November 11, 2020

Happy Veteran’s Day!  My favorite veteran-related post (from my own archives — many other people have done more and better) is here. The deceased veteran, a young man I never got to meet in person, son of a longtime internet friend and whom every year at this time I remember the most among all the veterans I have known more personally, is memorialized here. *** Blog silence over the past week or so is because I haven’t had anything helpful to… Read more

October 27, 2020

Suggested Bible verse for conservatives who are raucously celebrating the confirmation Amy Coney Barrett: Proverbs 16:18. I say this as someone who has zero reservations about ACB’s appointment to the Supreme Court.  I recognize that the Republicans who made excuses in 2016 rather than just saying, “We have the ability to block Obama’s nominations, and we do not like them, and therefore we will exercise our power to provide a check on the executive branch,” were foolishly, shamefully dishonest. Still, there… Read more

October 23, 2020

This is a post about my feelings, and if you aren’t too thrilled with these feelings, welcome to the club.  I write about them not because I’m going to tidy up the loose ends at the conclusion with a neatly reasoned-out policy recommendation, but because I think I am not alone in feeling this way, and so I think my current feelings are pertinent to the public discourse. Here is the feeling I am having: I am a never-Trumper who… Read more

October 12, 2020

I read through Senator Dianne Feinstein’s opening remarks on ACB’s confirmation hearings hoping to get more t-shirt ideas, but what I found instead was: I’m worried the healthcare law I passed is unconstitutional, and people will die as a result. I differ from Senator Feinstein in this worry, because I am a user of our post-ACA medical system and can attest: It’s still broken. My concern, therefore, is not whether a failed attempt at reform will stand up to court scrutiny,… Read more

October 2, 2020

There are different definitions of what “systemic” can mean, and what it can mean specifically in terms of “systemic” racism.  I don’t think it is necessary for ordinary people to sign off on every possible meaning of those terms in order to acknowledge that, in some form or another, there appears to be a disparity in outcomes that (a) creates obvious divides on racial lines and (b) is not so much about individual acts of discrimination as it is some… Read more

September 27, 2020

A series of three tweets caught my attention this morning, from Mandie Landry (@votelandry), a Catholic lawyer and representative of Louisiana’s District 91. In the first tweet, she establishes her Catholic credentials and that she is pro-choice.  #Prochoice is also in her Twitter bio, so this is clearly an issue she campaigns on, or at least strongly identifies with. In the second tweet, which is a reply to the first so we can infer that one thought leads to the… Read more

September 21, 2020

At The Atlantic: “The Supply of Disinformation Will Soon Be Infinite” explains the advances in machine-generated propaganda. How can we trust anything we read? Guys. The solution requires just two steps, one easy and one slightly more difficult, and both of which have been part of the human toolbox since before the dawn of language — if lying monkeys are to be believed.   #1 Learn How to Think Currently circulating among my internet friends (I know!) is an astonishingly badly written… Read more

September 18, 2020

Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub has an educational quizlet online, testing whether you can tell the difference between foreign trolls and ordinary American citizens spouting their preferred propaganda: The quiz takes you through screenshots of a series of real social media profiles that have been investigated by law enforcement or verified by the university’s research team. The goal of the quiz is to help you learn the difference between the features of a foreign-made fake user profile and that of… Read more

September 16, 2020

I want to follow up on my post in favor of not outlawing trick-or-treating with some thoughts on how to make a pretty-safe activity into a more-safe activity. Some ideas: #1 You don’t have to do this. In terms of exposure to a respiratory virus, I think standard trick-or-treating is similar to going the grocery store.  Early on in the history of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was concern that touching shared surfaces could be a major vector of transmission; over… Read more

September 12, 2020

There’s a pandemic on, and it can be tough to find ways to let kids get out and have fun in a safe manner, especially if you want to do something that brings the whole community together in, say, a traditional cultural celebration.  So here’s an idea: Think up a theme for your event that makes it easy to include masks in a fun, playful way.  Perhaps something involving costumes? Create a “drive by” (walk-by) type event, where rather than… Read more

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