Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
|Mahjong tiles revealing that China has words for "north", "east", "south", and "west".|
Saturday, July 11, 2020
|Via the Brooklyn Meetup Philosophy Book Club.|
Hi, welcome to the Philosophy Diner, I'm David Brooks ("Two Cheers For Liberalism! (Or Maybe One and a Half)"), and I'll be your server. Today's special is Liberalism, which is my favorite, but I have to warn you, this is not the spicy kind of Liberalism you get from Eleanor Roosevelt and Saul Alinsky, but a more traditional or even antique kind of Liberalism, which is based on the idea that reason is separate from emotion, so it tends to devolve into a detached, passionless Rationalism. Or it's based on the idea that the choosing individual is the basic unit of society, so it devolves into Atomism, in an alienated society of lonely buffered selves. Or if it's based on the idea that people are primarily motivated by self-interest, it could devolve into disenchanted Materialism. To say nothing of Racism, which reduces a human being to a skin color, and people nowadays who dehumanize themselves by reducing themselves to a single label and making politics their one identity, as when they say, "speaking as a Liberal...," leaving no room for the individual conscience.
I guess basically the Liberalism just devolves no matter what you do, and to be honest I can't recommend it, though, speaking as a Liberal, I've been there all my life myself, in this peculiar Rationalist, Atomistic, and Materialist sense. I only give two cheers, like E.M. Forster on Democracy, or am I thinking of Kristol on Capitalism, or Jonathan Chait on Socialism, or something else? Or even less than two cheers, maybe one and a half, because you probably won't like it at all, if only because of the Individualism, which leaves an unpleasant roughness at the back of the palate. I'd advise you to order a small plate of Liberalism with a small plate of Personalism, which is not based on the idea that the choosing individual is the basic unit of society, but the idea that the individual with individual conscience is the basic unit of society. And a basket of freshly buffered selves on the side.
Friday, July 10, 2020
|Kin Ming Estates, Tseung Kwon O, Hong Kong, housing 22,000 people. Image by Baycrest via Wikipedia.|
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
To be clear the ICE rule has existed for a while, and it had a legit purpose, to stop exploitation of foreign students by fraudulent online diploma mills like University of Phoenix (though why administered by ICE and deporting students instead of DOE to regulate schools?) https://t.co/JOcKWq9ihO— 🔻Cookin With Yas🔻 (@Yastreblyansky) July 8, 2020
But it clearly should have been suspended for this year's emergency when schools are being punished for doing whatever they can to ensure student safety. Goes along with Trump trying to discourage masking, and it's evil.— 🔻Cookin With Yas🔻 (@Yastreblyansky) July 8, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
|Californian community activist Allen Hernandez, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on his left arm and the Mayan god Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl in Aztec) on the right, via Religion News.|
“Our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith,” Dwight Eisenhower said in 1952, “and I don’t care what it is.”
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Trump about Operation Desert Storm... at... The fields and jungles of Vietnam: "They delivered a swift and sweepy and you know that sweeping it was swift and it was sweeping like nobody's ever seen anything happened" from r/The_Mueller
by Stephen Miller and Donald J. Trump
These planes once launchedoff of massive aircraft carriersin the fiercest battlesof World War II
They raced through theskies of Korea's MiG Alley
They carried Americanwarriors into thedense fields and junglesof Vietnam
they delivered a swiftand Swiftian—you know that—sweeping—it was swift andit was sweeping like nobody'sever seen anything happen
it was a victory inOperation Desert Storma lot of you were involved in thata lot of you were involvedthat was the quick one
Saturday, July 4, 2020
|Edward Wood and James Cagney in William Wellman's Public Enemy (1931).|
I look at you; I don’t see an intelligent, confident man; I see a cocky, scared shitless kid.
|Harold Lloyd in Hal Roach's Haunted Spooks, 1920, via.|
Aside from a few protesters and a depraved president, most of us have understood we need to suspend the old individualistic American creed. In the midst of a complex epidemiological disaster, to be anti-authority is to be ignorant. In the midst of a contagion, to act as if you are self-sufficient is just selfish.
But it’s too easy to offload all blame on Trump. Trump’s problem is not only that he’s emotionally damaged; it is that he is unlettered. He has no literary, spiritual or historical resources to draw upon in a crisis.
There are five gigantic changes happening in America right now. The first is that we are losing the fight against Covid-19. Our behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the reality around us. We just got tired so we’re giving up.
It wasn’t Trump who went out to bars in Tempe,Austin and Los Angeles in June.It wasn’t Trump who put on hospital gownsand told the American people you could suspendthe lockdown if your cause was just. Onceyou told people they could suspend the lockdownfor one thing, they were going to suspend it for others.
Friday, July 3, 2020
|Arshile Gorky, Untitled, 1944-45, via artsy.net.|
Putting Out the Fires
by Donald J. Trump
It’s gonna go.It’s gonna leave.It’s gonna be gone.It’s gonna be eradicated.It might take longer, it mightbe in smaller sections.It won’t be what we had.If you have a flare-up in acertain area—I call them burningembers—boom, we put it out.We know how to put it out now....
Some areasthat were very hard hitare now doing very well.Some were doing very well,and we thought they may be gone,and they flare up, andwe’re putting out the fires.But other places were longbefore us, and they’re now —it’s got a life, and we’re puttingout that life, becausethat’s a bad life that we’re talking about.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Via Medium, and a nice post by William Sonn with an alternative answer to "Which Roman emperor does Trump resemble most?"—Caracalla, he argues persuasively.
Monday, June 29, 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.
Friday, June 26, 2020
|Via Washington Area Spark. Note it was a multiracial crowd.|
- "We" are losing the battle against Covid-19;
- "all Americans but especially white Americans" are rapidly learning about the struggles involved in being an African American;
- the American public is "vehemently rejecting" the Republican Party under Trumpian leadership;
- American cultural institutions are being taken over by the "quasi-religion" of Social Justice, which sees history as "essentially a power struggle between groups, some of which are oppressors and others of which are oppressed", and speech as "a form of violence that has to be regulated"; and
- we might be on the verge of a severe depression.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
|Via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.|
Monday, June 22, 2020
You know what? This is fantastic. pic.twitter.com/AkVzGC1zM0— DeMarcus 🛹 (@semperdiced) June 21, 2020
Sing, O Muse, the Ramp of Achilles
by Donald J. Trump
You know, it was interesting. To show you how fake they are. You might haveseen it. So last week they called me, and they say, ‘Sir, West Point. West Point.We’re ready.’ I said, ‘Oh that’s right, I have to make a commencement speechat West Point.’ You know they delayed it for six weeks because of COVID. Sothey delayed it. And I went there, 1106 cadets were graduating, and beautiful.Beautiful cadets. So, just to show you how bad the fake news is. So, they say to me,‘Sir! We’re ready to go.’ I say, ‘Let’s go!’ This is after saying hello to a lotof cadets; inspecting little areas of a building. That was very exciting, actually,it’s beautiful, very old. Studied a lot of our great generals, some of our presidentsthat went there. West Point is beautiful. Right on the Hudson River. But after anhour – the general that runs it is a fantastic guy – after an hour, we land, wedo some more inspections and they say, ‘Sir are you ready?’ ‘Yes, I am.’ Sowe walk like, the equivalent of about three blocks, which was fine. We go on stage,which is fine. They make some speeches, then I make a speech. It lasted a long time,I don’t know, maybe 45 minutes, maybe longer, I don’t know, but a long time. The sunis pouring down on me. OK? But they said to me before the speech, ‘Sir! Would youlike to salute each cadet, each single cadet? Or maybe they’ll be in groupsof two. Would you like to salute? Like this, yes.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Re-impeach. That's attempted murder. https://t.co/Nj1wHhd2JZ— 🔻Cookin With Yas🔻 (@Yastreblyansky) June 21, 2020
Joking when? When he told the rally or when he "told his people", starting around March? https://t.co/ojtyro90R5 We know he was doing it.— 🔻Cookin With Yas🔻 (@Yastreblyansky) June 21, 2020
Was Trump joking when he when he "made it clear" to Alex Azar in early March that Azar should not "push aggressive testing", as Politico's David Diamond told Terry Gross 12 March? https://t.co/1swYY6zFK0 pic.twitter.com/t1TRqtSCM4— 🔻Cookin With Yas🔻 (@Yastreblyansky) June 21, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
This would not surprise me. https://t.co/7oCHiv9jgN— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) June 20, 2020
conducted an investigation into Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee, subpoenaing financial and other records as part of a broad inquiry into possible illegal contributions from foreigners.I assume that means The Times knows this from looking at the filings, and the same presumably goes for reports of the SDNY continuing its investigations of Deutsche Bank—weirdly, Berman's deputy Robert Kharzumi, and the bizarrely unqualified person Barr wants to replace Berman, SEC chairman Jay Clayton, have both represented Deutsche Bank as attorneys, and, Forbes comments,
Friday, June 19, 2020
|Drawing by David Levine, 27 October 1983.|
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
|Image by Donkey Hotey 2018, via es.news-front.|
I swear this is real. pic.twitter.com/7iMokfB90R— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 18, 2020
the moment he cites as the real “turning point” for him in the administration had to do with an attack on Iran that, to Bolton’s abject disappointment, didn’t happen.
In June 2019, Iran had shot down an unmanned American drone, and Bolton, who has always championed what he proudly calls “disproportionate response,” pushed Trump to approve a series of military strikes in retaliation. You can sense Bolton’s excitement when he describes going home “at about 5:30” for a change of clothes because he expected to be at the White House “all night.” It’s therefore an awful shock when Trump decided to call off the strikes at the very last minute, after learning they would kill as many as 150 people. “Too many body bags,” Trump told him. “Not proportionate.”
Bolton still seems incensed at this unexpected display of caution and humanity on the part of Trump, deeming it “the most irrational thing I ever witnessed any President do.”
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
|Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, figurine by Donald F. Saari, 1973, via WorthPoint.|
Monday, June 15, 2020
|After the Bath. Drawing by Edgar Degas ca. 1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales.|
Such a pleasure to see the Supreme Court frustrating the presidency with their refusal today to take on bullshit gun rights cases and the DOJ desire to challenge "sanctuary cities" laws, but obviously the big thing is their recognition, by a 6-to-3 margin, that LGBTQ people can be discriminated against under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act since "sex" became a protected category in 1991. Apparently because, as I suspected, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Gorsuch (who wrote the very well crafted opinion) have some limits as to how low they're willing to go in gratifying Republicans. Not that they're nice people, and I don't think you should be too optimistic about the survival of the Affordable Care Act or the exposure of the Trump tax returns (I'm going to express a tiny hope on both, and a stronger one on the survival of the DACA program), but they see themselves as true aristocrats, too good to follow the Republicans all the way into the swine trough.
Sunday, June 14, 2020
You know, since today is officially #ObamaAppreciationDay, I'd just like to remind y'all what it was like to have a President who wasn't scared of a "steep" slippery ramp.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 14, 2020
Also, #TrumpIsNotWell. pic.twitter.com/nSnu0Xz8iO
There is literally always a tweet pic.twitter.com/8k31fMJ7dK— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) June 14, 2020
The Last Thing I Was Going to Do
by Donald J. Trump
The ramp that I descendedafter my West Point Commencement speechwas very long & steep,had no handrail and, mostimportantly, was very slippery.The last thing I was going to dois “fall” for the Fake News tohave fun with. Final ten feetI ran down to level ground. Momentum!
The nature of ramps dictates that they are rarely both steep and long. https://t.co/e6fErCzVKD— Allison Tolman (@Allison_Tolman) June 14, 2020
The water was very dense and liquid, and most of all in a very slippery glass. I tossed back the last three or four ounces in a single three-finger schlug.— Leaves of Yas (@Yastreblyansky) June 14, 2020