I recently had a conversion with a friend about the idea of exchanging money for sex–what one would also describe as sex work, or prostitution (though the latter word is not at all preferred). The question became whether I, personally, would entertain the notion of being paid for sex. Well, why not? It’s something I enjoy anyway. It’s not something I would ever ask to paid for, and I don’t see why I would accept money from a friend or romantic partner, but I’m not totally against the idea.
I didn’t comment on last week’s attacks in Brussels, though it wasn’t for lack of something to say. I just needed time to think through what I wanted to communicate. I’m ready now! First, it’s worth mentioning that Brussels is not the only place to be struck recently. Yesterday, the Taliban bombed a festival in Lahore, Pakistan. In Turkey, there have been terrorist bombings in Istanbul and Ankara just this month.
It’s time to talk about the white working class again, who have helped produce one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory. This is not another Donald Trump piece, though. This is an expansion of some things Italked about before, regarding how the working class–especially the white working class–is treated in this country. I want to bring a couple other articles into the mix. First is a new piece from The Guardian, which is a response to the Kevin Williamson screed that I previously critiqued.
It’s almost as if some states in the US are having a contest to see which can be the most oppressive toward people who aren’t a threat to anyone. Today, in a fit of pique against the city of Charlotte daring to not be a completely bigoted hellhole, the legislature of North Carolina passed (and the governor signed) a new law declaring that state laws override local ones when it comes to anti-discrimination measures.
This is not an article about Donald Trump. This is, instead, an article about the America that created him. The slogan is “make America great again.” What does this mean, really? The more I think about it, the more I see it as unintentional satire. Does it mean more jobs, broad prosperity, better communities, a just society, a healthy, happy people, and international respect? Or does it instead mean a world brought to its knees, terrorized by the American war machine?
Imagine people who have little reason to integrate themselves into their surrounding society. They live in isolated communities and either avoid or have little use for the public services everyone else takes for granted. If circumstances ever take a turn for the worse where they live, they can always move elsewhere. And when they really do feel like making a difference, they can choose a policy area and a geographic region and essentially set the agenda.
Labels for political ideologies can be useful, to a point, but they often don’t communicate the underlying sentiment. Liberal. Conservative. Progressive. Socialist. One can have intellectual discussions of any or all of these. But what if it was simpler? What if you could describe it in just two words that, in and of themselves, express an understandable value system? This is a post I’ve wanted to make for a while. I’ve thought about it for quite some time.
Everyone’s putting up their hot takes of Kevin William’s poor-hating screed in the National Review, and it might as well be my turn. The original piece is paywalled, but that’s OK. Here’s the part that sparked so much outrage, in case you haven’t seen it: It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t.
It’s official: February of 2016 was the hottest February on record, based on average global temperature. But that’s not even the worst of it. From The Independent: A dramatic surge in the Earth’s surface temperatures took place in February which saw the biggest month-on-month rise in global warming on record, latest figures released by Nasa show. As global temperatures rise well above their seasonal averages, especially in the northern hemisphere, the sea ice in the Arctic continues its overall downward trajectory with a new record monthly low for a February.
Over the past few years, two states–Kansas and Louisiana–have become testbeds for the most extreme conservative policies on offer in the US. Other states have Tea Party governors or a number of Tea Party legislators, but none have gone as far down the “small government, privatize everything” road as these two. As the saying goes, the chickens are coming home to roost. The government of Kansas initiated large tax cuts a few years ago.