short thoughts about Occupy Wall Street

1)the We are the 53% site is such a fascinating mix of privilege and internalized class oppression. Some sociologist out there should really delve into it

2)Rachel Maddow’s “Machine Against the Rage” headline is fucking brilliant; so’s the segment it came from: Conservatives in panicked hysteria over Occupy Wall Street

3)Most hilarious protest EVAR: Robin Hood in a kayak

4)The police really fucking hate OCW, don’t they. First, in NYC: the macing of peaceful protesters; the arrests of 700(!)protesters in NYC, and of course shit like this. Now, in Boston: police beat up (elderly) veterans, arrest 50-100 protesters

EDIT: I really should check TYTNetwork before making these posts: Cenk Uygur on “we are the 53%”

More short thoughts

1) Oil Rig Islands + no building codes = one storm away from societal collapse

2)I wish my fellow legal immigrants/children of immigrants would stop using the “but I/my parents did immigrated the right way and waited in line” argument to dismiss humanitarian concerns of illegal immigrants. That argument would only make sense if those who got in illegally would have gotten in legally if they just followed procedures, which is patently untrue

3)spammers are now pretending they’re pingbacks; fascinating

4)Google eBooks is evil; I’ve impulse-bought a number of books I accidentally stumbled upon while doing assorted internetty research (currently, it’s Bathsheba’s breast:
women, cancer & history
)

Dispatches from an alternate dimension

1)apparently, Obama is just like Mugabe; also, “immaculate” is now a verb, with so far indeterminable meaning

2)Telling your congregation who to vote for, vilifying politicians from the pulpit, or making public statements about which politicians shouldn’t receive communion? Totally non-partisan and not worthy of removing tax-exempt status from churches. Reporting on the lies of Fox News? pure evil, AKA “unlawful conduct” meant to “‘disrupt’ the commercial interests of News Corp”.

3)and from the “alternate dimension I wish we lived in” department, Pelosi claims Democrats won’t let Republicans fuck them over like that again. ha hahahah ha haaaa…. *weep*

Link dump

there’s a few issues on my mind that don’t need a lot to have said about them (or, you know, render one completely speechless), so I’ll just collect them all here:

1)douchebag: now an insult also applicable to racists: Hey Did You Know Your Vagina’s Personality Is Based On Your Race?

2)something that’s quite old by now, but that I haven’t gotten around to respond: Walton linked to an article about a boy in London fighting the ban on cornrows in his school. The ban was being defended because it bans things associated with gang-culture. Someone else commented that it was “unprofessional”. That reminded me of how political black people’s hair is: how much racism there is in associating traditionally black hairstyles with criminality, and how much shaming there is (usually of women) for their natural hair, to the point where many of them end up damaging it to make it look like white people’s hair. Anyway, here’s a good article from the guardian about it: Cornrows? Non-traditional? What rubbish

3)News Corp trying to shut up critics, in a way that vaguely reminds me of something a certain someone recently did… News Corp’s Times Of London Cartoon Shows Starving Children Bemoaning Phone-Hacking Scandal Coverage

4)Limbaugh claims that current heatwave is a Liberal Conspiracy: Limbaugh: The Killer 116° Heat Index Is ‘Manufactured By The Government’

5)Sustainable development that’s actually sustainable: Permaculture in Cambodia (30 min documentary)

EDIT: one more, for good measure: Fox News: Are There Really Poor Americans?, from The Young Turks

assorted short thoughts

1)this being the last few weeks of school, I’m swamped with work and taking a blogging-break until mid-May

2)I was linked by a real-life journalist! yay! plus, the blogpost she wrote was very interesting, so go read

3)visual WTF of the day

4)verbal WTF of the day:

If the demand for land were only D4, land rent would be zero. Land would be a free good — a good for which demand is so weak relative to supply that an excess supply of it occurs even if the market price is zero. [...] This essentially was the situation in the free-land era of U.S. History

Dispatches from an alternate dimension

1)Apparently, the way to ease traffic congestion is not to build more public transit and get people to walk and ride bikes, but to build more roads (just ask LA). Because “For most Americans – make that most of mankind — the car is an instrument of mobility, flexibility and speed” (just ask the Dutch and the Danes)

2)there are palm trees growing in Wisconsin

3)Wisconsinite palm trees also involved in teabagger having to go for x-rays and treatment of injuries from 3 seconds of shoving. Teabaggers must be very fragile individuals, no wonder they like Medicare (and on a tangentially related note: to this German, anti-fascist skinheads are a novelty)

4)Corporations paying nothing in taxes means they’re paying too much

5)Also, did you know that Planned Parenthood is invested in promiscuity? Because everyone knows non-promiscuous people don’t need pap smears, birth-control, diabetes screening, UTI tests and treatment, mammograms, or testicular and prostate cancer screening,

UPDATE: In a moment of serendipity, The Young Turks posted a segment on the same topic a moment ago: Fox Lies

medium-length thoughts

1)since in my last post I declared the internet connection to be good, it of course crapped out (apparently, caine and I used too much broadband watching videos, so we’re locked out of the internet for 4 days), which is why I’m posting this from Barnes & Noble in Bismarck, and why the post I was going to write will have to wait. Instead, some mostly shallow, shortmedium-length thoughts.

2)I thought the Minot Daily was unreadably conservative and stupid, but the Bismarck Tribune has them beat, by publishing Ross DoucheDouthat (of “women on birth-control turn me off” and “straight marriage should be special because I like being special” fame) in their Op/Ed section. I’m thinking the only way to sink lower than that is to let O’Keefe or Breitbart write for your paper. Or, you know, turn into the Whirled Nut Daily.

3)I have found my copy of Yes Means Yes, and as soon as I’m done reading Matt Taibbi’s Great Derangement, I’m going to re-read it and take notes. I’m still not entirely sure how to sum up its awesomeness, but I figure writing general evaluations of their sub-themes, plus highlighting their most personally thought-provoking sections will be the way to go here.

4)I’m reading SKEPTIC right now, and one of the articles was about Public Intellectuals, and whether they’re needed, what their use is supposed to be, and whether the Public Intellectual is in decline in the US right now. Fascinating article, especially because it touches on something that I’ve been talking about for a while now: the need for a well educated and voluntarily/happily self-educating populace. The article itself doesn’t really talk about this, but it mentions on the one hand that the role of the Public Intellectual is to do what the average person doesn’t have the resources, education, and time to do (think deep, long, and hard about all sorts of social issues), and on the other the fact that in the US, the quality of the Public Intellectual has suffered, because who becomes a widely known PI is determined by their entertainment value and how well their messages confirm the opinions and biases of the general population, rather than the thoroughness and quality of their argument/presentation. It also mentions that the role of the PI has shrunk to academia, where it used to include artists and other non-academic professions. All of which, as far as I’m concerned, are consequences of the way universities work in the US. for one, as they become more expensive, fewer people go; two, for the same reason, people treat them like paying tuition is buying a degree, thus causing grade inflation and similar loss of quality; three, people treat them like investments in their career, and therefore become Fachidioten with a very narrow education in only the areas they find directly relevant to their future careers. On the other side of this are free(ish) public universities in Europe, where people study “useless” shit for fun, where a larger percentage of the population goes to university, and where in general consider knowing stuff a positive trait. From a directly, purely economic POW, the US model is certainly more profitable, but OTOH it does result in a country full of teabaggers. So yeah, heavily subsidized universities are good for the health of a country, because it produces more, and better quality, Public Intellectuals. Whole populations of public intellectuals, for that matter.

5)So… purely hypothetically… what are the prognoses for Hawaii, in re AGW? Is it still going to be a livable place some 15-25 years from now? For that matter, is much of it still going to exist by then…?

short thoughts

1)The Coffee Party is looking less and less appealing, and more and more spinelessly accommodationist. Most recent update was a link to an article that starts like this:

Before we call someone a racist, we should ask ourselves: are we moved to call someone a racist because we feel compassion for the victim or because we feel hatred toward the perpetrator?

Calling people racist shuts down conversation. Not that there isn’t racism is the world, but I believe most individuals do not deserve to be called that. Or, rather, many of us would deserve to be called that because we all have blind spots and very few of us have fully examined lives. It would be better to ask individuals to reflect critically on their assumptions and prejudices (which are really pre-judgments). And because we are human beings and fallible, we all have prejudices to check.

refusing to name the problem won’t help. Not that the sentiment isn’t very nice and all, but this sort of squishy stuff ain’t going to successfully push back against the unadulterated force of irrational fear and hatred that is the tea party.

2)UPS doesn’t ship to PO Boxes. Will someone explain to me again why these for-profit are seen as so much better than the good, old-fashioned US Postal Service? And on that note, a coffee company who uses socialism as a selling gimmick should use USPS instead UPS; it ruins the effect otherwise :-p

3)There’s going to be a teabagger rally in Washington DC on the 28th, the anniversary of the “I have a Dream” speech. Last time they descended on DC en masse, they ended up confused and frustrated with the public transportation system, so this time, one of their sites helpfully gave advice on how to handle the DC Metro. And it sounds like the sort of directions/advice my mom used to give me when I was eight:

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.

here’s a map of the DC Metro, just to make this easier to visualize. Also note the fearmongering and willful ignorance displayed in the last sentence.

Today, and image-post

still having brain-freeze, despite David’s accusations of lying, so I’m posting images. Those don’t require much thinking.

first, an old picture from when I was doing a lot of photo-manipulation(in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s a photo of me):

second, an extremely fitting snapshot found on the internet:

and last, something sciency on interconnectivity:

link-dump

1) “success oriented planning”, Big Oil edition: remote shut-off? we don’t need no stinkin’ remote shut-off!

2)The Arizonan immigration-law is sparking calls for boycotts on multiple fronts: baseball, businesses, other cities, foreign countries

3)random obligatory anti-corporate link: two simple statistics