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We're still dealing with slavery

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The legal reason that rural voters have exaggerated power in the US is a compromise that allowed the union to be formed in the first place. The southern slave states had low population agrarian economies, unlike the more urban northern states. If representation in Congress were proportional to population, slavery would have been outlawed at founding, even though (I learned later, after going through the NYC public school system) northern states participated in and profited from the slave trade.

The compromise was that every state, no matter how small its population, got two votes in the Senate. Today that means states like Wyoming, with a population that's a fraction of a NYC borough, gets two votes. Compared with California, the most populous state, which has 66 times the population of Wyoming. California also gets two votes.

Add up enough small states and voila, you have Trump in the White House even though he lost the popular vote. And a new right-to-lifer on the Supreme Court (and likely one or two more). Goodbye Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, health care, the climate, voting rights, probably democracy itself, to make permanent the rule of the country by the rural minority.

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davelevy
14 days ago
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Dave is a city boy (like me) and I find that the increasing divide is between rural and city. Being in constant contact with people of all types, not just the same 1000 folks you literally grew up with, has an effect on your perspectives.
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Disability in the Age of Trump

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Beautiful, moving comic by Amanda Scurti.

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davelevy
123 days ago
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No words
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the7roy
122 days ago
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@jkevmoses I dare you to troll this one
Mountain View

Peter Thiel Is a Fucking Fool

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Peter Thiel, back in October, asked if he supported Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S./Mexican border and ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S.:

I don’t support a religious test. I certainly don’t support the specific language Trump has used in every instance. But I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always is taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously but it always takes him literally. I think a lot of the voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally. So when they hear things like the Muslim comment or the wall comment, or things like that, the question is not are you going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China, or how exactly are you going to enforce these tests. What they hear is we’re going to have a saner, more sensible immigration policy. We’re going to try to figure out how do we strike the right balance between cost and benefits.

Wrong. Trump meant every fucking word of it. He literally wants to build a wall. He literally thinks he can stick Mexico with the bill for it. He literally just banned people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S., with a religious exception for Christians.

I heard this over and over during the election. Trump doesn’t really mean what he says. He meant every word of it, and everyone who thought we shouldn’t take him literally (and seriously) is a goddamn fool.

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davelevy
174 days ago
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This is why he never had a chance in NY. Folks here knew that he meant what he says and that it's his support team that tends to make it right. And if they don't the company goes bankrupt and they start again somewhere else. I never could understand during the election why there were so many SUPPPORTERS who thought that there was going to be a balance. The worse news is that if he crosses the line that even the Congressional Republicans won't cross, Pence is there ready to bring us back to the Happy Days of the 1950s and not the one on TV,but the Pleasantville version before color hit the town.
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zwol
174 days ago
I think a lot of his supporters saw their (Republican) congressional representatives wriggle around trying to distance themselves but not that far, and heard "yeah, he's bad, but Hillary is worse." And _they_ did _that_ because they don't care what his agenda is as long as they get to execute _their_ agenda. Up till the immigration bar I was actually thinking _their_ agenda would turn out to be worse for the country.
popular
174 days ago
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DGA51
173 days ago
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As for taking authoritarians literally, see sarahkendzior.com
Central Pennsyltucky
the7roy
174 days ago
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I agree that Thiel is a fool, but not everyone who voted Trump is. Some of them are racist.
Mountain View

John Lewis is the last person Donald Trump should be picking a fight with right now

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This is not how Trump will lift his 37% approval rating.

Here is the question that lurks behind Donald Trump tweeting insults at civil rights icon John Lewis during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Is he trying to distract from another story — perhaps his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, making a strange call to the Russian ambassador during transition? Is he just so graceless and undisciplined that, during a week when he is writing a speech his transition team promises will be about “uniting Americans,” he couldn’t stop himself from attacking the last person in the country you would want to pick a fight with? Both? Neither?

There is backdrop here. Lewis, a popular member of Congress, said he wouldn’t attend Trump’s inauguration, and called the president-elect “illegitimate.” There were reasonable ways to respond to this. Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, modeled one of them.

Another completely plausible response would have been to say nothing. Trump chose a third path:

It is, of course, repulsive to accuse Lewis of all talk and no action or results. As Michael Skolnick pointed out on Twitter, while Lewis was arrested 45 times ridding this country of segregation, Trump was dodging the Vietnam draft. Like with the Khan family after the Democratic convention, this is a fight Trump can’t win, doesn’t need, and shouldn’t want.

This is coming, after all, six days before Trump’s inauguration. And it begins amidst devastatingly low approval ratings for the president-elect. A new Quinnipiac poll found only 37 percent approve of the job he’s doing. A new Gallup poll showed only 44 percent approve of the way he’d handling his presidential transition — a number that has fallen since December, and puts him far, far below his predecessors:

 Gallup

Matthew Yglesias wrote this week about the role the words “I won” play in Trump’s psychology. He won doing all this stuff during the election, and so he’s going to keep doing it now that he’s president. Winning means you’re right. Winning means it worked.

And Trump did win. But that doesn’t mean this petty behavior is what worked for him. This is why he didn’t win the popular vote. This is why most Americans don’t like him. And this is, in ways Trump may not appreciate yet, how you end up losing as president. Being disliked makes you weak. It erodes your support in Congress. It limits what you can get done. The rules that governed Trump’s life up till now are not the same as the rules that govern the presidency.

In his 2007 book, Think Big and Kick Ass, Trump wrote, "When someone intentionally harms you or your reputation, how do you react? I strike back, doing the same thing to them only ten times worse." This is what he’s doing with Lewis. If Lewis won’t attend his inaugural, if he’s going to question Trump’s legitimacy and testify against his cabinet nominees, then Trump is going to hit him ten times harder — he’ll tell the whole world Lewis is all talk and no action, and say his district, which includes some of the toniest neighborhoods in Atlanta, is “in horrible shape,” “falling apart” and “crime-infested.”

This is great strategy for a reality television star who needs to wrest back the spotlight from a critic. But that’s not what’s being competed over here. Lewis doesn’t need the spotlight. And nor, in truth, does Trump. But Trump needs the support of plenty of members of Congress who revere Lewis. Trump needs the support of members of Congress who worry about whether supporting Trump is going to make them look bad in the eyes of voters in 2018, not to mention the eyes of history. Trump needs the support of plenty of Americans who don’t want to hear on the news that the president is calling a congressman who was beaten within an inch of his life to secure civil rights “all talk.”

Which brings me back to the original question. It doesn’t matter what Trump is trying to do here. If he was smart, he’d stop it.

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davelevy
189 days ago
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Probably been said before but worth repeating, especially the part about Trump will need to learn that what you did in the election will cost him as president when he tries to do things that the republicans in congress won't be happy about. Having lived in New York City and seen what he's done in business I find it difficult to believe that he will be able to reign himself in to accomplish anything that would be substantially good in the long term.
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Requiem for MagSafe

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If there’s one extra topic I wish David Phelan had asked Phil Schiller about regarding the new MacBook Pros in his aforelinked interview, it’s the absence of MagSafe. I see the advantages of having four universal ports, and I definitely see the advantages of being able to connect to a charger from either side. But man, MagSafe was such a good idea. Apple even made this great ad about it back in the “Get a Mac” campaign.

Why not put MagSafe on the charger, or on the cable somehow? It’s the one thing I truly miss on these new MacBook Pros.

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davelevy
262 days ago
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Seriously. This is the single biggest complaint and Griffin is addressing it, but only for MacBook. How hard would it have been to just do what Griffen did with a traditional mag safe connector to a piece that would go to USB C connector?
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thepyrate
262 days ago
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Magsafe made sense when a MacBook Pro would last maybe two hours under load. These days who needs a power cord draped across their living room? It's fast becoming a relic. Give me four TB3 any day of the week.
Hobart, Tasmania
gglockner
262 days ago
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Because Apple had the 'courage' to eliminate MagSafe?
Bellevue, WA

Incredibly Brave Women Speak Up About Late-Term Abortions

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When Hillary Clinton was asked about late-term abortions in the last debate, her response was both empathetic and impassioned.

The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions.

Since then I’ve seen two very brave women write about the most personal and painful decision they’ve ever made in their lives. Because they’ve had the courage to speak up, I think the least we can do is listen and share their stories. Here is Alyson Draper:

I had to have a late term abortion. It was the worst moment in my life. What made it even worse was the State of Utah had made it illegal. I had one dead twin. The other had severe Spina Bifida, and would only have lived with life support, in great pain, for a few days.

I lay on the hospital floor, bawling hysterically, for twelve hours, waiting for an ethics committee of the health care corporation to decide my case justified what had to be done. My health was in danger due to the dead fetus. My husband and I consulted our LDS Bishop, who assured me I needed to do what I had to do, that it was even within LDS guidelines to do so. He reminded me I had six kids at home who needed their mother to live.

The abortion was terrible. It was done very gently, by Caesarean section, leaving the babies in their amniotic sacs. The living baby passed very quickly.

It was horrific. I think it even affected my dear physician, as he had never had to end a pregnancy before. I developed PTSD for which I had to be treated for years, mostly because of the fact I had to have it at all.

No woman should have to have the state have a say in the most painful decision she will ever make. Nobody is tearing babies apart in late term. They are always humanely done, only in situations where there is a non-viable or severely defective fetus and/or the mother’s health is at risk.

Please don’t vote for a candidate or a party that would make these decisions for the women who will die or be forced to carry unviable fetuses to term. This is a decision that is so painful and so terrible. Only the parents of the baby and a physician should be involved in the decision.

And here is Meredith Isakson’s story:

I was 21 weeks pregnant when a doctor told my husband and me that our second little boy was missing half his heart. It had stopped growing correctly around five weeks gestation, but the abnormality was not detectable until the 20-week anatomy scan. It was very unlikely that our baby would survive delivery, and if he did, he would ultimately need a heart transplant.

In the days that followed, after the poking and prodding, after the meetings with pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and geneticists, my husband and I decided to terminate our pregnancy. I was 22 weeks pregnant when they wheeled me into the operating room, two weeks shy of viability in the state of California.

For us, the decision was about compassion for our unborn baby, who would face overwhelming and horribly painful obstacles. Compassion for our 2-year-old son, who would contend with hours upon hours in a hospital, missing out on invaluable time spent with his parents, and the death of a very real sibling. It was about compassion for our marriage. Perhaps most important, it was about our belief that parenthood sometimes means we sacrifice our own dreams so our children don’t have to suffer.

As the day of my termination approached and I felt my baby’s kicks and wiggles, I simultaneously wanted to crawl out of my skin and suspend us together in time. I wanted him to know how important he was to me, that the well of my grief and love for him would stretch deeper and deeper into the vastness of our family’s small yet limitless life. He may have moved inside me for only five months, but he had touched and shaped me in ways I could never have imagined…

As the two-year anniversary of my abortion approaches, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that we made the right decision for our family — and that our government has absolutely no place in the anguish which accompanies a late-term abortion, except to ensure that women and their families have the right to make their choice safely and privately.

Saying goodbye to our boy was the single most difficult and profound experience of my life, and the truth is, it has come to define me. Today I am a better mother because of him. I am a better wife, daughter and friend. He made me more compassionate and more patient. He taught me to love with reckless abandon, despite the knowledge that I could lose it all.

We named him Lev, the Hebrew word for heart.

This is exactly what we mean when we say, “the personal is political.” As long as these women are merely objects defined by their wombs, it is easy to objectify them in order to demagogue this issue. But when you assume that they are actual human beings with the ability to both think and act compassionately, the difficulty of this decision and the courage they display in taking on an awesome responsibility shines through.

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davelevy
271 days ago
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The women involved will live with the decision no matter what the men (or other women) who think they know what the right thing to do is. In every case it should be the woman's decision.

Anyone who says otherwise is arrogant and selfish. If you want to feel better don't go after women making the hardest decisions in their lives. Go help the multitudes who don't live as well as you do.
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popular
272 days ago
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