is. Voting is about choosing or changing leadership, making decisions on budget matters, referendums, etc. It's 1 form of participation in a democracy. Even on the day that we achieve an actual functioning democracy in this world, voting will not be a "solution". Organizing & protest will (& should) still be occurring in healthy democracy. I'm concerned about our ability to achieve it without understanding the building blocks.
Bree Newsome
...Which connects with immigration and the situation at the southern border (including the recdent tear-gassing of women and children):
You should be asking: why are 1000s of people waiting on border for asylum, anyway? The answer: months ago, US ports from CA to TX started routinely limiting legal asylum entries. There’s no official appointment system. Just people in limbo.
Dara Lind

If you wondered how Nazis killed millions of Jews, read the comments to any report about the migrant children we are tear gassing at the border. There is no limit to the hate that is spewed by comfortable Americans against people who they would literally never encounter.

The Democratic position on funding the wall should be that Democrats oppose funding the wall. And that the president will have to secure funding from Mexico, as promised, if he would like it to be completed.
Osita Nwanevu

A divide I see on my feeds: white people saying, “This is not America! This is un-American!” and people of color saying, “This is the America we’ve always known.” We agree this isn’t the America many of us want. But we can’t get there without acknowledging what has been and what still is.
Jeff Chu

if a group of 5000 asylum seekers came twice a year and we let every single one of them in it would take roughly 325 years for them to make up 1% of the american population. so maybe stop calling it a mass migration

They're testing the public's tolerance for violence against innocent people fleeing for their lives. You think the right doesn't have a climate change policy? This is literally their climate change policy.

“Migration is the joker in the globalization pack.” —The Late, Great Stuart Hall.

The issue isn’t whether this latest atrocity is representative of the U.S. or not. History says it is. The issue is that for so many Americans there is no aspiration or pretense to be a decent nation. There is a wholesale embrace of ugliness and hatefulness.
Imani Perry

What disturbs me most is that Trump and his ilk have so successfully dehumanized these folks that images of children being tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets will galvanize Trump's base. Check the mentions of any news outlet tweeting them if you think I'm wrong.
Melissa Ryan

Saying “the early settlers were illegal immigrants” is harmful. They were not immigrants, they were colonizers. There’s a difference. Colonizers came here to take over the land and kill us. Immigrants are just trying to live a better life.

Trump spent $72 million of taxpayer money for his pre-midterm political stunt of sending troops to the border to pretend like they were going to stop immigrants from coming in. The Trump campaign and the @GOP should be required to reimburse that money to the federal Treasury.
Keith Boykin

All those migrant children who were taken from their families during the Trump administration's short-lived family separation policy? The program cost $80 million and counting. That's $30,000 a child.
Kim Murphy

New Monmouth poll: "A majority of Republicans (54%) see the caravan as a major threat, but they are joined by only 28% of independents and 11% of Democrats. Regionally, residents of the four states (California/Arizona/New Mexico/Texas) that share a border with Mexico are least likely to be worried..."
Benjy Sarlin

Make no mistake, the discrepancy between resources spent supposedly protecting against a caravan thousands of miles from the border as compared with the neglect of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is racism as policy.
Lauren Duca

"Barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight," Donald Trump said today:

Harold Itzkowitz

Sometimes I think about America's sedentary, heart-diseased, fast-food gobbling, car-addicted suburbanites, sitting watching TV in their suburban castles, casually passing judgment on refugees who have walked 1000s of miles to escape oppression, and ... well, it makes me mad. These are people who proclaim their victimhood when Starbucks fails to include sufficient Christmas kitsch on its cups. But these refugees just want handouts, apparently.
David Roberts

There are more criminals in the Trump administration than there are in any migrant caravan coming from Central America

Trump keeps saying, as he did yesterday, that only "3%" of people released for an asylum hearing actually show up for court. His Justice Department says it was 89% last year, 91% in 2016, 93% in 2015, 94% in 2014.
Daniel Dale
As always, there were many tweets about racism, white supremacy, and police killing black people:
The Second Amendment and American gun ownership is so tied to an idealized white manhood that there is no world in which black Americans and others outside of that ideal can claim its full protections and have them recognized by white society.

We always talk about banks and redlining. What we don't talk about as much is average white homebuyers having widely accepted racist ideas about neighborhoods and how that impacts housing prices for people of color and their family wealth.
Angie Schmitt

A 4th Ferguson protestor, Bassem Masri, has died. Two protestors were murdered in 2014 (unsolved) and a third death was ruled a suicide (although his family is doubtful). Circumstances for Masri’s death have yet to be released.
Jenn Taylor-Skinner

The American Dream has always been racially framed - while Europeans were “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps,” Brown people are “illegal” and “taking away jobs” for doing precisely the same thing.
Khaled Beydoun

White supremacy is schools citing free speech when kids praise Nazism but threaten punishment when kids condemn racism.

There are studies that show nothing - not good schools, safe neighborhoods, appreciating home values... nothing - will make white people want to be in spaces where the black ratio is more than 1 in 7. After 15% is reached, white flight begins from schools and neighborhoods.

Dear Black People: In 2015, 38 Unarmed Black folks we’re killed by police. Most victims were adults. That same year, 368 Black children were killed by their parents or caretakers. But y’all keep telling me we gotta beat Black kids to keep them from being killed by cops.
Stacey Patton

in politics, we use phrases like "urban/rural divide" or gawk at why minorities are so clustered in cities. but isn't what we're really talking about segregation? encouraged and entrenched through decades of bipartisan public policy

Conservative: the government is bad. Also conservatives: Government should be strong and enforce rules and norms that advance the cause of White Civilization

57.9% of Republicans think that people should be free to express their opinions in the workplace... AND that athletes should not be allowed to sit or kneel during the national anthem.
Steve Stewart-Williams

The discomfort at using the phrase “white people” or acknowledging that white people are white is symptomatic of the tendency to act like white people are neutral bodies devoid of race.
wikipedia brown @eveewing

friendly reminder:
the word “Caucasian” is a holdover from the era of race pseudo-“science” when folks were out here measuring brains with calipers. It goes with its jacked up siblings, “Mongoloid” and “Negroid.” “White people” is a fine term to describe White people.
wikipedia brown @eveewing

When someone says "it doesn't matter if you're white, black, green yellow or purple" it's a red flag. Ain't nobody green or purple. Are black people aliens lol. It's so weirdly dismissive and not as progressive as you think

A 2013 study by the @UrbanInstitute that examined FBI crime data concluded that in states with “Stand Your Ground” laws, a white shooter is 350% more likely to have their homicide ruled “justified” when the victim is black.
ACLU of Ohio

“I will become prejudiced because you keep talking about race” is literally the least convincing thing you could say when someone calls you out for being racist. Or, perhaps second only to “some of my best friends are Black.”
Phillip Atiba Goff

There is no middle ground between birtherism and tolerance. There is no compromise between Trump’s autodestructive grifting and the rule of law. You can’t heal the “division” between a lie and the truth.
Jonathan M. Katz

"I see that you're criticising me for being a white supremacist."
"Have you ever considered that I am only advocating taking away your rights because you tried to get rights?"
"That... that it is exactly what we are criticizing, yes."

Using casually racist aphorisms without realizing you're doing it doesn't mean you're an accidental racist it means you're a comfortable one.
feminist next door @emrazz

Compromise with racists = racism
Compromise with sexists = sexism
Compromise is not a universal good
Paul Thomas

You know what happened in the immediate aftermath of World War I? Germany's colonial possessions in Tanzania, Namibia, Togo and Papua New Guinea were immediately taken over and divided between France and Britain. You know why? Because THE WAR WASN'T ABOUT FREEDOM! World War I and World War II were fought by Imperialist powers over who gets to colonize what part of the world. America was segregated during both. Britain was starving Bengalis to death during both. France was murdering ACTUAL freedom fighters in North Africa during both.

I think it's obvious, even from the phrase "Civilized Tribes,” that indigenous people were adopting and adapting to harmful, hegemonic, white supremacist, colonial, capitalist conventions. under a situation of oppression and genocidal removal.
Crystal Marie Fleming @alwaystheself

Not that arguing with bigots is a waste of time. You won't convince them, but in case life delivers the necessary punch, you can put their belief system under more pressure so it will crack more easily.
Russell Neches

A study examining mass shooting news stories published between 2008 and 2016 revealed that 80 percent of stories with the term “mental illness” concerned white perpetrators. In contrast, 53 percent of stories with the word “thug” were about black shooters.
Pacific Standard

like. we spend every election cycle begging white people to not be the supremacist settlers this nation raises to be and rewards them for being, and simultaneously denigrating Black folks for not saving the country from said settlers. that seems like a good strategy to y'all?

This country would be a lot better off if we let people of color run things for a while.
Alan Mills

Make no mistake. The fact that white supremacist groups have members on the inside of countless police departments and in legislatures absolutely facilitates their ability to operate with minimal consequence. White America believes so deeply in whiteness that the implication that it is, itself, a vector for terrorism is not a narrative it is willing to accept. Which is why the "mystery" of angry, abusive white mass murderers can never be solved. The most logical answer is off limits.

Instead of lecturing the descendants of slaves about how they need to vote because black folks fought, bled and died, why don't y'all spend more energy blasting white descendants upholding their ancestor's racist voter suppression tactics.
Stacey Patton

Nobody’s more creative than a white editor trying to avoid the word racist:


Black People: Stop hitting your kids. The fewer children we send into the world without psychological trauma and pent up rage they've accumulated from each whupping, the better we’ll be able to love and treat each other as a people. And the more equipped we'll be to resist racism!
Stacey Patton

Sometimes i think white people use the "I didn't intend to be racist" to really mean "I was hoping my racism would have no consequences"

White nationalist affiliations confirm serious bias, prejudice and pre-disposition towards acts of hatred and violence against people of color and should summarily disqualify one from any law enforcement job today!
... and some on sexism and misogyny:
Woman: “I experience this problematic thing regularly and as a result I am disadvantaged.”
Man: “I experienced something similar to that problematic thing one time therefore you are not.”
feminist next door @emrazz

I just want to make sure I understand Twitter this week. It’s Gillibrand’s fault that Al Franken resigned and its Hillary’s fault that Trump wasn’t taken down by Epstein because she stayed with Bill? So women are wrong for standing by men and for speaking up against men?

It's actually really crazy that women are only fertile for about 6 days every month and for only half our lives. Men are fertile every single day of the year and almost the entirety of their lives, yet the burden of child prevention is placed on us.

I just saw a commercial for a service that lets men get Viagra “discreetly” by mail without ever speaking to a doctor or pharmacist, but sure, makes total sense that many women need to get birth control 1 month at a time and a pharmacist can deny it if they don’t approve.
Celeste Ng

If they send girls home from school for wearing shirts that are too short they can surely expel boys for being Nazis.
DrJenGunter (responding to the Baraboo, Wis., Nazi salute photo)

If you’re a man who treats women as equals spend your time educating the men who don’t rather than yelling at me for not giving you enough recognition.
feminist next door @emrazz

Telling women you don’t know to smile is a micro aggression. You want us to be happy to be in your presence but guess what? We’re not.
Women spend more time ‘scanning’ pavements for obstacles than men; they’re more obedient to ‘rules’ (less likely to cross lines); and less likely to cross at red lights. Males walk faster, with more power and their course is less likely to be ‘perturbed’ by pedestrians/traffic. Male walkers have to wait at crossings for traffic to stop for much shorter times than women. Male pedestrians engage in far more risk-taking behavior (including using mobile phones while walking) and are TWICE as likely to die in collision with vehicles than women.
Rachel Hewitt

Women in New York City spend an average $26 to $50 extra on transportation per month for safety reasons, and up to $100 each month if they are their family’s main caregiver — as much as $1,200 more than men each year.
Regina Clewlow

Every man who chants “lock her up” has his own personal Hillary in mind.
feminist next door @emrazz

White men: we don’t yell at you about your votes because we don’t believe you’ll ever do anything. You’re welcome to prove us wrong. You’re welcome to organize. Or even just join us in our efforts. You’re welcome to dismantle racism and patriarchy.
Audrey Wauchope Lieberstein

In the fight against white male patriarchal power, white women are the weakest link.
Mikki Kendall @Karnythia

Still hung up on how a few instances of false accusation mean false accusations are common but hundreds of thousands of rapes don’t mean rape is common.
feminist next door @emrazz

I’m in full rejection of the term “working mom.” 1. All mothers work. 2. Never heard of a “working dad.”
June Diane Raphael
The media and all its problems:
“Describing Trump and others in language that uses ‘race’ as a neutral concept... suggests that race can possess both positive and negative valences. This masks that... phrases described as ‘racially tinged’ always involve assertions of race hierarchy.”
Nelson Flores

One big reason so many Americans feel fine shrugging off the colossal corruption and rampant crime in this White House is that major media and the power class shrug it off too. Remembering things for more than six hours and drawing obvious conclusions has become a radical act.
Jonathan M. Katz

If you are unsure how Trump maintains the support of ~40% of the American people, consider he is supported by two enormous media companies that operate as state propaganda outlets
Judd Legum

What if...hear me out...the major media outlets worried as much about understanding politics from the perspective of Black Americans as they do of, say, white working class Americans? And what if we built models of politics from that perspective?
Corrine McConnaughy

“In just six days, the New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary’s emails as they did about all the policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election.” Looking forward to relentless coverage of the Ivanka Trump scandal, since it's CLEARLY so disqualifying.
Brian Tyler Cohen

One of the most powerful media asymmetries is that anti-abortion activists harass abortion providers daily (both at their homes and their jobs) bomb clinics and literally assassinate doctors to no comment while even the mildest left protest is treated in apocalyptic terms.

Tucker Carlson thought it was monstrous that activists chanted outside his home last night. Two weeks ago he was laughing about George Soros being mailed a pipe bomb.
Alex Morash

“Only those safe from fascism and its practices are likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists.”
Broderick Greer

Editors and producers remain stymied by how to respond when political leaders seek to manipulate them in order to focus the public’s attention on the issues of their choice. There's no caravan crisis. But I think there is a journalistic one.
Matthew Gertz

When Obama gave a careful speech about manufacturing policy, it didn't get live coverage. If Trump promises he's going make good TV by lying about the caravan and slandering immigrants, CNN goes live. "Newsworthy" has to mean more than this.
Ezra Klein
Climate change and livable cities:
This is a fossil fuel subsidy:

Angie Schmitt

People will defend throwing people in jail for skirting a $2.50 transit fare. Same folks think it's outrageous to charge drivers $1.75 for a 15 mile trip on a gazillion-dollar publicly funded highway.
Angie Schmitt

“Sharrows” — those deceitful little painted arrows on the street that try to fool cyclists into thinking they are somewhat safe — need to be put to rest. When they appear on cycling maps, they lure cyclists into traffic.

Jennifer Keesmaat

The last and most sacred taboo in America will be charging drivers for literally anything ever. We can't address this climate crisis without addressing this part of our culture.
Angie Schmitt

MN should raise the gas tax and lower/abolish the state-wide floor on speed limits - first thing in the new session.

This is an important piece of the 2040 plan we never talk about. How can housing accommodate an aging population? Could it include units where younger people could help older people? More communal spaces? What about more multi-generational housing to accommodate a growing number of immigrant families, too? When we talk about “more neighbors,” these are our neighbors.

Here's one to keep for the truth and reconciliation hearings, if we ever get that far:

Pat Thompson @pattho

One of the ongoing stories of our time is people slowly waking up to the fact that the hippies were right about climate change and desperately seeking ways to acknowledge climate change while still bashing the hippies.
David Roberts

“The area of parking per car in the United States is thus larger than the area of housing per human.”
Ethan Fawley

I truly think older generations have no idea how deeply angry my generation is about their unwillingness to confront climate change. We're looking at the planet burning and our leaders can barely acknowledge that the problem exists much less do anything to avert disaster.

The overbuild of surface parking in cities across NA shouldn't surprise us. Most cities have at least 4 per car: at home, work, at a place of worship and at least one mall. Imagine if we took housing people as seriously as we take providing space for cars.
Jennifer Keesmaat

When parking is eliminated and room for pedestrians is increased, businesses do *better* ... is a lesson the business community refuses to learn, no matter how many times it's illustrated.
David Roberts

Bicycle-powered snowplows were a standard feature in Danish cities back in the day. Either for roads or clearing frozen lakes for skating. #wintercycling

Scientists have again landed a spacecraft on a proverbial dime on a planet 40 million miles away that rotates at 241 metres per second. Think I'm gonna trust them on this climate change stuff.
Scott Linnen

Climate denial will be defeated by political force. Or not. It will not be changed through argument or evidence. I realize this is very very difficult for people who care about evidence to internalize,'s 2018. Pretty clear at this point what's going on. People, I promise you, every second spent responding to the dumbass climate-denial arguments floating around today is a second wasted. They are not offered in good faith. They are not offered in good faith. They are not offered in good faith. They are not offered in good faith.
David Roberts

The secret about climate change deniers is that it has never been about not believing in global warming; it’s about not wanting to act.

We already have tiny houses, they are called apartments and condos and row house and duplexes and fourplexes. They take up far less land per home than tiny houses...which, according to the cool pics of them, need at least 5 acres of wilderness around them for each one.
kar nels

The problem is that when Republicans start talking climate — even "moderate" Republicans like [Ben] Sasse — it quickly becomes clear that everything they know about the climate movement and climate politics they gleaned from Fox.
David Roberts

The argument that scientists fabricate findings that are hostile to the interests of the wealthiest corporations in the world *for the money* should be mocked viciously every time it is offered. And it’s offered a lot.
Seth Masket

Remember that [the Minneapolis 2040 plan] started off as fourplexes everywhere and was already scaled down [to triplexes]. This is what happens when you compromise with the un-appeasable. Don't give in before the discussion even happens because they'll keep demanding more concessions.

—We gotta do something about climate change, right now!
—Like giving up our cars?
—Well, let's not get crazy.
The conversation hasn't advanced since this '90s Tom Toles cartoon. (NASA says cars/trucks now leading net producers of global warming emissions):

Taras Grescoe
Fossil fuels are cheap the way fast food is cheap — i.e., cheap to the extent you ignore the massive public health crisis they are causing.
David Roberts

"Design decorates the acceleration toward catastrophe." –Neville Brody and Stuart Ewen
Pat Thompson @pattho

The problem with presenting electric cars as a solution is it still centers transportation by car, which is hostile to actual green forms of transport and pleasant cities.
Adam Miller @ajm6792

There is no such thing as "acting too hastily" on cutting climate emissions.
Alex Steffen

The thing about cars is, they are really good at moving us away from each other, out alone into space. They are really bad at bringing people together, into crowded areas. They are like this tool of social isolation.
Angie Schmitt

Reporting on a scientifically defined issue while ignoring the science and its direct conclusions by acting as if there were two sides to the debate and each deserves positive coverage is, in large part, how we got into this planetary crisis in the first place.
Alex Steffen

To those inconvenienced by the climate-change roadblocks in London, we’ve tried all other options. The scientists have yelled at us for decades. Civilised negotiations with governments. Greening capitalism. Not enough. Sorry but we have no other option. #ExtinctionRebellion
Hannah Scott

Your periodic reminder of the news story of the millennium: We have left the 10,000-year climate "safe zone" that gave rise to human civilization:

Eric Holthaus

Interesting how again and again this idea that a street clogged with cars is somehow a better street pervades. Cars don’t buy stuff, seek entertainment or food - people do.
Jennifer Keesmaat

It is weird as hell that zoning ordinances evolved in such a way as to banish corner groceries from residential development, as if the law can't discern a fruit stand from a factory

"What 70 million 85-year-olds need...won't be highways — it will be safe sidewalks, better transit and reconfiguring our cities so that older people will be close to doctors and shopping and things they need without having to drive there."
Mary Morse Marti

Approximately $4.54 per hour of a person making minimum wage in Dallas ($7.25/hr) goes to owning and operating a car to get to that job.
patrick kennedy @WalkableDFW

This is what the opposite of climate action looks like.
William Lindeke (responding to the French protest about high gas prices)

More midblock crossings like this:

Dena Driscoll @bikemamadelphia

can u imagine how different and good the cities would feel if 2.5 million people lived in Minneapolis and Saint Paul proper and only 700k in the suburbs instead of the inverse?

In a rational world the California wildfires would galvanize the nation against climate change like 9/11 galvanized us against imaginary terrorists hiding behind trees.
Leighton Woodhouse

Breathing the air in San Francisco today is the equivalent of smoking 11.5 cigarettes. And in Paradise, it's closer to 22 cigarettes. #CampFire
Lizzie Johnson

About one-eighth of the number of housing units the entire state of California normally produces in a whole year burned to the ground this week.
Kim-Mai Cutler

Designing for biking and walking has an estimated return on investment of $11.80 for each $1 invested.
Brent Toderian

When anyone tells you, “we need cars because how else will we get around in winter,” remember that cars are *the worst* way to travel in winter.
Alex Schieferdecker

More people, homes, and destinations closer together is good for walkability. Triplexes used to be legal! The single family zoning experiment has failed!
Wedge LIVE!™

Oxford researchers looked at how much the world would need to tax meat to account for its health impacts. They found that prices for processed meat would have to increase by 25% and prices for red meat by 4% on average
Eliza Barclay

Many many people have made this point, but I find myself thinking tonight about how head-snappingly fast the right is going to go from "climate change is a liberal hoax" to "we need authoritarian solutions to climate change *now*" The amount of social disruption is going to be enormous. The caravan rhetoric was just a little itty-bitty taste of what's coming. Brute fact is this: calling for an immediate crash plan to cut US carbon emissions by half by 2030 is a “radical” position that is also the consensus position of the world’s climate scientists as reflected in latest IPCC report.
Chris Hayes

My life as an architect(ural designer) means growing increasingly frustrated that large houses can exist for the rich, but a triplex is illegal because of "parking" or "resource burdens" or "overcrowding." Why can't we instead talk about how the rich are burdening us??

An important, difficult, and badly neglected clean-energy problem: how to decarbonize a home heating sector running mostly on natural gas.

David Roberts

More than half of adults between the ages of 22 and 37 say a car is not worth the money spent on maintenance, and that they would rather be doing something other than driving.
Chicago Tribune

Having the Senate the way it is - overwhelmingly rural - is going to make it hard for us to ever have an infrastructure bill that provides what we really need: Alternatives to driving in our most congested metros.
Angie Schmitt

replacing a single family luxury home with a fourplex has a bigger climate impact than solar panels.

cars are essentially the privatization of public space. they take what would be a shared public space (the street) and fill it with private, rolling living rooms, both stored and in use.
Peter Krupa

Car dependency is the opposite of freedom.
Brent Toderian

Climate change hurts people. The faster we recognize that, and make decisions based upon that recognition, the better.
Tessa Hill

Failing bridges aren't really the big threat to American travelers. They just make sort of a dramatic/uncontroversial example of an infrastructure "problem." How many pedestrians would have to die for it to rank as a bigger infrastructure problem than some manufactured bridge crisis that is killing zero people a year? Imagine for a second, 6,000 Americans were being killed a year by failing bridges. 6,000 pedestrians are dying every year because our infrastructure fails them. But every time we talk about infrastructure it's just blah blah what are we gonna do about our scary bridges
Angie Schmitt

Compassionate cities build affordable multi-family housing and safe environments for pedestrians.
Angie Schmitt

I used to want tomorrow's flying cars and jetpacks. Now all I want is yesterday's #climate.
Peter Gleick

Pretty remarkable fact: if you drove the 1,000 miles from Daytona Beach to NYC in an electric vehicle powered *entirely by coal*, it would still produce less CO2 than the same trip in a gasoline vehicle:

David Roberts

"Tell your fire chief this — more children die from fast roads than any other cause after infancy." –Chuck Marohn.… design your trucks to fit your city, instead of designing your city to fit your trucks.
Brent Toderian

Moms online are always lamenting "what happened to the village?" They're all a car ride away
Angie Schmitt

The way people shrug their shoulders at death caused by cars but go into a moral panic over a near miss with an e-scooter is the purest expression of status quo bias
Francis McRae

Want people to take public transit? Invest in frequent, fast, direct service. And put density around it.
Brent Toderian
I think it’s pretty clear that Teach for America is NOT set up for the benefit of black/brown/low-income students. It is set up to benefit the privileged young college graduates who need a virtue-signaling gig before they apply to law school.

This is all that I will say about Teach for America, and this is what I said directly to them at their conference: If they really cared about black/ brown/low-income kids they would send their teachers into white wealthy schools to free up more veteran teachers for the kids who need them most.
Ida Bae Wells @nhannahjones

Have you noticed that the Right and Conservatives complain about universities being liberal and having "safe spaces" by screaming that conservative students do not have safe spaces in those universities?
Paul Thomas

Americans love treating good school districts as if they're a neutral measure of value rather than a reliable proxy for racial segregation.

Australian parenting author Louise Porter: “Obedience is a fine aim for household pets, but we don’t expect pets to grow up and leave home.”
Alfie Kohn

I have observed that everyone who argues that schools are a private commodity — not a public service — are paid to say so. It’s their job. A society in which everything is privatized benefits the richest, who don’t want to pay taxes for a strong public sector.
Diane Ravitch
This month, there were a lot of tweets related to income inequality and structural changes to our economy:
One of the weirdest things about the human race is how the rich hate the poor so much more than the poor hate the rich.
Sandra Newman

there's no way to earn a billion dollars. you can HAVE a billion dollars but you sure as hell didn't earn it
Kath Barbadoro

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times
Josh Fox

The American Dream is a fantasy that distracts us from the American Machine. The American Machine? It’s the conveyer belt that leads most kids, especially from neighborhoods like mine or JD Vance‘s [author of Hillbilly Elegy], from nothing to nowhere, while picking off the chosen few, like me.
Casey Gerald

[Mike Bloomberg’s donation to Johns Hopkins] is generous. But is it bold? Will it change the system, or just create more exceptions to the rule? If Bloomberg got his rich friends to surrender the carried-interest loophole and it was spent on education, that‘d raise 10 times the value of this one-time gift — per year.
Anand Giridharadas

My favorite part is when baby boomers, whose prosperity as a generation is largely owed to government programs that benefited their parents, offer their thoughts on why socialist reforms are a bridge too far for the generations who will never collect a social security check

Maybe the trust-busters of the last Gilded Age had it right? Just a thought.
Chris Hayes

Hey Siri what's neoliberalism? Neoliberalism is the world's most valuable company getting a tax break from a state that cannot afford to fix its subways or fight hunger, while the company's founder gives a sliver of money away and is described by the media as a "philanthropist."
Anand Giridharadas

We don't need the private sector leading the solution of public problems. We just need them to stop causing them.
1. Don't avoid taxes.
2. Don't stiff workers.
3. Don't befoul the environment.
4. Don't lobby against the public good.
5. Don't monopolize.
Anand Giridharadas

Each year, local governments pay ~$90 billion for companies to move factories and offices (like Amazon HQ2) away from other US cities. More than Washington spends on education or infrastructure. It's a national absurdity that requires a national solution.
Derek Thompson

If everyone earning below a living wage refused to work tomorrow, the entire system would come to a stand still. They have the power to do that, but it requires being organized to exercise that power. It's that simple and that complicated at the same time.
Bree Newsome

America’s opioid epidemic: emblem of a capitalist system. One family becomes billionaires as hundreds of thousands become addicts, die by overdose, and traumatize their families. What sort of “family values” are at work here? #HowCapitalismWorks
Richard D. Wolff

Richest American families:

1982: $1.4 billion
2018: $107 billion
Increase: +7,642%

1982: $2.63 billion
2018: $72 billion
Increase: +2,737%

1982: $1.81 billion
2018: $169.7 billion
Increase: +9,375%

Median U.S. household wealth, from 1982 to 2018, is down 3%.

The only thing better than Ocasio's honesty about her finances would be a Congress full of members who couldn't afford rent without being paid. A Congress resembling the nation. You know what Ocasio means to me? Less an ideology than a glimpse of what it looks like when ordinary people, not plutocrats, lead the charge to "change the world." When the rich run change, they defang it. We must change whom we task to make change.
Anand Giridharadas

Fox keeps cracking jokes about @Ocasio2018 struggling to pay rent. It’s telling that conservative media expects politicians to be rich. It’s telling that the normal struggle to find affordable housing is a joke to the pundits at Fox.
nikki mccann ramírez

Veterans of earlier wars had higher homeowner rates and fewer housing affordability struggles than non-vets. Now that's flipped: Vets post 9/11 are the first and only generation of vets to struggle more to afford housing than the general population
Mike Rosenberg

Economics textbooks teach that markets allocate scarce goods to those who pay the most for them. You know, like selling scarce milk at high prices to rich people with pets rather than poor people with children. Who could possibly question that? #HowCapitalismWorks
Richard D. Wolff

For Americans to have a free choice between capitalism and socialism, those options would have to be put up for a vote. The leaders of both major parties have long agreed not to do that. No wonder capitalists fund them. #HowCapitalismWorks
Richard D. Wolff

The essence of neoliberalism is to blame individuals for structural problems. The blame is funded by those who cause the structural problems.

Inequality erodes human community. Example: US airline fees for bags, where you sit, when you board, legroom, food, drink, waiting lounge, first & business class, etc. Separation, ranking, exclusion in so many little ways. Bitter explosions build from such discrimination systems.
Richard D. Wolff
And guns were discussed enough to rise out of the miscellaneous listing:
Ohio lawmakers considering a bill to allow the death penalty for women who have abortions AND a Stand Your Ground bill, which would encourage armed vigilantism and put Black American lives in particular at-risk. We see what pro-life means to you.
Shannon Watts

Card handed to staffer of NRA stooge Paul Ryan by student lobbyist: "If 1st amendment won't let you yell 'fire' into a movie theater, 2nd shouldn't allow you to shoot so easily into a crowded theater."
Shadow Cabinet

I'm confused by folks who imagine US empire can be overcome with guns. That's delusional to me. Maybe 150 yrs ago. Not in the nuclear age. You can arm yourself for self-defense, but it's more likely the empire collapses under its own weight than that it's defeated by armed resistance
Bree Newsome
Imagine dying of domestic violence and the headline reads "Police officer, gunman and 2 others dead."
Stephanie Kollmann

Black kids raised in the inner cities of America, have seen the worst of things, including gun violence. They don’t grow up to be mass shooters and serial killers. No one treats us for PTSD. No one cares.

Haven’t seen a single NRA shirt while out canvassing this year... Haven’t seen a single picture of an NRA member-led phone bank or house party. But, then again, we rarely see them in statehouses either. Just one lonely NRA lobbyist with a checkbook.
Shannon Watts

In two days it will be the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. And my synagogue just announced it will be holding active shooter training. Let that sink in.
Jennifer Mendelsohn @CleverTitleTK
Health care and public health, including the recent decline in life expectancy due to the suicide and overdose rates:
Hey, I was just wondering, not to cause, any ripples or anything, but how do we nationalize the insulin industry? Asking for around 30 million friends.
John Rogers

Why do 25 percent tariffs on steel get so much more media attention than 2500 percent tariffs on prescription drugs (patent protections)? In addition to larger tariffs, the prescription drug industry is an order of magnitude larger. I actually don't want to see the government give away patents (food stamps for drug companies) at all. Pay for the research and put the patents in the public domain. It's simple enough even Donald Trump could understand it.
Dean Baker

Worldwide the suicide rate is down by 29% since 2000. In America it's up by 18%
The Economist

Why is it that when the CDC says to throw out your romaine lettuce everyone takes it as gospel yet when the same agency tells you vaccines save lives they’re part of the Illuminati.

My brother died from depression. He also frequently exercised, had supportive friends/family, was successful in school and in work. He had goals that he was constantly reaching- he still killed himself. People who are depressed are not weak minded- they are sick. Understand this.
And a really short group rounding out the best of the rest:
Shipwreck taken over by nature:

Nature Is Weird

Your occasional reminder that most grammar rules in English were established by Victorian-era busybodies looking to cash in on the status-anxious, so just strive for clarity in your writing and speaking and you'll probably be fine.
John Scalzi

On a walk with my grandson a group of ladybugs lighted upon us. It was delightful and I realized I haven't given the mysterious world of insects enough heed. I vow to change that. Did you know a group of ladybugs is called a "loveliness?" How poetic. How true. How perfect.
Dan Rather

The reason so many libertarians turn into Nazis is that only certain people are deemed special enough to enjoy unchecked freedom, it’s a slippery slope

Those who live/stay in places we're told to "get out" of know: Here PLACE runs deeper than almost any aspect of identity. Conservative Kansans cheer for me because they're proud I write from their home even if they disagree on ideas. Candidates who get this win.
Sarah Smarsh

There are NO good missionaries. Though wrapped in benevolent self-justification, every missionary movement — religious, political, ideological — starts with an arrogant presumption of superiority and ends with the destruction of somebody else’s land/culture/identity/family/life.
Daniel Heath Justice

Anyone else ever notice that whenever someone in politics begins a statement with a phrase like “the world is a dangerous place” they’re about to rationalize something unconscionable?
jelani cobb

Stop taking “constructive criticism” from someone who hasn’t constructed anything.
Lula Dualeh @iRunWithLula

"A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a customer with a credit card and an inchoate ‘need’ for ‘stuff’.” —Caitlin Moran
Rob Hopkins

More attention to maintenance. More appreciation for maintainers. This is what we need in American infrastructure.
Angie Schmitt
My unpopular opinion is that most holidays, including Thanksgiving, are pretty stupid and we should just wipe the slate clean and start over again with new (and, per Europe's example, more numerous) holidays. Like, it's great for people to get together and sit down for a big meal, but there is no story to tell about Thanksgiving that is coherent or morally creditable. "We're celebrating the time indigenous populations fed their oppressors local delicacies before being genocided." WTF? Let's just replace it with a generic Take A Day Off And Have A Big Meal With Family Day. Nothing wrong with that.
David Roberts

Since 9/11, Americans have a 1 in 4,000,000,000 chance in dying in a terrorist attack. This includes Americans who died in 9/11 itself, and soldiers who died overseas. It’s impossible to justify our military spending designed to counter this. The threat is ridiculously inflated.
Patrick Fenelon

Happy Armistice Day! Never forget the reason you don’t learn a lot about WW1 in school is because there’s no way to make it sound valorous. It was a pointless, futile effort in which a small cabal of elites sacrificed an entire generation of humans to duke out petty rivalries.

Authoritarianism as a worldview always creates a certain kind of cognitive dissonance, a feeling of unreality, because it runs smack into the complex nature of the modern world:

David Neiwert

Applause is great but sometimes telling the truth doesn't elicit applause.
Bree Newsome

you can test any friendship by randomly asking without actual basis: notice anything different about me? and see what horrifying truths pop up
Aparna Nancherla

Worrying about Antifa's role in domestic terrorism is like going to Florida and worrying about avalanches. Not one domestic terrorist attack has been committed by Antifa and the largest demographic of domestic terrorists are right wing men.

Can we just be done with “shove down our throat?” It’s just not an apt description of whatever happened politically they you don’t agree with.
Adam Miller @ajm6792

Protests around Session’s firing to protect Mueller. Justice Ginsberg is hospitalized. Kemp steps down in Atlanta as faulty voting issues rise. Florida heads for a recount. White House stands by doctored video. And 12 are murdered by an ex-Marine. One day in the life of 2018.
Ava DuVernay

Life imitates art: "Preference for realistic art is a robust predictor of support for Brexit," according to new research by @UniofOxford
Pacific Standard

Pluto 1994 | 2018:


Conservatives believe that Dinesh D'Souza is their leading intellectual, the best they have to offer. And you know, they're probably right.
Paul Krugman

One big recurring pattern from my research on the world history of censorship is how often, in US cases, if there’s a happy ending it involves the ACLU.
Ada Palmer

every once in a while I stop and think about all the things Anonymous could be doing if they had actually existed as an elite decentralized cell of antifascist hackers rather than a handful of 4chan shitposters
S.I. Rosenbaum

Friday, November 30, 2018

Podcasts, Finally

It's been a long day and I don't have the November Twitter round-up post ready yet... so I'll just say, Hey, I've finally been listening to some podcasts, and I strongly recommend these two:

Serial, season 3. Instead of focusing on one twisty criminal case, this season the show spent a year looking at how the criminal justice system functions in one city... in this case, Cleveland. Excellent, in-depth journalism. Blood-boiling at times because so much is wrong, and nothing is done about it.

Bag Man. This is Rachel Maddow's in-depth look at the crimes that led Spiro Agnew to resign as vice president of the United States. (Taking bribes! In the White House!) Highly enlightening in the context of the current occupant, but also worth knowing just for the facts they uncovered that are either unknown or little-known. Including some bad news for fans of the now recently departed George H.W. Bush.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Co-op on the Bag

Aside from an occasional Minnesota State Fair post, I don't think I've ever mentioned co-op feed bags. Today is the day that changes.

This bag, which was a gift from some family members who know how much I like co-ops, adorns a chair in my living room. I look at it most days and appreciate it, so today, you get to appreciate it also.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ona Judge

George and Martha Washington were owners of enslaved people. They were enslavers. Of course, I knew that, and over time I have learned more that made my image of them in that role less and less ignorable.

It never should have been ignorable, but that essentially is how it was taught in school. "They owned slaves, but he freed them in his will, yada yada yada." Right?

There are fault lines running beneath the image white Americans have of Washington as a "good" slave owner. The controversy about the picture book, A Birthday Cake for George Washington, is one bit of evidence I learned about not long ago.

And the story of Oney "Ona" Judge, just recently told on the Uncivil podcast, is another. Ona was born to an enslaved mother at Mount Vernon around 1773, and after Washington was elected president when Ona was 16, she spent a lot of time in New York and then Philadelphia, which had become the U.S. capital.

Pennsylvania had outlawed slavery in 1780, so what was the status of Washington's "property" while he lived there?

Lithograph of the Washington residence
in Philadelphia from the Wikimedia Commons
Philadelphia had the largest population of free black people at the time. And it had a law that said enslaved people who were kept there longer than six months were automatically free. So what did Washington do? He rotated his slaves out Philadelphia after five months, sometimes just across the border to New Jersey, and then brought them back to restart the clock. He did that for six years, breaking the spirit of the law, knowingly.

From the podcast, I learned that Washington — who wrote the words "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth" — was also responsible for the first Fugitive Slave Law, giving owners the right to hire slave-catchers. And that he spent federal resources to try and bring back his personal property after Ona escaped to New Hampshire in 1796.

Finally, I learned that Ona was never legally free, though she was never caught and returned, nor were her children or grandchildren considered free until the Emancipation Proclamation. And that through Washington's heirs' marriage, her last descendants were legally the property of none other than Robert E. Lee. It was a small world among the white owning class of Tidewater Virginia.

There are no images of Ona Judge. But her story should be taught, too.