31 October, 2021

Why Did Everyone in My County Just Go Crazy at the School Board?


This brings me to why you only are getting my first name on this article. No one seems to know who is behind this uproar. Some of my neighbors have full-on bought into these fights as if they are their own but haven’t seemed to stop to ask who’s fight it is or who made all this up. They’ve never stopped to think about where all this money is coming from or how they even heard about “CRT’ or started to think that masks had something to do with freedom. I think they are being manipulated and they don’t who is behind it. They’ve got Proud Boys and other anti-patriots going to school board meetings trying to look tough and they don’t even know who’s bidding they are doing.

There is no way that these issues of masks and CRT came up in thousands of school boards all at the same time all over the country without someone planning it and spending money on it. People are looking for conspiracies all over but they seem to be playing along inside one and not know it. I’ve gone to a few school board meetings now and I’ve seen people looking like they want to throw punches. I can do that if we need to but we don’t. I’m not putting my neck out there or my family and kids out there until I know who is pulling the strings. I can tell you for sure that it’s nobody in Johnston County.

The McDonald's Test -- Learning to Love Back Row America


You also visited many churches. As an atheist, what was that like?

I was certainly an atheist when I began; it’s more complicated now. Initially, I went to church for the same reason I was going to McDonald’s: it was where the people I was speaking to were going. I didn’t discriminate, I just went to whatever church or mosque was there, whatever faith was reflective of the community.

Like McDonald’s, the churches worked. They were often the only institutions that were lit up and functional; usually they were storefront operations. You’d go down a street that was boarded up, derelict buildings, and then there was a church. Its doors weren’t closed.

There aren’t many success stories in my book – there’s almost nobody who got out of a negative lifestyle. The only people who succeeded did it through faith – through the church. And so I had at first a grudging respect, and then a full-blown respect for what churches are doing.


You suggest that one thing which may have stayed more the same than people would like to admit is racism.

There’s awful racism in the United States, which cannot be denied or diminished. What’s forgotten, though, is that the most progressive towns are often the most segregated. We tend to focus on the ugly incidents of racism that happen among the white working class and ignore the racism of the elites, which is less overt because it’s structural. It’s a matter of zoning laws, of where the best schools are, who is more likely to be arrested or imprisoned, where good jobs are available.

My visit to Milwaukee, which is well-known for its progressive politics, illustrated this to me. Historically, the African American community was intentionally confined to a tiny neighborhood in the city, and it’s largely still concentrated there. 

23 October, 2021

The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism


The real story of the McDonald’s case was always available, it just didn’t matter. By the time the Liebeck verdict came down, Americans had already spent nearly a decade hearing about ambulance-chasing lawyers, “jackpot justice” awards and the debilitating “tort tax” on American businesses. As early as 1986, Ronald Reagan speeches included a laugh line about a woman who sued her doctor after a CAT scan robbed her of her psychic powers. (In reality, the woman had an allergic reaction to a surgical dye, suffered severe headaches for the rest of her life and had her lawsuit thrown out. She never received a dime.) 

This pre-existing narrative explains why the exaggerated version of the McDonald’s case was so durable. Sure, some of the details didn’t check out and the facts turned out to be a bit more complicated than they seemed. But still, journalists argued at the time, we know frivolous lawsuits are a problem in America.

But they weren’t. Civil cases were actually falling throughout the 1990s. Seven-digit payouts attracted headlines, but they were vanishingly rare — just 3% of plaintiffs got punitive damages at all; the median award was $38,000 — and nearly always got overturned on appeal.

The central premise of the “frivolous lawsuits” panic — it is too easy for citizens to sue corporations — was an obvious lie, a blinking, howling whopper that would have been laughed off of front pages if it weren’t for all the overblown anecdotes making it seem plausible.

16 October, 2021

u/CockGoblinReturns on Dave Chappelle's recent comments


The irony of Chappelle's defenders saying 'I guarantee you that they didn't watch it' is that they never actually looked at the criticisms. What's more flabbergasting is they openly admit this, 'I guarantee', 'I bet', etc. It's peak lack of self-awareness

It's lengthy to explain Dave's phobias, because Dave makes several pro-Trans statements. He wants them to be equal. He dissed the transgender bathroom laws. His conversation about his trans friend human experience was moving. But this is my best attempt to break down the phobias exhibited in his set despite these.

But what is a Fourier series? From heat flow to drawing with circles | DE4

11 October, 2021

The Ship That Became a Bomb


In March, 2015, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which included the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, intervened to stop the Houthi advance. The U.S., Britain, and France provided intelligence, planes, naval support, and bombs. The Saudis saw in the Houthi advance the hand of their regional enemy Iran, a Shia nation. But, despite the aerial might of the Saudi coalition, the Houthis weathered the attacks, and entrenched themselves in northern Yemen. When Saudi Arabia entered the conflict, it predicted that fighting would last six weeks; instead, it has endured for more than six years. During the war, other regional actors, such as the U.A.E., have flexed their military muscle. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has maintained a foothold in the south of the country. A secessionist group called the Southern Transitional Council holds Aden. It is extremely unlikely that the Yemen of 2014 will ever be put back together.

The consequences for civilians have been devastating. Both the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition are alleged to have committed many war crimes. The Saudi air campaign has been recklessly conducted, and has killed thousands of civilians, including children. The Houthi regime has used child soldiers, deployed banned antipersonnel mines, and fired indiscriminately into civilian areas. Meanwhile, a sea-and-land blockade of Houthi-controlled areas by the coalition has contributed to life-threatening shortages of food, medicine, and fuel.

02 October, 2021

u/gorgewall on educational attainment


For decades longer than you have been alive, men have been being sold an expectation that is a lie and are increasingly finding out that it is just that: a lie. The evidence becomes clearer and clearer. The thing that men are supposed to be able to achieve slips further away from where the average man is. "There is a good thing here if you do X, Y, and Z," and they try their damnedest to do those things--succeed, even--and don't wind up at that good thing. It's depressing.

Over that same timespan, women have been another expectation, one that's more grounded in reality. It starts with the depressing state: things will suck for you unless you do X, Y, and Z. Doing these things is the only way you're going to have a chance, and that's not even guaranteed. You're already on the back foot, so any little bit you can move forward is a win....