31 May, 2021

mythoughtsforapenny on the state-sponsored hijacking of the flight over Belarus


Another difference is that the countries that refused passage to President Morales didn't lie about a bomb threat. Belarus's actions possibly violate the Convention for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of civil aviation. Article 1.1(e) forbids any person from communicating "information which he knows to be false, thereby endangering the safety of an aircraft in flight". Belarus is a party to this treaty. So there need to be serious consequences for what Belarus did on Sunday.

Finally, Belarus's actions wouldn't be justified, even without the false bomb threat, and even based on its authority over its own airspace, which is technically unaffected by the IASTA. Unlike the countries that refused passage to President Morales in 2013, Belarus waited until the RyanAir flight was about 30 minutes from exiting its airspace. Those countries denied passage to President Morales before his flight entered their airspace.

It would be bad enough for a country to give a flight permission to enter its airspace with the intent of revoking that permission before the flight can actually complete its journey over the country. Even if a country does revoke permission of a flight after the flight has already entered its airspace, however, that revocation only means the flight has to leave the country's airspace as quickly as possible. Revoking a flight's permission to be in a country's airspace does not mean that the flight has turn around and land an airport of that country's choosing

29 May, 2021

The Planning of an Insurrection.


How Trump supporters used TheDonald.win to plan to overturn the election through violence, force, and murder.

25 May, 2021

Don’t Let Fear of ‘Wokeness’ Close Hearts and Minds


Yet as a proud parent of an adopted black daughter (as most readers know, our beautiful youngest daughter is from Ethiopia), I agree with Bethany that it can be harmful to children for parents to walk into adoption with a purely colorblind philosophy. As much as we might want to live in a world where race doesn’t matter, and we’re all one human family, it’s a simple fact that children of color face different challenges from white children as they navigate our culture and as they’re raised in white families. 

And while I’m a firm supporter of transracial adoption, I also think that a true “best interests of the child” adoption standard should include an analysis of whether the family is thoughtfully approaching the unique challenges that will face their adopted kids.

The Secret Life of H.G. Carrillo


A celebrated writer and professor, he challenged his students to take hold of their own narrative. But the truth came out — his life story, like his works, was a work of fiction

Abuse, Apologies & Accountability


We cannot demand accountably in verbally abusive and humiliating ways. To confront is not to condemn. To demand is not to dehumanize or demean.

On Identity


More than a decade ago, a prominent academic was exposed for having faked her Cherokee ancestry. Why has her career continued to thrive?


I am not interested in entertaining silly online identity attacks that seem to consume your academic careers in order to make you feel personally more authenticated as Indigenous persons, HOWEVER, Andrea Smith is a long time dear friend of my family and your actions are beyond offensive and belittling to someone we deeply care about. Thus, I wish to lend my support to Andy by speaking truth while you all continue to act as bullies and process your own insecurities.

I want to point out that my family has long visited Cherokee ceremonial grounds (quite regularly during some seasons) to lend support in participation just as Cherokee ceremonial practitioners have long done the same during our Muscogee ceremonial dances. I have never seen any of these Andrea Smith-attackers in attendance at Cherokee ceremonies; none of them are Cherokee speakers nor are they ceremonial practitioners; most of these folks are of minimal blood quantum and look white. In fact, these very kind of identity police are who traditional ceremonial practitioners get a good laugh at.

22 May, 2021

How to Get Rich


Status is your rank in the social hierarchy

There are fundamentally two huge games in life that people play. One is the money game. Money is not going to solve all of your problems; but it’s going to solve all of your money problems. I think people know that. They realize that, so they want to make money.

At the same time, deep down many people believe they can’t make it; so they don’t want any wealth creation to happen. They virtue signal by attacking the whole enterprise, saying, “Well, making money is evil. You shouldn’t do it.”

But they’re actually playing the other game, which is the status game. They’re trying to be high status in the eyes of others by saying, “Well, I don’t need money. We don’t want money.” 

Status is your ranking in the social hierarchy.

Wealth is not a zero-sum game. Everybody in the world can have a house. Because you have a house doesn’t take away from my ability to have a house. If anything, the more houses that are built, the easier it becomes to build houses, the more we know about building houses, and the more people can have houses.

Wealth is a very positive-sum game. We create things together. We’re starting this endeavor to create a piece of art that explains what we’re doing. At the end of it, something brand new will be created. It’s a positive-sum game.

Status is a very old game

Status, on the other hand, is a zero-sum game. It’s a very old game. We’ve been playing it since monkey tribes. It’s hierarchical. Who’s number one? Who’s number two? Who’s number three? And for number three to move to number two, number two has to move out of that slot. So, status is a zero-sum game. [...]

I don’t think capitalism is evil. Capitalism is actually good. It’s just that it gets hijacked. It gets hijacked by improper pricing of externalities. It gets hijacked by improper yields, where you have corruption, or you have monopolies.

18 May, 2021

u/womangirl on attention from older men



Back then, whether you were a famous actress or a young girl in a relatively small town, it was not only not so out of the ordinary for older people to party with and come on to younger girls (and I imagine boys as well), but also a LOT easier for them to do so without repercussions from the kind of media we have now and with the education that young kids get regarding these situations.

I know that there were not just 1 or 2, but MANY men aged 20 - 40 who willingly bought alcohol for or drank alcohol with, smoked pot with/sold pot to, sold cocaine to/offered free cocaine to me and/or my friends when we were between 12 and 16 years old.

Those things, alcohol/drugs, sometimes led to those men also flirting with, coming on to, feeling up (breasts and more), attempting to have sex with and, in some cases, succeeding in having sex with girls who were anywhere from 10 to almost 30 years younger than them.

And most of the time none of those girls told any parent or adult with the authority to do anything about it, for fear of getting in trouble themselves, social repercussions, or the fact that many times if they did, it was brushed off, blamed on themselves, or swept under the rug.

16 May, 2021

Secret Sharers: The Hidden Ties Between Private Spies and Journalists


The dossier’s latest blow came last year when the identity of Mr. Steele’s collector was revealed. He turned out to be a Russian-born lawyer, Igor Danchenko, who now lived in the United States. Mr. Danchenko, like others in the private intelligence business, had stumbled into it after other pursuits failed. His contacts within Russia appeared to be not Kremlin A-listers but instead childhood friends, college buddies or drinking pals.

In 2017, Mr. Danchenko claimed to the F.B.I. during a secret interview that Mr. Steele had “misstated” the information and had “exaggerated” its reliability. But after that interview was released in 2020, Mr. Danchenko flip-flopped. He told one newspaper that he stood by the dossier; he told another newspaper that he wasn’t so sure about it.

By then, a few reporters who had written about the dossier had backed away from it. “Some people have wanted to maintain that the dossier is checking out when, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t,” said Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News. He was in the minority. When Erik Wemple of The Washington Post wrote a series of columns about the media infatuation with the dossier, most journalists he contacted either defended their work or ignored his inquiries.

In an article for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi cast the media’s handling of the dossier as a replay of a press disaster: the reporting before the Persian Gulf war, which claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. “The W.M.D. affair showed what happened when we don’t require sources to show us evidence, when we let political actors use the press to ‘confirm’ their own assertions,” Mr. Taibbi wrote. “Are we never going to own up to this one?”

13 May, 2021

Matt Gallagher on "Cherry" and the Media's Flattening of Trauma



There’s a constant desire throughout the process of turning a real life event life to book to movie of wanting to have things both ways. And that's disingenuous. It's trying to blur the line between reality and entertainment for the very cynical reason that it will make money.

There was a more complicated way to do this. I think, you know, it's Walker story, his book, really. There's this point in my piece I quote from Walker’s lawyer, who in petitioning the court for a compassionate release, says, you know, “This is not a story about a bank robbery." And there's real truth to that. But “Cherry” has certainly been packaged, marketed and sold multiple times over as a story about armed bank robbery.

I wanted this to be a story about storytelling itself. And in my research I couldn’t find anyone who went on public record to acknowledge the weight of the story, except for the actor who played walker, Tom Holland. He realized that, “Hey, this was based on a real event and pointing a gun at somebody said has serious consequences.” And you can watch that. And he's not bullshitting. Maybe it's because he was the first person in all of this that actually had to physically act out what that looks like.

06 May, 2021

Forced to Choose Between Trump’s “Big Lie” and Liz Cheney, the House G.O.P. Chooses the Lie


Cheney’s rupture with the House Republican Conference has become all but final in recent days, but it has been months in the making. Edelman revealed that Cheney herself secretly orchestrated an unprecedented op-ed in the Washington Post by all ten living former Defense Secretaries, including her father, warning against Trump’s efforts to politicize the military. The congresswoman not only recruited her father but personally asked others, including Trump’s first Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, to participate. “She was the one who generated it, because she was so worried about what Trump might do,” Edelman said. “It speaks to the degree that she was concerned about the threat to our democracy that Trump represented.” The Post op-ed appeared on January 3rd, just three days before the insurrection at the Capitol.

04 May, 2021

What Substack Is Really Doing to the Media


A key to understanding Substack’s impact on the news is to recognize that the kind of journalism that tends to thrive there—so far, at least for the most part—is not actually news. It’s commentary and analysis, aimed at the chattering classes.

Leading newsletters such as Heather Cox Richardson’s Letter From an American, Roxane Gay’s the Audacity, and Scott Alexander’s Astral Codex Ten are wildly diverse in their perspectives and subject matter. But one thing they have in common is that they’ve never covered a city council meeting or rushed out to a crime scene to get the scoop. “I haven’t seen one of these independent Substacks that comes close to replicating what most news organizations spend most of their resources doing,” said Bill Grueskin, a professor at Columbia Journalism School and former senior editor at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

02 May, 2021

Opinion: Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe


Academia’s continual campaign to disregard or neglect the classics is a sign of spiritual decay, moral decline and a deep intellectual narrowness running amok in American culture. Those who commit this terrible act treat Western civilization as either irrelevant and not worthy of prioritization or as harmful and worthy only of condemnation.

Sadly, in our culture’s conception, the crimes of the West have become so central that it’s hard to keep track of the best of the West. We must be vigilant and draw the distinction between Western civilization and philosophy on the one hand, and Western crimes on the other. The crimes spring from certain philosophies and certain aspects of the civilization, not all of them.

How Tech Loses Out over at Companies, Countries and Continents


And over time, over the past 21 years even , I have seen these telecommunication companies develop. We all remember Bell Labs, and in the Netherlands, KPN Neherlab, when telecommunications companies were innovators, and they were the first to do many things, and when they did actual research.

And over the past 20 years, I’ve seen the extremely sad decline of all these communications companies into branding and financing bureaus, and this has impacted my own business, because I used to sell software, and now I sell services, because no one can buy my software anymore, because none of these telecommunications companies are technical companies anymore.

I spend a lot of time thinking about that, why? Why is that going on? And why is it bad? And that brings me to the central question of this presentation.

In any organization, in any company, in any group, any country and even any continent, what level of technical capability, do we need to retain? How technical do we need to stay to remain viable as a company or a country or a continent? And is there a point of no return?

If you outsource too much? Is there a point where you cannot go back and relearn how actually making things work?