Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday ramble

Some of those stories are old, I know. It's been a very busy few weeks. I got my dental implant drilled in (I'll spare you the details); retiled my downstairs bathroom--which entailed tearing up five layers of vinyl; replaced (with some help) both toilets with high-efficiency models; had to have my washing machine fixed; volunteered at a college fair; and finally got in to see an optometrist and get a new prescription to replace my scratched up, loose-screwed, ten-year old glasses.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Saturday roundup

Saudi Arabia really, really f*ed up in Yemen:
The dead included many members of prominent tribes from northern Yemen. Ms. Alley, the analyst with the International Crisis Group, said those tribes might now ally with the rebels in new attacks on Saudi Arabia. Also killed were Abdulqader Hilal, the mayor of Sana, and a number of other political and military leaders who not only supported peace talks with the exiled government, but also had the credibility to put an accord into effect.

“They killed and injured several important moderate leaders who were working with them, who wanted a deal,” Ms. Alley said of the Saudi-led coalition. “Now the desire for revenge is high, and militants will be empowered, which puts us in a situation where a compromise might not be possible.”
A few perspectives on intervention in Syria.

Someone in New York City told a Chinese-American family to go back to their country and an Iowa politician doesn't seem to understand his community.

Yes, this is the kind of thing that makes America great, but as I've noted recently and as stated more articulately here:
These blooms of generosity are not replacements for policy-level action that can permanently change the lives of people on the darker side of the inequality spectrum, just as a big tip or a one-time holiday gift to a food pantry doesn’t fundamentally change the long-term arithmetic for a waitress earning $8 an hour.
You don't need female family to see bullshit.
It took a conversation with my editor, Carolyn Ryan, to remind me why that framework was problematic. Because in it, women are defined almost entirely by their relation to men. They are in need of protection and defense by men.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, used a written statement of displeasure with Trump to identify himself as “the father of three daughters.” This was apparently a wellspring of his pique, which didn’t rise to the level of actually rescinding his endorsement of Trump. Would a fourth daughter have done the trick? A fifth?
In much of this there was a familiar insinuation that parenthood is a singularly sensitizing, enlightening circumstance, giving someone a special stake in a more just world. But doesn’t Trump himself contradict that?

He’s a parent five times over. He’s a father of two daughters himself, and that’s a credential he carried with him into his nauseating exchange with Billy Bush in 2005 and into his vulgar conversations with Howard Stern across the years.
Vox had a good take on this.

Industrial farms aren't better at feeding people. And dairy farming has gotten increasingly industrial and unsustainable in every way. And as usual but even more so, industrial hog farming is poisoning everyone's water.
I want these Idiocracy posters.

Go ahead and eat food that fell on the floor

When letting go of someone, take your agony now, right in the face. On a related note, teach your kids to manage their emotions, not deny them:
 Feel It. While it may seem obvious to feel emotions, many families focus on pushing away negative emotions. “When we’re saying ‘don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be jealous, don’t be selfish,’ we’re not coming to the child in the reality of her emotion,” she said. “Validate and see your child as a sentient person who has her own emotional world.”
Miss Manners on socializing (and looking for insults): Leftover indignation may be directed toward those who check the time or anything else on their cellular telephones when supposedly socializing.