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Brent Kensey
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This article interests me most for what it misses. 

The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested. 

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these things off while preaching about how we need to crack down on Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese, whoever he's on about on any particular day. He was doing this while calling for mass deportations of tens of millions of people, closing borders, engaging in ludicrously heavy-handed "negotiations" with other countries, and so on. And this has been working: Trump's popularity is because there are people who wonder, "well, why not?" and there is someone out there advocating solutions which sound (a) simple, (b) brutal, and (c) based on beating up people whom they don't see as part of their own society, from whom they can simply "take back" their power. (Although, as these other groups never actually had any such power, what's really meant here is "take")

It is only possible to see that as a joke if you have never had a reason to fear ethnic violence. But the US has just as long and bloody a history of ethnic violence as it has a history. Nothing Trump is suggesting is new; you could have heard it 150 years ago from the Know-Nothing Party, or 100 years ago from the more political branches of the Klan, or 50 years ago from the John Birch Society, each with their own variants.

Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is having these successes in the midst of Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of GamerGate; there are powerful movements afoot in our society where groups that were previously excluded are demanding their fair share of the floor, and powerful counter-movements of people who suddenly feel that the one thing they had of their own -- complete dominance of some spaces -- is suddenly being taken away. Trump is a natural mouthpiece for these groups, and he's quite good at it.

(There's some question about whether Trump came out openly in support of GamerGate a few weeks ago, or whether this was just a rogue autoresponder that he let stand, but I would by no means be surprised if he were to say something about it at some point; the complaints of GamerGate align surprisingly well with his rhetoric)

And anyone who watches these issues knows that there is profound violence immediately on deck in all of them. GamerGate was awash in death threats, and a few actual attempts. Black Lives Matter was born in the wake of shootings, and the rate of violence by whites (and especially police) against black youth in this country has hardly decreased. 

You can see another version of this in the part of the Republican press which is highly anti-Trump, not least because Trump is completely disconnected from the party's main political organs. Consider this article by Ben Domenech from The Federalist, which is quite far to the right but unconnected with Trump: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/are-republicans-for-freedom-or-white-identity-politics/ The essential meat of the article is that the party has underestimated Trump's appeal, and in order to curb his lunatic candidacy, the Republican Party should find a better way to express his ideas and so pull his followers back into the mainstream.

And what are these ideas? "White identity politics." Note that the article does not fear that these become part of the Republican platform; it fears that they will become such a large part that they overwhelm the rest of the platform, and so these need to be addressed in a careful way. But there's nothing wrong with pulling them in, Domenech says: "'Identity politics for white people' is not the same thing as 'racism,' nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist."

Pro tip: "identity politics based on racial categories" is actually the dictionary definition of racism, and "identity politics for white people" is the prototype example of the category. Domenech's article isn't about rejecting Trump's racism: it's about finding more socially acceptable ways to express it, so that it can be folded into the party mainstream without taking it over.

For those wondering about Trump from the outside, I can give a simple explanation of his politics: Trump is a classical European far-right party leader. This is why he seems a bit exotic by recent American standards: especially since the 1980's, the American far right has been dominated by the "theological" far right, a very distinctly American political movement which focuses on making the country explicitly into a Fundamentalist Christian country. Trump, although he speaks to a similar (and overlapping) group of people, isn't talking about religion at all; instead, you'll find his politics very similar to that of European far-right politicians, of the sort who like to put "National" in their party names.

On the European spectrum, Trump falls somewhat to the right of Jean-Marie le Pen, perhaps a shade left of the Golden Dawn, and somewhat more populist than Jobbik. If we were running in a parliamentary, rather than presidential, system, he would currently be at the head of a far-right party that was polling in the high teens, and press coverage would be worried about how many seats he would get and whether he would be able to force a coalition to join him. In the US system, he's instead at the head of a far-right wing of a party, and the question is whether he will be able to force the party to adopt his policies wholesale to avoid electoral defeat next year.

So that's the secret thing which this headline hides: Trump was only ever funny if you had never had a reason to be aware of, or to fear, ethnic or sexual violence tacitly supported by the state. 

If you've ever had to be aware of that before, Trump was never a joke.

h/t to +Lauren Weinstein for pointing out the Federalist article.
Win or lose, Trump's campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid
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+Colleen Whitney​​ I think this deserves an experiment.
 
+Kayla Sewell does this mean I can set the temp down to 71 during the day and 66 at night
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I was reading a book which included the phrase "in these days of political correctness..." talking about no longer making jokes that denigrated people for their culture or for the color of their skin.

And I thought, "That's not actually anything to do with political correctness.  That's just treating other people with respect."

I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase "politically correct" wherever we could with "treating other people with respect" and it made me smile.

You should try it.  It's peculiarly enlightening.

I know what you're thinking now.  You're thinking "Oh my god, that's treating other people with respect gone mad!"

-- Neil Gaiman​
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My feelings about the death penalty are fairly complex: I don't have a simple argument that fits neatly into most political narratives. And I suspect that my readers have a fairly wide range of views as well. But I also suspect that there is one thing most of us can agree on: this man is rather frightening, and does not behave in a way that makes me think he is stable enough to be trusted with important responsibilities.

One thing which this highlights is a key article which influenced the recent Supreme Court case on the death penalty, Glossip v. Gross, about the geography of the death penalty: 

https://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/bulr/documents/SMITH_001.pdf

What's stunning is the geographic variation with which it's applied. Rather than measuring at the state level, as most previous studies did, Smith examined the death penalty at the county level, and found that the variation is far greater than previously expected. It turns out that only 121 counties (out of a total of 3,143 in the US) account for 76% of all death sentences; twenty-nine of those counties alone accounted for 44%. 

In the news article below, Smith commented that his study did not actually drill down far enough: in Caddo Parish, for example – one of those most active counties – the death sentences overwhelmingly came from cases prosecuted by one man, in this case, Dale Cox. And these dynamics do indeed seem to be tied to the person rather than the place: for example, when Lynne Abraham left her post as Philadelphia's DA, the rate of death sentences dropped by a factor of three.

The serious consequence of this is that not only is the death penalty being applied nonuniformly by race and class, and by geography, but it appears to be applied in a fashion determined overwhelmingly by the individual personalities of a handful of prosecutors across the country, who are responsible for the large majority of all death sentences. These prosecutors are not systematically in high-crime areas; other prosecutors in adjacent counties, or counties with comparable statistics, show radically incomparable numbers.

This is, in brief, fucked up. If a main function of the law is to render interactions between people more predictable, with known consequences for known actions, then to have this level of variation from county to county, or from prosecutor to prosecutor, destroys that predictability entirely. 

And quite besides that, it would seem that some of the prosecutors in question are of questionable stability. A man who describes his job goal as to "kill more people" (his words, and he has stood by them), who threatens defense counsel when they file opposing motions, and who will gladly give lectures about how (despite sharply declining murder rates) "we've become a jungle" and more killing is needed, does not strike me as the sort of person who necessarily should be in the streets unsupervised, much less acting with the power of life and death over others.

One thing which I feel very strongly about with regards to any form of justice, but especially with the death penalty: If you're going to do it, you have to do it right. This is not, by any standard, doing it right.
Dale Cox, the acting district attorney in Caddo Parish, La., has secured more than a third of Louisiana’s death sentences over the past five years.
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The perpetrator of yesterday's terrorist strike was captured a few hours ago, and the bodies of the dead have not yet been buried, and already I'm seeing a refrain pop up in news coverage and in people's comments: How do we understand this killer? What made him turn out this way? Was he mentally ill, was he on drugs, was he abused, was he influenced by someone in his life? Were his motivations about politics, religion, personal relationships, psychological? We can't form opinions about why he did this yet; we shouldn't assume that, just because [insert thing here], it was about race.

You might mistake this, at first, for a genuine interest in understanding the motivations that would turn a young man into a terrorist and a mass murderer. But when other kinds of terrorists -- say, Muslims from Afghanistan -- commit atrocities, the very same people who are asking these questions are asking completely different ones: Why are Muslims so violent? What is it in Islam that makes them so prone to hating America, hating Christianity, hating Freedom?

I think that there are two, very important, things going on here. The more basic one is that, when terrorists are from a group you've never met, it's far easier to ascribe their behavior to the whole group; if it's from a group you know, and you know that the average member of that group isn't malicious or bloodthirsty, then people start asking individual questions. 

But the more important one is that the group that this terrorist belonged to was not merely familiar: it's the same group to which most of the people asking the questions belong. Not merely the same broad group -- "Muslims" and "Christians" are groups of over a billion people each, groups far too broad to have any deep commonalities -- but a far narrower group, a group with a common culture. And there's a reason that people don't want to ask "What is it about this group that caused it:" because in this case, there's a real answer.

The picture you see below is of the Confederate flag which the state of South Carolina flies on the grounds of its state house, and has ever since 1962. (That's 1962, not 1862: it was put there in response to the Civil Rights movement, not to the Civil War) Today, all of the state flags in that state are at half mast; only the Confederate flag is flying at full mast.

The state government itself is making explicit its opinion on the matter: while there may be formal mourning for the dead, this is a day when the flag of white supremacy can fly high. When even the government, in its formal and official behavior, condones this, can we really be surprised that terrorists are encouraged? (Terrorists, plural, as this is far from an isolated incident; even setting aside the official and quasi-official acts of governments, the history of terror attacks and even pogroms in this country is utterly terrifying)

Chauncey DeVega asked some excellent questions in his article at Salon (http://goo.gl/3AZWy7); among them,

1. What is radicalizing white men to commit such acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings? Are Fox News and the right-wing media encouraging violence?

6. When will white leadership step up and stop white right-wing domestic terrorism?

7. Is White American culture pathological? Why is White America so violent?

8. Are there appropriate role models for white men and boys? Could better role models and mentoring help to prevent white men and boys from committing mass shootings and being seduced by right-wing domestic terrorism?

The callout of Fox News in particular is not accidental: they host more hate-filled preachers and advocates of violence, both circuitous and explicit, than Al Jazeera. 

There is a culture which has advocated, permitted, protected, and enshrined terrorists in this country since its founding. Its members and advocates are not apologetic in their actions; they only complain that they might be "called racist," when clearly they aren't, calling someone racist is just a way to shut down their perfectly reasonable conversation and insult them, don't you know?

No: This is bullshit, plain and simple. It is a culture which believes that black and white Americans are not part of the same polity, that they must be kept apart, and that the blacks must be and remain subservient. That robbing or murdering them is permissible, that quiet manipulations of the law to make sure that "the wrong people" don't show up in "our neighborhoods," or take "our money," or otherwise overstep their bounds, are not merely permissible, but the things that we do in order to keep society going. That black faces and bodies are inherently threatening, and so both police and private citizens have good reason to be scared when they see them, so that killing them -- whether they're young men who weren't docile enough at a traffic stop or young children playing in the park -- is at most a tragic, but understandable, mistake.

I have seen this kind of politics before. I watch a terrorist attack on a black church in Charleston, and it gives me the same fear that I get when I see a terrorist attack against a synagogue: the people who come after one group will come after you next.

This rift -- this seeing our country as being built of two distinct polities, with the success of one having nothing to do with the success of the other or of the whole -- is the poison which has been eating at the core of American society for centuries. It is the origin of our most bizarre laws, from weapons laws to drug policies to housing policy, and to all of the things which upon rational examination appear simply perverse. How many of the laws which seem to make no sense make perfect sense if you look at them on the assumption that their real purpose is to enforce racial boundaries? I do not believe that people are stupid: I do not believe that lawmakers pass laws that go against their stated purpose because they can't figure that out. I believe that they pass laws, and that people encourage and demand laws, because consciously or subconsciously, they know what kind of world they will create.

We tend to reserve the word "white supremacy" for only the most extreme organizations, the ones who are far enough out there that even the fiercest "mainstream" advocates of racism can claim no ties to them. But that, ultimately, is bullshit as well. This is what it is, this is the culture which creates, and encourages, and coddles terrorists. And until we have excised this from our country, it will poison us every day.

First and foremost, what we need to do is discuss it. If there's one thing I've seen, it's that discussing race in my posts is the most inflammatory thing I could possibly do: people become upset when I mention it, say I'm "making things about race" or trying to falsely imply that they're racists or something like that. 

When there's something you're afraid to discuss, when there's something that upsets you when it merely comes onto the table: That's the thing you need to talk about. That's the thing that has to come out there, in the open.

We've entered a weird phase in American history where overt statements of racism are forbidden, so instead people go to Byzantine lengths to pretend that that isn't what it is. But that just lets the worm gnaw deeper. Sunshine is what lets us move forward.

And the flag below? So long as people can claim with a straight face that this is "just about heritage," that it isn't somehow a blatant symbol of racism, we know that there is bullshit afloat in our midst.

The flag itself needs to come down; not with ceremony, it simply needs to be taken down, burned, and consigned to the garbage bin.
"The stars and bars promised lynching, police violence against protestors and others. And violence against churches."
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"What's worse, public use of this drug has become widely accepted in some circles. In New Orleans, several men and women in their 20s and 30s shouted that they're going to get "wasted" — a slang term for coming under the effects of alcohol. Some have even turned drinking alcohol into a game that involves ping pong balls and cups."

Brilliant.
Meet alcohol, the drug making people run around nude and collapse in the streets.
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Very useful information from a few Google Researchers including one on my team. Definitely take a look at which side you fall on. There are a lot of good password managers out there, including Google Chrome's own password manager and the Mac OS X keychain. Personally, I use +LastPass to keep my passwords in sync across all platforms and browsers. Use what feels right for you, but for your own sake, please use something. Sticky notes on your monitor are not a good strategy.
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On what the Charleston shooting was REALLY about

Rick Perry referred to it was an "accident" and probably involved overuse of prescription drugs: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-perry-charleston-shooting-accident-due-drug-use-manipulated-obama-ban-guns

Michael Savage thought it might be drugs, too. Or maybe a government assassin: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/michael-savage-maybe-charleston-shooter-was-set-loose-government

But Rick Santorum said it was all about attacks on religious liberty: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/06/18/rick-santorum-reacting-to-charleston-shooting-denounces-assaults-on-our-religious-liberty/

Fox & Friends agreed, it might very well be part of the ongoing attacks on Christians: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/18/fox_and_friends_on_charleston_shooting_it_s_extraordinary_that_they_re_calling.html

Regardless of the motivation, we know why it turned out as tragic as it did ... because the church was a "gun-free zone": http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/06/18/gun-free-zones-easy-target-for-killers.html

Brian Fischer confirms the shooting took place because it was a "gun-free zone": https://twitter.com/BryanJFischer/status/611530746625421312

Fox & Friends is definitely behind the idea that more guns would have averted the tragedy: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/18/fox-amp-friends-exploits-south-carolina-church/204046

Mike Huckabee definitely thinks the prayer group should have been packing: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mike-huckabee-charleston-shooting-couldve-been-prevented-if-church-members-were-armed

Yup, no question that it was because the church was a "gun-free zone": http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/18/discredited-gun-researcher-john-lott-botches-sc/204052

And one NRA board member makes it clear that it was actually the fault of the killed pastor of the church because of his support for gun control laws: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/18/nra-board-member-blames-murdered-reverend-for-d/204057

It surely had nothing to do with why a guy would wear a jacket with the flags of white-minority-government Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa on it, nor how he was able to get a gun because of loopholes in the law in South Carolina. That's just crazy talk.
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This is absolutely worth reading.
 
I occasionally will write a long article. This article is, I have to say, longer than even what I would write. But it explains a tremendous number of really important things extremely clearly: power production and use, the history of cars, how these things all fit together, and how Tesla is trying to change that. There's no way I could give you a useful short summary, because the point of this article is that, by the time you're done reading it, you'll understand all of the things well enough that you can join in very serious conversations about them.

So don't feel compelled to read this at one sitting -- but this is an article you may want to bookmark, and read bit by bit, because by the time you reach the end, you'll have learned a lot.
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A programmer turned Labor Board investigator with a love of potted plants, aquariums, smart phones and Chinese food.
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Shopping here has been one of my favorite shopping experiences ever. There were sample hammocks hung everywhere and my wife and I tested every single one. The manager we worked with was incredibly nice and very helpful, and is perhaps my favorite salesperson of all time. We ended up buying an 'Admiral' size hammock, a wonderfully soft but weatherproof long pillow, and a mosquito net. I don't care if you can save a few bucks buying similar duracord hammocks from Amazon. This is the place to buy.
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Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
The staff is always friendly and helpful, and the selection is surprisingly good for a small store. It's a lot closer than the nearby Lowe's and Home Depot super centers, so I visit frequently to purchase last minute project supplies.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Always a consistently positive experience for me. I can only speak to the quality of the sushi, but in my experience it is the best in the city. The sushi rice is perfection, and the chefs take great care with the preparation. The atmosphere of the sushi bar is especially good. I love those guys!
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
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This complex is of the finest I have ever seen. I've been here since early 2012, and I am very pleased with the quality of my unit and with how friendly the managers are. The complex is only a few years old, and you can definitely tell by looking the walls, closets and fixtures. Shiny! There is a definite difference between the units here and those I checked out at nearby complexes. They're always very timely with repairs and I appreciate the little touches like the occasional free doughnut on my way to work. The grounds are always clean and quiet, and the community seems to be a very mature and responsible one. I'm sure it depends on your neighbor (this is a fairly large complex), but I have never been bothered by loud music, and the neighbors are never rowdy. I suspect the other reviewer may have just had a bad neighbor. It happens. In the summer, the pool is great and well maintained, and Bethabra park is almost exactly a mile's walk down the road. Do yourself a favor and put this place on your list of apartments to check out. Also, it's probably good to pay your rent on time. I should note that the one time that I was late on rent (a day past the final due date), I was forgiven and wasn't even charged a late fee.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I've stopped by several times now, and the sushi has been excellent every time. I've been to four or five other sushi places all over the city, but this one is the best. Their spicy salmon and tuna rolls are phenomenal, and rice in the sushi is perfect. I'd recommend this place hands down.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago