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Over-tonnes.

While we’re on the subject of graphs, American political parties on a left-right spectrum, as compared to similar parties in other countries.

Probably no huge surprises here—the GOP is fa-aa-ar further to the right than most other “mainstream” conservative parties, ditto historically the Democrats, though this has shifted since 2016—and probably some room to question the methodology. But interested to see on a graph, either way,

2019-08-08T08:47:11+10:0011th December, 2019|Tags: politics, usa|

Cap’America.

[T]he sad fact is that much of the world has been destroyed institutionally by what America [has done] over the last fifty years or so. Think of Latin America — savaged by CIA plots and American-backed militias. Think of parts of Asia like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos — they paid the price for not choosing capitalism with millions of lives. Think of Africa, which was taken advantage of for decades, its resources greedily gulped down.

These regions of the world were left largely trapped by the American Century. They weren’t able to progress much, because they didn’t want to be capitalist — mostly, they wanted to be social democracies, but America wouldn’t let them be anything else, either. So there they were, shoved down again and again by the bully on the block, unable to develop the way they wanted to. The simplest example is Chile, where when a social democratic government was elected, America literally overthrew it, installed Pinochet as dictator, and looked away whistling while the death squads went to work.

umair haque on who shaped the century.

Remember that Tumblr post that was going around a while ago where it turned out that, like, a startling number of Americans don’t know just how aggressively their country overthrows foreign governments and assassinates foreign leaders? Yeah. About that…

2019-07-31T12:25:12+10:004th December, 2019|Tags: politics, usa|

Ill of the dead.

If David Koch is to be cremated, I suggest we dispense with all the fuss and bother and just drop his corpse from a helicopter into the fires now consuming the Amazon rainforest. Let him be one with his legacy.

Charles P. Pierce on legacies.

2019-08-28T09:06:38+10:0028th August, 2019|Tags: environment, politics, usa|

Orange Skull.

I didn’t think of myself as especially political compared with some of my fellow travellers, but when asked to kill a relatively anodyne reference to an Orange Skull I realised that perhaps it had been irresponsible to be playful about the dire existential threat we now live with, and I withdrew my introduction.

International fascism again looms large … and the dislocations that have followed the global economic meltdown of 2008 helped bring us to a point where the planet itself seems likely to melt down […] Armageddon seems somehow plausible and we’re all turned into helpless children scared of forces grander than we can imagine, looking for respite and answers in superheroes flying across screens in our chapel of dreams.

Art Spiegelman (re)learns that everything is political.

Timely reminder that the CEO of Marvel donates substantial sums of money to Trump, as well as functions as a political advisor, and is actively involved in censoring any criticism Marvel employees attempt to make about the regime in the name of being “apolitical”.

(Also that last line probably could do with a whole essay of unpacking all on its own because… wow. What a massive, potentially unintentional, neg against the superhero genre. I mean… I’m into it. But also… wow.)

2019-08-19T08:20:57+10:0019th August, 2019|Tags: comics, politics, pop culture, usa|

Thoughts and prayers.

Once there was a nation suffering the plague of gun violence. “Help us,” the nation prayed, “save us from the violence.” And God said, “You shall be provided with the legislative tools to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other wartime instruments of death.” And lo, the nation said, “I’d rather not.” And so nothing came to pass.

“Help us,” the nation prayed a year or so later, “save us from the violence.” And God said, “You shall be provided with the best universities and research institutions in the world, so that you may study the topic of gun violence and arrive at solutions to this public health crisis yourselves.” And lo, the nation said, “Let’s make funding studies of gun violence illegal.” And so nothing came to pass.

“Help us,” the nation prayed a few months later, “save us from the violence.” And God said, “You shall be provided with the best mental health resources in the world, and you shall be provided with wealth beyond compare so that all who are struggling with homicidal or suicidal thoughts will have access to care.” And lo, the nation said, “Sounds socialist to me. Let’s make Medicaid harder to access, not easier. And, oh yeah, our leaders are going to spread hate and xenophobia to give people a reason to commit acts of violence.” And so nothing came to pass.

“Help us,” the nation prayed a few weeks later, “save us from the violence.” And God said, “If you are scared that the Supreme Court will overturn sensible gun laws, if you are scared of the lobbying power of the NRA, then you shall be provided with a way to create Constitutional Amendments overturning the Second Amendment and making it harder for lobbying groups to influence elections.” And lo, the nation said, “A Constitutional Amendment? Sounds kinda complicated. It can’t be done except for all those times it’s been done. Nope.” And so nothing came to pass.

“Help us,” the nation prayed a few days later, “save us from the violence.” And God said, “It seems like many of these shooters are white men. I think you should raise boys differently and look closely at what whiteness does to someone’s psychology.” And lo, the nation said, “How dare you even say that.”

And so God — that’s me — I’m sitting up here going, What the hell is wrong with you?

God (via prophet Chas Gillespie) answers your thoughts and prayers.

2019-08-07T08:22:00+10:007th August, 2019|Tags: culture, cw: mass shooting, politics, usa|

Modern right.

The problem is now that Americans don’t enjoy anything remotely close to the same rights as the rest of the rich world does. That is why their lives are so much more impoverished — not just financially poorer, but genuinely more deprived, whether of healthcare, happiness, savings, trust, or mobility. In that sense, American society is failing because its social operating system — its constitution — is badly obsolete. In the 21st century, people need healthcare and education to be rights a lot more than they need to be able to wield guns against bears and wolves .

umair haque on constitutional priorities.

2019-04-29T12:06:53+10:006th April, 2019|Tags: politics, usa|