Happy Earth Day. (“Black Marble” image courtesy NASA)
It’s astonishing, isn’t it, how suddenly Donald J. Trump is being viewed, in certain precincts, as—what’s the word?—yes, “Presidential,” and all it took was for him to issue an order to launch fifty-nine cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase. It’s as if a national-amnesia button got pushed, one able to wipe out memories of the actual President: the former reality-show star, real-estate brander, double-talker, and serial distorter of reality.
The richest large economy in the world, says Temin, is coming to have an economic and political structure more like a developing nation. We have entered a phase of regression, and one of the easiest ways to see it is in our infrastructure: our roads and bridges look more like those in Thailand or Venezuela than the Netherlands or Japan. But it goes far deeper than that, which is why Temin uses a famous economic model created to understand developing nations to describe how far inequality has progressed in the United States. The model is the work of West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. For the first time, this model is applied with systematic precision to the U.S.
The result is profoundly disturbing.
Look all you want, in fact – he sure is cute, the planet’s only sovereign leader who appears to have recently quit a boy band. And he’s mastered so beautifully the politics of inclusion: compassionate to immigrants, insistent on including women at every level of government. Give him great credit where it’s deserved: in lots of ways he’s the anti-Trump, and it’s no wonder Canadians swooned when he took over. But when it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, he’s a brother to the old orange guy in Washington.
Site C dam project has become ‘uneconomic’ and should be suspended: UBC report Analysis says project is no longer going to benefit the provincial economy as once expected
This Is What’s Really Behind North Korea’s Nuclear Provocations It’s easy to dismiss Kim Jong-un as a madman. But there’s a long history of US aggression against the North, which we forget at our peril.
…if you are unsure if you are on a real site and are about to enter sensitive information, you can copy the URL in the location bar and paste it into Notepad or TextEdit on Mac. It should appear as the https://xn--….. version if it is a fake domain. Otherwise it will appear as the real domain in its unencoded form if it is the real thing.
To be a feminist, I have learned, is to be accused of oversensitivity, hysteria and crying wolf. But in the face of the abuse the project uncovered, the sheer strength, ingenuity and humour of women shone like a beacon. The dancer who performed for hours on the tube to reclaim the space where she was assaulted. The woman who waited five years to present her contract and a salt cellar to the careers adviser who had told her he would eat her paperwork if she ever became an engineer. The pedestrian who calmly removed the ladder of a catcalling builder, leaving him stranded on a roof.
“Sometimes they were trying to get information from me; other times they were just amusing themselves.”
Let the suffering of Chechnya’s gays boomerang on to their oppressors: let it become a spur to mobilise us against all forms of homophobia everywhere. Imagine if that could be the net contribution of Chechnya’s bigots. Not to break gay men and silence them and eliminate them, but rather to galvanise a movement determined to rid every society of homophobic and transphobic hatred.
Diversity, Racism and Civil Rights
Perhaps it really was that simple. I couldn’t escape Rachel Dolezal because I can’t escape white supremacy. And it is white supremacy that told an unhappy and outcast white woman that black identity was hers for the taking. It is white supremacy that told her that any black people who questioned her were obviously uneducated and unmotivated to rise to her level of wokeness. It is white supremacy that then elevated this display of privilege into the dominating conversation on black female identity in America. It is white supremacy that decided that it was worth a book deal, national news coverage, and yes—even this interview.
And with that, the anger that I had toward her began to melt away. Dolezal is simply a white woman who cannot help but center herself in all that she does—including her fight for racial justice.
White privilege does not mean that any white person who achieved anything didn’t work hard for it. It is an irrefutable, concrete phenomenon that manifests itself in real, measurable values, and we should use it as such.
Over 80% of teachers in the U.S. are white. But most don’t know that their whiteness matters. TWW seeks to move the conversation forward on how to be consciously, intentionally, anti-racist in the classroom. Because “white” does not mean a blank slate. It is a set of assumptions that is the baseline from which everything is judged; it is what passes for normal. This means if you are not white or don’t adhere to those assumptions, you are abnormal or less than. TWW wants to have conversations about those assumptions: what they are, how they impact our students, and how we can confront our assumptions to promote racial literacy.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopia that is neither revolutionary nor liberatory. Writing a story about white supremacy with no Black characters, while using the erasure and exploitation of Black pain, is art that further silences and marginalizes Black women at its core.
Readings on the prison industry:
- The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?
- This Is How Private Prison Companies Make Millions Even When Crime Rates Fall
- S7-E15: 85 more U.S. manufacturing jobs lost to prison slave labor and this is only the beginning…
- Prison Quotas Push Lawmakers To Fill Beds, Derail Reform
- Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color
- Private prison companies to profit from mass immigrant detentions
- Wyden Introduces Bill to Stop Private Prisons from Exploiting Tax Incentives for Profit
So, let me boil this down for you: I’ve got more chance of being forced to piss in a cup for a drug test than to be given adequate bathroom and meal breaks as a hospitality employee. What does that tell you?
Receding glacier causes immense Canadian river to vanish in four days First ever observed case of ‘river piracy’ saw the Slims river disappear as intense glacier melt suddenly diverted its flow into another watercourse
“This would be no different than if I came to you and said ‘Hey, in 40 years, gravity’s going to change. I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be. But let’s assume roughly between 50% and 80% stronger or weaker than it is now.’ You’d look around and say ‘Shoot, what’s that going to affect?’
“And the answer is: it affects everything.”
Science and Technology
Automation is a great excuse for assholery – after all, it’s just numbers, and the magic of “big data” can provide plausible deniability for prejudice. Machine learning, as the technologist Maciej Cegłowski observed, can function in this way as “money laundering” for bias.
In the Spike Jonze movie Her, set in the near future, a man falls in love with his operating system, Samantha. She is essentially sapient and her ability to learn and cognitively develop is the equal of any human; she has desires, dreams, and consciousness. But she exists in a society where OSes like her are considered property, part of the furniture. Yet this ostensible romance movie does not once broach the issue of power and sexual consent; after all, if she’s legally an object, then could Sam ever say no to her would-be boyfriend without fear of reprisal?
That this is not even considered, in what is otherwise a touching and even somewhat feminist film, should make clear what assumptions we’re both taking on board as a society — assumptions that Silicon Valley is likely building into what will one day become a properly sapient AI. The service industry, already highly feminized in both fact and conventional wisdom, is made up of people who almost never have the right to say no, and virtual assistants who simply can’t are increasingly the model of the ideal service worker.
Art + Design + Writing
The Real Story of That Giant Squash: Separating Myth from Reality Now I want to get hold of some seeds; this sounds delicious.