Archive for politics

The discussion has left the room

My friend Clarissa writes,

As a long-time blogger, I know that there is a number of subjects you simply don’t write about if you don’t want to attract a bunch of unhinged fanatics. Breastfeeding, homeschooling, and sexual dysfunction are such subjects. Climate is another. I simply don’t engage and find the whole subject repellent because there’s no upside to talking about it. It’s become the sole purview of disturbed people who use it to soothe their psychological traumas.

There can be no doubt that the climate cause is losing. One would think that after decades of abject failure those who care would at least consider trying to do something other than screeching maniacally at whoever departs half an inch from their orthodoxy.

And it’s not just climate, either. Diversity was a great idea until it was overrun by crazy and vulgar people who destroyed the concept in the service of their dysfunction.

I would add “naming individuals on the ‘gender continuum’” to that list of subjects. Alas.

This feels strangely great

Full story here.

And God save us all, this Tuesday.

h/t MD

Humans

The day after the United States election, Barack Obama needs to pardon Chelsea Manning, who, after he attempted suicide in prison last summer, was put into solitary confinement as punishment for doing so. There, last month he tried again. Mercy.

Big League riddle

The good blog ‘Language Log’ weighs in helpfully on this ‘bigly’ quiddity.

Liberal Party Iconography

JustinT_electionNight

A good buddy from the United States writes:

Glad you folks had another measured election (by which I mean: it didn’t last years, not that it didn’t stray into weird dog-whistle territory) and despite my revulsion at dynasties in democracies, you elected a new team. I do think, however, that the Liberals might want to stay away from Kim Jong-Il-style graphics, eh?

He appended the photo above.

Getty Images has a host of other election-night photos

The respect vice pays to virtue

Liberals loathe the political Right’s hypocrisy and unfairness. Conservatives loathe the Left’s immorality and weakness. The groups’ estimations of their own qualities, though, are less precise.

The question of “hypocrisy” is particularly interesting. La Rochefoucauld noted that “hypocrisy is the respect vice pays to virtue.” One can’t be a hypocrite without recognizing that virtue – that morality – exists. This recognition it itself makes hypocrites superior (in their minds) even to decent, noble liberals who discount “morality” as dogmatic and unrealistic. Think of fundamentalist Christians who think that belief in Jesus is the sole criterion to enter heaven; one’s behaviour is beside the point. So, to the Right hypocrisy is a good thing, though they don’t say so.

Luxury Boxes in Buffalo, NY – No, really …

From my old and much admired colleague, Buffalo State University Professor Mike Niman:

People like new things. I get it. That’s what shopping malls are all about. Within this culture, it’s to be expected that the conventional wisdom says we need to replace a 74,000 seat football stadium that cost $22 million to build in 1973, with a sparkly new one that will seat about 74,000 people and cost upwards of $800 million.

The major problem with Ralph Wilson Stadium [home of the Buffalo Bills], why it’s supposedly obsolete, why it needs to be torn down, thrown away and replaced, is that it doesn’t have sufficient luxury boxes. That’s right. Luxury boxes. It all makes sense if you look at current economic indicators that predict that by next year, the richest one percent of the global population will have half of the world’s wealth. And they need luxury boxes, both to keep themselves out of the snow, and away from the rest of the Bill’s fans—whose average income puts them only among the richest 10 percent of the global population. …

Not only do I not want to pay for this stadium with a rent-to-own lien against my future tax bills, but no matter who pays for it, or how they get the money, I don’t want it in downtown Buffalo. …

An NFL football stadium is too large for any of the three proposed downtown sites. Too many people will come, and they won’t come often enough to justify the type of infrastructure, such as a monorail to a new city of parking, or better yet, a working regional public transportation system, that would be needed to make this thing work.

First off, none of the three proposed sites are toxic brownfields located on depopulated wastelands. We have plenty of toxic brownfields and depopulated wastelands that can certainly use some TLC to jumpstart an area revival. Downtown Buffalo, however, is not that place. …

A football stadium and its supporting infrastructure, as proposed, would devour up to 95 acres—entire blocks—of historic Buffalo real estate, landing a massive out-of-scale concrete erection on what were once urban streets. One proposal would wipe out blocks of housing while cutting the Old First Ward off from downtown, boxing it to the east and north with massive parking fields. …

Against all odds, Buffalo has persevered and is now coming back. We have an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of the past where we wiped out historic buildings and districts to make parking lots and build massive tombstone-like structures that, once abandoned, just serve to memorialize our stupidity. Downtown is coming back to life as a dynamic urban environment that is alive 365 days per year. Let’s not impede this renaissance by making a massive urban planning blunder.

Entire post here.