Sunday Morning Reading Material Second Sunday in September 2011- Car Accidents are More Deadly Than Terrorism Edition
Because I hate you.
It’s Sunday Morning. Sundays are for Football. Sundays are for Dim Sum. Sundays might be for weddings. Perhaps your Sunday will be spent at a Renaissance Faire. Sundays might be for contemplation of the misery of success. Or perhaps Sundays just might be for playing games and avoiding the media.
This week, one of my sisters bolted from the west Coast of North America in favor of the West Coast of Africa. This week the Israeli embassy in Egypt was overrun by protesters. Even more depressingly, this week, a ferry boat sank of the coast of Zanzibar, over a hundred are confirmed dead. And the US President gave a speech this week in which he talked about wanting to restimulate the economy.
The biggest objection to another economic stimulus package is paying for it. This is a fair objection in the long run- buying stuff is definitionally not free. Except that right now, investors are literally willing to pay the US government for the right to lend the US government money. We have the opportunity to pay nothing for a bunch of much-needed infrastructure. Building that infrastructure now would put millions of Americans to work. Let’s do this.
There are two main ways an economy can go bad. The most common way is for consumers to not have enough money to buy things, thus destroying demand. Alternately, consumers could have lots of money to buy things, but no one has incentives to make things for them- thus destroying supply. In America, Republicans are insisting that the only economic solutions they’re willing to contemplate are the ones that would work if the average American had a lot of money in their pocket, but no goods to buy. Yeah. Crazy.
A couple days ago I wrote a post where I admitted to engaging in a perfectly legal form of tax evasion. The State of California has won a battle against Amazon, hoping to end that sort of tax scamming. It’s one thing to argue that taxes ought to be lower. Another thing to argue that taxes ought not exist. But having agreed that they are at a certain level, exempting whole categories of shops from collecting them seems immoral at best.
The next time I’m cursed to be in Columbus Ohio, I’m doing this.
The art of making propaganda posters has atrophied. Propaganda films have gotten better. Propaganda social media has sprung into existence. Sadly, no one wants to blanket cities with posters of exhortations anymore.
I live in San Francisco, in a house built in 1927. That makes my home very old- for San Francisco. That’s not to say that we’re a young city. Some of our political divisions hearken all the way back to the 1980s! The whole Kentish Man/Man of Kent division is utterly outside my ability to comprehend.
I prefer the term “gender essentialist” to “sexist”. It neatly deflects the “but women have virtue [X], and that makes them better!” argument. Also: anyone claiming that women aren’t competitive has never gotten to know a woman.
Zombies. Zombies never change. That’s not true at all. But our fascination with them seems to be constant. It probably has to do with our society’s terror over it’s own extinction.
I know that I’m a down the line Democrat. Whichever candidate has the “D” next to their name will be the one to get my vote. The frightening thing is that the fact that the party says something makes me more likely to believe it. I’d like to think that we follow the same axioms to the same place. Available evidence argues otherwise.
It certainly fits my biases to believe that Republicans are deliberately destroying the institutions of the American government. I would love to demonize my political opponents that way. I really do think the they’re acting in the worst impulses of the American political tradition. I cannot, however, bring myself to agree with the former Republican party operative who says the exact things I think. Much as I want to.
On the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve lost. Those 3000 lives stolen in an act of mass murder weren’t the worst casualty of the attack. Rather, I’d argue, our biggest loss was the sense that we’d rather die than allow the government to take naked pictures of us. We haven’t merely seen an explosion of public security, but private contractors operating in America for private interests. Armed private security officers police private buildings. Small grade mercenaries prowl America’s streets, malls, and offices. That’s what it looks like to give in to terror.
Did everyone know that carrots weren’t always orange? Seems that Dutch genetic engineers created the orange carrot to honor the man who lead their independence movement.
Terror. It can be used for good or ill. Back in the 1960s, America was terrified of the Soviet Union. As a result, we invested in a program that brought us cell phones, Velcro, and a thousand other technologies.
Undershirts. For guys. There are rules. I’ve never really known the rules, and have been searching for a good way to learn them. And now I know.
The American Civil War was brutal. It may well be the case that it lasted “until every drop of blood drawn with the lash [was] paid by another drawn with the sword”. Certainly it devastated the areas in which it was fought. When I read about the lives of slaves, and how essential the peculiar institution had become to the Southern economy, I cannot help but feel that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
Instead publishing my comments on this link, I’ve sent it off to a company I’m applying to work at. I hope they think I’m a smart guy. Short version: Games publishers should become more like book publishers and less like movie publishers.
If you click just one link:
How should people with disabilities be portrayed in pop culture?
This week’s theme was… you tell me.