SuperButch page 3!


On time for three weeks in a row! Whoooo!

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Open Thread and Link Farm, Not About Trump Edition


  1. The battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline, explained – Vox
  2. Donate to the Standing Rock Medic + Healer Council
  3. It’s time to kill the $100 bill – The Washington Post and, by the same author (Larry Summers), India just made a big mistake with its currency ban – The Washington Post. An interesting issue that I’ve never thought about before – high-value currency fosters crime, but getting rid of it has to be done the right way.
  4. Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal – The Baffler
    A bit of a long read, but interesting, about the moderate-liberal Rowling versus how Harry Potter’s more radical fans interpret the Potter books.
  5. Was Lee Harvey Oswald Just a Bad Shot? | Mother Jones
    Like Kevin, I have no clue if this is a reasonable argument or not. Anyone know?
  6. Please don’t try to get screenings of The Red Pill cancelled :: We Hunted The Mammoth
  7. The inexplicably ubiquitous phenomenon of ‘woods porn’ | Dangerous Minds
  8. Sex, death and aliens: a feminist watches ‘Arrival’ | language: a feminist guide
    Spoiler alert! But interesting stuff.
  9. Self-Driving Trucks Are a Canary in the Coal Mine | Mother Jones
  10. Big Farms Are Getting Bigger And Most Small Farms Aren’t Really Farms At All | FiveThirtyEight
  11. Whimsical Storybook Beasts and Birds Illustrated by Vorja Sánchez
    Those illustrations near the bottom of the post, of people affectionately holding monsters, are gorgeous.
  12. Oregonians: Do you want pavement or gravel & dust? You decide. – BlueOregon
  13. Right-Wing Media Misquoted a Gay University Official and Tried to Get Him Fired – WATCH
  14. 5 Huge Driverless Car Problems (Besides The Obvious Ones)
    Will driverless cars kill radio?
  15. A Brilliant Version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ Played on a Traditional Korean Gayageum
  16. The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends – The Washington Post
  17. Clickclickclickclick is sort of brilliant. I won’t describe it, just go check it out. Have the sound on.
  18. Street photographer’s fantastic series of “then and now” photos
    I’m oddly fascinated by this genre of photos.
  19. NASA Team Claims ‘Impossible’ Space Engine Works — Get the Facts
    “The long-standing catch is that the EmDrive seemingly defies the laws of classical physics, so even if it’s doing what the team claims, scientists still aren’t sure how the thing actually works.”

Posted in Link farms | 16 Comments  

SuperButch page 2!

Posted on time two weeks in a row! We’ll see how long we can keep that up. :-)

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Open Thread and Link Farm, Trump Edition


I’ve divided this link farm into two categories: “Trump” and “Not Trump.” The idea is, those of us who need a break from reading about Trump and the election can scroll down to the “Not Trump” section.

UPDATE: In response to Kai’s suggestion, I’ve moved the non-Trump links to their own post. This post has Trump and election related links.


  1. What A Difference 2 Percentage Points Makes | FiveThirtyEight
  2. J.D. Vance, the False Prophet of Blue America | New Republic
  3. The GOP’s Attack on Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016 | The Nation
  4. Why did some white Obama voters for Trump?
  5. In record numbers, Latinos voted overwhelmingly against Trump. We did the research. – The Washington Post
    I’m not saying this is settled fact. But I do think it’s important to remember that exit polls, like every poll, can be in error.
  6. Political commentators, remember to turn your clocks back – The Washington Post
  7. Why social media is terrible for multiethnic democracies – Vox
    Can we possibly trust each other when we all spend so much time in an online bubble that demonizes those who disagree?
  8. Blaming political correctness for Trump is like blaming the civil rights movement for Jim Crow | Lindy West | Opinion | The Guardian
  9. The Debate Link: The Media Does Not Get To Blame Hillary Clinton for their Own Choices of Coverage
  10. Don’t let Donald Trump’s antics distract you from what’s really important – Vox“He’s paying fraud fines and collecting bribes — and distracting you with Hamilton tweets.”
  11. Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained – Vox
  12. The hard question isn’t why Clinton lost — it’s why Trump won – Vox
  13. Protecting Reproductive Autonomy in the Age of Trump: A Call to Fellow White Feminists
  14. Trump Backs Away From Idea Of New Clinton Email Investigation, Prosecution
  15. Trump just announced he’d abandon the TPP on day one. This is what happens next. – The Washington Post
    Basically, there will still be a big international trade agreement – but it’ll be led by China and exclude the US.
  16. Trump Formally Picks Two Net Neutrality Opponents To Head FCC Transition | Techdirt
  17. Trump’s infrastructure plan is not a simple public-private partnership plan, and won’t lead to much new investment | Economic Policy Institute
  18. The Debate Link: Who Benefits from a National Popular Vote?
    Good post about (or against) the Electoral College.
  19. White Nationalists on Trump’s Attorney General pick: ‘It’s like Christmas’
  20. Advice on contacting your representatives from a former Congressional staffer / Boing Boing
Posted in Link farms | 19 Comments  

Goodbye to SEK


Scott Erik Kaufman, a writer at Salon and other outlets, and a blogger at Acephalous and Lawyers Guns and Money, has passed away.

I was never lucky enough to meet SEK, as I thought of him. But he was an incredibly smart writer who I’ve linked countless times over the years, both for his political writing and for his comics analysis. Plus, he was hilarious. The world is better because he passed through it.

A lot of people are memorializing Scott on Facebook. There’s also a fundraiser to help his family with medical bills.

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On Twitter, White Men With Followers Can Change Racist Behavior


This researcher programmed bots to fight racism on Twitter. It worked. – The Washington Post

The Post’s headline isn’t quite accurate. For one thing, they weren’t really “bots” (which to me suggests a program operating somewhat autonomously); they were puppet accounts, controlled directly by the researcher, Kevin Munger. From the study’s abstract:

I employ an intervention designed to reduce the use of anti-black racist slurs by white men on Twitter. I collect a sample of Twitter users who have harassed other users and use accounts I control (“bots”) to sanction the harassers. By varying the identity of the bots between in-group (white man) and out-group (black man) and by varying the number of Twitter followers each bot has, I find that subjects who were sanctioned by a high-follower white male significantly reduced their use of a racist slur.

The “sanction” was a tweet saying “Hey man, just remember there are real people who are hurt when you harass them with that kind of language”. Using this tweet, the high-follower white male puppets – and only those puppets – could improve behavior. Tellingly, the same tween from low-follower black male puppets led to increased use of racial slurs.

Surprisingly, anonymous twitter users were the ones whose behavior improved. Non-anonymous users did not reduce their slur usage in response to being criticized. (I would have guessed the opposite.)

It’s a shame that he didn’t use actual bots, since that would be very useful if it worked. However, a bot might have a hard time distinguishing harassing tweets from other tweets (such as a person complaining about having been called a slur).

I guess for the sake of reducing variables, he didn’t test responses to female identities. I hope someone does in a follow up study. It wouldn’t surprise me if female identities, like black identities, were less effective at changing behavior, but I’d be interested to see the numbers.

Posted in Language Politics, Race, racism and related issues, Racism | 3 Comments  

Intellectual Turing Test Results: Silver Medal


So in Ozy’s Intellectual Turing Test, in which anti-social justice folk tried to pass themselves off as social justice folk, and vice-versa, I’m pleased to report I came in second, with 75% of readers believing I was anti-SJ. (In the comments of that link, there’s a little debate between me and a few other folks about gamergate.)

You can read my second place anti-social-justice entry here, if you’re curious, and my pro-social-justice entry here. Curiously, I tied for “most likely to be fake” among the SJ entries by SJ writers, but that may have been because I was in a hurry and wrote too briefly.

Daniel’s winning anti-SJ entry, which 85% believed was genuine anti-SJ, is here. Toggle’s pro-SJ entry, which an amazing 95% of people took to be genuine pro-SJ, is here.

Posted in Mind-blowing Miscellania and other Neat Stuff | 16 Comments  

SuperButch Page 1 Is Up!

Becky Hawkins and I have posted the first page of our new webcomic “SuperButch!” It’s about a lesbian superhero in the 1940s protecting the bar scene from corrupt cops. We’re really excited about this!

I’m writing, and Becky’s doing art – although we both get in each other’s business a lot. :-) We’ll be posting a new page every Tuesday.

There’s also a complete 16-page prelude story up, “First Glance,” which can be read here.

Posted in SuperButch | 3 Comments  

The Electoral Map If Only Millennials Had Voted – new maps based on exit polls

There’s been a map floating around the internet claiming to show the election outcome if only millennials had voted; but it’s based on October polls, not on actual exit polling. “Alas” moderator and commentator Charles, understandably (if pedantically)1 annoyed by this, decided to make a couple of maps based on exit polls, and kindly said I could post them here.



  1. As a bit of a pendant myself, I relate to this. []
Posted in Elections and politics | 13 Comments  

As a Jew, I Do Not Feel Safe

As the husband of a Muslim woman and the father of a son whose name marks him as foreign even though he was born in the United States, I have been reading with care, gratitude, and a welcome sense of solidarity the posts in my Facebook feed about how important it is not to despair now that Trump has been elected president; and I have been thinking about the role I might play in helping to make sure, as much as possible, that all of those targeted by the hatred at the heart of Trump’s campaign nonetheless feel their presence in this country to be welcomed and safe and respected and valued.

I have also been heartened and affirmed by how many of the posts I’ve read make a point of naming the specific groups in need of our support, because each of them is the object of a hatred directed specifically at it, and that hatred needs to be understood and opposed on its own terms. I have, however, also noticed the conspicuous absence of the group to which I belong, the Jews, from most of those lists-of-the-vulnerable. (Here is one example.) We may be the one group (as far as I can tell) that Trump himself did not name specifically, but his alt-right and KKK and neo-Nazi and white supremacist supporters sure as hell named us when they attacked Jewish journalists who criticized Trump; and the classically antisemitic, right-out-of-The-Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion, “global-conspiracy-that’s-bleeding-us-dry” rhetoric that he embraced towards the end of his campaign, in his speeches and perhaps especially in his final campaign video (complete with images of the prominent and wealthy Jews who are doing “the bleeding”), was sure as hell a way of naming us without naming us:

Do I think, therefore, that the rounding up of Jews is imminent? No. Do I think the people who would support and participate in the rounding up of Jews have been inspired, empowered, and legitimized by Trump’s campaign? Absolutely. The image at the top of this post, for example, of antisemitic graffiti written on a storefront in Philadelphia the day after the election, is from the Anti-Defamation League’s Twitter feed:

It’s worth noting that it almost certainly was not lost on the people who put that graffiti on storefronts that they were doing so on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. To put it another way, I think it is to be willfully blind not to see parallels between the dynamics of Trump’s campaign and the dynamics at play at the beginning of Hitler’s Germany, or of any of the other periods in history when the Jews have been targeted as some version of “the global conspiracy.”

Back in July, a woman named Carly Pildis wrote an essay that, if you care about the integrity of what it means to be anti-racist/anti-oppression, you should read. It’s called “I Am Woke: Why I Am Finally Raising My Voice Against Jewish Erasure in the Anti-Racism Movement.” (The link takes you to a recent repost of the article in Tablet.) The following paragraph struck me in particular. It appears after a section in the essay where Pildis quotes examples of some particularly offensive tweets she received for pushing back ever so gently against what she saw as a simplistic #BlackLivesMatters portrayal of the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

I am not asking the anti-racism movement to join AIPAC. I am asking that it apply the same values to Jews as it does other marginalized or oppressed groups. I am asking that the movement put a parenthesis around its twitter handles and stand in solidarity with me and my family. I am saying that if the rule of this community is that those with lived experience should be heard the loudest, then hear the Jews among you.  If those who have experienced oppression should never be doubted in their experience, then stop saying I am a not a real minority, or that anti-Semitism isn’t real. If anti-oppression work must be intersectional, then that intersectionality can no longer end when the word Jewish is uttered. If communities that are affected by policy must always be consulted and in the forefront of policy discussions, stop telling Jewish Americans we have no right to be included in your conversations about Israel, or that our views on the physical safety of our families are not welcome to be discussed, struggled with or even acknowledged.

When I started this post, I thought of it as an expression of how vulnerable the antisemitism in Trump’s campaign has made me feel. I did not imagine I would also be writing about how what Pildis called “Jewish erasure” among progressives—a term I had not heard till I read her piece—makes me feel perhaps even more at risk. But it does. I know what to expect, and to expect no better, from the people who spray painted those swastikas. Their actions do not constitute a betrayal. Failing to include the fight against antisemitism in a response to Trump’s presidency, however—especially given its explicit expression during his campaign and, now, after his victory—most certainly does.

So I guess I have come to see this post as a challenge. If you are one of the people or organizations talking about how we need to organize not just against the hatreds Trump’s campaign stood for, but also affirmatively in support of the specific groups that were—and are still being—targeted, have you done, are you willing to do, the work of including antisemitism in your analysis? To paraphrase Pildis, intersectionality is either fully intersectional or it isn’t. If it is, then it must include antisemitism among the oppressions it confronts. If it isn’t, if it doesn’t, then why should I see it as anything other than good-old-fashioned, left-wing antisemitism using the fight against other oppressions as camouflage?


Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments