commented on Inside the Debate Over Whether the Seattle Womxn's March Should Be Silent
@3 At the risk of quoting a dead, white, cisgendered, male member of the patriarchy, "We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
@6 Straight-up question for you: what is it about your gender, race and orientation that makes your voice an essential and powerful part of how you assert and defend yourself? Is that less true for people of other races? Other genders? Other orientations? Should we assign greater or lesser value to people's voices on those grounds?
I think President Obama was talking about the power of ideas, argued passionately, convincingly, and with conviction. Surely the ability to do that is independent of the traits you mentioned.
You seem to have accepted an identity based on those traits. To a large degree, society imposes that identity on you. What I'm suggesting is that you are much, much more than that.
commented on Attorney General Cracks Down on Landlords Who Ban Felons, Citing Disproportionate Impact on Black Renters
@6 I've lived with people who had prior felonies before. Yes, with unlocked doors and everything. One even had a second degree murder conviction from a couple decades prior. People really do turn their lives around.
I think a better solution would be something like the UK's Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
. Basically, if you don't reoffend, then after a certain period of time, depending on the severity of the offense, your felony is considered "spent" and essentially wiped from your record.
In other words, it gives you full rehabilitation into society. You no longer have to report your record to anyone (except in certain narrow cases), not landlords, not employers, not the police. It doesn't turn up on background checks. You are simply no longer a felon.
commented on About Trump's L.L. Bean Tweet
See, this is what happens when we allow every single last little detail of our lives to become saturated with politics. We are now reduced to analyzing tweets for hidden meanings and for whether we are being manipulated into boycotting this or that right or wrong person or whatever.
I, for one, am not going to live my life this way. I refuse to cede that much control over my life to Donald Trump.
So how about this: you like LL Bean's products? Their customer service? Then buy their stuff. They don't have the right size or color or design? Then don't.
Simple as that.
commented on Savage Love Letters of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up
As far as the Strictly Come Dancing advice goes, I'd agree; if you're going to events like that solely to pick up then, yeah, you're a creeper. Go DIAF.
But that's not how I read the advice. I read the advice as saying, go out and do some interesting stuff. Meet some interesting people. Make some interesting friends. And, as you expand your social circle in healthy ways like that, the relationship piece probably will happen organically at some point. You can't predict when or where or with whom, but it will happen.
It does take patience. But so do most other good things in life.
commented on Dylann Roof Receives the Death Penalty in Charleston Massacre
@2 Here's the problem with this idea: Roof is the case that legitimizes a system that we know damn well is racist and stacked against the poor.
I would happily support my tax dollars keeping Roof alive for the rest of his natural life in prison, if it meant we could get rid of a criminal penalty that we know has been unjustly applied.
commented on Can Portlandia Be Funny In the Age of Trump?
Disclaimer: I haven't watched the show (I don't have a TV by choice, which probably qualifies me to be an extra in Portlandia right there). I know the show by reputation and from a few clips that have turned up on the Internet.
Having said that, it seems to me that the main theme of the show is poking fun at materialism. Many of the problems we face directly spring from our conviction that if we can somehow manufacture and distribute enough stuff, corn, beef, cars, clothing, sex, books, toys, iPads, New York Times subscriptions, Stranger comments, then we'll lead happy and fulfilling lives.
This is the basic philosophy underlying modernity. Its assumptions are absolutely unquestioned. It's so foundational, we don't generally even notice that it's there. Absolutely everybody, left, right and center, subscribes to it. The arguments are all over the best way to create and distribute material goods.
But among other things, it's an ecological nightmare. It's a moral nightmare (among other things, this system relies heavily on slavery). It may very well turn out that it's not really even very successful at making us happy and fulfilled (viz. all the studies suggesting that income above certain levels doesn't affect happiness, that people in traditional societies might actually be happier, etc.)
So there's a variant of this philosophy that the highly educated, upper middle class, liberal elite often subscribes to. It's that we can have it all: all the material things that we think we need for happiness, all produced without any negative externalities, if only we could become well enough educated about the material goods we consume. Then we can all be happy materialists driving our Priuses, drinking our fair-trade coffee, consuming our locally sourced vegetables and wearing our hand-crafted fashions.
It's all bunk of course, and that's what makes Portlandia work. The problem is that materialism itself is unsustainable. Merely tweaking it won't work.
Incidentally, the same applies to lots of other groups. Highly educated people naturally believe education is our panacea. Tech people think it's technology. Business owners think it's the free market. They are all proceed from the same assumptions, and so make the same errors.
commented on Centrist Democrats Using Putin and Russian Hackers To Maintain Control of Their Party
One of your best posts, Mr. Mudede. Ever since November 8, the Dick Morris-triangulation-Democrats have been casting about for something, anything to excuse the debacle at the polls.
Clinton's deficits were well known going into the primary season. That includes her reputation, whether fair or unfair. She had every advantage handed to her, both in 2008 and 2016 and she lost both times. You'd think that would tell you something.
We've just had 8 years of a centrist Democratic administration. Yes, there have been some successes. Obama has been a competent President. He kept the trains of the federal government running. And yet, Democrats finish 2016 in the worst position they have been in for decades. Centrism. Is. Not. Working.
Obama and Clinton (and Romney and McCain, for that matter) all represent variants on the center-right liberal democratic consensus that has shaped American politics pretty much since WWII, especially after 1968. That consensus is breaking down throughout the West.
Propping up the ancien régime won't get us through this mess. We need something that will unite the working and remnants of the middle class broadly across the country. Socialism (yes, I know the word is scary) is the only thing I can think of that has a chance to do that.