Sunday, December 31, 2017

Twitter at the End of 2017

The final month of the year that many declare was the worst possible (given the hubris of the present). Does Twitter provide some comfort, at least to me, or is it a net-negative? It's hard to know.

On the state of American politics and society:

When I hear people say that we have lost our national desire for morality and no longer respect marriage, families, religion or human life, I ask them what they think was going on from 1619-1865.

For 40 years, American Conservatives have filed down the definition of "corruption," turning the Framers' spear into a blunt stub.
Zephyr Teachout

Americans have been trained to take public services for granted, bitch about government, and accept endless insults and hassles from private corporations as a fact of life.
David Roberts @drvox

This is a battle over how we define freedom and how we govern our nation.
We must:
- Frame the debate around morality and values, not policy
- Emphasize the role of the Public, and the Public Good
- Understand the operative metaphors and use them
- Learn from past victories/defeats
George Lakoff

SCARY >> In 2010, the top 100 individual donors gave $73 million to federal candidates. In 2016, they gave over $900 million. That's a BIG DANGER to our democracy & helps explains why the tax bill lavishes so many goodies on corporations & the 1%.
Steven Greenhouse

The first gilded age allegedly got its name because all the prosperity of the late 19th century America was viewed by Mark Twain as a thin golden layer on top of great corruption and social upheaval. Not a golden age of prosperity but a gilded age.
Mark Price @price_laborecon

Projection, as in all things: the Kochs, Mercers, and other billionaire sources of dark money really are the "George Soros" of the Right.

One of the most impressive lies the Republican Party ever sold its constituents was that they would be more free under the control of corporations than under the regulation of bipartisan government.

Far-right propaganda has convinced the most clueless part of GOP base they’re the only ones who get it, see the truth: Pizzagate, Seth Rich, Moore’s innocent, Uranium One, Soros pays for everything, Birtherism, nine-month abortions. Telling uninformed folks they’re smart is the con.
Adam Best

Shout out to everyone still refusing to accept any of this as normal. Keep screaming at the top of your goddamn lungs.
Lauren Duca

The same amount of people live in Los Angeles as these seven rural, mostly white states. But they have 14 Senators while Los Angeles shares two with the rest of California. Our government was not designed to be modern multiracial democracy where everyone has an equal say:

Waleed Shahid

Dear GOP: The "party of Lincoln" died in 1964. You cant have a "party of Lincoln" without Black people and we been gone 53 years.

The current structure of the Senate is an absolute impediment to democracy, one that unscrupulous politicians and parties will continue to exploit. Should be scrapped.
Robert O. Simonson
On the defeat of would-be Senator Roy Moore in Alabama, and the lead-up to the vote:
This victory is a sign. We can win in the South if we fight long and strong, raise a moral critique, and take on hypocrisy, black, white, and brown together!
Rev. Dr. Barber

If black people had voted 68% for a pedophile last night, the media would be spending all day questioning the moral character of black families and communities.
Samuel Sinyangwe

A majority of white voters voted for an admitted sexual predator as president in 2016. A majority of white voters in Alabama voted for a known pedophile in 2017. So when are y'all going to start discussing the lack of morals in your community white folks?
Black Aziz Anansi @ Freeyourmindkid

Assume you were a person of the left and an atheist and you decided to create people in a laboratory to discredit the Republican Party and white evangelical Christianity. You could hardly choose two more perfect men than Donald Trump and Roy Moore.
NYT Opinion

Donald Trump and Roy Moore represent all of the world views we should've pushed to the margins of society a long, long time ago.
Jared Yates Sexton

Republican Logic: 14-, 16-year-old girls can be in consensual relationships with 30+year-old men but adult women cannot have reproductive rights.
Paul Thomas

At some point you have to ask why it is that *all* Black voters are supposed to see the moral clarity of opposing a segregationist disgraced ex-judge pedophile, but it's OK for more than half of white voters not to... yet sweeping judgments of white voters are racist?
andré m. carrington, Ph.D.
On Donald J. Trump, psychopath, narcissist, president:
We're being ruled by Mussolini doing an Andy Rooney routine
Saladin Ahmed

Republicans, 2016: Obama golfs so much because he doesn't want to work!
Republicans, 2017: Trump is working when he golfs!
Racism in a nutshell.

The same people who think Obama is a Muslim, think Trump is a Christian.
Lonnie Hicks

Donald Trump's guide to diversity:
Haitians: Have AIDS
Nigerians: Live in huts
American Indians: Pocahontas
Black Americans: Disrespectful ingrates
Mexicans: Criminals and rapists
Muslims: Evil terrorists
Women: Treat them like shit
White supremacists: Very fine people
Shannon Watts

Today when Trump arrives at Mar-a-Lago, he will have officially spent over 20% of his presidency at his golf courses, wasting $91,655,424 in taxpayer dollars on his travels to them. Playing golf, drinking a dozen or more diet cokes a day, lounging around like he’s in retirement.
Scott Dworkin @funder

I guess no one should be surprised, but it's pretty amazing how quickly Republican pols have settled into North Korea/Dear Leader mode, with all its ritualized praise and performative lying.
David Roberts @drvox

I realize this is the world’s smallest issue, but I still don’t understand what “I moved on her like a bitch“ means.
Emily Nussbaum

amazing that the name of the US president now doubles as a racist taunt to children.

I will never forgive the people who elected this infantile, racist, self-obsessed tangerine terror.
Alexis Goldstein

The president of the United States who retweeted three fake anti-Muslim videos from an ultra-nationalist group and made no apologies is calling for the firing of a journalist who tweeted a picture that made his crowd look small.

It's amazing to think that eight years ago, Republicans lost their s**t over Obama calling the actions of a Cambridge police officer "stupid" and today are unbothered by POTUS calling the FBI the "worst in history" —Boston Globe's Michael Cohen
Ed Krassenstein

Trump is, in an of himself, not very interesting — toxic narcissists aren't that complicated. What's interesting is the way US democracy has devolved to the point that a person like that could reach the presidency. It's what he says about us that matters.
David Roberts @drvox

Trump is a next-level psychopath. Folks point out horrible things done by previous administrations and my statement doesn't discount that. But Trump creates chaos as a means of maintaining control. It's how he operates his family, business and now the USA.
Bree Newsome

"Trump has so many political scandals that practically speaking he has no political scandals — they all evaporate into a lingering, poisonous miasma that floats permanently over the West Wing."
Derek Thompson
On Republican policies (including the tax scam bills) and actions:
Signing the tax bill, Trump says Democrats "want to spend money foolishly on things we don't need." Submitted without comment:

Shadow Cabinet

Shocking: Billionaire-led party of millionaires that is funded by billionaires writes law that will benefit the billionaire leader and fellow billionaires and millionaires at the expense of the working class
Ben Norton

In a nutshell: most all of the funds that now support your roads, bridges, schools, healthcare, and quality of life will now go to corporations instead. Then you get a minuscule one-time rebate to buy a bucket to put under corporations to catch any stray $1 bills that trickle down.
Jonathan Metzl

Over the past seven years, the economy has added 17 million jobs, unemployment has fallen from 10 to 4.1%, stock market has doubled, and median income reached new highs. But somehow if we don't ram through massive tax cuts for gazillionaires by next week, it all falls apart.
Cody Keenan

If you can't practice your religion without discriminating against people, including posting signs about which people you refuse to serve, then your religion sucks (and it's not Christianity, even if you insist on claiming it is).
Peter Greene

Ending the estate tax for 5500 millionaires costs more than providing health care to 9 million children. Guess which one the GOP prefers
Paul Krugman

Admit it: "shrinking beloved national monuments so they can drill on them for oil" sounds made-up. Cartoon villainy.
David Roberts @drvox

It’s worth remembering that for any other president, the crisis in Puerto Rico – 1 million people without running water and 3 million people without electricity more than a month after the storm – would have been enough to derail their entire presidency.
Clint Smith

A few months ago, Conservatives were upset about traitor General Lee’s monuments being taken down, and are now ending the Utah monument designations of actual historical, tribal, spiritual lands. It’s almost as if this isn't about preserving history and freedom of religion.
Renee Bracey Sherman

We should be paying more attention to the fact that many GOP moves right now sure look intentionally crafted to inflict economic damage on big cities, the coast states and the clean economy. A cold civil war would look a lot like what's happening now.
Alex Steffen

Redistributing wealth to the rich and stopping black people from voting are now the central organizing principles of the Republican Party.
Ari Berman

And that's it. By a vote of 51-49, taken at nearly 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate has just voted to gut the U.S. tax code, with implications for every American. A bunch of old white men are applauding as democracy dies in the darkness.
Eric Holthaus

Mitch McConnell, who wouldn't let Obama fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, but will pass a society-changing tax bill with a president under investigation for possibly colluding with a foreign power, deserves history's scorn.
Brooklyn Spoke

This is just to say

I have given
your future
to the top 10th
of the 1%.

I know
you were probably
on school

When I say 
you should work harder
I meant
To enrich me.

You should have
been born like me
so rich
and so cold

Elizabeth Bear

Our founders fought a war with England to ensure we had a voice in our government. And now the GOP is denying our voice and listening only to their mega-rich super-donors. This isn’t making America great again. It’s making us serfs and slaves again.
Steven Singer

::whispers:: you are not ethically obligated to recognize the legitimacy of a government that is going to kill your family
Saladin Ahmed

The GOP wants you broke, scared, sick, and confused. They want you grateful for every scrap they toss. The more desperate you are, the more secure they are. They sow division, racism, xenophobia, homophobia — all to keep us from uniting in common cause. WRECK. THEIR. SHIT.

Republicans are playing an effective long game. They've touted deficit fears to get two consecutive Democratic presidents to cut spending, and each time used the savings on tax cuts when they return to power.
Sahil Kapur

I hope that the lesson people are also learning is that when you have power you use it to DEMOLISH the opposition. You smash them. No quarter. That's what the GOP is doing.
On mass media in the age of Trump:
It seems the constant here isn't the president's popularity or unpopularity. Instead, it's a persistent belief in newsrooms that rural white conservatives are somehow always the best gauge of what "real Americans" think, no matter who's in office or how he's doing. "There's a popular African American Democrat in office? What do Heartland Voters think about that?" "There's an unpopular white Republican in office? What do Heartland Voters think about that?" Did your publication constantly run "Obama's fans still fans of Obama" during his presidency? If the answer is no, then why are you constantly running "Trump's fans still fans of Trump" stories now?
Kevin M. Kruse

The fact so many journalists avoid using the term racist to describe this president demonstrates the extent to which the truth comes second to the comfort of (white) readers.
Samuel Sinyangwe

When a prejudice is socially unacceptable the media will generally deny it is broadly held; when it is socially acceptable the media will generally echo its presumptions.
Adam Serwer

Stop profiling these people [Trump voters]. We truly don’t care. We get it, they’re cultists disconnected from reality and motivated by racism. Cool. Why don’t you go profile the marginalized people who have it even harder under Trump instead?

It’s maddening how much of the coverage of Trump’s racism is packaged as “WILD, WACKY KOOKY TRUMP SAYS ______,” instead of — as we’ve seen with his sexual assault — “Sitting President espouses regressive and damaging views of Americans that disqualify him from leadership.”
Ja'han Jones

Yes, many of the current attacks on the FBI are invalid and made in bad faith to protect Trump and discredit the investigation. But this attempt to equate criticism of the FBI with some sort of immoral treason is also very warped and damaging.
Glenn Greenwald
Let's get away from Trump and our current Washington disaster and look at some larger issues. First, education:
It's amazing how rarely anybody mentions this fact: We send our children every day to a place where no adult really knows them well. Why is this a good idea?
Carol Black

Quick reminder: if we're trying to remedy inequity by fixing children who experience injustice while ignoring the injustice, we're actually contributing to injustice and hurting children.  Yes, that is as backward as it sounds.
Paul Gorski

I haaate when kids complain to teachers about why adults have more freedom and adults say “I did my time.” What does that response mean?

I’ve said this before, but one of the only reasons I’m a writer is because I had a teacher in 3rd grade who looked at my poem about clouds and said “you can be a writer when you grow up.” It stayed with me forever. Teachers, don’t underestimate what your words can do for your students.
Clint Smith

Slogan in search of an acronym:  Standardized Testing Undermines the Process of Intellectual Development
Alfie Kohn

"Accountability" has been the buzzword for school reformers for decades, but when will accountability be held accountable?
John Warner @biblioracle

If someone were to design a center for learning and discovery for 14-18 year old youth, it almost certainly wouldn’t look or function like a high school.
Rik Adamski

Classrooms are kid-owned or they are training camps.
Ira Socol

What do you want your child’s school to be like? Please want that for every child.
Jack Schneider @Edu_Historian
Then, as always, there is lots to say about racism, white supremacy, voter suppression, and police brutality:
All these months later it still blows my mind that the same folks who want black people to have seven forms of ID and do the hokey pokey in order vote basically don’t care at all about Russian election interference.
Clint Smith

Before Trump, Brexit, and the resurgence of far right movements worldwide, I had high hopes for White Millennials. Honestly thought this would end with my generation. Now? It's been sobering to see how resilient White supremacy has been.
Ebony Elizabeth @Ebonyteach

I don't understand writers who are willing to pay a scientist to make sure the science in their book that only 5% of readers will even understand is perfectly correct but cry foul at doing the same for marginalized groups.

It’s so funny: People who have absorbed the myth of white supremacy call ME racist because I vociferously reject that foolishness. They are so wedded to the notion, that they feel any attack on it as an attack on them.
Charles M. Blow

I'm struck by how whenever the mainstream media makes us conspicuous, they contribute to our targeting. For Black women? Visibility = violence.
Ebony Elizabeth @Ebonyteach

What's amazing about French racists is that they want to be able to wear black face, call black people savages, discriminate against minorities, celebrate colonization AND insist French racism doesn't exist. They're pathological on a level that is difficult to put into words.

When white people say they hate "entitlement" programs what they really mean is that they hate programs that they believe help people of color. The irony is that the "entitlement" programs they are so eager to cut have always helped white people more than any other group.
Nelson Flores

Anti-racist white women are overwhelmingly outnumbered by white women who are unwilling to do anything more than give lip service to "equality" while reaping the benefits of systemic racism as well as overtly racist white women who are actively invested in white supremacy. Whatever the white women's movement of the 1960s and 70s was, it was not a movement to confront or dismantle racism. And in 2017, white women's "feminism" still fails, on a regular basis, to rigorously acknowledge and address white women's racism.

Once you understand that no matter what they’re saying, certain people actually don’t want to see an equal America, things start to make a lot more sense.
Clint Smith

So when folks suggest the term "white supremacy" is overused, I think, "How can you overuse the term that describes the dominant culture & its central organizing philosophy?"
Bree Newsome
my favorite liberal take is the one where we engage in collective punishment of the poorest states in the union with the largest African-American populations because a class of white millionaires control local media and passed laws making a PhD in geometric topology a requirement to vote.
Adam H. Johnson

The culture of white supremacy bestows full humanity and citizenship upon an archetype of the white male master. An individual's value is then measured by their physical proximity to this image of "whiteness" (either in appearance, behavior or position). Anyone can participate in the culture of white supremacy. It simply requires adhering to the idea that there is inherent superiority in fair skin and white culture and that assimilating to "whiteness" is key to being "civilized.”
Bree Newsome

Good afternoon Jim I am unfortunately on the ground here at the Ye Olde General Store. And uh...

Hanif Abdurraqib @NifMuhammad

I have black deaf friends who are terrified this will happen to them too. Some were shot because cops thought they were using gang signs when they were actually trying to sign that they're deaf.

From 1917-1921, white Chicagoans set off nearly 60 bombs at homes of Black people to keep them moving into neighborhood. (from Jacqueline Jones' bio of Lucy Parsons)
VictoriaLaw @LVikkiml

“one-third of people killed by strangers in America are killed by police” is easily the most shocking statistic I’ve read in some time.
black ivy carter @polumechanos

Hip Hop is "black" when crime happens. When it wins an award it's everyone's culture.
Andreas Hale

Would be interesting to see Mueller critics apply the “you can’t investigate me if you disagree with my political beliefs” standard to everyday policing.
Adam Serwer

legalizing marijuana without pardoning everyone in the jurisdiction who's in prison for selling weed is a form of institutional racism. taxing marijuana sales without allocating that revenue to rebuilding communities devastating by "drug war" policing is institutional racism.
trial error @dreamaskew

Any analysis of black voting patterns that doesn’t account for voter suppression is not a serious or rigorous analysis.
Clint Smith

White liberals want "peace" to live out the illusion of progress without actually having to sacrifice anything. White conservatives want "peace" to live out the illusion of being plantation owners. 'Peace' is code for invisibility and compliance. Neither group wants justice.
Arash Daneshzadeh

I have a 4th grader and with every new chapter of "history" they cover we have deprogram him. This week I had to explain to him that Matoaka [Pocahantas] was a child his sisters' age when she was forced into a marriage to a grown man of another unwelcoming culture that eventually destroyed her people. They have children believing John Smith and Pocohantas were a loving amorous couple who tried to unite two peoples with their love.
Relatedly, there were a number of tweets about the sudden heart attack and later death of Erica Garner:
My mother died in exactly the same way as Erica Garner. My thoughts are with her family and black women everywhere literally having their hearts broken from the exhaustion of just trying to live in this country.
Saeed Jones @theferocity

Systemic racism kills. Literally. Daily. This is why I have no space for folks who try to reduce the issue of racism to a mere "culture war", as though racism is just a bad idea held by otherwise decent people and not a brutal system that deprives people of humanity.
Bree Newsome

We need to get rid of the term *tireless* with respect to activism. There isn't an activist who does actual work who isn't tired AF.

What cuts me so deep about Erica Garner's health situation is that she spent her priceless last bit of time fighting this system. At 27, she should've been able to enjoy youth, backpack across the globe like white folks do in their 20s, laugh more than she had to fight America. White people have descended into my mentions. The lack of remorse for a system they uphold and benefit from, for how it takes people like Erica Garner, would be staggering if I wasn't accustomed to so many of them being utterly bereft.
Francisco-Luis White
Wage theft, income inequality, and the war on the poor:
Yeah the downtown sucks and there ain't much opportunity here and poverty is a soul-sucking trap. That is not the fault of my messy gross neighbors who fight on their lawn at 3AM.
Linda Tirado

"The U.S. has the lowest national minimum wage, relative to the median wage, of any of the wealthy nations." In the U.S., the minimum wage is 35% of the national median wage, compared with 61% in France, 54% in Australia & 46% in Canada.
Steven Greenhouse

The older I get, the more I think universal access to high-quality therapy would be a massive net improvement in human welfare.
Chris Hayes

Three of the world's five largest employers are now some form of temp agency providing contract labor.
Tom Gara (with link to a Wall Street Journal article)

Trickle down: Income growth in America from 1980 to 2014
Top .001%: 616% growth
Top .01%:  423% growth
Top .1%:   298% growth
Top 1%:    194% growth
Top 10%:   113% growth
Bottom 20%   4% growth
Conrad Hackett

Most antipoverty policy is federal, controlled by GOP. Liberal cities over 1 million produce 2/3 of annual GDP, are responsible for most tax revenue, but are systematically underrepresented in Congress and the Electoral College.
Will Wilkinson

I really do not understand why kids whose parents pay for everything can be thought to grow up empowered but if you give a poor kid one free thing, they’re doomed to be dependent for life.
Feminism, misogyny, sexual assault and harassment:
i don’t remember when i first realized that women who identify as "not liking most women" are the only women i don’t like, but readers, it's truly still a life-changing thing to know.
Jessica Blankenship @ blanketboat

An unexpected consequence of growing awareness of male sexual aggression and assault is that a great many old movies (charming in their day) now seem utterly offensive.
Langdon Winner

fathers: you can't trust men. they only want one thing.
uncles: boys are trying to play you
cousins: you better not be dating those boys
brothers: they just want to get inside your pants
girls: men are trash

My first and most grave warnings about men came from men. Best I can figure at this point is, generally speaking, dudes hate themselves and we need to let little boys cry.
Sarah Smarsh

Do you know why women and POC often lack confidence? Maybe it's not always impostor syndrome. Maybe it's because we know we'll be punished as soon as we do display confidence. We'll quickly be "put in our place." Consider that, next time you tell us that we "lack confidence."
Sonia Gupta

To pink or not to pink… is not a question. For girls and women, compulsory femininity is absolutely a thing and should be resisted. Simultaneously, devaluing of the feminine is a thing and should be resisted.And this shows up particularly visibly in fathers who view themselves as progressive. They pat themselves on the back for encouraging their daughter's interests in engineering, while simultaneously teaching them disdain of the feminine.

do women hold grudges, or do women hold devastating information that exposes big ol' cracks in previously impermeable power structures?
Aparna Nancherla

It misses the point to ask whether this or that Trump statement is sexist. He is sexist to his core. It informs *everything* he says. This is what lots of folks don't seem to get: sexism is not some behavioral quirk, it is core to many male world views. It doesn't just show up in answers to the specific question of how women should be treated. It shows up in foreign policy, economic policy, social policy - in instinctive reactions to events with no explicit connection to "women's issues."
David Roberts @drvox

Raise your sons to be feminists too.
Kitten With a Whip @LeslieSimone_

Since dudes are confused about how to behave with the ladies at work, they should experiment with the guys.
Hug your boss, Al.
Tell Bill his new pants look great on him.
Give Bob a shoulder rub.
Brush Peter's ass when you walk by.
Order Joe the CEO to smile.
Lucy Woodhull

One thing I've noted in my career - men who are true supporters of women and people of color are too busy actually doing the work to brag about it.
Farai Chideya

A stark look at gender today: 57% of young men feel pressure to join in locker room talk. More men think girls should do boy things than think boys should do girl things. Most men think gender differences are biological, women say they're societal.
Claire Cain Miller

If you’re afraid you’ll stop getting hugs if you have to ask, then you’re definitely the kind of motherfucker who shouldn’t be hugging anyone. Also dudes, if all these stories are making you feel like you can’t flirt anymore, then what you were doing was not flirting.
Saladin Ahmed

I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d be in any way bummed out that an old guy I don’t know very well isn’t going to try to hug me at work anymore

How do we calculate the cost of gender and race-based discrimination in newsrooms on the fiscal bottom line: lost productivity, legal settlements, etc? Serious question. We need to do the work. This is not just about apologizing for feelings; it's about money and meritocracy.
Farai Chideya
On immigration and the ideas that underlie opposition to it:
immigrants should be allowed to be utterly mediocre, indeed entirely average, and still not be demonized, persecuted or criminalized.
stacy-marie ishmael

There's no such thing as a pure Anglo-Saxon origin. "The DNA evidence points to an integrated people of mixed ancestry who lived side by side."
David M. Perry @Lollardfish

“chain migration” is a nice dehumanizing way to refer to “families”
Jamelle Bouie

Here’s a fun fact: if people are simultaneously freaking out over low birth rates but wanting to limit immigration, it’s because they’re racists

My great-grandmother was an illiterate who was kicked to death by a cow while milking it. Her grandson has a PhD in math education and her great-grandson is typing these words in a large, well-appointed home. What changed wasn't "merit" - it was the luck not to be born amidst pogroms in a failing, corrupt state that was about to literally be wiped off the map by war.
Cory Doctorow
Climate change and sustainable cities, including transportation:
What if we required drivers who park next to bike lanes to shovel out adjacent bike lane segment because their parked car prevented the plow from doing its job? If on-street parking is so absolutely necessary, then elevate road safety by requiring drivers to do their part.

Giving away free parking but charging for transit is like giving away free cigarettes but charging for vegetables. Flip that and your city will be much healthier by every measure.
Jonathan Hopkins @ mortonjhop

A huge new Finnish study finds planet could run on 100% renewable energy by 2050 and for less money than we pay now. Or, we could burn up the earth
Bill McKibben

Whenever anyone calls themselves a realist, I gently inquire to which reality they owe their allegiance — physics or politics?
Shaun Chamberlin

The fundamental point about private cars is this: They appear to increase freedom of movement, but what they actually do is redistribute freedom of movement less equally across society. As the car owner sees their freedom increased, the non-car owner sees it diminished.
Martha Lauren @NQRW

When are we gonna stop pretending it's regular people's fault the planet's dying because they wont go vegan or take 5 minute showers and start actually blaming corporations that produce astronomical pollution and dump toxic waste directly into the mouths of great whales like

The richest 10% of the population produce 50% of the world's carbon emissions. The poorest 50% produce only 10%.
Andrew Bard Epstein

You know what's more economically expensive than divesting from dirty tar sands? Floods, fires, rampant disease, mass extinction, civil wars. All you need to run a hydrocarbon economy is a hole in the ground surrounded by guns. To run a high tech, bright green economy, you need an educated, smart, flexible workforce that can adapt to anything the world throws at us. Canada's future isn't tar, it's tech.
Cory Doctorow

A person may make a completely rational decision to drive an hour to work in order to live in a house they can afford. But the system that left that person with no viable alternative is irrational indeed.
Rik Adamski

—We gotta do something about climate change, right now!
—Like giving up our cars?
—Well, let's not get crazy.
Classic Tom Toles cartoon, more relevant than ever:

Taras Grescoe

We're literally melting the ice caps, right now. The Arctic is "now definitively trending toward an ice-free state," scientists were told at this fall's AGU meeting. We still talk like our actions will decide whether climate change will happen in the future, or not — but the planetary crisis is here, and worsening fast. What we're deciding now is the fate of civilization, over the lifetimes of today's children — and delay is a vote for ruin.
Alex Steffen

There is one thing Elon Musk is absolutely right about: Transit *is* bad in most places. But, why would it be anything else? We’ve spent over 60 years under-funding it, subsidizing road expansions, and mandating easy car access through our zoning codes.
Nate Hood

Many people hate public transit, and don’t like being around lots of random strangers. But why plan big cities for them? They avoid big cities. Just ask them. And why create “private transportation” options for them? They’re happy driving their cars.
Rik Adamski

Crash facts: An Amtrak train would have to derail with three deaths once every two days for an entire year to equal the total annual deaths generated by the highway system and drivers of the state of Washington alone.
Don Kostelec

“I don’t want renters” or “We need housing for families” is Minnesotan for “I don’t want people of color or students.” >50% of St. Paul units are rental and we have skyrocketing prices with super-low vacancy rates. Lots of people pushed out by this attitude.
Ethan Fawley

If Elon Musk is worried about sharing space with serial killers, he really ought to stay off the roads. Drivers kill 40,000 Americans each year.
Bicycle Lobby

In cities, Elon Musk's hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford.  Letting him design cities is the essence of elite projection.
Jarrett Walker @humantransit

Longer term view: Seattle grew 21.3% in population since 2006, traffic volumes decreased by 3.3%, and transit ridership increased by 41.8%
Dongho Chang

Food production is responsible for about 25-30% of all greenhouse gas emissions.  Meat generates about half of that.
Jonathan Foley @GlobalEcoGuy

Nothing says 'pedestrians matter here' more dramatically than lots of paint, zebra striping. So simple, so cheap, so effective. (Well, lower speed limits say it too). #SaoPaulo

jennifer keesmaat

Driving is like smoking; it used to be marketed as sexy and safe, but we know it is killing drivers and everyone around them. It’s time to do to driving what we did to smoking.
Lloyd Alter

"A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation." —@EnriquePenalosa
Taras Grescoe

Drivers are assholes, like smokers: Completely oblivious to the impacts of their decisions and content in their selfish ignorance/

Those choosing to live in the suburbs aren't entitled to free-flow car traffic capacity into the city at the expense of the taxes, health, safety and quality of life of city-dweller:

Brent Toderian

Hi yes, I'd like a low-density neighborhood near shops and jobs, with no traffic. The homes should be affordable and also increase in value every year. This definitely exists and is possible, thanks.
Scott Shaffer

There is nothing more ideological than insisting on subsidized highways, tearing down other peoples neighborhoods to widen highways, underfunding transit to fund highway  widening, and poor land use policy that traps people into having to drive a car for every trip purpose.
Bill Schultheiss

Since London added congestion pricing, traffic has plunged. Meanwhile, 23 percent more people enter the center city every day.
Streetsblog USA

Every single city should have congestion pricing. Instead of making public transit more expensive during@rush hour make cars more expensive.

All-purpose phrase I recently learned: "We're neck-deep in dead canaries."
Charles C. Mann

Priorities in public spaces? Walking...and sitting. "The first step to evaluating the health and vibrancy of a space might be to sit down. That is, if you can."

Traffic is not an engineering problem, but one of behavioral economics with policy solutions.
patrick kennedy @WalkableDFW

Ugh. I swear the same people that are so concerned about parking are the same people that get enraged when someone else’s car parks in front of their home. It’s not really about parking so much as it’s about a free extension of someone’s private property.
And, as always, there are the best of the rest:
The French word for raccoon is “raton-laveur,” which literally means “rodent that washes stuff”

Heterosexual privilege is seeing heterosexual sex and relationships throughout all of history including in art, music, films and literature and still believing that homosexuality is what’s being forced on everyone.

“If the person closest and most important to you passes away unexpectedly, spend the first few weeks imagining they are just on a trip and unreachable right now.” —An excerpt from my forthcoming self-help book. Order yours now.
Molly Priesmeyer

Americans killed by Nazis in 2017:
Heather Heyer
Taliesin Namkai Meche
Ricky Best
Richard Collins III
Timothy Caughman
Srinivas Kuchibhotla
Buckley Kuhn-Fricker
Scott Fricker
Americans killed by anti-fascists: 0

I hate the word "technocrat."  It's a cultural dog-whistle implying that there's something wrong with being led by people who know what they're doing.
Jarrett Walker @humantransit

I need to know the back story to this:

Darwin Award
Two rounds of deep analysis of employee performance data at Google show that the top predictors of success are being a good communicator in a team where you feel emotionally safe.
Laurie Voss @seldo

People think it was just the Nazis that operated concentration camps. Britain used them in South Africa, Ireland, Palestine, Malaya and Kenya.
Crimes of Britain

In every cop movie the police kill dozens of people and then get celebrated as heroes in the end. Pathological.
Samuel Sinyangwe

isn't it funny that the only people who believe in the criminal "justice" system have never had to deal with it? seem a little fishy to anyone?
@ _JakeHoffman_

Libraries literally aren't just a place to obtain books for free. They're one of the few public spaces left in our society where you're allowed to exist without the expectation of spending money.

Americans killed annually by

All Islamic jihadist terrorists 9
Armed toddlers 21
Lightning 31
Lawnmowers 69
Being hit by a bus 264
Falling out of bed 737
Being shot by another American 11,737
Conrad Hackett (with link to source)

It’s a lot easier to be a socialist than a Christian. Jesus told people to abandon their families and possessions and follow him. Socialists just want you to work like hell for a just and equitable society. You get to keep your stuff and of course your kids.
Barbara Ehrenreich

This is kind of besides the point, but I have never heard someone criticize "safe spaces" who knew what those were. People basically just criticize what they think the word means.

I just learned that elephants think humans are cute the way humans think puppies are cute (the same part of the brain lights up when they see us) so pack it in, nothing else this pure and good is happening today.
@ JuliaHass

Discovered in a peat bog 150 years ago, the Orkney Hood is the only complete item of fabric clothing to have survived from early medieval Scotland. Made between AD250 and 615 and held by the National Museum of Scotland:

North Ages

Do people actually feel “disdain” for Millennials?! I feel immense responsibility to make it better. Gen X was the beta for the rigged economy. Millennials got the shipped version. No living wage, a lifetime of debt from college. If you feel “disdain,” you need to get therapy.
Brianna Wu @Spacekatgal

Regarding the pervasive penchant for finding gurus (including the secular sort): "Those who see giants are still looking at the world through the eyes of a child" -Anais Nin
Alfie Kohn

I am very weird and very comfortable with that.
Ebony Elizabeth @Ebonyteach

I 100% guarantee you there will someday be whole academic conferences dedicated to arguing whether Anakin Skywalker was a real person, a myth based on a real person, a fictional persona for a real person, or fictitious cover for politically volatile ideas to be expressed.
Maggie Koerth-Baker

Fatness is so dependably used in fiction to foreshadow rot, greed and perversion that if you write a fat character, readers will go LOOKING for those qualities. Readers actually get *confused* when your fat character doesn't, A, turn out gross or, B, lose weight.
Rainbow Rowell

Our cat saw snow for the first time today:

The Invisible Man

The saying “there are no atheists in a foxhole” argues that when confronted with the immediacy of danger and possible death people with reject their atheism and turn to god. But that’s far more of an indictment of faith than nonbelief. It raises the question: how much faith is actually just reactionary fear?
jelani cobb

Here's your periodic reminder that evolutionary psychology is a cesspool of unfalsifiable and self-serving hypotheses that often take the form, "I, a person with some power, only abuse that power because it is inevitable, given the imagined lives of early hominids."
Cory Doctorow

The thing to remember about "the cake case" is this. A baker intentionally broke state law, went out of their way to humiliate two gay people who were shopping around for their wedding, because they work for an organization that wants to make it legal to fire gay people from jobs.

To repeat, concealed carry reciprocity is NOT about letting tourists bring lots of guns to cities like NYC, though that will happen. It’s about creating new MARKETS in which everyone feels like they need a gun because the other guy might have one. The results will be catastrophic.
Jonathan Metzl

The number-one thing that makes men want to carry a gun is an obsessive fantasy that every other man has one and they don't. It's not envy. It's a fear of being dominated.

the worst part about being fat is you can’t ever win with people: you wear sweats and people say you’re wearing it to hide your body, dress nicely and people say you can’t pull it off, eat unhealthy food and people call you a pig, eat healthy food and people say why do you bother
Christine Sydelko


Publisher: Would you like us to design you a book cover?
Ayer: No need. I have just the thing.

Sarah Fine @DrSJFine

I wonder if widespread casually fascist beliefs have any relation to 40 years of cop shows about how civil rights just get in the way of catching the bad guys. Probably not.

Food processors be like “sorry you didn’t attach the blade to the bowl to the lid to the handle in the exact way required way so I’m not gonna work.” Blenders be like “hey my lid’s not on and the pitcher isn’t fully attached to the base but you bumped the on button so let’s go”

tip for the writers working on dystopic fiction right now: it's infinitely more radical to include a hopeful message, a better ending, or a revolutionary victory than presenting a terrible world as-is. hope is scarce, write your tomorrows.

How nutty were Obama-era Democrats on deficits? They crafted Waxman-Markey to reduce the deficit — as if they thought borrowing a little money at the depths of a recession to *avert ecological catastrophe* would be a bad idea.
Matthew Yglesias

We just spent an hour looking for her:

Britney Diane

“Organize the rage.” -Shirley Chisholm.
WHAT are you angry about?
HOW do you want it to change?
WHO are you, uniquely, to do something about it?
WHAT will be different because YOU took action?
This is how we get to work.
Anger is not wrong. Inaction is.
Brittany Packnett

Suicide rates sometimes drop after a natural disaster or crisis. I had no idea! But the avalanche of altruism only comforts for roughly two years.
Ola Rosling

Sometimes I think about how my Twitter feed used to be all mildly funny observations, book recommendations and pictures of cute stuff. And I feel so sorry.
Rainbow Rowell

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