There’s an app called NextDoor which is supposed to be a neighborhood-based bulletin board social media platform where people can talk about their garbage cans or post pictures of their yard sale crap or ask about when the next yard waste day is supposed to be. As with all other social media platforms, our particular NextDoor neighborhood has devolved into a cesspool of MAGA vs. everyone else over the chalk messages written on the school—specifically the Black Lives Matter messages that went up last week. What started out as a wonderful, grass-roots show of support was met with a bunch of assholes complaining, people threatening to wash it off, other people threatening to cover it in Blue Lives Matter with spray paint, and finally some douchebag white woman actually going out and trying to wash it off herself. Seriously, trying to erase “NO HATE” written on the wall by children? What kind of a racist robot are you?

The school board had a crew come out and pressure-wash the whole thing and now it’s the same boring brick building it always was. Can I mention how much I hate people?

Date posted: June 24, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

I’ve had a pile of tabs open on my browser, with no idea what to do with them. They were too powerful to close but too much to take in one sitting.

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop:

I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.

“Cops” Canceled after 33 Years on TV
Check out a great podcast called Running From Cops for a view of how the show informed and impacted policing in America.

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology
Others will step in for sure. But one fewer company selling ID software to the cops is a good thing, I guess.

John Oliver’s excellent take on police in America:

And finally, a glimmer of hope, from Camden, NJ: they disbanded their police force 7 years ago and rebuilt it from scratch. Here’s how they did it.

Date posted: June 9, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Trump sent the DC Police out 1/2 hour before the official curfew to clear the streets so he could walk down to St. John’s Episcopal Church and shoot a photo op holding a bible. One of the Reverends was handing out food and snacks on the steps, and she and her staff were tear-gassed and driven off by police in riot gear. Fuck. This. Guy.

Date posted: June 2, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

At the Atlantic, George Packer argues that we are living in a failed state:

A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.

Totally pessimistic—you may need to day drink while reading this—but he makes a convincing point. Especially on a morning when the Great Pumpkin is telling people to inject disinfectant to clean their lungs.

Date posted: April 24, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Until a vaccine or another protective measure emerges, there is no scenario, epidemiologists agreed, in which it is safe for that many people to suddenly come out of hiding. If Americans pour back out in force, all will appear quiet for perhaps three weeks.

Then the emergency rooms will get busy again.

I heard the author of this article on The Daily, the New York Times’ podcast, and what he said was sobering. We’re not out of the woods yet—this is going to continue for months. There is no vaccine coming soon. And it’s going to take careful, intelligent government to help us through the pandemic with as little pain as possible—something we haven’t gotten at all.

Date posted: April 20, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

You didn’t see people in masks standing in the rain risking their lives to vote. Not in America. You didn’t see the leader of the free world push an unproven miracle drug like a late-night infomercial salesman. That was a crisis update. You didn’t see homeless people dead on the street. You didn’t see inequality. You didn’t see indifference. You didn’t see utter failure of leadership and systems.

Jen found this article and read it aloud a couple of days ago, and it really struck home. In Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting, Julio Vincent Gambuto makes the case that this strange reality is the best opportunity we’ve ever had to stop, look, and evaluate our lives, our country, and our future, and prepare to make changes for the better right now before we are lulled back to sleep.

Date posted: April 15, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

“Dr. Redfield,” she said, “you don’t need to do any work to ‘operationalize.’ You need to make a commitment to the American people so they come in to get tested. You can operationalize the payment structure tomorrow.”

And with that, the doctor waved a white flag.

“I think you’re an excellent questioner,” he said, “so my answer is yes.”

“Excellent,” Porter responded. “Everybody in America hear that? You are eligible to go get tested for coronavirus and have that covered regardless of insurance.”

Rep. Katie Porter grilled the head of the Centers for Disease Control until he agreed to provide free Coronavirus testing for all Americans. This shit happened yesterday and the first time I’m seeing it appear anywhere in the mainstream news is this morning. Instead, I had to read about how they shut down pro basketball and that Tom Hanks has the virus. Of course, there’s no word on how that free testing will actually happen; Trump disbanded the NSC’s global health security team two years ago, and the CDC has been pretty fucking useless to this point.

Mainstream news is still our only check against an increasingly amoral and unequal government, but they are blowing it. And while our elected representatives have our best interests in mind for roughly 3% of their day, it’s somewhat heartwarming to know there are still a few out there fighting for us.

Date posted: March 13, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Cortellessa reports that Hogan, who ostensibly left his brother in charge of his real estate brokerage firm when he was elected, has, in fact, maintained ownership and control while serving as governor; the trustees he handpicked to run his company have continued to keep him apprised of its business dealings. And as governor, he has advanced highway and road construction projects that directly boosted the value of land owned by his company.

I don’t know how to feel about this. Outraged that my governor is so corrupt, or disgusted that he just doesn’t give a fuck about hiding it. Call it another symptom of Trump status quo. The New Republic wraps up a longer piece by the Washington Monthly detailing the whole story.

Date posted: January 13, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

According to this article, the U.S. has been at war for 46.9% of my entire lifespan, and a quarter of Americans have never experienced a time of peace (ahem, Afghanistan).

On a related note, from the always excellent McSweeneys, The Case for War, by Someone Whose Kids Won’t Die Fighting in It:

I, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t have any skin in the game. Your kids quite literally have skin in the game, some of it no doubt to be melted off by napalm.

Date posted: January 9, 2020 | Filed under general, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I grew up listening to Howard Stern on the radio, and when he made the switch to satellite I lost track. Sometime in the intervening years he embraced his ability to be an excellent interviewer. He had Hillary Clinton on last week, and the whole thing is fascinating: he’s empathetic and insightful, and she’s a human being. It’s depressing how much of the current political process strips the personality and warmth from our candidates; I like this Hillary and I wish we’d seen more of this side of her on the campaign trail four years ago.

Date posted: December 30, 2019 | Filed under entertainment, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »