Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Twitter in November: Refugees, Protests, Shootings...Synthesis

It’s that time of the month again. No, not that time! Twitter time, I mean. I had to switch my method of creating this archive, unfortunately, so the format is a little different.

The month ended with Thanksgiving and the terrorist shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, which followed rapidly on the heels of the white supremacist shooting in Minneapolis, the ISIS attacks on Paris, Beirut, and other cities, and the subsequent Right Wing backlash against allowing Syrian immigrants into the U.S. Whew. These issues are so intermixed that I can’t separate them.

Right now, there’s dry tinder everywhere and conservatives are throwing matches, one after the other. Never know which one might start a fire.
David Roberts

"Black lives matt...."
*syrians show up*
"What?!!! Fuck! No!!!"
mike mulloy

It legit does not register for most of white society that black Americans live under threat of white terrorism every day.
Bree Newsome

Heck, if we allow Syrian refugees in, there’s a chance Americans might get shot with guns! We know that’s unacceptable.
David Roberts

As GOP incites fear of Syrian refugees, white terrorists have:
―Shot up Planned Parenthood
―Stalked mosque w/ rifles
―Shot black protesters
David Harris-Gershon

Please don't COMPLAIN that police did NOT take a life [in Colorado]. I get racial frustration around the Planned Parenthood shooter. But the absence of death is good.
Phillip Atiba Goff

Ever since the Soviet Union fell, U.S. conservatives have craved an Enemy grand enough to absorb all their fear & rage. They think they’ve found it!
David Roberts

"Let me kill people to prove I am pro-life" just seems like a badly thought out plan.
Michele ‏@inthefade

All the white people asking Muslims to "do more to stop ISIS": What are you doing to stop white men and boys from shooting up schools?
Son of Baldwin

[Responding to the white supremacist shootings of five BLM protestors in Minneapolis] If this is what happens when #BlackLivesMatter protests...what happens when they start winning?
Phillip Atiba Goff

Caught this stat from Chris Hayes tonight.
Travis Starkey

Rather than a religious litmus test for refugees, why not an intelligence and logic test for presidential nominees?
emily dreyfuss

We spend WAY too much time talking about the Holocaust and not nearly enough about the ~20 years leading up to it.
L Gordon Cooper

Striking how little impact the fact that the Paris attackers were neither Syrian nor refugees is having on the Syrian refugee debate.
Matthew Yglesias

The actual truth with refugees is the same as with all terrorism, and everything in general: there’s no such thing as zero risk.
Christopher Hayes

Harry Truman wrote this in his diary about the Red Scare. It is appropriate today as Congress acts against refugees:

Yousef Munayyer

One reason Jewish refugees were kept out [of the U.S.] was the argument that they included Nazi & Communist infiltrators in their midst.
Jeet Heer

Oh, well, that’s nice. We’re all patting each other on the back about how we regret Japanese internment. *Even as we turn away refugees.* Sure is easy to condemn and lament xenophobia that’s safely in the past, isn’t it? Just like it’s easy to condemn & lament the hysteria that led to the IraqWar. Even as we wallow in nearly identical hysteria all over again. Would be cool if maybe we could avoid some of these things *prospectively* rather than lamenting them retrospectively. Reactionary credo: Sure, those previous episodes of racist xenophobia were lamentable. But this one's justified!

Weird thing about racist xenophobes is they never seem aware of just how precisely they sound like all the previous racist xenophobes. All this has happened before. And we always end up ashamed & embarrassed in retrospect that we let racist xenophobes have such power.
David Roberts

We don't want to take innocent refugees in cause of fear, but we sell guns? Smart.
Jamie Kilstein

The asymmetry, in asymmetrical warfare, is that the little guy can only really damage the big guy by getting him angry enough to self-injure.
William Gibson

This is the kind of moment that offers a kind of clarity about how certain terrible things in the past could have happened.
Adam Serwer

Thank god we're not letting in lots of Syrians, we wouldn't want an influx of fluent Arabic speakers who could work for the FBI & hate ISIS.
Jon Schwarz

Might seem obvious, but: fear makes people more conservative, which is why conservatives are always, always pushing fear. Stands to reason that the single best thing you can do in the name of progress & sanity is refuse to be afraid. Also funny: the language xenophobes use to describe the allegedly unique dangers of X group of immigrants … is always the same! They’re just not like us. They have different values. They refuse to learn the language. They only understand violence. Etc. Always the same.
David Roberts ‏

Every time the U.S. is given the opportunity to ACT as a Christian nation, the US proves it is no Christian nation.
Paul Thomas

Seriously, pull yourselves together, everyone. Freaking out in the face or orphan toddlers is unbecoming of a great nation.
Christopher Hayes

As Jon Haidt said, conservatives place great moral weight on *purity*, while liberals don’t. Definitely informs this debate over refugees.
David Roberts

BREAKING: Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees & I demand the U.S. act similarly. Security comes first.
Greg Abbott [governor of Texas]

AWonderfulXmasGrimes replied to Abbott’s tweet:
As Jesus said, “Fuck desperate people, it’s not my responsibility to help them, they’re on their own.”

A REAL Christian fundamentalist would be living on the street, feeding hookers and thieves. You're just an asshole with a bible.
Saladin Ahmed

ISIS in Paris: attacks humankind. ISIS in Beirut: attacks Hezbolla area. Look for the discourse analysis. – Michel Foucault
Allan Patrick

Mosque burnings aren't a 'response.' I saw our Arab community center torched by bigots TWICE as a kid in the 80s. Before Paris. Before 9/11. Bigots don't burn mosques in response to terrorist attacks. They use attacks as an excuse to do what they do: make a violent show of hatred.
Saladin Ahmed

White supremacist terrorism is much more common & much more of a threat in U.S. than Islamic terrorism. Just not framed as such in MSM narrative. African-Americans came out of 200+ years of BRUTAL slavery, prepared to make peace in exchange for 40 acres, a mule & voting rights. Whites said no, subjected blacks to another 150 years of Jim Crow versions 1 & 2, systematically forcing blacks into a state of perpetual poverty, criminalization, imprisonment & political alienation. That is the reality. Not the current narrative perpetuated by an oligarchy which inherited its wealth from the profits of slavery.
Bree Newsome
Then there are all of the election and debate tweets, especially about you-know-who:
I can’t think of anything jihadi terrorists would love more than a thin-skinned, hyper-defensive, impulsive president like Trump.
David Roberts

Ted Cruz's resemblance to Joseph McCarthy never fails to creep me out. I mean, like, literal resemblance.
jelani cobb

Ummm. Ben, the reason the U.S. become an economic power was slavery and you, sir, would have been a slave. Because you are BLACK.
roxane gay

Trump wants to close mosques because the best way to defend America is to do shit that is completely unAmerican.
Frank Conniff

The right wing can't decide whether young people are savages for not knowing Aristotle or idiots for wanting to study philosophy.
Saladin Ahmed

Military waste is virtually never questioned in these debates. But the perilous danger of "wasting money" sending a kid to college ...
David Roberts

America elected a Black man twice and white people have responded by enthusiastically supporting a fascist. You need to pay attention.
r. @Are0h

I think part of the GOP establishment’s angst is that it’s discovering how little GOP voters care about economic conservatism.
David Roberts

Trump is more upset by a film of cheering Jersey Muslims that doesn't exist than he is by a film a black kid being murdered that does exist.
Frank Conniff

The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump's constant lying. This is true of the whole U.S. political system. Trump (nay, the entire GOP) is forcing media to choose between faux-objectivity & fealty to facts. No longer possible to maintain both. If media insists on truth, they will be branded an enemy of the Right (and thus part of the Left). If they don’t, they are useless. So …?
David Roberts

Fingering Trump for being racist won't work because a huge swath of America is really, really OK with racism. It's that simple.
Jared Keller

"When fascism comes to America it'll be very phenomenal and very, very classy." - Upton Sinclair
elias isquith

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a meme and carrying a Sinclair Lewis quote.
Chris Steller

[In response to the news that Chris Christie called for more leniency toward white drug abusers.] It is characteristic of conservatives to find empathy ONLY on issues that directly affect their lives.
David Roberts
There was also the report by Deaton and Case about how white middle-aged people are dying at unexpected rates:
One thing to consider about the rise of heroin/opiate addiction as a campaign issue and the recent paper on rise of mortality for middle-aged white people: We tend to think of the causality of drug addiction and misery running in one direction: addiction causes hopelessness, joblessness, misery, despair, etc... But Carl Hart has been arguing for a long time that the causality runs in the other direction: hopelessness, joblessness, misery, despair, lack of opportunity *cause* addiction problems. The drugs are the symptom. The Deaton/Case paper would seem to support this thesis, since we're seeing spikes in a variety of types or mortality among a particularly. Also, would've been great to see all of this outpouring of compassion and treatment-centered policy during the Crack Years. The politics of the crack years were viciously punitive dehumanizing: longer sentences, "crack babies" and "super predators" etc.
Christopher Hayes ‏

"Middle aged white men are dying"
"Do we blame capitalism? Giant corporations screwing their employees?"
"Nah! It's Fucking feminists!"
Jamie Kilstein

Notice in the debate over the cause of rising white death rates no one is looking for the white gene that explains the racial gap in health?
Dorothy Roberts
Finally, there was a critical mass of tweets about climate change and related environment subjects, just as the big talks were about to get underway in Paris:
Beijing is so smoggy that 1,500 angry people came together to form this pair of lungs with their bodies:

Bill McKibben

If you greenies are trumping up climate change as a trojan horse to dismantle capitalism, all I can say is well played.
Matt Bruenig

Some of the most efficient public transit goes to airports. Because we need to help the well-off and burn more jet fuel. Win-win. #sarcasm
Free Public Transit

The most eco-friendly clothes are the ones already in your closet.

Russia, U.S., will run out of money before Islam runs out of believers. Why not stop wasting oil on cars instead of bombing children?
Free Public Transit

It is looking increasingly difficult to keep climate change under 2˚C. But it is still possible...just barely. What's so incredibly frustrating is that scientists have been raising the climate alarm for over 30 years, and were ignored (or undermined). We haven't completely run out of time to solve the climate problem. But we have run out of time to sit on our ass. The good news? Recent advances in renewables & agriculture, reductions in deforestation, etc. give us good tools to address climate change. But now, after squandering 30+ years, we have to mount an all-out effort to reduce emissions across the board to avoid disaster. Large scale renewable transitions, massive efficiency gains, aggressive deforestation reductions, negative emissions, etc. Need 'em all now. This would have been much easier if we had heeded the warnings 30+ years ago, and kept up with Carter-era energy policies. Blew 3 decades.
Jon Foley

Capitalism. Spending money we don't have, to bomb people we don't know, to fuel cars we don't need, to ruin a planet we don't deserve.
Free Public Transit

The Glamour of Automobiles:

Ken Avidor

[Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions] is all about increasing the relative cost of carbon fuels, whether through: (1) taxing carbon, (2) making alternatives cheaper, or (3) increasing the reputational costs of extracting and burning carbon. I still think (1) and (2) are what will mostly get us there, but I underestimated the role of (3).
Jon Foley

Driving is the best way to get around. It better be, since the cost is loss of the biosphere.
Free Public Transit
And then there’s the run of the rest of my usual favorite topics and bits of humor:
When people say that there's no "I" in team, they're overlooking the fact that there's an "m" and an "e."
Mouthful of Platinum

Some people use race to distract from class or vice versa: doesn't mean they really want to do anything about either one. When people use one thing to distract from another, often they don't actually want to talk about either.
David Kaib

I’m all for action on mental illness. But involuntary institutionalization is a much greater intrusion on freedom than reasonable gun limits.
David Frum

I really hate this idea that basic civil rights are a luxury, a form of state welfare, to be yanked as soon as things get dangerous. Civil rights makes us *safer*. Especially in times of fear & danger. Seems like Americans used to have a better handle on that. It’s especially bizarre that the allegedly libertarian Right Wing seems to care only about the one part of the Bill of Rights that makes us LESS safe. If you concede that more surveillance, police powers, & military adventurism increase safety, they become politically inevitable. The key is not to concede that in the first place, because it's not f'ing true.
David Roberts

And who is the FBI devoting the most resources to tracking & infiltrating? Animal rights groups who have killed no one.
David Roberts

Congestion, unaffordable housing are outcomes of not planning for success, says Richard Florida. “Too many people want to live in the resurgent urban cores of technology hubs and they are bidding up the price of housing."
jennifer keesmaat

I'm again reminded when people complain about people being "PC," they're usually just whining about others not being racist a-holes like them.
Parker Molloy

We're not only in a second gilded age, we're sliding back to Victorian times, when your best shot at a decent life was marrying into money.

According to the Brennan Center, as many Americans have criminal records as college diplomas.
The Marshall Project

Thankful for family, friends, and a vision of justice. For everyone who marches, and everyone who turns their heart towards truth.
Phillip Atiba Goff

Seems to me one of the main problems of modernity is it has freed people from various unfair & malign frameworks but hasn’t provided NEW frameworks with the same richness of meaning & purpose. That’s why fundamentalism keeps flailing its way back.
David Roberts

The tragedy of sexist straight men is that they crave intimacy from the very people they see as less than human. How horrible, and how sad.
Laurie Penny

Research shows integration happens more effectively when immigrants settle in common districts. For me, I grew up in a Dutch community. It's counterintuitive, but true. Community networks drive success, which in turn drives broader participation and integration in society.
jennifer keesmaat

Tufts professor Steve Cohen: "My guess is that testing improves education the same way that bombing promotes democracy."
Nikhil Goyal

Remember, losing privilege is not oppression. #sixwordstory
Amy ‏@AmyStephen

Coates: "The best part of writing is to educate yourself. I don’t want to be anybody’s expert. I came in to learn."
Nikhil Goyal

Asked my 84-year-old friend Idelle for her top advice about raising kids.
1. Encourage their interests.
2. Trust them.
Paul Graham

Great moments in "essential character of the neighborhood”:

William Lindeke

If you're sympathetic to the weak, it's activist journalism. If you're sympathetic to the powerful, it's objective journalism.
David Rankin

Bloomberg: Share of pharma growth due to price increases on existing products = 80%.
Atul Gawande

I want to see a venn diagram of people who hate "safe spaces" because the "outside world isn't safe" and people who fear immigration.
psy? ‏@sarahjeong

I wonder what's going on in the alternate universe where George W. Bush didn't invade Iraq in response to a terror attack it had nothing to do with.
Tom Tomorrow

Last year, the value of civil asset forfeitures by police exceeded the value of all burglaries in the U.S.
Radley Balko

The cruelest trick the racists try to pull is to convince the world racism doesn't exist.
Deborah Roseman

Bree Newsome replied to Deborah Roseman,
#FunFact: Slave owners accused abolitionists of being the real racists who wanted to enslave white people

"We spend more money treating chronic pain than we spend treating cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined."

1. Struck again by how conservatives approach foreign policy almost *entirely* based on what feels emotionally satisfactory.
2. Not only do they neglect empirical analysis of what has happened & what might happen, but they condemn such analysis as weakness.
3. They condemn the effort to understand the parties & forces at play - the effort to understand *in & of itself* - as weakness.
4. They condemn Obama’s aversion to force even though Obama been bombing ISIS for months. Why? Because he’s not making them *feel* it.
5. It’s not the actual bombing they want, it’s the martial rhetoric, the flag-filled chyrons, the Bush-with-a-megaphone feeling.
6. They want him to say the right words, to call enemies the right names, to beat his chest, to show that America es mas macho
7. Whether war - the last one, the next one - "works" is neither here nor there. It’s working if it’s making them *feel* the right way.
8. It is foreign policy as carried out by an insecure, hormone-ridden teenage boy; everything’s about who burned who, who came out on top.
David Roberts

The happiest people live reality-adjacent.
Aparna Nancherla

There is always money for war, prisons and cops. There is never money for food, housing and health care.
David Kaib

I really hate the phrase "god-given potential."
Nikhil Goyal

Look, the very business of Wall Street is to extract that which it did not produce, come on.
Matt Bruenig

Gun violence since 1968 has killed more Americans than all the wars in all of U.S. history combined.

1.4 Million: Americans who died in all Wars fought since 1776.
1.4 Million: Americans who died via household Guns since 1968
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Art is unpredictable, messy, invites interpretation. It's bound to disappoint political people who care about purity and message discipline.
James Poniewozik

Undercover Israeli troops raid hospital, kill Palestinian.
Reuters Top News

Responding to Reuters: Why is it a 'raid,' and not an attack? Would it be a 'raid' if 30 armed Palestinians stormed an Israeli hospital and opened fire?
Saladin Ahmed

Until people’s condemning of anti-black oppressive forces is as vociferous as their condemning of black people’s RESPONSES to it, I'm not interested
Charles M. Blow

If people got as mad about racism as they do "PC culture,” things would be pretty rad.
Jamie Kilstein

I can't tell you how many disengaged students of color I've spoken with who've told me that "school felt like jail" to them.
Nikhil Goyal

Remember: until it was hijacked by warmongers in the 1950s, Veteran's Day was called Armistice Day, and it celebrated the END of war. 'Military families' is one of the most politically hijacked phrases in existence. My dad & uncle were soldiers. They were both VERY antiwar.
Saladin Ahmed

I wish Obama was 50% as effective as the GOP likes to claim he is.
Greg Koenig

Kinda think the tidy mythology that’s grown up around the civil rights movement has misled lots of folks about how social movements work.
David Roberts

In the Netherlands, the older you get, the more you ride bikes.
William Lindeke

Praise God. Because God's ego is so fragile he needs to be told constantly that he's awesome.

Women start by leaning in, but quickly realize that they’re leaning into the immovable wall of structural sexism.
The Nation

"Teaching is not about delivering content. It's about creating the context for youth to want to learn it." – Professor Christopher Emdin
Jen Overley

I’ve said it many times and still think it’s true: America has never properly grappled w/ the disaster of the Bush years. One odd aspect of the Bush years was that the major disasters ended up occluding many, many minor disasters.
David Roberts

Jeet Heer responded:
The minor disasters of the Bush years would be major scandals in a normal presidency.

Worth repeating: Speed kills.

Streetsblog Network

If there’s anything 4 a.m. has taught me, it’s that there’s A LOT to worry about.
Rainbow Rowell

Being black in America means a constant barrage of enraging news coupled with constant admonitions to not demonstrate anger. Meanwhile, old white dudes get front-page coverage for whining about how people deliver holiday greetings. They are allowed endless anger.
David Roberts

I think to balance out all the first-person shooter games, there should be at least a couple first-person innocent victim games.
Aparna Nancherla

The term "modern-day slavery" feels like it implies that slavery stopped at some point & started up again later. Slavery never stopped.
The Slaves Singing

Here's your weekly reminder that "playing devil's advocate" is unnecessary because the Prince of Darkness doesn't actually need you, Bob.
Ashley C. Ford

When I was a young reporter, I felt like people LOVED to talk about paying your dues. Like, you couldn't do anything REAL until then. It seemed like "pay your dues" was something you told people when you wanted them to shut up/calm down until they lost interest in trying.
Rainbow Rowell

Why is "pedestrian" a pejorative as an adjective? While "driven" is generally positive?
Chris Steller

Thousands of frat bros riot in Berkeley, because Halloween; miraculously, no tear gas was deployed & nobody beaten. I'm not advocating use of tear gas/batons against frat brothers, just think it's interesting that they're only used when the riot is political. Riot over Halloween & it's "those kids'll settle down eventually." Riot after police murder someone & it's "dangerous anarchist criminals."

Of course #Halloween candy razor blade scare was just another 80s-era punishment for moms entering workforce. Like preschool santanic cults.
Meghan Daum

If you are looking for utopia, you will always be disappointed.
Ta-Nehisi Coates

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