Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
"Housing Markets Should Be More Like Supermarkets"  argues for "liberalizing development regulations" in order to promote housing affordability, but doesn't suggest any means for accomplishing this – and doesn't even seem to recognize that there are reasons why the regulations came to be the way they are.

The author correctly sees elitist zoning ordinances as a large part of the problem of housing unaffordability but fails to note the systemic problem of how the elite are incentivized to create exclusionary zoning rules by the simple fact that it is legal to buy and sell land and livable building space – considering only ability to pay while completely ignoring need, and prioritizing private profit over community sustainability – thus creating runaway price-feedback loops in wealth-creating high-density areas and driving housing out of reach an ever-expanding lower economic tier of humanity.

If housing markets had delivered what the free-marketists are always promising – a reasonably equitable allocation of resources without the concentration of power implied by the obvious alternative – then it would represent the effective coexistence of those two priorities.

Unfortunately, it has become quite clear that housing markets are absolutely abysmal at allocating resources fairly -- and allowing people to own homes and other buildings when there are other people who need to use them but are not (under a capitalist housing ownership system) allowed to do so is basically saying that we prioritize wealth-concentration over basic human needs...

...which of course is right-wing philosophy in a nutshell: it's a dog-eat-dog world; if you're not succeeding it must be your fault and you need to try harder and be more competitive; helping people who are doing poorly is bad for the species -- totally forgetting that this attitude can only survive by preying on the wealth created by millennia of civilization that proves the exact opposite: We only thrive because we help each other.

The idea of buying and selling housing has had its chance, and we've seen where it leads.

Photo: it should be noted that supermarkets thrive in large part because of food safety regulations, business regulations, financial regulations, and other legal measures that make it reasonably safe to walk into a store you've never heard of, buy some food, and eat it.
In many areas of modern life, the market provides a cornucopia of choices to accommodate people’s diverse needs, wants, and tastes: just visit a supermarket to see this. When it comes to housing options, though, the reality is starkly different.

(link via Thunkii on Discord)
Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
Apparently the Democratic Party has taken another step towards the Dark Side.

In case you haven’t heard, the DCCC – the arm of the Democratic Party that works to elect members of the House – recently introduced a policy restricting its vendors from working with any candidate challenging a Democratic incumbent. In other words, no...

There is no good reason to do this, but apparently the Democratic leadership feels that the only way to beat the enemy is to become them. >.<

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
Just to reiterate the obvious: we shouldn't be discussing a better way to do something stupid. We should be not doing the stupid thing in the first place. We don't need a frickin' border wall. Will people please stop taking right-wing mob psychology seriously, plzokthx?
Trump's wall: How tech fills the gaps


Camera-laden towers and underground sensors plug the gaps in the existing US-Mexico border fence.

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
Students For Trump on Twitter
“Today Democrats are calling to abolish ICE. Tomorrow, they will be calling to abolish the police. Soon, they will be calling to abolish the military. Let’s defeat them in November.”

This is counterfactual -- the Democrats profit too much from the war machine to ever follow their principles and do the right thing.

Why does anyone think we need a military, much less the ridiculously huge Cadillac military we do have? Our government has already been captured by any evil forces we might want to defend ourselves against.

(Tweet dated 2018-06-30, found via a meme posted on Discord)

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
feel free to distribute

Text is:
Vote Republican Nov. 6

(It's supposed to be ironic.)

Also available for resharing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Woozalia/status/1055871861249241089

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  

What mystifies me is how they can still use that slogan now -- or even how anyone with enough money to pay for an advertising campaign like this can think that reminding people about "draining the swamp" will put Republicans in a positive light.

It's as if they live in an entirely different universe.

Maybe it's just trolling non-right-wingers? Trying to make sure we're angry enough to go vote, despite the obstacles many of us face? That seems plausible. I wish I'd been able to get a close enough shot to read the rest of the text; it seems to say something about who paid for the signs.

I saw a similar sign today on 15-501 Boulevard near I-40. It said "LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! VOTE CONSERVATIVE / REPUBLICAN", something like that.

...and, like, those guys have done nothing but let their voices be heard. We know full well all the absurd, fatuous, oblivious, harmful, and grossly inaccurate things they believe about reality. What else can they possibly do to make it any clearer how completely disconnected they are from any form of compassion or sensibility?

I'm sure someone will think of something for them to try.

(The full-size photo is here and you can see other photos from our Asheville trip here.)

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  last edited: Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:18:03 -0400  

It says "Debruhl for Sheriff / paid for by Christ".

...because Jesus was totally all about using money to influence politics. (...or maybe the sign is referring to Jesus's half-brother, Thurston Christ-Howell III.) Anyway, he seems nice.

(The full-size photo is here and you can see other photos from our Asheville trip here.)

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
Are Universal Basic Incomes 'A Tool For Our Further Enslavement'? - Slashdot
Douglas Rushkoff, long-time open source advocate (and currently a professor of Digital Economics at the City University of New York, Queens College), is calling Universal Basic Incomes "no gift to the masses, but a tool for our further enslavement.

...but his argument misses the major point of UBI.

Apparently Rushkoff was in favor of UBI until he gave a talk at Uber and discovered that executives there were also in favor of it:
Shouldn’t we applaud the developers at Uber — as well as other prominent Silicon Valley titans like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, bond investor Bill Gross, and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman — for coming to their senses and proposing we provide money for the masses to spend? Maybe not. Because to them, UBI is really just a way for them to keep doing business as usual.
(emphasis mine)

Um, no, it wouldn't work that way -- because who would drive for Uber if they didn't have to? UBI would decimate the supply of wage-slave labor across the board -- not just Uber drivers, but fast-food workers, Walmart floor clerks, and so on, and completely destroy the plutonomy's ability to control us through our need for "jobs".

Uber is welcome to think this would help their business model, but I don't see how it would. They would have to raise wages in order to continue luring drivers, would have to raise prices in order to afford those wages -- and they suddenly wouldn't be nearly as competitive with standard taxi services that treat their employees like human beings deserving of some security.

Much the same would be true of places like Amazon and Walmart: they would no longer be able to pay people starving wages, and would have to raise their prices to the point where people (especially those with lower budgets) would no longer feel compelled to use their services because of the savings. Smaller businesses would be able to compete better.

The rest of Rushkoff's argument seems predicated on this assumption: that people currently working dead-end jobs out of desperation would continue doing so out of habit -- which misses the entire point of UBI: that it would free us to make our own choices about what work to engage in, and make capitalism live up to its fake promises of "choice" and "competition".

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  last edited: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 07:55:58 -0400  
(via Sheila Nagig)

Asking the oppressed to be civil is basically saying you're on the side of the oppressor.

(Side note: Hubzilla used to have a cool link-auto-preview feature, but I can't seem to figure out how to make that happen anymore. Maybe it only works if the page has the right meta-tags?)

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  
(Via @Valkyrie)
Betsy McCallBetsy McCall wrote the following post Tue, 09 Oct 2018 15:19:29 -0400

And though we don’t really discuss it, the Democratic Party is a girl.

...by which the author means "not allowed to express rage, no matter how rationally justified, for fear of being ridiculed for weakness."

I wish this were true. The real situation is more complex, because there are a lot of different factions within any party -- especially one that isn't oriented towards uniformity and power-concentration like the Republicans.

The Democratic leadership is more like the younger brother whose older brother is abusive and domineering (and can get away with expressions of outrage because he has a lot of bully-friends who will beat up anyone who makes fun of him), and they see this as ultimately the only way to be cool -- but most of the time, they're too afraid to do it, so instead they find other smaller kids to marginalize in order to show how tough they are.

Democratic whistleblowers like Ford and Snowden (and countless others) are at best left to fend for themselves by the Dem leadership and at worst are actively opposed because they want to destroy concentrations of unaccountable power, while the Dem leadership just wants to take that unaccountable power for itself. Little brother wants to become big brother, not fight him. Little brother thinks whistleblowers and dissenters are girls and sissies and should just shut up and learn their place.

...and the rest of us tend to fall into two camps: either Dem party loyalists who can't see beyond the (true) fact that the Dems are orders of magnitude better than the Republicans, and will fight anyone in the other camp -- which sees that the Dems should be fighting for systemic reform rather than just fighting to be on top within that system, and who will refuse to fall in line behind any candidate who will just perpetuate that system, no matter how much more "politically feasible" they may be than a candidate who will at least try to reform it, because what's the point of supporting "meet the new boss, slightly better than but basically the same as the old boss"?

If the Dems are better than the Republicans, it's only because we refuse to accept that we're just competing with the Republicans for the same goal. The more the Dem leadership refuses to acknowledge this, refuses to support anger and rage against systemic injustice, the more they do become exactly like the Republicans and the less we can be bothered to support them.

Woozle Hypertwin
 Durham, NC,  last edited: Fri, 01 Dec 2017 08:35:19 -0500  
(It's about time I tried some serious posting here...)

It's important to always follow due process.
2017: Liberals politely invite neo-fascists to debate their opinions in TV, then prove them wrong with their witty arguments. White supremacy, *phobia and neo-fascism promptly disappear from the public discourse.
(via Antanicus @ social.coop on the Mastodon network)

Well... okay, it's important for the oppressed to follow it. The oppressors have more important things to do. The spice must flow.

It's also important that the oppressed not appear to be reasonable about things like due process, so that it's fair if the oppressors won't follow it [either].

This is how actual Fake News is created: not by lying about the facts (usually), but by distorting popular perception (in this case, popular perception of The Feminist Position(tm)).
by Ijeoma Oluo‏
Verified account @IjeomaOluo

"Yeah so check this shit out:

today I got a call from a major national paper I'd never worked with before, offering work...

Saying they were writing an editorial about these recent sexual harassment and abuse cases. They were going to write about how it's great that women are coming forward, but that we need to treat each case individually and remember due process.

They wanted to know if I would write a rebuttal to their editorial.

I was like, um... call me... I need more info.

This woman calls me, says basically the same thing... they're glad women are coming forward but they support due process etc. Would I write a counter to that?

I'm like, "no, because of course I believe in due process, but I'll write a response. "

I say I'll happily write about how their priorities are skewed and that the due process that's missing is the due process for the women coming forward. & if anything, these stories of years of abuse are testament to men getting more than due process.

And maybe instead of immediately trying to recenter the concerns of men because, like, 5 white dudes got fired, we should wonder about the countless women whose careers never even got off the ground because when they were harassed, there was NO process, let alone due process.

She says she'll ask the editors and get back to me.

She calls back a few minutes later and says, "what they want is to write that they believe in due process...& they want you to write that you don't. &if a few innocent men get fired it's worth it to protect women...

"Will you write that? "

I'm like, "NO."

So now I'm sitting here like [pictured]

Because to me, this is how this shit looks: they wanted to write a "reasonable" editorial that makes them look compassionate yet responsible while slyly shifting this debate back to the needs of men...

While I play the role of feminazi yelling, "FUCK DUE PROCESS FIRE ALL DUDES."

And an actual response to their shit, pointing out how their debate is contrived misogynistic bullshit is not at all what they want.

So dudes can shit their pants in fear &label us as unhinged vigilantes and they can go back to ignoring abuse while looking like the good guys.

And they wanted to use me to do that.

This is an insult to my work, an insult to my intellect, and an insult to every person who has been brave enough to come forward with abuse.

And so much of this discussion is deliberately orchestrated like this.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around what just went down. But for now I'll say this: don't be manipulated into prioritizing abusers over the abused. Look at the debates happening & always ask: who benefits from this dialogue the way that it is?

Note: I misspoke on first tweet. My first contact with them was via email, not call. They emailed me & then I told them to call me.
(via Nila Jones on G+)

There's a follow up here (Tweet, comment) which almost makes me madder than the above, and is redeemed only somewhat by the fact that USA Today was apparently unable to find someone else they could present as an Angry Feminist(tm) to write their rebuttal.

(Incidentally, this kind of exposes the whole sham of their "unique feature" of presenting a rebuttal to every editorial position: they get to choose the position the rebuttal takes. That's not how it works, guys; you're presenting this as an open forum where all ideas are free to be challenged, but what you're creating is an instrument for manipulation... and don't try to tell me that isn't exactly what you intended.)

The author here seriously deserves a medal for her integrity in refusing to take money in exchange for playing the part they tried to assign her (and probably losing any possibility of writing for them ever again), and USA Today deserves a workplace revolt to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening again.

(adapted from posts on Google+ here and here)