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Showing posts from May, 2018

The Birth of the New American Aristocracy: Privileges versus Rights

This is a good article about the metamorphosis of the educated professional class into a new aristocracy, by Mathew Stewart, in The Atlantic.

Worth reading in full, but this paragraph jumped out at me:
The source of the trouble, considered more deeply, is that we have traded rights for privileges. We’re willing to strip everyone, including ourselves, of the universal right to a good education, adequate health care, adequate representation in the workplace, genuinely equal opportunities, because we think we can win the game. But who, really, in the end, is going to win this slippery game of escalating privileges? Nailed it.

The many privileges bestowed upon you by growing up in the aristocracy will give you definite advantages over your fellow citizens, but will not protect you from predatory capitalism. You're better positioned but still vulnerable to asset bubbles pops, medical emergencies, lost employment, and the trials that accompany it. You might be a stronger, faster …

The New Gmail Review: It Just Doesn't Work

I recently upgraded to the new version of Gmail. I like it. I like being able to see which emails have attachments. I like the automatic suggestions for responding to emails (even though I don't like it reading my emails). I like the new "confidential" mode.

Unfortunately it has one big problem.

The new Gmail doesn't work.

Now Gmail has always been a little feisty with me. I have an old MacBook, I use Firefox in private mode, with plug-ins like Adblock Plus, Disconnect, and uBlock.

But this is totally different.

Sometimes the new Gmail won't load. I'll wait and wait. One minute. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Nothing. I'll try again, and again. I'll restart Firefox and finally get in.

Once Gmail has managed to load, the real fight begins. I use hangouts, or try to, but sometimes they don't show up in the new Gmail. I'll click a conversation and nada. Nope. Good luck buddy.


Fine, I didn't even want to talk to my friends.

But I do …

What the hell happened to spring?

What the hell, God? We endured a bloated, ghastly winter this year with the promise of spring, a promise you failed to keep. Only at the end of April did temperatures consistently rally past the forties and now it's 91 degrees? That's too hot! What happened to spring? We're full-out ball sack now. Just breathing gets you sweaty. The sun is relentless, there's no refuge, it crisps you with its rays and melts through the brick of your house to broil you within.

See, we need spring. Spring is all we got here in Philly. Sure, we do a nice fall, but fall leads into winter and the sun goes away and the days get shorter and the nightmare of Christmas is approaching and you just can't help but be reminded of the fact that you're going to die real soon. So spring is where it's at. You get the birds, and sun, and every day is longer than the last, and it rains but you don't care because it's big and sexy and dramatic with growls of thunder and splashes of l…

The time Venmo stole $15 from me

My friend owed me $15 for a ticket to an L.A. Salami concert. She didn't have any cash. She asked if she could Venmo me. I said no. I don't have Venmo. I don't believe in Venmo. She said that if I had a PayPal account it would still work. Reluctantly, I agreed to accept payment via the Venmo-PayPal spur.


I received a text with a link to claim my money. This is already more work than I want to be doing. In case you need a refresher, here's how cash works:




Fine, whatever, I'll sing for my supper. I click the link. It takes me to PayPal and I'm greeted with a message that my payment has been received.



Unfortunately, this is a lie. I check my account balance and there is no $15.


No big deal. I check account activity to see if the transaction is pending or processing, but nada. It's probably just loading.

A week later I check again. Still no $15. Still no record of the transaction. I look everywhere and can't find it. I don't even know how I g…

Donald Trump should absolutely get a Nobel Peace Prize

Re: South Korean president thinks Trump should win a Nobel Peace Prize

Of course that branzino galoot should get a peace prize. Give him two. Everyone should get a peace prize and then we can all stop caring about this stupid nothingburger.


Obama got a peace prize and he presided over years of sprawling, rudderless, American belligerence in the Middles East and everywhere else. He even okayed a new military adventure in Libya with foreseeably disastrous consequences, opening yet another front on the American war on everything and everywhere and everyone.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in the news lately (though not nearly as much as catastrophe warrants) for her rather quiescent attitude towards ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya perpetrated by the Mynamar military. Now, granted, I am not fully up to speed on Myanmar politics, nor do I know how much power she may actually have. But I do know she's sitting in the putative top spot watching her troops commit a genocide, and sh…