evilsofa + politics   130

Britain can’t be reborn while we’re still lost in fantasies about the past | Brexit | The Guardian
But awoken from our dreamtimes by the smelling salts of economic reality, Britain might go the other way and begin the process that would see us start to decolonise our history and our self-image. Through such a process, Britain would, in effect, become the last country to leave the British empire.
politics  uk  colonialism 
5 days ago by evilsofa
Theresa May shows clean pair of heels as the Usain Bolt of failure | Politics | The Guardian
We are well past the point where we can expect to be no better informed at the end of one of the prime minister’s speeches than we were when she started. We’re now actually going backwards. Every time Lino speaks, we actually know less than we did when we started. Time’s Arrow. Politics at faster than the speed of light, where the best chance of leaving the EU is to race back to the early 1970s when we were never in it.
uk  politics 
8 weeks ago by evilsofa
A student in Boston wrote, 'I am from Hong Kong.' An onslaught of Chinese anger followed. - HoustonChronicle.com

Hui penned a column at Emerson's student paper, titled "I am from Hong Kong, not China." She opened with the line: "I am from a city owned by a country I don't belong to."

It was soon followed by an intense and, at times, threatening backlash from mainland Chinese students at her college.
china  hongkong  politics 
11 weeks ago by evilsofa
The black feminists behind #YourSlipIsShowing, a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color with the fake hashtag #EndFathersDay.
Exposing #EndFathersDay ultimately took the work of a group of black women who were determined not to let the ruse spiral, sensing just how poisonous this kind of trolling could be. And yet, in the years since, even as journalists have publicly asked themselves how they missed the rising threat posed by far-right extremists radicalized online, somehow one of the earliest crowdsourced anti-misinformation campaigns on the internet has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media. To I’N...
race  racism  harassment  politics  feminism  misogynoir 
april 2019 by evilsofa
I hate what they’ve done to almost everyone in my family

I wish I could do something, but who has the time or energy to combat that? And how the hell do you reteach someone to have empathy?

My pastor says “progress is made one funeral at a time” and it’s hard to disagree with him at this point.
usa  politics  foxnews  propaganda 
april 2019 by evilsofa
Time’s Up | Charlotte Shane
“We do not expect a man to put others first,” McGann writes. “Assertiveness, decisiveness, and command of others are all considered positive qualities.” Considered positive by whom, I must ask; voters who’d be impressed by a candidate’s refusal to “put others first” sound to me like Donald Trump’s base. But liberal feminists are stuck in the mindset that if a man gets away with it, a woman should, too—or, worse, that acting “like a man” is what feminism is all about. 
feminism  politics  usa  sexism 
march 2019 by evilsofa
scary lawyerguy on Twitter: "Thread: With Bernie about to announce his second run for President, I wanted to explain why I don't support him. Before I get into that, I will say that if he wins the nomination I *will* vote for him in the general b/c I'm no
Ironically, it's kind of like being in a union. You pay your dues and you get benefits from being part of the group. Bernie availed himself of the party name & the opportunity to have a much bigger platform *for himself*
usa  politics 
february 2019 by evilsofa
US proposal for defining gender has no basis in science
The idea that science can make definitive conclusions about a person’s sex or gender is fundamentally flawed. Just ask sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which have struggled with this for decades. In the 1960s, concerned that men would compete in women’s events, officials tried classifying athletes through genital exams — an intrusive and humiliating process. DNA tests that check for the presence of a Y chromosome did not prove reliable, either: people with XY chromosomes can have female characteristics owing to conditions including an inability to respond to testosterone.
usa  trans  lgbtq  politics 
december 2018 by evilsofa
At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions.
Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.

In both instances, we had manipulated a deeper underlying reason for political attitudes, the strength of the basic motivation of safety and survival. 
politics  psychology 
december 2018 by evilsofa
Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe - The Atlantic
If you believe, as my old friends now believe, that Poland will be better off if it is ruled by people who deserve to rule—because they loudly proclaim a certain kind of patriotism, because they are loyal to the party leader, or because they are, echoing the words of Kaczyński himself, a “better sort of Pole”—then a one-party state is actually more fair than a competitive democracy. Why should different parties be allowed to compete on an even playing field if only one of them has the moral righ...
authoritarianism  politics  poland  history  democracy  fascism 
october 2018 by evilsofa
'It's nothing like a broken leg': why I'm done with the mental health conversation | Society | The Guardian
Like the rest of the population, I instinctively love the NHS, from the junior doctors to the consultants to the community psychiatric nurses.

But, really, if you asked me right now? I hate the NHS. I hate the thin film of skin on its bones. It is incompetent and ailing. I used to blame the system. Mostly it is the system: those never-ending cuts and closures; the bureaucracy; the constant snafus of communication; the government’s contempt for staff.

But sometimes, that system gets...
nhs  politics  mentalhealth  uk 
july 2018 by evilsofa
Washington Monthly | Trumpists Are Suffering the Free Market Consequences Of Being Deplorable
 The real situation is the reverse: conservatives want the social and economic benefits that come from ecumenical urbanism, but they want to retain the deep bigotries and social privileges that come from provincialism. They want the right to enact zoning and social policies that discriminate against protected class minorities in their own communities, but they want not to suffer the cultural consequences of those views in liberal cities.
usa  politics 
june 2018 by evilsofa
How Free Speech Warriors Mainstreamed White Supremacists
There is a magnitude of difference between protecting an individual's legal right to free speech and taking the further step of uncritically promoting white-supremacist propaganda in mainstream platforms. These are dog whistles made into megaphones
freespeech  altright  whitesupremacy  racism  usa  politics 
may 2018 by evilsofa
The incontinent fury of the Brexiters who rage against everything British | Andrew Rawnsley | Opinion | The Guardian
If Britain had ever found the time and energy to write itself a rational constitution, we would have a more democratically legitimate upper house of parliament. Then again, if Britain had ever got round to writing itself a rational constitution, it wouldn’t have embarked on something with such seismic and far-reaching consequences as Brexit on the basis of a narrow majority of voters representing a minority of the total electorate in one plebiscite on one particular Thursday in one p...
politics  uk  brexit 
may 2018 by evilsofa
Dispelling “the Malthus myth” – International Socialism
From the publication of his first writings, Malthus’ ideas rapidly made it into the mainstream. Eugenicists tacked on their ideas of racial superiority to Malthusian concerns and the resultant poisonous mix made the perfect ideology to justify colonialism and empire. Malthus himself had become the first professor of political economy, teaching a generation of future administrators of empire about the “perils of overpopulation” and the “pointlessness of charity”. Charles Trevelyan, wh...
society  malthus  politics 
may 2018 by evilsofa
Thanos Didn't Have a Point and Someone Should Tell the Writers - The Fandomentals
At this moment, there is a bit of a global hysteria regarding immigration and refugees. As the effects of climate change worsen, the need for populations to move to new countries is only going to increase too. That’s kind of what happens when areas become uninhabitable. It is really, really important that people understand issues of poverty are not because there’s “too many people” in the world, but because resources are inadequately distributed.
marvel  infinitywar  politics 
may 2018 by evilsofa
Gary Younge
Arriving in 1961 (in the same year as my parents and coming from the same place) when Barbados was not yet independent, Braithwaite was effectively a British subject when he arrived and his parents would have had passports to that effect. To find himself treated in this way is not just a violation of natural justice – it is an abdication of Britain’s historical responsibility. Since he arrived before 1973, he has an automatic and permanent right to remain. He has violated no law; it ...
uk  racism  immigration  politics 
april 2018 by evilsofa
Opinion | YouTube, the Great Radicalizer - The New York Times
"What keeps people glued to YouTube? Its algorithm seems to have concluded that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with — or to incendiary content in general."
youtube  politics  culture  advertising  tech 
march 2018 by evilsofa
Has Anyone Seen the President? - Bloomberg
This moment is why 40 journalists have spent more than an hour standing in the cold. “Davos was really, really great,” Trump says. “Our country’s doing great. A lot of money is coming into our country. We have many, many people from Davos bringing that money over here. I think it was a very successful trip.” He sounds just like he tweets.
usa  politics  trump 
march 2018 by evilsofa
Waiting for a Perfect Protest? - NYTimes.com
A 1961 Gallup poll revealed that 57 percent of the public thought that lunch counter sit-ins and other demonstrations would hurt integration efforts. A 1963 poll showed that 60 percent had an unfavorable feeling toward the planned March on Washington, where Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. A year later, 74 percent said that since black people had made some progress, they should stop their demonstrations; and by 1969, 74 percent said that marching, picketing and demonstrations were hurting the civil rights cause. As for Dr. King personally, the figure who current moderates most readily point to as a model, 50 percent of people polled in 1966 thought that he was hurting the civil rights movement; only 36 percent believed he was helping.
race  politics  mlk 
september 2017 by evilsofa
Tolerance is not a moral precept – Extra Newsfeed
[Tolerance] is an agreement to live in peace, not an agreement to be peaceful no matter the conduct of others. A peace treaty is not a suicide pact.
tolerance  politics  ethics  history 
august 2017 by evilsofa
10 ways white people are more racist than they realize - Salon.com
The study authors write: “[O]ur most startling finding is that many whites actually become more supportive of the death penalty upon learning that it discriminates against blacks.”
racism  race  bias  justice  politics  whiteness 
august 2017 by evilsofa
Real Men Might Get Made Fun Of - The New York Times
The “dirtbag left,” in contrast to these “warriors,” promises a world in which you can have it both ways: You can be good without ever seeming uncool in front of your buddies, you can be an advocate for social justice without ever considering there might be social forces beyond your ken, you can be a crusader for positive change without ever killing anyone’s buzz, you can be a progressive hero without ever taking identity politics seriously. It’s an ambitious contortion, and one that...
gender  politics 
july 2017 by evilsofa
Deconstructing the tolerance paradox: why Conservatives’ go-to line is garbage. – Medium
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
fascism  philosophy  politics 
february 2017 by evilsofa
My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it's not Orwell, he warned, it's Brave New World | Media | The Guardian
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley...
politics  history  culture  media 
february 2017 by evilsofa
Did Inadequate Women’s Healthcare Destroy Star Wars’ Old Republic? | Motherboard
Like ankle sprains, tooth decay, or heart attacks, reproductive health should be a banal medical thing that a lot of people know something about. The fact that there’s so much ignorance around it is a disgrace, a disgrace just as massive and overwhelming as the very existence of the Star Wars prequels.
health  politics  starwars  feminism 
january 2017 by evilsofa
A People's History of the Third Reich - The Baffler
Americans’ obsession with whether various leaders are more or less like actual Nazi leaders speaks volumes about the failures of the American educational system: our approach to history, for better and mostly for worse, stems from the nineteenth century Great Man philosophy of history. Under this view of things, all historical change is a project reserved for our leaders; the rest of us are just drawn along in their wake with little agency or responsibility.
The “with little agency o...
fascism  history  germany  usa  politics 
december 2016 by evilsofa
Why Time’s Trump Cover Is a Subversive Work of Political Art - Culture – Forward.com
The masterstroke, the single detail that completes the entire image, is the chair. Trump is seated in what looks to be a vintage “Louis XV” chair (so named because it was designed in France under the reign of King Louis XV in the mid 18th century). The chair not only suggests the blindly ostentatious reigns of the French kings just before the revolution, but also, more specifically, the reign of Louis XV who, according to historian Norman Davies, “paid more attention to hunting women...
photography  trump  politics  usa  art 
december 2016 by evilsofa
The Year Of The Alt-Right - MTV
Probably the greatest asset of the alt-right [...] is its adventurousness with regard to sincerity. Ideologues say things and mean them. Ironists say things and don't mean them. Only the alt-right manages to say things and mean them, not mean them, and sort of titteringly half-mean them all at the same time, almost as if they themselves have no idea what they're doing and are looking to you to clarify it for them after the fact. And they don't do this with, like, a weather report. God no. They d...
altright  politics  fascism 
december 2016 by evilsofa
Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy | Moira Weigel | US news | The Guardian
However, to say that a statement is politically correct hints at something more insidious. Namely, that the speaker is acting in bad faith. He or she has ulterior motives, and is hiding the truth in order to advance an agenda or to signal moral superiority. To say that someone is being “politically correct” discredits them twice. First, they are wrong. Second, and more damningly, they know it.
culture  politics  language 
december 2016 by evilsofa
Why Are 'Liberal' White Men Asking Us To Stop Fighting For Our Rights? - The Establishment
“A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter.”

I cringed when I read that line. It’s as if Newport is entirely unaware of the Black Lives Matter movement. Maybe he thinks it’s just a hashtag and not the real-life struggle of Black people to convince this nation that our lives matter.</blockqu...
media  whitesupremacy  race  intersectionality  politics  usa 
december 2016 by evilsofa
Stop Calling It 'Identity Politics' — It's Civil Rights - The Establishment
When the alt-left says “identity politics,” what they actually mean is “civil rights.” They want marginalized groups to stop fighting for civil rights because that would upset poor white people who might otherwise vote Democratic, if not for minorities and women pushing their issues. Unequivocally, this is a call for white supremacy. Telling minorities or other marginalized groups that their issues are “distractions,” and that they must be subservient to the issues of white men is a ...
politics  race  whitesupremacy 
december 2016 by evilsofa
Wikipedia's now deleted page on Thought terminating cliché — jorgenmodin.net
The term was popularized by Robert Jay Lifton in his 1956 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. Lifton said, “The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.”
politics  language  psychology 
september 2016 by evilsofa
The Malala you won't hear about | SocialistWorker.org
When discussing the way in which the neocolonialist West exploits and manipulates those working against oppression, one should be careful to establish that this is not done to them unwittingly. We are dealing with agents, individuals who understand the implications of their actions and change them accordingly. To forget this fact is, in a less overt way, to uphold the very paternalist, neocolonialist strictures we seek to destroy.

As Spivak reminds us, the subaltern indeed speaks--a...
malalayousafzai  politics  usa  poverty  colonialism 
october 2014 by evilsofa
Steven Attewell: Steve Rogers Isn't Just Any Hero - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
You couldn’t really be an artist and have escaped left-wing politics. And if a poor kid like Steve Rogers was going to college as a fine arts student, odds are very good that he was going to the City College of New York at a time when an 80% Jewish student body is organizing student trade unions, anti-fascist rallies, and the “New York Intellectuals” were busily debating Trotskyism vs. Stalinism vs. Norman Thomas Socialism vs. the New Deal in the dining halls and study carrels.

And this Steve R...
avengers  captainamerica  meta  politics  usa  comics 
may 2014 by evilsofa
A community directed approach, instead of a tourist-determined one, would have invested in helping the families develop skills necessary to tackle their primary need, poverty.

In recent years, the ethics of voluntourism, especially its underbelly of exploitation, have been questioned by academics and activists alike. Most of the debate, however, is limited to questioning whether volunteer vacations do more harm than good or how it promotes stereotypes that fuel the engines of a burgeoning white-savior industrial complex.
internationaldev  politics  society  race  poverty 
may 2014 by evilsofa
The Unbearable Whiteness of the American Left | The Nation
“However rebellious children may be, they have their parents’ genes,” wrote Andrew Kopkind in 1968. “American radicals are Americans. They cannot easily cross class lines to organize groups above or below their own station. They are caught in the same status traps as everyone else, even if they react self-consciously.”
activism  race  politics  usa 
april 2014 by evilsofa
NYMAG: One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.
finance  usa  class  politics 
april 2014 by evilsofa
The Lottery (2010 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The film follows four families from Harlem and the Bronx in the months leading up to the lottery for one of the Success Academy Charter Schools (then known as Harlem Success Academy), one of the most successful charter schools in New York City. The film explores the debate surrounding the education reform movement. The film highlights the opposition from the teachers' unions to charter schools (as they are usually not unionized), and the contest between charter and public schools for building space.[2]
politics  usa  education  poverty  crime 
january 2014 by evilsofa
The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ
Bear in mind also that these documents were widely circulated: out of the 4.9 million Americans with access to classified information, 480,000 private contractors in the US had the "top-secret" security clearance issued to Snowden.
Lanchester reads Snowden files: man on roof
If hundreds of thousands of people had access to these secrets, how secure were they? The NSA and GCHQ had no idea that Snowden had this material, and apparently still don't know exactly what is in it – which is one reason they've been panicking and freaking out.
But if they didn't know that Snowden had copied it, how could they possibly be sure that someone else hasn't also taken a copy and slipped it to the Chinese or Russians or Iranians or al-Qaida? It was cheeky of Oliver Robbins, deputy national security adviser in the Cabinet Office, to harrumph about "very poor information security practices" on the part of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald who was detained at Heathrow under anti-terror laws.
Our spooks lost at least 58,000 pages of classified documents to a US civilian sitting at a workstation in Hawaii, and did so without realising it had happened. In effect they're saying, "your secrets are safe with us, except when we lose them".
privacy  politics  datasecurity  surveillance 
december 2013 by evilsofa
Make-up or not, rough judgment is hard to face
The most confounding thing about make-up for women is that it has actually become a competency issue. If you don't get it right (this applies to clothes too - just ask Greg Hunt to look up ''Julia Gillard'' and ''Jackets'' on Wikipedia for you, in case of any doubt), it automatically means you are probably bad at your job, even if your job has nothing to do with drawing neat lines around your eyes, or procuring a jacket that fits snugly from every angle. If you don't bother, God help you.

So much happened during the three years for which Gillard served as our first female prime minister, but, assuming she had to spend an hour a day being made up, let's say five days a week, that's 750 hours over the course of her prime ministership that the most powerful woman in Australia spent having someone colour in her face.

How much is 750 hours of PM time worth, anyway?
misogyny  feminism  media  politics  australia 
november 2013 by evilsofa
Orson Scott Card: Mentor, Friend, Bigot | Underwire | Wired.com
Sometimes every choice means letting go of something valuable — the question isn’t “whether,” but “what.”

These days, it’s easier for me to think of them as two separate people — the Card I knew, whose books I loved; and the increasingly unbalanced and extremist pundit whose worldview scarcely counts me as a person. But that’s reductionist, and a disservice to both. Card is a monster who helped me learn to write, an author of hateful screed whose novels taught lonely, angry kids compassion and gave them their first sense of home. None of those things makes the others go away. None of those things makes the others stop mattering.
orsonscottcard  books  writer  politics  lgbtq 
november 2013 by evilsofa
Milennial Gospel
You know us. We pray with lips pressed to tattooed finger tips, sitting next to a stranger on the metro train headed downtown. You pass us on the sidewalk and your lip curls upwards, but your eyes say you know the truth - we are holy. (day and night we never stop singing: holy, holy, holy). This is our generation and the kingdom of God is within us.
religion  kanyewest  politics 
october 2013 by evilsofa
The intransigence of Democrats, from Obama on down to red-state senators, has surprised the GOP.
“Dealing with terrorists has taught us some things,” said Washington Rep. Jim McDermott after voting no on one of Thursday’s GOP bills. “You can’t deal with ’em. This mess was created by the Republicans for one purpose, and they lost. People in my district are calling in for Obamacare—affordable health care—in large numbers. These guys have lost, and they can’t figure out how to admit it.” Why would House Democrats give away what the Supreme Court and the 2012 electorate didn’t? “You can’t say, OK, you get half of Obamacare—this isn’t a Solomonic decision,” McDermott said. “So we sit here until they figure out they fuckin’ lost.”
politics  usa  shutdown2013 
october 2013 by evilsofa
Lol, idek. (soyonscruels: anon asked: You said that Jesus...)
jesus is one of the most radical figures in the history of human civilization. there is nothing about patriarchal laissez-faire capitalism that he would approve of. jesus believed in justice. when he said that the meek would inherit the earth, that was a command, not a metaphor. jesus said he was the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned. that ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.’ the extent to which capitalism and kyriarchy have co-opted the teachings is almost baffling, because there is literally nothing in what jesus actually said to support either power structure. ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ is probably the most socialist statement anyone has ever made. to jesus, everyone was worthy. to jesus, everyone had worth. the mere concept that the man who shouted down the moneylenders in the temple for exploiting widows who lived in poverty would support the cruelties and oppressions of capitalism is laughable at best.
religion  politics 
july 2013 by evilsofa
we found each other hungry
the rules she has to follow to the letter, going without water or any kind of rest, etc - the rules white dudes before her have openly flouted and gotten way with it - don’t even fucking technically apply to her because they are all written with masculine pronouns

but she has to follow them even closer and be brighter and smarter and more on the ball than any dude because they are all just waiting for her to break one of the rules that are skewed towards them anyway

because that is what it is to be a woman, or anyone who isn’t a man
wendydavies  usa  politics  misogyny  feminism  abortionrights  texas 
july 2013 by evilsofa
Uzodinma Iweala - Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa
There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one's cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head -- because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West's fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West's prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.
race  colonialism  politics  africa 
june 2013 by evilsofa
Dear everyone: Chris Christie is conservative - Salon.com
He’s the most conservative possible successful statewide office-holder for a blue state like New Jersey.

In his first term, Christie torpedoed a much-needed mass transit tunnel project, same-sex marriage, and early voting. He vetoed a minimum wage hike. He vetoed legislation designed to eliminate the gender wage gap. He withdrew from a regional carbon cap-and-trade agreement. He killed a Jersey version of the DREAM Act and cut funding for women’s health services, including eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood. Remember how pissed everyone got when Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives tried to do the same thing? Many liberals seem to give Christie a pass for his anti-abortion views that they’d never give a “red state” Republican. (This is maybe because he used to be pro-choice, meaning he made the exact switch on the issue everyone trashed Romney for making.)
politics  usa 
june 2013 by evilsofa
Margaret Thatcher: we disliked her and we loved it | Politics | The Guardian
The truth is less significant than the alteration to it. There was always an element of the erotic in the national obsession with her. From the invention of the term "sado-monetarism" through to the way her powerful ministers seemed to swoon before her, and the constant negative reiteration by her critics of her femininity, or lack of it, she exerted a glacial hold over the (male) nation's masochistic imagination. This was heightened by the suspicion that this power was not consciously deployed.
politics  obituary  thatcher 
april 2013 by evilsofa
You’ll Never Live Like Common People
Talking of a difficult period in her life, a friend recently said: “Things wear out and you can’t afford to replace them. You wear out and there is nothing to replace.” Poverty is another country. It exists like an alternate reality in parallel with the rest of society. With time, humility and openness, empathy may develop. But let us not kid ourselves – an MP can visit poor estates from a position of comfortable plenty; all the visits in the world cannot replicate the experience of living in such hopelessness.
poverty  class  politics  journo:a.andreou 
march 2013 by evilsofa
Stop blaming state school pupils for their lack of 'confidence'
Poorer students may lack confidence to begin with but this is because failure is a real option for them, with real consequences. It’s easy to claim richer students are more confident because of their superior education, but it may be more accurate to say they’re more confident because they’re rich. From the moment they draw breath they are considered to be worth more.
education  politics  uk 
january 2013 by evilsofa
Peter Van Buren: An All-American Nightmare
If you look backward you see a nightmare. If you look forward you become the nightmare.

There’s one particular nightmare that Americans need to face: in the first decade of the twenty-first century we tortured people as national policy. One day, we’re going to have to confront the reality of what that meant, of what effect it had on its victims and on us, too, we who condoned, supported, or at least allowed it to happen, either passively or with guilty (or guiltless) gusto. If not, torture won’t go away. It can’t be disappeared like the body of a political prisoner, or conveniently deep-sixed simply by wishing it elsewhere or pretending it never happened or closing our bureaucratic eyes. After the fact, torture can only be dealt with by staring directly into the nightmare that changed us -- that, like it or not, helped make us who we now are.
torture  usa  politics 
december 2012 by evilsofa
Modern art was CIA 'weapon' - World - News - The Independent
The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.
art  history  politics  usa 
december 2012 by evilsofa
George Osborne's cruel Autumn Statement will create a winter of discontent for the disabled - Comment - Voices - The Independent
Over many years of closely observing British politics, I can remember little as nauseating as a minister blithely informing the heartbroken and impoverished, without a prayer of finding work in our perpetual economic midwinter, to regard the removal of income, purpose and dignity as “positive”. Even Brent, who introduced his promotion at the cost of his staff’s jobs as “good news and bad news”, never reached such a zenith of cretinous insensitivity.
politics  uk  jouno:m.norman 
december 2012 by evilsofa
The Oxbridge delusion: why the more we talk about these two great universities, the less we know - Comment - Voices - The Independent
Apart from the odd plaintive admissions tutor, no one ever bothers to say that the vast majority of students don’t have trust funds, right wing views or ancestors who have been going since the 13th century. It’s important for prospective applicants to know that and yet, sadly, they don’t.
education  uk  politics  media 
december 2012 by evilsofa
If they’re right, what we should learn is not that Nate Silver is smarter than the rest of us; it is that no one, and nothing, quite escapes the numbers. But we need also remember that, en masse, we make the numbers from our changing motives, and in that doubleness—we’re each part of one giant immovable pile of numbers; we each choose where to place ourselves within the pile—resides a (still quite beautiful) mystery of election.
politics  usa  statistics 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Shooting the Messenger's Numbers: Nate Silver's Struggle (The Redux)
One, they make Silver important, an authority. There's no reason to shoot the messenger unless he's bringing you news that you cannot stand to hear, and there's no reason to react so violently to him unless the news is probably true. You can laugh off or ignore someone so wide off the mark, but when you stand from the throne and start calling for an execution, it only makes people wonder what power the messenger holds.
usa  politics  statistics 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Arnie Graf: The man Ed Miliband asked to rebuild Labour | Politics | The Guardian
Although he was excited by Obama, Graf felt that the Democrats remained "too top-down" and "too tied to money" to truly call themselves the people's party. In Miliband and Labour, though, he saw the possibility of building something genuinely exciting: "One time before I die I'd like to see one meaningful social-democratic party in the world. That could really start to get the ball rolling. In the US, both parties are owned by the banks, but Labour has a genuine tradition. It's just not organised any more."
politics  labour 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Nate Silver: It’s the numbers, stupid | The Raw Story
I hope this isn’t Silver’s black swan moment and it’s just me doing what he says we shouldn’t do: cherry-picking information according to our biases. Because if Silver teaches us anything, it’s that human judgment is fallible. That Wall Street traders are chancers, pundits are clueless and economic forecasts imaginative works of fiction.

On the other hand, it turns out that elections are easy to predict. You just have to be lucky or good. Or, as in Nate Silver’s case, both.
usa  politics  statistics 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Bullish Life: When Men Get Too Emotional To Have A Rational Argument
This is incorrect. Anger? EMOTION. Hate? EMOTION. Resorting to violence? EMOTIONAL OUTBURST. An irrational need to be correct when all the evidence is against you? Pretty sure that’s an emotion. Resorting to shouting really loudly when you don’t like the other person’s point of view? That’s called “being too emotional to engage in a rational discussion.”
gender  politics  feminism 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Why political journalists can’t stand Nate Silver: The limits of journalistic knowledge | Mark Coddington
TL;DR: Political journalists are skeptical of Nate Silver because they don’t understand and don’t trust the means by which he knows what he knows. And they don’t understand it because it’s completely different from journalists have always known things, and how they’ve claimed authority to declare those things to the public.
politics  statistics  usa 
november 2012 by evilsofa
Why I Am Pro-Life - NYTimes.com
The term “pro-life” should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth. That radical narrowing of our concern for the sanctity of life is leading to terrible distortions in our society.
abortionrights  politics  usa 
october 2012 by evilsofa
George Edwards and the Powerless Presidential Bully Pulpit : The New Yorker
So how do they so systematically overestimate the importance of those speeches? Edwards believes that by the time Presidents reach the White House their careers have taught them that they can persuade anyone of anything. “Think about how these guys become President,” he says. “The normal way is talking for two years. That’s all you do, and somehow you win. You must be a really persuasive fellow.”


Jim Cooper says, “We’ve effectively lost our Congress and gained a parliament.” He adds, “At least a Prime Minister is empowered to get things done,” but “we have the extreme polarization of a parliament, with party-line voting, without the empowered Prime Minister.” And you can’t solve that with a speech.
politics  usa 
september 2012 by evilsofa
Indelible Image of Boy’s Pat on Obama’s Head - NYTimes.com
“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.

Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.
politics  race  usa 
september 2012 by evilsofa
Paul Ryan’s Influence on the G.O.P. : The New Yorker
They both liked sports and, because Ryan’s district runs along the Illinois border close to Chicago, knew many of the same people. “He’s a cerebral guy who likes policy, and he’s from my part of the country,” Ryan said. “At the beginning, I did have some hope.”

Ryan sat in the front row as the President shredded his plan.
politics  usa 
august 2012 by evilsofa
Everyone's talking about rape | Hadley Freeman | Comment is free | The Guardian
Rape does seem to be in the air these days, what with the Republican party in the US, certain devotees of Julian Assange around the world, and lazy comedians in Edinburgh, all talking quite a lot about it without apparently having a clue what it is. So let's clear things up. Welcome to Rape: The Idiot's Primer.
feminism  politics  society 
august 2012 by evilsofa
London 2012: let's build on the triumph and hope of Danny Boyle's night | Observer editorial | Comment is free | The Observer
How does all that sit alongside the familiar day-to-day tat of headlines and bulletins? The queues at Heathrow passport control, the mortification of G4S, the signal failures or threatened strikes on the Northern Line, the simmering anger of a de-industrialised north? Are we supposed to believe that Whitehall can get a grip on its computer programming because the Park unleashed a great cauldron of flames? That Walsall can become a second Westfield East?
olympics  politics 
august 2012 by evilsofa
If Sarah Palin were black, her daughter’s out of... | eat all the shawarma!!
Just goes to show how far Palin’s whiteness can take her. Zero intellect, two high school drop-outs, an unwed teen mother, a quitter of the one major job she had. Master of hateful coded language targeting opponents as not “real Americans”. Belongs to a church outside of the mainstream. Still a top GOP candidate.

(via liberalsarecool)

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama, a Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate, lawyer, and university dean who made over $200K/year, gets called “ghetto” and a “welfare queen”.

(via squee-gee)
race  politics  usa 
july 2012 by evilsofa
Matthew Norman: Now that the Prime Minister's lost his charm, what's left? - Matthew Norman - Commentators - The Independent
We mustn't get too prissy on behalf of a Labour MP who has dished it out, in that prolier-than-thou way, for decades. I wouldn't dream of patronising him by hinting that, pushing 80, he is too doddery for the demands of combat politics. That suggestion we may leave to Mr Cameron, and if it delighted his back benches, that speaks only of the idiocy of Tory MPs in confusing the enfeebled failure to keep his temper with a show of strength. It was a horrendously ill-judged line, and the clearest sign yet that he is in mortal terror for his survival as PM.
cameron  politics  journo:m.norman 
june 2012 by evilsofa
New Statesman - Enoch was wrong: the attempted rehabilitation of a racist
Heffer went on to point out that Powell loved India and had hoped, pre-independence, to be appointed viceroy. See, he loved brown people so much he wanted to be their colonial overseer! He mentioned that Powell read ancient Greek at the age of 15 and could speak 14 languages, at one point stuttering the mantra, “He was a very clever man,” as if racism were the exclusive domain of the stupid
politics  race 
june 2012 by evilsofa
Overton window - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[The one about the right's rhetoric making far right ideas more acceptable to the public.]

Other formulations of the process created after Overton's death add the concept of moving the window, such as deliberately promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous "outer fringe" ideas, with the intention of making the current fringe ideas acceptable by comparison.
psychology  politics 
june 2012 by evilsofa
Gay Marriage - 16th Oct 2011 - Desmond Swayne MP
In the New Testament it is the teaching of St Paul which is used to condemn homosexuality, just as his teaching was once perversely used to justify slavery and then the subjugation of women. If you look carefully at the context and sensitively translate the original Greek, then condemnation of gays just isn’t there. What St Paul was rightly against was the inordinate pursuit of pleasure and self indulgence, including the temple cults of fertility which included orgies, prostitutes of both sexes, straight and gay.
For millennia Christians have taken too great an interest in what other people get up to in bed, it is an unhealthy fascination. My starting point is that marriage is a blessing, and therefore I have no business denying that blessing to someone because they happen to be gay. I will go further than the Prime Minister: I am in favour of gay marriage because I am a Christian.
politics  equalmarriage  lgbtq 
june 2012 by evilsofa
Why Cicero should be every campaign strategist's mentor | James Carville | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Little did I realize that pretty much everything I've said was old news 2,000 years ago, covered expertly in Quintus Tullius Cicero's strategy memo for the campaign of his brother, Marcus, for consul in Rome in 64BC. The Commentariolum Petitionis, or "Little Handbook on Electioneering", is remarkable.
may 2012 by evilsofa
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