A metaphorical story:
Joan Jett from a ‘Ask Me Anything’ thread on Reddit:
“Well you know I’ve been in that place too where you worry about what everybody thinks of you, am I popular, do people care, are they looking at me, all that stuff. That’s a drag, man. Having to worry about fitting in, am I cool enough to ANYTHING.
You gotta not care about what people think in general about you. I’m not talking about bad stuff, if you’re a nasty person, because I don’t consider myself a mean person, I consider that I know what i want and I’m tough. But I’m very emotional and un-tough on a lot of levels, I cry very easily, I’m sensitive and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
A lot of people would say “well that’s not a bad reputation. you sound like a pussy” and I would say yea. but I am passionate about music and being taken seriously about my music, so if you’re going to mess with that, we have a problem.
A lot of “Bad Reputation” came from comments that people said in the early days of “she’ll never make it, she has a bad reputation” it was probably said at one point. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. And you have to decide that it’s not worth all that mental anguish worrying about what other people think.
Just be yourself and everything will fall in line, the way it’s supposed to be. If you’re yourself, that’s the best thing you can do, because you can never go “damn if I’d only been myself.” Live an authentic life and you don’t have to worry about your reputation.”
“1. 4/23 Senator Reid requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Toomey blocked.
2. 5/6 Senator Reid requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Cruz blocked.
3. 5/7 Senator Murray requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator McConnell blocked.
4. 5/8 Senator Warner asked unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator McConnell blocked.
5. 5/9 Senator Murray asked unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator McConnell blocked.
6. 5/14 Senator Warner asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator McConnell blocked.
7. 5/15 Senator Wyden asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator McConnell blocked.
8. 5/16 Senator Murray asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Lee blocked.
9. 5/21 Senator Murray asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Paul blocked.
10. 5/22 Senator Kaine asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Rubio blocked.
11. 5/23 Senator McCaskill asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Lee blocked.
12. 6/4 Senator Murray asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Rubio blocked.
13. 6/12 Senator Kaine asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Lee blocked.
14. 6/19 Senator Murray asked unanimous consent to go to conference, and Senator Toomey blocked.
15. 6/26 Senator Murray requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Cruz blocked.
16. 7/11 Senator Murray requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Marco Rubio blocked.
17. 7/17 Senator Murray requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Mike Lee blocked.
18. 8/1 Senator Durbin requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Marco Rubio blocked.
19. 10/2 Senator Murray requested unanimous consent to go to conference, Senator Toomey blocked.”
List and photo from National Journal
A non-American comments on US gun norms: “The proliferation of guns in your society is a symptom, not the actual problem. The actual problem is the ease with which you are all convinced that The Other is a clear and present danger to you. White people need guns to defend themselves from black people. Black people need guns to protect themselves from brown people. You need Homeland Security and the NSA to protect you from terrorist people. You need marriage laws to defend yourselves from gay people. You need to outlaw abortion & contraception to protect yourselves from female people. You need to eliminate food stamps to protect yourselves from poor people. You need to support for-profit insurance companies to protect yourselves from sick and unlucky people. You slice and dice your society into smaller and smaller groups, Us against The Other, until there is nothing left but Me & Mine against the rest of the world. You use preachers, lawyers, guns and money to divide yourselves against yourselves, and you call it freedom. You are a very puzzling people.”
“Maddow cited case after case of Republican happiness about the negotiations getting to this point to prove that this was not a consequence of them getting what they wanted, it was what they wanted.”
How another great war could happen: ”While it has died down for the moment at least, the growing territorial issues between China and several if its neighbors are a proper powder keg. Combine that with the risk of economic collapse with China’s growth is slowing, and they are leveraged in risky ways. A collapse could leave many out of work and looking for something that feeds and shelters and pays, and the Chinese military could start taking advantage of the gender imbalance that came from them 1 child policy, and recruit all these poor young men with rapidly withering prospects. If China starts pushing just a good bit harder to expand in general, they could wind up picking a fight with any number of nations in the region, Japan foremost among them. While the USA doesn’t really want to pick a fight with China for economic reasons, if they have collapsed at this point we won’t care nearly as much, as all the factory work they did will likely have shifted to India and back to the US for the most part. …. So the US would be less worried about picking a fight with China in this scenario, especially to have Japan’s back. So now we have the start of dominos falling. [read the rest]“
A welfare worker challenges idiocy in a Reddit thread:
“Firstly, it’s barely any money. It’s pathetically small. If you’ve heard of people making 40k on Welfare, they are a rare exception who get it because of bizarre newsworthy loopholes. Everyone I saw today in the welfare office was pretty unhappy, and desperately poor. I literally (no, not figuratively, literally) hear caseworkers say every day, “If the clients just had a part time job, they’d do so much better than they are now.” And this is true. Benefits do not decrease in a strictly linear fashion, and so it’s much better for people to work and receive partial benefits. Is anyone in this thread going to yell at welfare recipients because their minimum wage job is not enough money and they need foodstamps and maybe medical coverage to make up the difference? That’s a corporate problem. Foodstamps don’t cost the government that much and drive local businesses (you may not see it, but your grocery store takes a lot of EBT–foodstamp–money. People are just discreet about it.) But if you’d rather have your local gas station attendants, newspaper stand vendors, fast food workers, landscapers and so on all starve–well, I guess that would save the government some money. TL;DR Welfare sucks, fraud is much harder than you think, most people on welfare are there because of tragedy and not poor planning, and the program pushes the majority of clients out of itself in relatively short order.“
“John McPhee is one of the greatest writers this country has ever seen. I have a near-complete set of first editions of his stuff. He is BRILLIANT. And he is not Gladwell, not by a long chalk. One of the things McPhee never does, in extreme contrast to Gladwell, is claim importance. He doesn’t give a damn about importance; he cares about understanding — his own understanding. In his books you never get the sense that he’s saying “you have to get this”; he’s saying “isn’t this amazing?” That’s what makes for great nonfiction: don’t tell us, show us. If you don’t want to read a McPhee book, it’s no skin off his nose. Gladwell strives for importance. He wants to be heard, and to influence. Those are poisonous desires, I think. Your subject has to demand its own attention, in its own right. Everybody wants to understand the world around us, but you can’t proceed from that desire — you have to start with the world, not yourself.”
via Commenter on MetaFilter.
“All those actors may have at one time or another financed or used the Tea Party fanatics for their own purposes, may even had a hand in creating some of that astroturf. But the Tea Party is absolutely not controlled by those actors – and they never were. To the degree that they were financed by these actors, well, the monster got away from its creator. …
I think these are dangerous people. I don’t think anybody is behind the scenes controlling things. That’s part of what makes it dangerous – if they were mere puppets/marionettes controlled by unseen fat cats, there would be some natural controls in place, the moment you got to the puppet masters by hitting their interests, they’d pull strings and the situation would be resolved/controllable.
But while there are opportunists feeding at the edges of this party, nobody is controlling the Tea Party. They are a natural force, and once organized and unleashed, are answerable to no one. I keep giving this example, because I think it’s apt – they are the same kinds of forces as during the Civil War, (and again, in the South, mostly). They are fanatics and rebels, but have no very clear or complex ideology – they are rejectionists, who are fighting for what they perceive as their lifestyle and power. Never mind how incoherent it is. Mob rule is rarely coherent. But it is extremely dangerous. When they don’t feel constrained by anything, they can inflict real damage. They don’t understand, and don’t care about the niceties of defaulting when the debt limit is not lifted – they only care about getting their non-negotiable ultimatums met. They are maximalists, and destroyers of order – radicals, not establishment-protecting conservatives. They may hark for a time that never was, but that doesn’t matter, since you probably couldn’t get two Teahadists in a room and have them agree on most points – it’s enough that they have a clear objective: destroy the present order, Obama, the Democrats, RINOs, minorities, foreigners and a few other touchstones of Nativist lore.
They mean business, and they feel unconstrained. They are extremely dangerous, and it is just as dangerous to delude oneself that they are being controlled by anyone, including Wall Street/Koch Bros./Fat Cats/Plutocrats/Business – because we may be applying pressure along axis they are completely immune to. … But the politics are about to get very, very, bad. Brace yourselves – and then man the barricades.“
Commenter on MetaFilter.