Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Twelfth Month of Twitter, 2018

The last month of the year, 2018: It's hard to believe 2019 will be more off-the-wall than that. But I know by now never to underestimate the future. I do think (and hope) that this will finally be the year that a critical mass of people take action on climate change, forcing the politicians and systems-controllers to catch up. I am almost hopeful about that.

The approaching New Year seemed to bring on a lot of big-picture, cross-topic tweets:

The disbelief of climate change and racism rest on the same foundation: an attack on observable reality, on science. If there is any idea that we destabilize this new year, then let it be this foundation of disbelief.
Ibram X. Kendi

What New Year's Eve reminds people is that they don't have as many good friends, and as close a community, as they would like. MOST people, I'd venture to guess. But people blame themselves, and feel shame about it, so it doesn't get talked about as a public policy issue, which is too bad, since it's largely a result of sociopolitical choices.
David Roberts

America’s biggest weakness is that we lack imagination. America does not represent the best humanity has to offer. Can we NOT imagine a country free of racism, sexism, homophobia and classism? This is what will make America GREAT.(and NOT again because it will be the FIRST time)

unity doesn’t mean some people stay silent about their lives for the ease and comfort of others. unity means understanding how we differ, and how those of us with comparatively more power can harm others, and committing to love and protect.

Centrist types should probably spend at least a minute worrying about the partisan skew of the military for every hour they spend on the partisan skew of university faculties.
Matthew Yglesias

One of my biggest concerns is that if we get out of this mess with Trump it’s going to lead to an irrational deification of the status quo instead of a real and necessary look at how corrupt and messed up a system has to be to produce a Trump presidency.
Jared Yates Sexton

Michael Cohen got 3 years in prison which, if you’re counting, is 2 years and 9 months more than Brock Turner got for raping an unconscious woman and 5 years less than Rosa Maria Ortega got for illegally voting.

To me, [this is] a super fucking hopeful thought. The world we need [because of climate change] is also the world we want. It's a world that centers justice and equity and ecology, simply because it must. We (here, we = 80-90% of all living species, including humans) aren't going to survive without it.
Eric Holthaus
Mulligan et alia were, of course, still carrying on their criminal and destructive ways:
Call me crazy, but if I lied and cheated and discriminated against people based on race, ethnicity, wealth, etc, I would not be praying for the Rapture.

Mistakenly thinking seven is “marginal” for believing in Santa suggests what an engaged, hands-on dad [Trump] must have been.
Jennifer Mendelsohn @CleverTitleTK

Paul Ryan congratulating himself for retiring at 48 for creating a deficit he hopes will keep you working until you're 84 is the most Paul Ryan thing possible.

"You sold your country out." Words matter, and instantly, these five iconic words will cement Flynn's legacy. The judge didn't have to say them, but they were said. Which is good. Call this shit out exactly for what it is.
Charlotte Clymer (commenting on the judge in the Mike Flynn sentencing, said Flynn had sold his country out)

The man who called his opponent “crooked” is dissolving his foundation because of a “shocking pattern of illegality”; after a fraud settlement for his “university”; he almost certainly committed major tax fraud & the DoJ says he personally directed several serious federal crimes.
Brian Klaas

UPDATE: NY attorney general says that Donald Trump's foundation will have to sell off its three physical possessions, including a Tim Tebow-signed helmet, and two paintings of Trump himself. Trump paid $42K for them, using foundation $. Now says they're worth $975 combined.
David Fahrenthold

The very same people who get mad when NFL players take a knee are willing to write off Trump's crimes as no big deal
Lyz Lenz

The EPA is looking to reduce the number of waterways that are protected by the Clean Water Act.

At all times Donald Trump looks incompetent. But man alive does he look unbelievably incompetent when he's around other politicians.
Jared Yates Sexton (after Mulligan's televised meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer)

The fact that Trump hasn’t been in jail already is an indictment of our legal system.
Jared Yates Sexton

It cost taxpayers about $17 million to fly Trump to campaign rallies before the midterm elections.
Immigration, the wall, and dead children at the border was a constant:
2016: White evangelicals may abandon Trump after his "Two Corinthians" gaffe.
2019: White evangelicals will never abandon Trump because those refugee kids deserve to be kept in camps.
Hemant Mehta

We will never forget that Conservative "Christians" donated millions of dollars to build a wall instead of feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and sheltering the homeless.

If you think one cop being killed by an illegal immigrant is enough reason to build a wall and spend billions more on border security but don’t think that the thousands of instances of racism in our criminal justice system is a problem worth addressing, you might be racist.
Rob Steinernomics

Remember how the anti-immigration people told us that a Hispanic majority would make California a third-world country? Over the last generation, teen crime in California has PLUNGED, and kids are getting much better educations.

The wall is a preposterous monument to racism and stupidity that security and drug enforcement agents say would do nothing for "border security." It would have disastrous environmental consequences, would be a boondoggle of epic proportions, wasting billions of tax $. You'd know that if you cared enough about "border security" to look into the topic beyond 45's racist rhetoric. But since you're motivated primarily by your fear of brown-skinned people, the calls to build a pointless, physical wall satisfies your curiosity enough.
Bree Newsome Bass

I can't get over the fact that "Christians" in the Christmas season are giving money to build a Wall to keep out refugees escaping war instead of using that money to feed them. Christ was very specific about this. Shame on all of you.
Mikel Jollett

It's funny, the last government shutdown was for $3.4 billion over healthcare. The Republicans said we couldn't afford it. Will someone please explain to me if they couldn't afford $3.4 billion for healthcare, then how they can afford $5 billion for a damn wall?

Imagine being so afraid of brown people that you give away your hard-earned cash to build a wall while your roads are crumbling and your healthcare is for shit. Imagine doing this while your leader is planning his winter vacation at a $200,000-per-member golf club.
Laila Lalami

My mother-in-law and her brother survived WWII as children in Russia. They were often on the move, living in forced labor camps. It was often perilous. Their parents were desperate to keep them alive. To blame these parents taking risks to seek a better life is despicable.
Jennifer Mendelsohn @CleverTitleTK

Conservative Christians are weird, they worship a brown-skinned refugee who preached social and economic equality as their lord and saviour, while devoting their lives to not only excluding brown skinned refugees, but also working against social and economic equality.

GOP: Well maybe you shouldn’t have broken the law if you didn’t want your 7-year-old to die! Also GOP: It would be outrageous to ruin a man’s presidency over a few minor felonies!
Daniel Radosh
As was our current politics and who gets to decide what's "normal":
The struggle is between people who believe in the religion of American exceptionalism, the people who use that belief as a means to manipulate and profit, and the rest of us who just want this country to finally live up to its founding principles.
Jared Yates Sexton

No one who complains that they “can’t say ... things ... anymore” is prevented from saying anything. What they mean is, now, if they say those things, they are perceived as the kind of people who say those things. What they object to is simply personal accountability.
Julius Goat (part of a long tweet storm about the recent survey on attitudes toward "political correctness")

I find the term “identity politics” as a derisive term for the politics of the left the height of irony. If you look at the R senators, they’re all white, mostly old and almost all male. If any party is the party of “identity politics,” it’s them.

The age of immunity from criticism for white boys is over. This means more people are free to speak, not fewer. That’s good. Now us white boys can be as tough as everyone else has had to be forever.
Julius Goat

In these darkest days of the year, please remember that if things seem fucked beyond all repair, that is in part intentional. As a corrupt Tammany boss once confided to the great muckraker Lincoln Steffens, creating “public despair is not only possible but it’s good politics.”
Alex Steffen

I believe conservatives have the right to live with equal standing dignity and opportunity under the law, with basic human needs met regardless of financial viability. That is tolerance. Uncritically accepting their opinions and actions that would withhold the same from others, isn’t.
Julius Goat

If you want to know why so few people leave their partisan bunkers this is part of the reason. The people you used to agree with say: “Why did you leave? What’s wrong with you now?” And the people you now agree with say: “What took you so long? What was wrong with you before?”
Max Boot

conservatives: everyone should die
leftists: everyone should live
liberals: if you work 80 hours a week, you should have access to not dying
Mass media/journalism and all its faults got some attention:
* More analysis of past failures
* Call lies lies
* Stop putting habitual liars on tv
* Please stop giving equal time to racists, white supremacists, climate deniers
* Stop pretending to care about diversity and inclusion if you’re not going to track and work to improve numbers.
Soledad O'Brien (replying to the question, "What do you think big media outlets need to do/do better in covering the 2020 presidential election?"

wait let me get this straight tucker carlson was a person this whole time i thought he was a depression med commercial
Aparna Nancherla @aparnapkin

So, mainstream media — you gave Trump unlimited and unprecedented access to your airwaves in 2016 and treated Hillary's emails as the biggest scandal of all time, but it's RUSSIA that tipped the election in Trump's favor? Okay, fine, whatever you say.
Frank Conniff
As did racism, white supremacy, and police brutality:
white people can experience discrimination it’s just not *racism*
what the fuck is wrong with everyone lately

I'm always fascinated by the line "we don't want to become minorities in our own country". Why not? Are they treated badly or something?
Jim Rossignol

When you read something about how great Minneapolis is, always add “for white people” at the end. (Same way you add “in bed” at the end of your fortune cookie fortune.)
erica mauter

Don't forget: for the enslaved Christmas was a great opportunity to escape from bondage. Today we remember Harriet Tubman who on Christmas Day of 1854 rescued three of her brothers (Ben, Henry, and Robert) from slavery:


When white Americans insist the civil rights movement succeeded by rationally convincing people not to be racists, I can only conclude they never actually talked to their own grandparents.
Jonathan Wilson

It still amazes me how America is so racist that an entire culture of enthusiastic police worship rose in response to black people asking to not be killed over minor infractions or even doing nothing wrong at all.
Faith Naff

“So there is no real excuse for anything to be named after anyone who killed American soldiers in defense of slavery, or who defended slavery. I mean, really. Is this an argument that can be made? Really?”
Ira Socol

In the last decade, American taxpayers have spent at least $40 million on Confederate memorials and sites that perpetuate racist ideology.
Investigative Fund

The way Americans teach racism as an individual character flaw rather than a defining characteristic of American policy makes it so much easier to gaslight people of color.
Dara Tafakari

People in the "never say anything mean about the recently dead!" crowd have clearly never seen a single news story about a Black person killed by police.
Steven W. Thrasher
Sexism, misogyny, and toxic masculinity too:
Louis CK is a good reminder that when people with power ask for respect it’s called “civility” and is sacred, but when people without power ask for respect it’s called “political correctness” and is the butt of jokes.
Adam Jentleson

Here’s what I think a lot of guys don’t understand - you can say NotAllMen, and you’re probably right — but what’s happening to us IS happening, independent of whether you’re one of the good guys. We don’t get to opt out, and neither should you be exempt from helping to fix it.

NotAllMen. All I hear is NotMyProblem and that is NotAcceptable. So maybe be less offended that you were lumped in and more offended that it’s that big of a problem.

In practice, the X in "not all X" is usually "men" or "white people" or some other group with power that the speaker belongs to:

William Pietri

NotAllMen is about diverting the conversation and trying to silence us. A thinking person would know a feminist—someone who believes in equality of the sexes—already fucking knows that not all men are problematic. But we should be able to talk about the ones that are.
Allison Floyd

There's a lot of danger in self-labeling from "good men." Where are all these men? How do they sleep with the state of world? It certainly doesn't always feel like there is an abundance of so called good men. Maybe they are too busy concern trolling every post on feminist theory.

Alpha male = the one that's not even in beta yet.
Pat Thompson @pattho

I have had more than one male colleague sincerely ask whether a certain behavior is mansplaining. Since apparently this is hard to figure out, I made one of them a chart:

Kim Goodwin

Pretty much every time I hear a dude say a woman "doesn't have a sense of humor" or "can't take a joke," I assume it means he harassed her and she didn't laugh. I've never been wrong about it.

The dudes are shocked and startled the rest of us don’t want to be treated poorly until they decide they want to treat us right.
Ashley C. Ford @iSmashFizzle

one side effect of alt-right beat journalists being so heavily male is that the degree and intensity to which opposition to feminism and feminists are absolutely core to the far-right message is often underplayed

A man can be an insufferable asshole 364 days a year and the media will suggest on the 1 day he’s not that he’s turned a positive corner. A woman can sit still and ignore the man who’s spent two years screaming for her imprisonment and be called a rude bitch.
Once again, there was a giant jumble mixing tweets about climate change and how to create sustainable cities, now with the upwelling Extinction Rebellion happening around the world:
2018 was the year I gave up hope and replaced it with courage. Add some courage to your year and get out peacefully, but in the streets. And bring a friend or 5. And your family. It’s only our planet and life on Earth you’re fighting for after all. #ExtinctionRebellion

Loyalty to the land can celebrate the diversity of cultures, the individuality of place, and the singularity of setting. Sustainability. Respect. Equity. We are ONE Earth but many worlds.

Political decisions [about climate change] are necessary. But as they do not exist yet we have to do what we can ourselves to make the political movement come alive.
Greta Thunberg [the 15-year-old Swede who rocked the COP24 conference)

What struck me most was the fact that only 3 to 4 percent of the global population flies at least once per year — yet flying accounts for 5% of carbon emissions. That's a huge per head impact?
Hilary Jennings

It’s really great how U.S. media treat proposals to suddenly alter the biosphere with completely unproven geoengineering schemes as steely-eyed realism, but treats suggestions that already deployed clean economy solutions will continue to rapidly improve as dewey-eyed idealism.
Alex Steffen

Jobs of an ecologically just future will be low-carbon jobs: teaching, nursing, child and elder care, social work, arts. These are jobs that are not only low-carbon but are ones that make us a better society

There are less than 1 million bike commuters in U.S. What if we gave a $3,000 subsidy to buy an ebike, in way we do for EV cars and got 20 million takers (the ebikes would get used). It would be a one-time cost of $20 billion. Way less than combined subsidies for EV cars, better for the climate.
kar nels

It’s not that we need to immediately realize “post-car cities.” It’s that we need to immediately realize post-car DEPENDENCY cities:

Brent Toderian

There's a non-trivial chance that 4°C or 6°C of warming would destroy human civilization as we know it. Maybe it's only a 5% chance. But do you want to get in a plane with a 5% chance of crashing? How about a planet?
brad plumer

“The biggest data centers, the ones covering a million square feet or more, consume as much power as a city of a million people. In total, they eat up more than 2 percent of the world’s electricity and emit roughly as much CO2 as the airline industry.”
David Wallace-Wells

"ban cars" is misspelled here as "Light Duty Vehicles":


When someone says that we cannot afford fare-free buses, you can tell him that in its lifetime a car in London generates £8,000 in health costs. Just one of many costs of cars.
Free Public Transit

2018. Cars are the No. 1 killers of children. Not disease, not guns: CARS. And we know how to stop it. We’ve known for years. But the solution is illegal in most places.
Jaime J. Izurieta

Know what’s much more terrifying than a stock market crash and looming economic recession? Climate change.
Eric Holthaus

rule of thumb, if people like taking wedding photos in your town, it's attractive in some way, even old industrial places appeal. Suburbs, nope:

kar nels

How massively do our corrupt governments subsidize fossil fuels? Around 6.5% of global GDP goes to those subsidies, says the IMF.
Alex Steffen

We don't have to get caught up in dumbass arguments about what's "mature" and what's "extreme," etc etc. We have objective metrics for climate policy. It either reduces emissions enough, fast enough, or it doesn't. Please stay focused.
David Roberts

Merry Christmas to everyone except those who vacation in places like Paris and Madrid but oppose 4-story buildings with no parking in their own neighborhoods.
Daniel Camp

Years of shouting at the BBC's omissions and distortions on the telly, felt better shouting at your headquarters. Possible mass extinction isn't news apparently... Please report accordingly! #extinctionrebellion:

Rosemary Bland

Heard about Elon Musk’s proposed tunnel? Jarrett Walker @humantransit reminds us about 2 truths:
1. If it doesn’t scale, it doesn’t matter.
2. If it doesn’t scale, it’s for the rich.
It would move so few people, it wouldn’t make a dent. Read this. #BoringCompany
Brent Toderian

Just reminded myself that the distance between NYC and Chicago is almost exactly that between Beijing and Shanghai, and that the first is served by 1 train/day that takes 19 hours, and the seconnd is served by 35 trains/day that take as few as 4.5 hours. Also, the Beijing—Shanghai route carries about 180 million riders a year, about as many as rode on all of Delta Airlines' network in 2017.

In a free-market economy and just society, SUV drivers would pay much, much higher insurance premiums. But instead we live in an economy that subsidizes large vehicles, and justifies crashes as ‘accidents’.

There are 8 parking spaces for every car in the US. Free parking means we all pay more for retail, food and housing, and also reduces our ability to build dense walkable neighborhoods. We have effectively created a costly and unsustainable welfare state for car storage, while resisting policies that enable our working class to live in the communities where their labor sustains.

Climate change politics in late 2018: There's a sharp balance between simultaneously calling out dangerously inadequate policy ideas and building up a culture of mutual aid for building up the truly comprehensive intersectional, justice-driven shared vision of the future we need.
Eric Holthaus

To understand the benefits of Congestion Pricing, one need only look at what happened in London on February 17, 2003, when Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced one of the world’s largest congestion pricing schemes. Suddenly, it cost roughly $15 to bring a car into central London on weekdays between 7AM and 6PM. Fairly quickly, congestion dropped 30%, trip times dropped 14%, bus delays dropped 60%, and air pollution dropped 12%. More than a billion dollars in net revenue was collected, much of which was put into alternative transportation. Central London is still congested—the toll may need to be better calibrated to demand—but the impact is clear, and the principal beneficiaries are those who take buses, ride bikes, and live along busy roadways. These people are, on average, poorer than those who arrive by car. Unlike with Lexus Lanes, the equity benefits of downtown congestion pricing clearly outweigh the burdens placed upon those who still make the choice to drive.

We're beset with planning processes that over-privilege wealthy landowners' predatory delay — and undervalue regional priorities, ethical climate obligations, and needs of younger people and renters. Ending community planning would be more just than continuing it in this form.
Alex Steffen

It is frankly insane that two such new (somewhat useless) companies [Uber and Lyft] could have such a huge, negative environmental impact. Increasing TOTAL miles driven in the U.S. by 3-5%.
Angie Schmitt @schmangee

[We currently have a] system where every project requires a variance [and that] is completely inadequate with regards to the city's needs and its socioeconomic situation. The plan excludes every development that makes economic sense.

I know people that drive around for an hour or so to get their kids to nap. Or people that idle their cars for a half an hour every morning. Some driving trips/behavior aren't just useless, they are downright anti-social when you consider the environmental impacts.
Angie Schmitt @schmangee

Buses and bikes replace traffic lanes, freeing up room (and budget) for better things. Re-prioritize.
Brent Toderian

If we had a genuine national debate, freed from corruption and disinformation, about the rising costs and crazy risks of climate inaction — and the gains to be had from bold, rapid action — we'd already be living through a climate revolution. This is precisely why we don't have it.
Alex Steffen

Squaring up intersection with circles. School crossing improved with paint and creativity:

Dongho Chang

Let's build a city for the bicyclists who aren't bicyclists yet and the walkers who aren't walking yet.

Subsidizing drivers so they can hand out cancer and asthma to low income communities is regressive.

Stabilizing global warming well below 2ºC is "technically feasible but this scale of emissions reductions requires transformations of full socio-technical systems, across all sectors and scales." Climate action demands widespread systemic disruption.
Alex Steffen

Transit fares are a direct, regressive tax on the poor.
Free Public Transit

The three biggest rainstorms in American history have come in the last three years. #hotnewworld
Bill McKibben

A Green New Deal is probably the only policy that's actually *worth* shutting the government down for.
Eric Holthaus

Cars have killed 70 million people and injured four billion. And you really think we should be designing our communities around them, still?
Mary Morse Marti

NEW STUDY: Our current rate of warming will quickly lead us back to a climate that predates the evolution of modern humans. That kind of rapid change has no direct comparison in all of Earth’s multi-billion year history.
Eric Holthaus

Here's the thing: distracted driving isn't the reason kids are dying. What our cities need to tackle is the *reason* drivers feel comfortable glancing down at the cell phone: high-speed road design on streets where we expect people to walk.
Strong Towns

Re #1: Here's where the zoning loosening needs to get throughout all major US cities: this 2-story 1926 apartment building provides nine homes. It may be appropriate to limit the size of buildings, but we shouldn't limit the number of homes inside them:

Dan Bertolet

Expecting all working people and families to own and maintain a motor vehicle in order to participate in society is more regressive than a carbon tax.

Slip lanes encourage cars to speed around corners right where they should be watching for pedestrians. They also push bus stops further from the intersection, requiring longer walks. Except for a few places where buses need them to turn, they're hard to defend.
Jarrett Walker

Just the fact that the Western Left is vehemently opposed to any measures against climate change that might change the lifestyles of rural and suburban westerners tells me that there is zero hope to prevent climate change. I drive an SUV and I burn through about 40 dollars a week worth of gasoline commuting back and forth to work and other activities. Tell me I'm not part of the problem. My parents spend over a thousand dollars per month heating their home in the northern US with fossil fuels. Tell me they're not part of the problem.

Typical lib take. Don’t you see that they’re open to climate change action as long as it’s an instantaneous total transformation of society without any uncomfortable adjustments, like doing the tablecloth trick
Tom Hitchner

After almost a century of #WelfareForCars, isn't it time to end the subsidy. The choice to drive (usually alone) would be very different for many if people were charged what it costs society.
Jonathan Flower

"Parking stalls that cost $16,200 a pop — plus $250 in annual charges…— didn't attract a single buyer." When we let people decide how much parking to buy, instead of hiding its cost in the cost of other goods and services, parking demand plummets.
Patrick Siegman

My report, "Empty Seats" showed that 40% of Uber and Lyft time in the Manhattan central business district is spent without passengers (between drop-off and next pickup) — more than yellow cabs. Dead time leads to the large increases in vehicle miles that [other research] also found.
Bruce Schaller

Let's not exaggerate the level of turmoil in France. Two weeks ago, there were more people at the (barely reported) women's march in Paris than the 8,000 gilets jaunes who demonstrated the same day
Simon Kuper

How numb are we to pedestrian death? 52 people have gotten sick from romaine, not killed, sick. It’s been removed from every store, restaurant from coast to coast. Easily 500 walkers have died over that same time, yet any national outcry, precautions, anything? Just another day.

Just a reminder: Gleefully looking for oil in the year two-thousand-eighteen is a crime against humanity.
Eric Holthaus

No one should ever be allowed to talk about the costs of climate proposals without mentioning the costs of doing nothing

Climate politics, abbreviated: People who have been paid to burn your house down are lying to you about the existence of fire.
Alex Steffen

New poll in the wake of the IPCC report finds that 72% of Americans think climate should be a higher priority; half think it should be top priority.
David Roberts

if i never read another article with advice on how to message climate change, it will be too soon. climate change is not a messaging problem, it’s a political organizing problem. focus groups and polls and marketing are not organizing and don’t really work without it anyway.

The lesson I draw from the Gilets Jaunes protests is that green taxes must be part of a wider package of transferring wealth from the rich to the poor. Tax fuel and wealth, while reducing income tax for the poor and greatly increasing min wage, and benefits.
George Monbiot

Gas taxes aren't regressive if it prevents climate disaster, a burden overwhelmingly carried by the poor. We can't both trap people into cars and then claim keeping them in cars is progressive.

What covers the most land in America? Urban sprawl? Forests? Lawns?
Nope. Meat. Lots and lots of meat — as grazing land, or land used to grow animal feed. Over 40% of the entire country.

Dr. Jonathan Foley @GlobalEcoGuy

Because the federal gas tax isn’t indexed to inflation, we’re essentially LOWERING the gas tax every year, making it cheaper to drive (and drive bigger vehicles) as the planet warms
Streetsblog USA
There were a few on health care:
Want to strip $7 billion dollars out of healthcare spending in one easy step? Ban drug ads.

The #Medicare4All fight is one worth having. It's an important way to talk about the terribleness of capitalism. It's an opportunity to envision a different system of care. It's worth the fight.

This is pretty crazy. As a nation we almost demolished teen smoking, and JUUL reintroduced it back into society:


Just a reminder that Americans are already paying more in *taxes* for healthcare than just about every country with single payer; we just have to pay our insurance company and deductible on top of that.

The free-market healthcare plan is simple: Let the sick people die if treating them costs more money than they have, can borrow or can beg from charity. That is why every developed nation but one has decided not to make people depend on markets for their lives.
Patrick W. Watson
And a few on education:
I just read that one out of 305 people will one day ride a unicycle. Why in the hell are we not teaching everybody how to ride a unicycle so that they know how when the time comes. There are no excuses!!! This is our failure.

I don’t understand why kids aren’t critically thinking, I mean, I even gave them a checklist.

In what may be a telling reflection of higher education’s priorities, David Helfand once noted that professors often talk about their research “opportunities” but about their teaching “loads”
Alfie Kohn
And a group on income and wealth inequality, the minimum wage, and the problems of capitalism as we know it:
"The dire warnings about minimum-wage increases keep proving to be wrong. So much so that in a new paper, the authors behind an earlier study predicting a negative impact have all but recanted their initial conclusions."
WedgeLIVE (quote a Bloomberg story about Seattle's $15/hour minimum wage)

If it's not obvious, it's important to recognize patents and copyrights are policies, because many economists say that the upward redistribution to people with college and advanced degrees was just the natural workings of the market. In fact, there was a conscious policy of making patents and copyrights longer and stronger instead of shorter and weaker. The upward redistribution to the Bill Gates of the world was a policy choice, not something that just happened.
Dean Baker

Should innovation be tools and techniques shared by everyone that improve quality of life in a just and sustainable way? Or should it be whatever generates a return on capital investment, consequences be damned? Do the powerless deserve what the powerful do to them?
Matt Haugen

To which Eric Holthaus replied:
I don't know much, but I'm pretty sure that these are the foundational questions for humanity in the 21st century.

“Unions are sort of an odd duck. They aren’t part of the apparatus of the state, yet they depend crucially on state protections in order to wield their power.” Yes truly odd, unlike limited liability corporations and partnerships which were born fully grown from Zeus’s skull.
potter_black (quoting a Bloomberg story)

Fun fact: in 1920, the French government forbade excessive work hours for bakers, prohibiting them from starting before 4 am. Bakers discovered the baguette, with its thin shape, could quickly be made in time while larger loaves would not be ready for opening. The beloved baguette is a result, like a 40 hour work week and weekends, of labor activism.

RE: generational transfers of wealth
Young Americans making over $100k are getting $51k in down payment help from parents. Those making under $50k a year are getting under $9k. That's about the difference between being able to afford a house or not.
Mike Rosenberg
There were just a few remnants of the 2018 mid-term elections, focusing on the election cheating in North Carolina and the anti-democratic actions by Republican legislatures and governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states:
Rescheduling the [North Carolina Congressional] election is probably insufficient. If Harris is shown as having known and paid for this election tampering operation, he should be banned from running for office and prosecuted. If involved, the Bladen County RNC should also be banned and prosecuted.
Barbara Arnwine

Has there been a single prominent national Republican expressing concern about possible fraud in North Carolina? Because they were really losing their marbles over lawful but slow vote counting last month.
Brian Schatz

How the Grinch stole an election:

Kevin Siers
And finally, there were the best of the rest:
no matter what year it actually is, a reference to “10+ years ago” will always make me think of the 80s and 90s. we’re only a year away from “a decade ago” = 2010, and what the entire fuck is THAT about?!?

I bought my son a book about bats and halfway through it he shouted out, “WHAT??? BATS ARE REAL?!?!” All this time he thought they were made up for Halloween like ghosts and witches

"Snowflake is a word used by sociopaths in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy." -–John Cleese
Steve Hoffman

Roughly 65 percent of the U.S. jail population are pre-trial detainees who haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. Most of these inmates are there because they cannot afford to pay bail. Also, our current bail system costs the country $15 billion per year.
Pacific Standard

you want some good news from 2018? I bet you do
• book sales are up this year over last year
• sales of physical books have grown every year since 2013
• indie bookstores have increased by 35 percent in the past decade
reading isn’t dying, it’s *thriving.* happy new year.

It's actually only "Helvetica" if it comes from the Helvetia region of Europe. Otherwise you have to call it "sparkling Arial"
Pavel A. Samsonov

As we come to the end of a tumultuous 2018 it is perhaps worth pausing for a moment to consider this: these three young women have more integrity and courage in their little fingers than all our so called " World Leaders " put together:
Alastair McIntyre

The disconnect between canon Jesus and fandom Jesus is still so funny to me
Canon Jesus: anti-establishment, anti-capitalist, will wash a sex-worker’s feet he dgaf
Fandom Jesus: cries every time someone gets an abortion, gun advocate, will stab a gay man in the throat

The mangalitsa pig grows a hairy 'fleece' like a sheep:

Strange Animals (Photo: Anikó)

Why are recipes always so exact with the salt, but when it comes to pepper, you’re totally on your own?
Anand Giridharadas

The British Museum Visitors Guide is like a catalogue of the world's stolen shit.
Hari Kondabolu

This holiday season, as many oligarchs write charity checks and get to put their name on buildings, here's a simple idea: Let's end the custom of putting the donor's name on things. Nominate an activist, organizer, or other unsung hero instead.
Anand Giridharadas

"You know, some wives need husbands that hit them. It's just who they are. Everyone is different." This is how ridiculous folks sound to me when they say the same thing about hitting children.
Stacey Patton

Any government that fears its artists is not to be respected.
Robert Moffitt

Princeton students after a Freshman-Sophomore snowball fight, 1893"

41 Strange

Crazy how when a president [such as Bush] dies America can instantly figure out how to shut down Congress, the federal government, the post office and the stock market, but can't figure out how to give people a day off from work in early November every two years to go vote.
Adam Best

Participants who had said they were bullied frequently (the equivalent of almost every day) were 120 percent more likely to have developed heart disease at the end of the study

Go outside. Talk to people. Fall in love with everything you can. Feeling deeply connected to the world can give us courage, and we all need to be a little braver now.

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