Interesting, thoughtful stories

Sometimes I think about how generally less stinky cities and freeways would be if even half the vehicles were EVs. I remember in law school how sick I would feel walking along this one busy 4 lane road next to campus.


(excerpt) New research using data derived from decades of analysis on how bottlenose dolphins communicate has found that mothers use a sort of “baby talk” that is distinct when communicating with offspring, compared to how they communicate with other adult dolphins.


Francis acknowledged that some in the crowd — there was Andres Serrano, of “Piss Christ” fame — sometimes use confrontation to make people think. But he said their aim was to find harmony and beauty.


What a great article. Thanks so much for sharing it! This part really jumped out at me…

The Pew Research Center reported in 2017 that the Great Recession of 2008 “triggered a sharp, prolonged decline in the wealth of American families, and an already large wealth gap between white households and black and Hispanic households widened further in its immediate aftermath.

…because of a recent report with examples of how AI has been used against BIPOC. It shows that this was by design (at 6:55) :

If their timing is unlucky and they buy just before a recession that throws them out of work, they can end up with an unsellable house valued at less than what they paid for it. Then the foreclosure sign goes up in their front yard. When a house is no longer an option, they endure the hell of competing to find an apartment—which might rent for as much as or more than the monthly payment on the mortgage they can’t get.

[Emphasis mine - that’s not always true as the link below explains, for many people it costs less money to rent than to buy.]

Foreclosures are increasing again, too. News about evictions tends to overlook that point:

This one has a chart that reflects just how bad things were during the Great Recession, and a significant percentage of people never recovered from that:

In the Housing Crisis topic, we’ve discussed increases in corporate and NIMBY attacks against existing lower-cost options like mobile/manufactured homes, tiny homes, and RVs. We’re seeing more progressive press outlets sounding the alarm, at the same time major outlets are fueling inter-generational divisions instead of following the money and identifying the real causes of the problem.

The exposure of systemic racism and other inequities is not only a concern because those cases are rarely redressed, but also because it’s proof of a well-established playbook that can be used against other marginalized groups:

African Americans and other minorities were not uninterested in obtaining homes and mortgages; the government actively blocked them from doing so.

I’m having a hard time thinking of Black communities created (despite all the hurdles set up by government, banking, and insurance organizations) that weren’t subsequently targeted for disruption or destruction by highways, parks/lakes, toxic waste/manufacturing plants, or supremacists (all separate links :cry:).


Yes, great article, but also as you seem to be saying, not a hopeful one. It also says,

Those policies have given us the nation we have today, in which tax benefits favor homeowners over renters, in which the automobile won out over public transportation, and in which cities and suburbs were divided instead of integrated, which made it nearly impossible to have equal opportunities in education, job prospects, health care, or public safety. Rothstein makes the argument that all government actions that have denied equal treatment of citizens violate the Fifth Amendment, and actions that treat African Americans as second-class citizens violate the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore, he concludes, the United States has a constitutional obligation to reverse the effects of such actions. But, of course, we also live in a nation where the highest court is blind to history. And if today’s right-wing leaders get their way, the next generation of students will be too.

We just gotta fight back, same as ever of course.

Power concedes nothing without a demand.


Preach Jennifer Lopez GIF by NBC



Goofus and Gallant, managing behavioral expectations for over 70s years…

Archive version:

With this interesting analysis:

Less immediately obvious are deeper shifts in the nature of childhood, and in adults’ conception of the ideal well-behaved child. For instance, the range of a child’s independence has shrunk considerably from Highlights’ early days. Goofus and Gallant ran amok in old strips, with little to no parental supervision. They completed errands on their own in 1955; they stayed out until the streetlights came on in 1965. As recently as 1990, Gallant simply left a note for his mom on the counter letting her know where he’d be, and peaced out. By today’s standards that feels more like Goofus behavior.




(excerpt) But, according to a recent study from Penn State University, curly hair is actually now believed to have been helpful to humans in regulating body temperature, and even minimized the need to sweat in order to stay cool. Additionally, hair texture, curly hair specifically, may have played a huge role in how the size of the human brain grew to its typical size over time.

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Oh, I’ve got a good example to add: Bronzeville was the Harlem of Chicago. So the city decided to tear down a lot of the existing private properties and put up public housing there (similar to Cabrini Green and the Robert Taylor Homes). For 50 years, the neighborhood literally lost its name as well as its identity, becoming known for only crime, poverty, etc.

Once the city tore down those buildings, locals took the neighborhood back, as well as the name, and it is once again a thriving middle class Black neighborhood. But there’s a 50-year hole that will always be there in the history books.




An interesting article, with an odd approach. Should we judge who’s an intellectual based on who writes books and gets them published? I think not.

In politics there are strategists, donors, and supporters of conservatism who have a great deal of influence, but aren’t in the public eye. It’s puppet masters behind the pols, courts, religious leaders, and talking heads - architects of social change in public and private institutions - who need our focus. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult and dangerous process, especially when they’ve been playing the long game.

Scratch someone who fancies himself an educated conservative and you will often find a person who reveres the past; unfortunately they leave out details like slavery, witch burning and childbed fever.

No, they don’t. Of the three core beliefs the author described, I only agree with one - inequality. In their utopia, a small group of men with money and power rule. That’s their only tradition and religion. They have no problem supporting subjugation and/or death for anyone who doesn’t serve their needs.

The hateful written rhetoric exists to raise the numbers of useful idiots when the appearance of popularity or justifications for overreach are necessary. A side benefit is lining the pockets of the folks who produce it. Once power has been seized by the fortunate few, useful idiots are no longer needed. Now they bus folks to the rally, get footage for the media, and then leave them in the cold. If they get enough power to eliminate mass transit, the media, and the social safety net, their have-not supporters will pull themselves up by their bootstraps or die trying. That’s the conservative way.

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This is what a real revolution looks like in 2023. This is how the adventure begins. Not with dead bankers swinging from the lampposts but with a tight-knit tribal community building their own little pirate utopia right here and now that doesn’t need Joe Biden’s filthy hand-outs to survive the bigots he shares cocktails with when the cameras aren’t rolling.

It’s about two little words that mean something far bigger than bombs. The first one is Agorism, a theory of revolutionary resistance that rejects party politics in favor of starving the toxic conglomeration of big government and big business by creating a counter-economy of subsistence level gray market institutions that rely on things like bartering and mutual aid while offering the system nothing to tax or profit from. To put it in simple terms, this monster cannot thrive if we simply refuse feed it anymore.

The second word is Panarchy, which I believe should be the ultimate goal of Agorism. Panarchy is the creation of not one, but thousands of stateless little pirate utopias devoted to everything and anything from Maoism to Objectivism so long as they all remain completely voluntary in nature. You chose your own damn nation, not the other way around, and you choose when you’ve had enough of it and want to take off and start a new one down the street. Once again, to put it in the simplest of terms, keep your monsters small enough to drown in the crick.

The dream isn’t a climactic final gun battle with those fag-bashers in the white pick-up truck. It’s to show them that they don’t have to like our utopia to coexist with it. Quite the contrary, they themselves will need a diverse collection of allied weirdos like us if they ever want to escape Brandon’s boot like we do. We don’t have to be enemies or friends. All we have to do is abandon the state as a bludgeon to wield against each other for the sin of choosing to live our lives differently. That game is a trap that only guarantees that we all get bloody and stupid while the state gets strong on a steady diet of our battered brain matter. Panarchy is for everybody, even faggots and assholes.

I wish I could get the entire Queer community to see the sun set on this place. I wish Misfit Manor could become the new Stonewall. But if there is one thing that my new family has taught me it’s that you can’t force change on the people you love without strangling them in the process. It’s far better to simply start your own little revolution in the backyard and leave a space for them by the fire in case they come around.

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Damn! I don’t agree with everything in there, but that was an excellent rant!

Another from that writer, from her blog:


So many threads this could go in: