SYSBYRT

Great Lines: The White Terrorism Edition

Yesterday was one of the most shameful days in American history. We saw a group of domestic terrorists storm the Capitol and face no real consequences. This country is broken, and I don’t know how we can fix it.


First, the great and now resurrected Today In Tabs newsletter perfectly described Kelly Loeffler:

The less-surprising race was between the Reverend Raphael Warnock, holder of at least two Masters degrees and one Doctorate and pastor at Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church, and incumbent Kelly Loeffler, a coat rack brought to life by an evil wizard, dressed up in a trucker hat, and gifted a Senate seat. Loeffler's main accomplishments are being married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and buying shares in a bodybag producer when she heard about the coming pandemic. Loeffler, who is so egregiously villainous that the players on the WNBA team she owns have been wearing "Vote Warnock" t-shirts, has so far refused to concede the race. At press time she was sitting down to her customary breakfast of Dalmation puppies and was unavailable for comment.


Second, this is what the police are about:


Third, this is the epitome of the privilege of the white terrorists from today:

whitey

Crow bodyguard liability

I accidentally created an army of crow body guards. Am I liable if my murder attempts murder?:

To make a long story short, im a late 20 something living in portland oregon. I had a pretty intense emo/goth phase as a tween that i thought i had grown out of.

A couple months ago, i was watching a nature program on our local station about crows. The program mentioned that if you feed and befriend them, crows will bring you small gifts. My emo phase came back full force and i figured that i was furloughed and had lots of time- so why not make some crow friends.

My plan worked a little too well and the resident 5 crows in my neighborhood have turned into an army 15 strong. At first my neighbors didnt mind and enjoyed it. They're mostly elderly and most were in a bird watching club anyway. They thought the fact that i had crows following me around whenever i go outside was funny.

Lately, the crows have started defending me. My neighbor came over for a socially distanced chat (me on my porch her in my yard) and the crows started dive bombing her. They would not stop until she left my yard.

They didnt make physical contact with her, but they got very close.

Am i liable if these crows injure someone since i fed them? I obviously cant control the crows. I would rather them not attack my neighbors. But since i technically created this nuisance, could i be financially on the hook for any injuries?

To be clear, they're not agressive 100% of the time. If just the neighbors are out they are friendly normal crows. They only get aggressive when someone gets close to me or my property.

ETA: TL;DR- I have turned into Moira Rose, queen of the crows. My inadvertent crow army has gotten aggressive towards others. If they hurt someone could i be held liable?

ETA PT II: I did not train these birds to attack. Also thank you for all of your awards. Im glad my stupid decisions bring you joy. Please consider donating that money to your local Audubon society instead

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Joe Biden Is Right: For America to Heal, We Must Find Common Ground With Trump Supporters

Joe Biden Is Right: For America to Heal, We Must Find Common Ground With Trump Supporters:

TO STEAL ALL THE REMOTE CONTROLS AND SHOELACES FROM THEIR HOMES TO GRAB THEIR HANDS WHILE THEY’RE SLEEP AND PLACE THEM IN A BUCKET OF WARM WATER CAUSE I HEARD THAT MAKES PEOPLE PISS THE BED AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE IF THAT WOULD REALLY HAPPEN I’LL REACH OUT THE WAY TOMMY REACHED OUT TO BILLY BATTS THE WAY OMAR REACHED OUT TO STRINGER BELL

There is very little we can do to bridge the gap with people who are dedicated to creating their own reality.

Tofu

Muneer: I knew a dude in college who used to eat tofu submerged in maple syrup for breakfast.
Lisette: I assume that man is in prison today.
Muneer: He cut me out of his life in 2008.
Lisette: You mean he liberated you from his life in 2008.

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White people smell

I never knew about this before, but some people say that white people smell like wet dog when it rains...

wetdog

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King Ralph in real life

Muneer: I just want the Supreme Court nomination ceremony to end up being like the opening scene in King Ralph.
Steve: That takes me back.
Muneer: Instead of it all happening at once, it can happen over a few weeks or months.
Muneer: But at the end of the day, a Canadian named Gordie Ashton will be named president. He will bring moose and Tim Hortons along with social programs.
Lisette: Haaa.
Steve: I, for one, welcome our Canadian overlords.
Muneer: Brought up my King Ralph scenario to some pals at work. They pointed out that Gordie Ashton is ineligible to be the president since he's Canadian.
I feel like Gordie being the illegitimate son of a rogue American diplomat confers automatic American citizenship upon him.
Lisette: Yeah there’s a little thing called dual citizenship. Tired of these birthers.
Muneer: Exactly!!

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A dream?

fishtank

Jalen Rose, about Jimmy Butler's boombox shaped fish tank:

This is one of those black dreams gone wrong"

Great Lines: The Anti-Vaxxer Edition

This week, I present an excerpt from a book called Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement. I’ve often wrestled with a person I know from law school who can’t distinguish between scientific/medical facts and legal facts. This is a good summation of the difference:

Legal rulings have no bearing on scientific and medical truth. Like scientists, legal professionals are interested in finding the truth (well, at least sometimes). However, the means that the legal profession uses to arrive at decisions are different from those used in science. In a legal ruling, a decision must be reached. In scientific inquiry, the starting point of every investigation, “I don’t know,” is the default epistemological standpoint, and most common endpoint for an investigation. There are not specific rules that scientists must follow to the letter while evaluating evidence; however, there are heuristics and scientific virtues that scientists follow and apply when conducting, evaluating, and peer reviewing evidence. Results published in the scientific literature are not considered to be final but may at any time be reconsidered in the light of additional evidence, conflicting experiments, or new discoveries. Only rarely does a scientific proposition rise to the point where it is considered to be a “theory,” which is accepted to be true pending further evidence, or a new model that better explains existing data. Legal rulings by the VICP do not determine scientific truth; rather, they determine if a case presented meets the standards set out in law. These standards are often flawed and partial.

Stephen Jackson Wedding Story

This is a cautionary tale. I'm not saying all women are gold diggers. But as Stephen Jackson says, you need to be aware of who you lie down with:

Great Lines: The Focus Edition

Our brains are ravaged by a constant barrage of information. We aren’t meant to be in a state of such constant and persistent stimulation. I’ve really gotten into Cal Newport over the past few years. I highly recommend reading his books. He talks about the need for people to focus so they can do deep, meaningful work.

This past week, Newport ran a series of posts for Focus Week on his blog. I recommend reading all of them. Here are some excerpts:

First, give your brain some breathing room:

To summarize, in my proposed scheme, you engage with the world of digital information only twice a day: once in the morning, and (perhaps) once in the evening. Outside these brief moments of anxious consumption, you focus instead on living well.

Second, rediscover depth:

… read two chapters from a book every day; with at least one of the chapters read in a scenic or otherwise interesting setting.

Finally, take control of your time:

At the heart of my advice is a simple recommendation: take control of your time. To be more concrete, when thinking about your work day, I suggest that you give every minute a job.

Boyz II Men

This is my favorite GIF to put into a group chat at random:

boyz

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Great Lines: The Frankenghoul Edition

I know someone who thinks the world is controlled by the Deep State. I wish there was a Deep State, because then perhaps we could talk to someone to see how the election will go.


First, a good explanation of alternative medicine vs. quackery:

Good alternative medicine can be any variety of new treatments, including those derived from plant sources, as long as it is still evidence-based and rooted in the scientific process. Bad alternative medicine ignores evidence in favor of hunches and fears.


Second, Drew Magary on MLB’s season restarting:

I was set for the dominoes to fall and for MLB to abandon a season that they clearly hadn’t adequately planned for. But I failed to account for MLB’s commitment to evil and incompetence…


Third, the best description of Betsy DeVos I’ve seen yet:

Education Secretary/Frankenghoul Betsy DeVos has demanded schools reopen this fall, and White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that science — which is, you know, taught in school — “should not stand in the way” of such decisions.

Great Lines: The Protest Pup Edition

I really appreciate the fact that we’re getting more aware of the racist core of our society. But, we must be careful to not let ourselves become as terrible as those we oppose. There are some good quotes about the so-called liberal media below.


First, Matt Taibbi makes some good points about the “liberal” media:

The media in the last four years has devolved into a succession of moral manias. We are told the Most Important Thing Ever is happening for days or weeks at a time, until subjects are abruptly dropped and forgotten, but the tone of warlike emergency remains: from James Comey’s firing, to the deification of Robert Mueller, to the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, to the democracy-imperiling threat to intelligence “whistleblowers,” all those interminable months of Ukrainegate hearings (while Covid-19 advanced), to fury at the death wish of lockdown violators, to the sudden reversal on that same issue, etc.

It’s been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous.


Second, Drew Magary watched “Gone With The Wind”:

This is a raw look at how white filmmakers and white audiences thought, back in 1939. Going by that Amazon spike, this is what many white audiences want to watch right now. Being fanned by slaves represents the good old days for them. No wonder so many wingnuts rushed to prop up this Kentucky Derby party of a movie.

Drew’s take on Scarlett O’Hara:

She’s dead inside. She’s clinging to a sepia-toned past that she cannot resurrect, but is willing to kill on the off-chance she might be able to. Remind you of other people you know?


Third, there are some very impressive dogs out there, fighting the power all day e’ryday:

The hound always seems to side with the protesters, whatever the dispute." He was also "unfazed even by water cannon[s]" and "appear[s] to be immune to the effects of tear gas…

…the dog we're talking about is called "Negro Matapacos" or "Black Cop-Killer" (because he's black and dislikes cop, not because he's racist).

Why college students want to go back to campus

This comment from Reddit describes why college students want to go back to campus:

Yes, I am coming back to Westwood.

Why?

For the sex.

There was a thread a while back that asked everyone why they were coming back. In said post, it seemed like OP’s intention was to shame everyone for overlooking the risks of spreading the virus. The OP in that thread couldn't fathom why anyone would want to move back to live on or near campus for the Fall. To me, however, the motivations driving this phenomenon are clear.

The thing is that, while many responded to the thread with benign and innocuous explanations, I believe a primary, albeit relatively unspoken motivation, is that people simply miss the casual sex or the potential thereof that is afforded by being in a college environment.

If you think about what living in Westwood--or any college town for that matter--entails, it becomes clear how unique the situation we're in truly is. For most of us, at no point in our lives will we again be in an environment that affords such freedom: freedom of movement, association, and sexuality without the freight of certain aspects of life that materialize as we grow old: marriage, kids, career, mortgages, declining libido, etc. At this moment many of us can do whatever we want, relatively. I mean, as one example, people are throwing block parties and lighting fires in the street and then waking up the next day like nothing happened. I can’t imagine us having the freedom or ability to that stuff at age 35, not to mention the motivation.

Think about it.

You're living among tens of thousands of (generally) same-aged, good-looking, like-minded, horny young adults all within a 1-2 mile radius. Mind you, this is all happening essentially unsupervised. There are no parents or guardians to enforce where you can be, go, or do. The only supervision are RAs or other housing officials. Other than that, their willingness to give a fuck about what you do is only a function of how far you conspicuously step out of line according to their policies. Aside from this, you're left to your own devices. For students livings in apartments, the amount of supervision falls drastically in comparison. They are bogged down and hindered even less by the rules and policies of those on the Hill. You’re in the in-between stage transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. A stage where our respective psychosocial moratoriums lead us to try new things and take bold leaps in the search to settle on our new identities. The lack of supervision, mixed with this new freedom, plus the ubiquity of horny people all around you is a strong draw. Sex is inevitable. And lots of it, too.

Overall a majority of students living near UCLA are free to do whatever - free of the restriction and supervision they would otherwise be subject to from their family and community back home. My contention is that this in essence makes UCLA one giant orgy. It's like a marketplace for ''free'' casual sex for those who meet a minimum threshold, i.e. social and sexual competence. Even for those who aren't as skilled in this department, such as myself, the simple lure or promise of such activity can evoke within them a strong urge to remain present in the environment so that they may be able to compete and potentially receive a sliver of the big steamy sex pie that is UCLA.

Whether folks realize or care to admit it, I believe this is one of the bigger motivations for wanting to come back. Being at UCLA means having sex. Now, whether these desires actually come to fruition for many of us is a different story. But, regardless, opportunities are abundant if you know how to maneuver yourself socially, which makes UCLA a desirable place to be, notwithstanding whether classes are in a physical classroom or not. The social and therefore sexual opportunities are abundant wherever you’re in a place with few restrictions, little supervision, where a large number of similarly situated individuals all live.

But COVID ruins everything - almost.

When you imagine the amount of sex that will not happen at UCLA that otherwise would’ve happened barring the existence of COVID-19, the numbers are staggering. Simply estimate the total number of sexual interactions that occurred between students in any given year at UCLA as a result of their being at UCLA; let’s assume that we're talking about thousands upon thousands of individual sex acts in any given year and that they’re fairly consistent from year to year. Now imagine a spread sheet of data that lists every sexual act committed by horny Bruin across West LA in, let’s say, 2019, e.g. blow jobs, hand jobs, anal sex, fingering, regular penetration, ass eating, etc. You now have a A LOT of data points that could fill a huge spreadsheet. You’d be scrolling all day through all these data until it hit you:

Gasp UCLA is one freaking giant orgy, Eric was right.

That in mind, it’s safe to say that a lot of sex is usually had at UCLA. Let’s make up a number and assume it’s 45,000 acts of sex that are facilitated because of one’s presence at or near UCLA in a normal year. (Idk, I’m just making assumptions, bear with me.)

What kind of a drop in sexual activity might there be because of COVID? 60% less sex? 70%? 80%? The gathering of students and the activities that foster these dyadic interactions are severely reduced in capacity or cancelled altogether, e.g. parties, club events, libraries, dorms, classroom interactions, study groups, random interactions, gyms, etc. So if you take a population like those living on the hill and assume that 15,000 acts of sex occurred there last year, well now because of COVID, we’re talking about thousands of sex acts that will no longer happen as “planned.” For instance, 5,000 blow jobs on the hill will be reduced to about 1,000 if you assume an 80% drop.

In other words, there are a lot of scheduled blow jobs and hand jobs that will NOT be occurring because of COVID-19. Let’s keep in mind that many of these blow jobs exist in a vacuum. In other words, they only exist or would’ve existed if students were on the hill as normal at max capacity. These acts of sex won’t be made up anywhere else, which means many students will be severely missing out, and will never get those opportunities back. A lot of us know this. We fear this. We don’t like this potential outcome. So, we want to come back to take a sliver of the shrinking but still yielding sex pie at UCLA because it’s better than nothing. It might be a smaller orgy, but it’s still an orgy nonetheless.

Now, there’s an argument to be made that if you’re competent enough, you’ll get sex no matter what. And therefore the lost sex acts I assume in my analysis will be made up by students at home, in their hometowns, through dating apps and such. This is reportedly easier if you’re a woman. And that, overall, it doesn’t matter if you’re at UCLA or not. The sex that was going to happen will still be had. On the other hand, while that may be true to an extent--and the case for some--for many others there are far too many social, psychological, familial and physical hindrances that will prevent them from having the same sexual opportunities at home compared to UCLA. Being here is the great facilitator for many. And you lose these affordances once you exit the environment. Thus, I believe there will be a significant amount of sex and sexual opportunities that will be ripped from us because of COVID and our inability to be at UCLA or gather in the same manner as before.

That said, I wonder what this means for our mental health? Will the drop in sexual activity lead to students being even more depressed? I’d like to see someone do a study on the impact of COVID on sexual activity on college campuses and the subsequent effects on mental health. I think it's an important topic worth delving into.

In all, I believe this is one of the bigger motivations for wanting to come back to live in Westwood. People simply want to have sex and fear missing out. And I’m definitely no exception.

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Great Lines: The I Don't Make Very Much Edition

In 2010, Matt Taibbi went to a Tea Party rally and saw the people who later voted Trump into office:

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn’t a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — “Government’s not the solution! Government’s the problem!” — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

“The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.”

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.

“I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”

“OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”

“Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”

I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”

Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!

“Let me get this straight,” I say to David. “You’ve been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?”

“Well,” he says, “there’s a lot of people on welfare who don’t deserve it. Too many people are living off the government.”

“But,” I protest, “you live off the government. And have been your whole life!”

“Yeah,” he says, “but I don’t make very much.”

Great Lines: The Killer Mike Edition

First, Matt Taibbi talks about the politicization of facts:

We’ve become incapable of talking calmly about possible solutions because we’ve lost the ability to decouple scientific or policy discussions, or simple issues of fact, from a political argument. Reporting on the Covid-19 crisis has become the latest in a line of moral manias with Donald Trump in the middle.


Second, Thomas Frank on the strange reversing of populism over the ages:

What does it tell us when liberals, faced with epic political corruption, spectacular bank misbehavior, and towering inequality, take that opportunity to declare war on populism? It tells us that they’ve lost any sense of their own movement as an expression of the vast majority. It tells us they have no idea why they believe they should be entrusted with power in the first place. And it reminds us that their particular brand of class-based self-delusion is a luxury that the rest of us can ill afford.


Third, a great profile of Killer Mike includes solid advice such as:

By then, Mike's father had already joined and left the Atlanta Police Department. His instructions to his son on how to survive were just as simple: “You see the police riding north, just walk south.

Great Lines: The Trump Rally Edition

First, Drew Magary went to a Trump rally back in 2016. His base hasn’t changed much since then:

“I know the greatest negotiators in the world,” he said. “Now some of these people are horrible human beings. You wouldn’t have them to dinner. They’re vicious. They’re crude. They’re unhappy. They treat everybody badly. Who cares? I want them negotiating against China. Think of Carl Icahn, a friend of mine. He’d be great. I’d say, ‘Carl, take China’.”

Now, people applauded this, which alarmed me because (A) Who has friends like this? And (B) Sending a vicious, crude, unhappy person who treats everyone badly to go yell FUCK YOU at the Chinese strikes me as unwise.

But a Trump rally isn’t about thinking more than half a second ahead. There is a first BOLD step, and then you are left to assume that everything else will fall neatly into place. In Trump’s white-trash, Louis XIV universe, all you see is the pretty gold paint before it starts chipping off the walls.


Second, Matt Taibbi talks about policing in America:

Basically we have two systems of enforcement in America, a minimalist one for people with political clout, and an intrusive one for everyone else.

Great Lines: The Look Good Edition

First, a great quote from Deion Sanders:

"If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good."


Second, a man plays “The Boys Are Back In Town” on a bar’s jukebox until he gets kicked out:

I left with a full heart, flush with new knowledge about the town, and the boys within it, who now would never leave, and word of whom I had spread around. I would also be severely late to work the next morning


Third, H.L. Mencken once said something about the American public that’s still very applicable:

Here [in the United States] the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head, and is thrown willy-nilly into a meager and exclusive aristocracy.

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