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"But tonight’s election results do not leave me comfortable with the state of American politics. If..."

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:00:07 +0000

“But tonight’s election results do not leave me comfortable with the state of American politics. If Moore had merely been a candidate who believed Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress, that the laws of the United States of America should be superseded by his interpretation of the Bible, that homosexuality should be illegal, he would have won in a landslide. Even multiple credible reports that Moore serially preyed on teenage girls were barely enough to lose him the election.”

- Why Doug Jones’s win in Alabama doesn’t leave me confident in American democracy



"Saying that the government “micromanages the internet” is just a lie. I’ve said this before: net..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:51:37 +0000

“Saying that the government “micromanages the internet” is just a lie. I’ve said this before: net neutrality is the exact opposite of government micromanagement. In fact, it was the de facto operating agreement of the internet, before ISPs started to mess with it and provoke regulation in the first place.”

- No, Michael Powell, let’s not ‘calm down’ about net neutrality



"It’s great Doug Jones won. But the Democratic party actually needs to deliver to voters of..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:43:09 +0000

“It’s great Doug Jones won. But the Democratic party actually needs to deliver to voters of color and poor white people. Identity politics might win an election here or there, but it’s not a solution, especially when it doesn’t deliver results.”

- Charles Barkley



Apple’s New Campus: An Exclusive Look Inside the Mothership

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:34:41 +0000

Apple’s New Campus: An Exclusive Look Inside the Mothership:

Apple’s answer is that the perfection here will inspire its workforce to match that effort in the products they create, that the environment itself is meant to motivate engineers, designers, and even café managers to aspire for ever-higher levels of quality and innovation. (Francesco Longoni, the maestro of the Apple Park café, helped Apple patent a box that will keep to-go pizzas from getting soggy.) “We’re amortizing this in an entirely different way,” Ive says. “We don’t measure this in terms of numbers of people. We think about it in terms of the future. The goal was to create an experience and an environment that felt like a reflection of who we are as a company. This is our home, and everything we make in the future is going to start here.”




16 Women and Donald Trump

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:26:19 +0000

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16 Women and Donald Trump




"This, of course, in the service of a president* who skipped Vietnam because his feet hurt. Nobody in..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:17:30 +0000

“This, of course, in the service of a president* who skipped Vietnam because his feet hurt. Nobody in that president*’s family ever has served in the military, although the Klan-curious paterfamilias once fought bravely in the battle against black people living in his buildings. Eventually, you grow tired of this grubby hucksterism. You grow tired of the people who cheer for it. You grow tired of it all, and exhausted in the attempt to make sense of human beings so obviously jonesing for the kind of illusions in which a former investment banker in a camo jacket and 31 dress shirts is really one of them, and in which a judge who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls is really as close a friend to Jesus as they are.”

- Roy Moore Rally Speakers from Steve Bannon to Louie Gohmert Bash Doug Jones Campaign



"At the risk of sounding like every liberal Yankee bogeyman flitting through the minds of the..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:00:27 +0000

“At the risk of sounding like every liberal Yankee bogeyman flitting through the minds of the assembled, this event was completely nuts. It was a naked appeal to unreason. It was the Rose Parade of empowered ignorance. It was the Royal Wedding of Stupid and Mean. It was the Celebration of the Lizard Brain. The Id was in the saddle, and it was riding the crowd, and the barker at this particular carnival of fools was quite happy to bring all the suckers in out of the Alabama dark and into the freak show he’d created.”

- Roy Moore Rally Speakers from Steve Bannon to Louie Gohmert Bash Doug Jones Campaign






"This is what I have to say about it: 62,984,825 Americans voted for this. Everything else is beside..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:08:58 +0000

“This is what I have to say about it: 62,984,825 Americans voted for this. Everything else is beside the point, and will be, until this shadow finally passes from the land.”

- Trump’s Twitter War with Kirsten Gillibrand Is a Reminder of What We Voted For



"Entitlement. It is, I think, the perfect word to bear in mind as the next chapter unfolds. Elegy is..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:43:20 +0000

“Entitlement. It is, I think, the perfect word to bear in mind as the next chapter unfolds. Elegy is another. In a former life, I used to be a translator, which allowed me to spend several years reading poetry. While reading Greek poetry, my professors warned us to be careful of the double meaning of elegies; they were, it seems, often written as political propaganda.”

- The Mythical Whiteness of Trump Country



Jon Lovitz as Dukakis: I Can’t Believe I’m Losing To...

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:17:30 +0000

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Jon Lovitz as Dukakis: I Can’t Believe I’m Losing To This Guy




"In fact, the alt-right itself is a kind of Saruman—offering a grotesque caricature of social care,..."

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:51:54 +0000

“In fact, the alt-right itself is a kind of Saruman—offering a grotesque caricature of social care, community, and the fulfillment of needs, predicated on the violent “cleansing” from society of people of color, Jews, and what the right terms sexual “degenerates,” and the complete subjugation of women. Fascism’s parody of the beloved community is predicated on the constant threat that even those within the magic circle of white malehood can be tossed out on a moment’s notice: Spencer is constantly gay-baited by other white nationalists, Peinovich and Kline viciously trolled by “comrades” who insist their names mean they are Jews. Another neo-Nazi left the movement because his peers made clear to him that they were not fond of his disabled son.”

- The Racist Right Looks Left



Don't blame black voters if Roy Moore wins. Blame this guy.

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:25:50 +0000

Don't blame black voters if Roy Moore wins. Blame this guy.:

In recent years, Alabama Republicans have taken steps to protect their grip on power by making it harder for African Americans and Latinos to vote. They passed a law requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID, a measure that has been found to disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans and Latinos, who are more likely to lack such an ID and face impediments to getting one. The ID law also applied to absentee voting, which is used by many elderly black voters in rural counties, who now must mail in copies of their photo IDs with their ballots. (The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is challenging the law in federal court as intentionally discriminatory.) They reformed campaign finance laws to weaken the political organizations that mobilize African American voters. They closed 31 DMV offices across the state, disproportionately affecting rural majority-black counties. In every county in which African Americans made up more than 75 percent of registered voters, the local DMV was slated for closure. (After a federal civil rights investigation, Alabama agreed to increase DMV service in rural African American counties, partially reversing the closures.) Since the US Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, allowing states like Alabama to change voting procedures without federal approval, Alabama has closed about 200 voting precincts, creating longer lines and sowing confusion among voters.




"If Roy Moore wins, they’ll spend the next year yoking every Republican they can to the accused..."

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:00:13 +0000

“If Roy Moore wins, they’ll spend the next year yoking every Republican they can to the accused child predator and a president who welcomed him into the GOP fold. They’ll be quick to remind everyone of all the other comments Moore has made against Muslims and gays and in favor of Vladimir Putin’s view of America as evil, as well as his rosy view of slave-era America.”

- Why Democrats win even if they lose in Alabama



"By removing power over health care from employers and spouses, and replacing unequal tiers with one..."

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:40:13 +0000

“By removing power over health care from employers and spouses, and replacing unequal tiers with one unified insurance pool, we could fund our health-care system with progressive taxes. That way, we could guarantee everyone the care they need, and make it free at the point of service. Ability to pay, pre-existing conditions, employment status, and gender would cease to be barriers. Building Medicare for All — with robust guarantees for tougher-to-access services like abortion and gender affirming care — would force American society as a whole to address the care disparities women face.”

- The Feminist Case For Single Payer



Why These Alabama Voters Are Sticking By Roy Moore (HBO)

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:00:10 +0000

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Why These Alabama Voters Are Sticking By Roy Moore (HBO)




"To democratize the internet, we need to do more than force private ISPs to abide by certain rules...."

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:00:28 +0000

“To democratize the internet, we need to do more than force private ISPs to abide by certain rules. We need to turn those ISPs into publicly owned utilities. We need to take internet service off the market, and transform it from a consumer good into a social right. Access to the internet is a necessity. It is a basic precondition for full participation in our social, political, and economic life. But so long as the internet’s infrastructure remains private, the corporations that control it will always prioritize piling up profits for investors over serving our needs as users and citizens. Net neutrality addresses one negative consequence of private ownership, but there are many others. Charging discriminatory rates for data is a symptom – the root cause is the antidemocratic nature of a system run exclusively for profit. The solution is to make that system public, and put it under democratic control.”

- Time to release the internet from the free market – and make it a basic right



You Are Not Actually Reading This Right Now: The Paradox of the Mind, and Why I Wrote a Psychological Thriller

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:38:55 +0000

You Are Not Actually Reading This Right Now: The Paradox of the Mind, and Why I Wrote a Psychological Thriller:

I imagine this confession will gratify some readers and annoy others, but lately I’ve been diving into Julian Jaynes’s 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. I’m not sure why, exactly—I’ve heard it was a big influence on the currently popular HBO series Westworld, but I haven’t gotten around to watching that one, so that’s not the reason. Nah, I guess I just have a thing for reading about mind-blowing psychological theories. The human mind is one of the universe’s greatest mysteries, and probably one we’ll never understand—after all, how can something be expected to comprehend itself?

The gist of the work, if you’re unfamiliar, is this: Until about 3,000 years ago, human beings were not “conscious,” at least as we understand consciousness. They weren’t capable of introspection, or creativity, or deliberate problem-solving. Instead, they were what would be considered schizophrenic today—guided by voices generated by one side of the brain and heard audibly by the other. These voices, according to Jaynes, were called gods. Obviously, this premise would call into question any religion’s theology, including my own, and I’m not saying I necessarily “buy it.” Still, it’s fascinating—and often terrifying—to think about, in part because it’s a reminder of how difficult it is to even define ideas like consciousness or the human mind.







"The Clinton economy added 23 million new jobs. Bush II added 5 million, the lowest level of job..."

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:49:53 +0000

“The Clinton economy added 23 million new jobs. Bush II added 5 million, the lowest level of job creation for any eight-year period outside of the Great Depression. Bush’s record of economic growth was the lowest for any eight-year period since World War II.  And let’s not forget, Bush II’s policies created the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression. More than 5 million people lost their homes. More than $8 trillion of working and middle class wealth was destroyed.”

- Do Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Help the Economy?