Bringing Home the Freshest Kill

Posts in the politics category

Some links

  • Christopher Ryan: “Women aren’t the only female primates who make a lot of noise in the throes of passion. British primatologist Stuart Semple found that, ‘In a wide variety of species, females vocalize just before, during or immediately after they mate.’  These vocalizations, Semple says, ‘are particularly common among the primates and evidence is now accumulating that by calling, a female incites males in her group….’ Precisely. There’s a good reason the sound of a woman enjoying a sexual encounter entices a heterosexual man. Her ‘copulation call’ is a potential invitation to come hither, thus provoking sperm competition.”
  • Johann Hari: “…the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”
  • Laurie Anderson: “I love playing with other people and, recently, I’ve been doing a lot more improvisational work. It started out with John Zorn. I was so suspicious at first: ‘What’s the structure going to be like?’ ‘We’re going to find that out.’ ‘Who plays the first note?’ ‘I don’t know, let’s see.’ ‘Who does it? How long is it?’  All the things – it all seemed like a very bad idea, just to get up there and play. I’ve really changed my mind about that now, though, because it depends on whom you’re playing with, and playing with Zorn was completely exhilarating. It was like building a huge boat in the air above you, that you can then move around and do different things with it.”
  • Roger Cohen: “I’ve grown suspicious of the inspirational. It’s overrated. I suspect duty — that half-forgotten word — may be more related to happiness than we think. Want to be happy? Mow the lawn. Collect the dead leaves. Paint the room. Do the dishes. Get a job. Labor until fatigue is in your very bones. Persist day after day. Be stoical. Never whine. Think less about the why of what you do than getting it done. Get the column written. Start pondering the next.”
  • Samuel Goldman: “The conservative position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one. It’s that an egalitarian society is impossible. Every society includes rulers and ruled. The central question of politics, therefore, is not whether some will command while others obey. It’s who gives the orders.”
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One of my biggest beefs with progressives — besides the baked-in authoritarianism of their ideology — is how infrequently you see prog voices in media or social media doing any sort of critical self-analysis. Almost zero energy is spent looking inward and examining progressivism’s flaws. Instead, we get reams of groupthink and tribalism.

And if those of us outside the enlightened progressive spectrum dare critique its monolithic shit factory, we can expect to be characterized as racist/sexist monsters, or low-information voters — or whatever — and punished accordingly.

Nice then, that prog writer Freddie DeBoer provided a truly great piece of progressive criticism in a blog post last week.

He writes (bold emphases are mine):

Criticism of today’s progressives tends to use words like toxic, aggressive, sanctimonious, and hypocritical. I would not choose any of those. I would choose lazy. We are lazy as political thinkers and we are lazy as culture writers and we are lazy as movement builders. We ward off criticism of our own bad work by acting like that criticism is inherently anti-feminist or anti-progressive. We seem spoiled, which seems insane because everything is messed up and so many things are getting worse. I guess having a Democratic president just makes people feel complacent. Well, look: as a political movement we are in pathetic shape right now. We not only have no capacity to move people who don’t already share our worldview, we seem to have no interest in doing so. Our stock arguments are lazy stacks of cliches. We seem to want to confirm everything conservatives say about our inability to argue without calling other people racist. We can’t articulate why our vision of the future is better than the other side’s, and in fact many of us will tell you that it’s offensive to think that we have an obligation to educate others on that vision at all. We celebrate grassroots activist movements like Black Lives Matter, but we insult them by treating them as the same thing as hashtag campaigns, and we don’t build a broader left-wing political movement that could increase their likelihood of success. We spend all day, every day, luxuriating in how much better we are than other people, having convinced ourselves that the work of politics is always external, never internal. We have made politics synonymous with social competition. We’re a mess.

More (again, emphases mine):

If you want us to stop being a mess, you have to be willing to criticize, and you have to accept that every criticism of an ostensibly progressive argument is not some terrible political betrayal. Not everyone who complains about white people has enlightened racial attitudes. Not everyone who constantly drops “mansplaining” or “gaslighting” into conversation actually helps fight sexism. One-liners don’t build a movement. Being clever doesn’t fix the world. Scoring points on Twitter doesn’t create justice. Jokes make nothing happen. We’re speeding for a brutal backlash and inevitable political destruction, if not in 2016 then 2018 or 2020. If you want to help avoid that, I suggest you invest less effort in trying to be the most clever person on the internet and more on being the hardest working person in real life. And stop mistaking yourself for the movement.

The entire thing is worth reading. Find it here.

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I dunno, call me a socialist/commie/contrarian, but our new health care system seems very simple, efficient and pragmatic.

This map shows why.

Full story here, ACA fans!

 #Super #Pumped

Super Fun Affordable Awesomeness

Related articles

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There’s nothing terribly surprising about this video, but it underscores how little thought certain (most?) voters put into the election process.

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I’ve been taking some light criticism from friends, loved ones and Twitter because I’m voting for Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate in this year’s presidential election.

But here’s a chart that arrived in my inbox today from the Libertarian Party that’s worth a glance. Now, take it for what it’s worth — a campaign graphic meant to condense complex ideas into easily consumed news bits. But by all means…do check it out, even if you think Johnson is a fringe candidate or a joke. Weigh Johnson’s various stances against that of your own candidate.

It’s a worthwhile thought experiment, if nothing else.

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[Paul] Ryan understands that the longer we ignore the debt crisis and postpone serious budget cuts—the liberal equivalent of denying global warming—the more painful the reckoning will be. There’s nothing compassionate about that kind of irresponsibility.”


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Interesting read by someone called Steve Almond at the Baffler. Interesting in that it’s about lefty comedy darlings Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and it’s not fawning with enthusiasm, as we typically see in stories about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Writes Almond:

Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage.

And Almond rightly gives praise to South Park for going places Stewart and Colbert refuse to go (emphasis mine):

South Park indulges in a good deal of bathroom humor—perhaps inevitably, given that its protagonists are ten-year-olds. But the show is far more radical than its polished stablemates for the simple reason that it is willing to confront its viewers. [Trey] Parker and [Matt] Stone savage both the defensive bigotry of conservatives and the self-righteous entitlement of the left. They accomplish this not by riffing on the corruption of our media and political cultures, but by creating original dramas that expose the lazy assumptions and shallow gratifications of the viewing audience.

The article also poses an interesting theory about the genesis of right-wing talk radio and makes some other astute observations here:

…it might be instructive to contemplate the rise of right-wing radio, an industry borne of commuter rage, which now dominates not just the Republican Party, but our national discourse. Stewart would have us believe that selfish jerks never get hired as analysts. But as his sidekick Colbert clearly demonstrates, that’s exactly who gets hired at the networks—folks who can excite our primal states of negative feeling: wrath, envy, fear. In Stewart’s daffy formulation, pundits and politicians are the ones who prey on an otherwise noble citizenry. But it’s us citizens who watch those pundits and elect those politicians. We’ve chosen to degrade our discourse. Stewart and Colbert make their nut by catering to those citizens who choose to laugh at the results rather than work to change them.

For bonus points, please check out Rachel Maddow‘s clueless, hyper-partisan comment in the piece as well. (How can a Rhodes Scholar be so dumb?)

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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  • ‘A’ is For Assumed Incumbency
  • Adolph Eichmann Builds the Future
  • Alex Jones’ Trout Farm
  • Benito Steals the Bacon
  • Big Sis & the Illuminati Prom
  • Capture the Flag With the Trilateral Commission
  • Chris the Neo-Confederate Clown
  • Christmas With Burl Ives & the Elders of Zion
  • Commodification Snack Cakes
  • Curious George and Gilles de Rais
  • Curious George and the Holocaust Denial
  • Curious George and the Hostile Takeover
  • Curious George and Jungian Archetypes
  • Curious George and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
  • Curious George and the Shroud of Turin
  • Curious George and the Sunk-Cost Fallacy
  • Curious George and the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  • Curious George and the Zionist Occupied Government
  • Curious George Meets Marshall Applewhite
  • Darrell the Eminent Domain Duck
  • Dianetics and FUN
  • Diddle Diddle Dumpling & the Doomsday Device
  • Enlightened Absolutism For Kids
  • Father-of-All-Bombs Four Square
  • Finger Painting With Lyndon LaRouche
  • Fun With Leaflet Bombs
  • GoodTime Fun and the Deviancy Amplification Spiral
  • GoodTime Fun With Bailout Bisquick
  • Honey, I Shrunk the U.N.
  • Hopscotch, Expropriations and House Arrest
  • Indentured Servant Prayer Book and Funvelope
  • Jack Abramoff: What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?
  • John Jacob Jingleheimer’s Gender Theory Blues
  • Jumping Jacks and Renal Failure
  • Jumping Rope With Andrea Dworkin
  • Keep-the-Bastards-Honest Kick Ball
  • Knock, Knock Gendercide
  • Let’s Go Nation Building! by Nicky the Magic Knackwurst
  • Mama’s Miranda Rights
  • Moral Hazard Hopscotch
  • Mr. Zinn Puts On His Fun Face
  • ‘No Motherland Without You’ Workbook
  • Pass-the-Parcel Petrodollars
  • Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Political Prisoner
  • Pete’s Panopticon House
  • Pop-Up Pirate with the Eternal President
  • Pork Barrel Activity Book
  • Repressed Memory Therapy and Other Stories
  • Rock (Against Bush), Paper, Scissors
  • Simon Says: Let’s Go to the Emergency Government Headquarters!
  • Spend the Day With Bobby Fischer & Other Chess Theoreticians!
  • The John Birch Sing-along Book of Truths
  • The ‘Any Means Necessary’ Illustrated Songbook
  • The Carceral State and Any Questions You May Have
  • The God of Justice Truffle
  • The Tactical Turducken Thanksgiving Day Feast
  • The ‘We’re Here-We’re Queer’ Egg and Spoon Race
  • Tomas de Torquemada’s Toolbox of Excitement
  • Uncle Noam’s Foreign Policy Pop-Up Book
  • Why Does Daddy Call Mommy ‘the Plaintiff’?
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WAR gods OF the DEEP

  • Christian gals, your mission this week — should you choose to accept it — is backyard sex;
  • If you’re interested in watching Susan Richards — the Invisible Woman — engage in acts of sexual congress, then this site is for you (completely unsafe for work, natch);
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