Days 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411 and 412 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Boats against the current…


  • So, Sam Nunberg decided to go up and air-dry his dirty laundry on two cable news channels. These are the interesting times.
  • A porn star is suing the commander in chief for violating a nondisclosure agreement. Dios mio, this is the silliest timeline.
  • There’s something different in the air after Stoneman Douglas, I truly mean it.
  • Every coming-of-age story is also a story of the adults that failed. The kids from Stoneman Douglas should be enjoying teenage life, not organizing for their lives. It truly depresses me.
  • Gee, who knew that electing an aspiring dictator would be dangerous?
  • A trade war is just what we need right now. How many resignations are we at?
  • Speaking of said trade war, Carl Icahn sure is getting lucky with his investment decisions!
  • Jared Kushner is probably full of regret these days.
  • So, the teachers of West Virginia won their strike, which was good. But it came at the expense of Medicaid, which was bad. No such thing as a complete victory, indeed.
  • Mass transit is yet another thing that will see no progress under the Trump regime.
  • Tunde Wey is conducting an excellent experiment in New Orleans, and anyone who wants to know what reparations will actually look like should take notice.
  • I recently learned that New York doesn’t have homeless shelters for LGBT people above the age of 24. This is a severe problem that must be corrected.
  • I like to think of myself as a cool, collected, magnanimous observer. But fuck that, Bernie has a lot to answer for, and so does his son. I thought that we didn’t like dynasties.
  • This article on oblivious Silicon Valley chicken raisers legitimately made me want to throw something. Be warned.
  • One day I will try the Gros Michel banana, whether it’s worth it or not.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day is something you should all follow. Their recent combination of the Hubble Deep Field with an acoustic accompaniment was very clever.
  • Oscars happened. Go see Loving Vincent. Go see The Breadwinner. Animation is great.
  • Animation is less great, however, when the community gives Oscars to accused sexual predators.
  • In pace requiescat, Cogsworth.
  • When it comes to “star-crossed” lovers, I don’t think of Avatar and the Star Wars prequels, but that may just be me.
  • The intersection between privilege and otherness is a fascinating one.
  • Here’s a second Wikipedia article for you loyal readers, on “macarons”! I swear, I didn’t quite grok the distinction between them and macaroons until just now.

Days 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403 and 404 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

“Incandescent” and “candescent” are synonyms. This does not sit with me.

  • The kids of Stoneman Douglas should be enjoying the lives that kids live. The fact that they have to organize to protect themselves because their parents’ generation won’t is a goddamned tragedy. It makes my heart sick.
  • Trump promises a lot of things, but delivers on none of them. So I won’t believe any of his gun control feints until they actually happen.
  • Florida didn’t even pretend to give a shit about gun control, but they are prepared to tackle the carnage caused by pornography.
  • If you support the children organizing against gun control, ask yourself β€” did you support their peers when they were marching for black lives?
  • DACA lives, for the moment. We still have work to do.
  • Democrats have become so good at winning special elections, even Linda Belcher (yes, that one, not really) can do it.
  • Clarence Thomas should be impeached and removed from the Supreme Court after we retake the Senate and White House.
  • Jersey City is a place I have grown to love very much, but it’s got its fair share of issues that we’re working to fix, and many people whose anguish should not be buried. This confessional from ChicpeaJC is worth reading.
  • Articles on the mediopassive voice share well.
  • Black Panther was a wonderful movie with amazing characters that most definitely provoked thoughts. I think Adam Serwer’s analysis of Erik Killmonger is the best one I’ve read.
  • “Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther.”
  • Putting 200+ hours into the tutorial world of Kingdom Hearts is dedication I can only hope to achieve.
  • George of the Jungle was a small but critical part of my childhood. So this story about Brendan Fraser’s disappearance and slow rebirth is sad to read. CW: Sexual assault, depression.
  • The fact that ancient sculptures were painted like Munchkinland props still astounds me, even after learning the truth years ago. Like the article suggests, it seems, ah, less than coincidental that the unpainted marble meant that whiteness could be idealized.
  • Powdered Old Fashioned mix is something that shouldn’t even exist in dreams.

Days 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395 and 396 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Alyssa Al Hadeff. Scott Beigel. Martin Duque. Nick Dworet. Aaron Feis. Jaime Guttenberg. Chris Hixon. Luke Hoyer. Cara Loughran. Gina Montalo. Joaquin Oliver. Alaina Petty. Meadow Pollack. Alex Schachter. Carmen Schentrup. Helena Ramsey. Peter Wang.

  • Seventeen people are dead because of an angry, abusive man with a gun. There is no way to prevent this.
  • But I do sense a tiny shift in the wind. The gun shop is closed. The kids aren’t lying down. They expect better. It’s up to us to give them that.
  • The picture is from The Nib‘s graphic essay on Australia and the Port Arthur massacre. They protected their children. When will we?
  • The Smith & Wesson M&P15 is the gun that Nikolas Cruz used to murder 17 people. A few days ago the Wikipedia article contained this abominable sentence:

    This particular model was used in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by Nikolas Cruz, but did not have any involvement in the shootings.

    I changed it to say:

    This particular model was used in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by Nikolas Cruz, in which 17 people were killed and 12 more wounded.

    Now all references to Stoneman Douglas are gone. The gun nuts got to it.

  • Mueller’s investigation continues to chug along. We can still fix things.
  • The House voted to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the best damn laws we’ve ever passed. There is something fundamentally wrong with these Representatives.
  • Trump’s atrocious budget would eliminate both my old job and my current job, and also Arthur. Oh, and it would turn food stamps into a Blue Apron-esque abomination. Nothing to combat gun violence, though.
  • The tax cuts were always going to be justification for killing Medicare and Medicaid. Paul Ryan is right on schedule.
  • Damn the New York Times to hell. Why are they still here?
  • The Obamas’ portraits are genuine works of art that would be interesting to look at even if you didn’t know who the subjects were. I approve.
  • I don’t know if anyone took up Panera’s offer to cater the wedding of anyone who proposed in a Panera on Valentine’s Day, but it’s a classier engagement location than Burger King, at least.
  • Happy Year of the Dog.
  • Black Panther was a wonderful movie that spoke to my heart and head. Plus, it drove the racists insane. Go see it.
  • Vinegar valentines are a tradition worth resurrecting, I think:

Vinegar valentines were commercially bought postcards that were less beautiful than their love-filled counterparts, and contained an insulting poem and illustration. They were sent anonymously, so the receiver had to guess who hated him or her; as if this weren’t bruising enough, the recipient paid the postage on delivery.

Days 373–388 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Kingdom Hearts III is real, and the Empire lost the Super Bowl. There is still hope for us all.

  • So, the government is funded and the Dems got some important concessions, but not the DREAM Act. I’m skeptical that we could have ever gotten a DREAM Act passed under Trump. But Chuck Schumer still handled things very poorly. It seems he didn’t have a clear strategy going into the shutdown. If DACA was dead, they shouldn’t have pretended we could save it. I don’t think he’s the best person to lead the Dems in the Senate. That said, there was very little mobilization in favor of DACA.
  • Much love to Nancy Pelosi, whom we are lucky to have. And even more love to the organizers who fought for DREAMers. I’m sorry we couldn’t do more.
  • At least we didn’t go with Trump’s immigration plan, which coincidentally would have made the U.S. whiter for longer. Complete coincidence.
  • Trump is refusing to implement sanctions against Russia. I know I’m not surprised at all, but I also have to remember that this is illegal and NOT NORMAL.
  • There was a State of the Union address. I read this instead.
  • Another safeguard falls at the FBI, which turned out to not be biased against Trump, surprisingly. Mueller will be fired, it’s only a matter of time. This tells you how you can prepare for that.
  • Oh yeah, the memo. It was nothing.
  • A wave is building.
  • Republicans might, maybe, perhaps are giving up on Obamacare repeal. I look at the amount of resistance that we mustered for that, and whatever it was we did for DACA, and I see why one of them survived while the other is on its way to death.
  • Nationwide student debt forgiveness, I think, is our way out of the mess.
  • George W. Bush was a wretchedly bad president, and Trump doesn’t change that.
  • The New York Times is terrible and deserves to go bankrupt.
  • Friendly reminder: Not everyone is a Russian agent. Unfortunately, many people are willing to be asinine for free.
  • Few things make my blood boil like accelerationism. I don’t like it.
  • State/local politics news: A candidate I liked in the Michigan governor’s race has made some disappointing accusations. It’s the immediate presumption of bad faith that kills me. If we can’t even pretend to trust each other, how can we fight together?
  • Rest in peace, Trayvon Martin. We cannot forget.
  • Careful the things you say. Children will listen. And be horribly misinformed about the Civil War and slavery.
  • Cheddar Man was handsome. A man all Brits should be proud of. πŸ™‚
  • Ed Yong spent two years conscientiously working to reduce gender imbalance in his reporting. A fascinating, much-needed reflection from a fantastic science reporter.
  • The Onion has spoken. Video games will never be art.
  • Because they’ll never be art, we need to switch to nobler pursuits, like speedrunning Disneyland.
  • This tweet really got to me. We need to build a world where all staplers are happy.
  • The Cleveland baseball team is “retiring” Chief Wahoo, as far as you can retire a mascot while still selling merchandise of it. They have much, much farther to go.
  • Josh McDaniels is a snake. If I were the NFL, I’d summarily execute Robert Kraft for crimes against humanity, exile Tom Brady to the Kalahari Desert, smash the phylactery that tethers Bill Belichick to this world, implode Gillette Stadium and salt the earth where it stood, then pass Damnatio Memoriae on the cursed New England Patriots franchise for all eternity. For starters. Speaking of the Super Bowl, I’m glad that Justin Timberlake didn’t go with the creepy, disrespectful Prince hologram.

Days 366–372 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Year two. I can’t say it’s been a good start.

But “Hey Bulldog” is pretty great.

  • The big story of the week is the end of the government shutdown. The Dems managed to save CHIP, which is a huge accomplishment, but the DREAMers are still in grave danger. The plan would be to shut down the government again in two weeks over DACA, but the Dems seem to be wavering on that.
  • What can you do about it? Call Congress. And look for DREAM Act protests in your area. The ACA was saved (mostly) by nationwide uprising. I haven’t seen something like that for DREAMers yet.
  • This segues into the Women’s March, which surprised me in a good way by maintaining the energy it had when the Trump regime was new and nobody knew what was going to happen. It disappointed me by not focusing on DACA and DREAMers. But I can’t really complain about that, because I didn’t help plan it or organize anything. It’s up to us to make the changes we want.
  • As a reminder that everyone has work to do, read this article on the controversies over pussyhats.
  • Let us go back to bad news. Trump tried to fire Mueller way back in June, just a month after the special investigation started! Mueller will be fired before the end of the year.
  • A school shooting in Kentucky is now the sixth bullet point in this roundup. School shootings are normal now.
  • I’m sorry to say this, but Michigan State needs to go down in flames.
  • Right-to-work hurts people, but it hurts the Democrats. Rejecting Medicaid kills people, but it hurts the Democrats. Our opponents are ruthless and amoral. We must not become them, but we have to recognize them.
  • Public opinion is moving back toward anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination. It’s past due that we acknowledge that people voted for Trump because of the progress we made, which they opposed.
  • A little bit of good news: felony voting rights may be returning to Florida.
  • Chelsea Manning is a dumbass at best, and not fit to represent her state in the Senate. Do not hang out with Nazis.
  • Tide Pods really do look like luscious treats to me. Read this cool interview with an anthropologist about the phenomenon.
  • Go Eagles. Philly Philly.

Days 353–365 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

So, it’s been about a year since I started this blog. Have I achieved all I envisioned with it? I don’t think so. But on the balance, I’m glad to have done this, and I hope you agree. Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚

  • The Republicans didn’t even make it a year without shutting down the government. Trump’s America. Though I think he underestimated the Democrats’ resolve, Martin Longman basically predicted this two weeks ago.
  • Trump is a racist shithole of a man, who hires racist shitholes and doesn’t even feel a basic sense of responsibility. The U.S. is not so evil that it deserved him. As always, Fred Clark speaks on this with a moral clarity that I envy.
  • “Martin Luther King Would Have Agreed With Everything I Believe” Day has passed. But listen to the man himself. We owe him that much.
  • The most blood-boiling articles of the last two weeks are the Outside the Lines and Detroit News reports on the Larry Nassar scandal. Michigan State needs to go down, the U.S. gymnastics cabal needs to go down and people need to go to jail. Warning: Graphic depictions of sexual assault.
  • Three infuriating health care stories for you: Trump plans to let states destroy Medicaid; Kentucky is already taking him up on the offer; the uninsured population increased for the first time since before the ACA. I can’t find a silver lining.
  • I have to give you some good news, so I am glad to report that Chris Christie can’t hurt New Jersey anymore. Best of luck to the Murphy administration.
  • The race to the bottom for Amazon Headquarters II made me very sad. It turns out that people have thought about banning such bidding wars outright, which seems like a good idea.
  • Gerrymandering is not just for electoral districts; it’s also for schools. Check the link to see how segregated yours is.
  • Boston is training women to negotiate for higher salaries, which is great. But aren’t we bumping against the ceiling of what individual effort can do? Why is the burden on the employee and not the employer? I may have more to say about this in the coming weeks.
  • I think Oprah would make a pretty poor president, but that’s not what the Golden Globes speech was for. Remember, the Force belongs to us.
  • With Aziz Ansari, we can progress from battling outright criminals and predators to fighting for more respectful treatment of women in all ways. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s right.
  • What would #MeToo look like for racism? Is it possible in the America we’ve built? I’m not optimistic.
  • Artemisia Gentileschi is an artist that I knew nothing about but now find fascinating. Learn about her!
  • I was greatly saddened to see that Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries had passed. May she rest in peace.
  • Calibri is aggravating, but not sinful like Comic Sans or Papyrus. Still, I prefer Garamond.
  • I read an interesting and troubling article about the nationwide decline in art museum attendance. Go read it too.
  • Click the link to see my preferred solution to the Tide Pod challenge.
  • His Dark Materials devastated me back in the day (in a good way). La Belle Sauvage, part one of the companion Book of Dust trilogy, is an exceptional continuation. Go read it.
  • Also read Never Let Me Go, by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro. I am still smiling internally for him.
  • No better way to cap off a year than “Halloween cake”! Well-written, properly sourced, utterly pointless. Peak Wikipedia here.

Days 339–352 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Happy New Year! 2018 wasted no time in becoming just as stressful and embarrassing as the previous year.

  • Yes, threatening nuclear war in a not-even-subtextual dick-measuring contest is bad, but have you considered that Hillary Clinton used a private email server?
  • James Fallows does a good job explaining why I haven’t cared so much about the new Trump book. None of this is new.
  • Virginia’s Medicaid expansion may be doomed after a Republican’s name was drawn from a bowl after a tied election. I hope there’s another recount.
  • Housing is a human right, and our ultimate goal must be the end of all homelessness. Dare to dream.
  • In the meantime, do you know what homeless services are available in your community? As temperatures descend, with the right information you just might save a life.
  • “Erica Garner Died of a Heart Attack. But It’s Racism That’s Killing Black Women.” Rest in peace, Erica.
  • The New York Times continues to suck up to Trump in ways that even I wasn’t expecting. The Washington Post, which has its own issues but is still much better, explains why.
  • The Gateway tunnel deal is dead. The New Jersey-New York region is heading for an infrastructural collapse. This is very bad.
  • This article makes the good point that the Penn Station redesign should be about making the trains run better, not building a prettier concourse. Interesting and completely, utterly shocking that the MTA and NJ Transit do not get along.
  • In more bad news for the New Jersey-New York region, the Met will be charging a mandatory $25 entrance fee, which is quite a lot! I won’t be able to go there and stare at one painting for an hour after this. Massive wealth accumulation at the very top is exsanguinating the economy.