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roll over and play dead


it hasn't been updated in a while, but i'm glad to see that there is a site dedicated to the hatred of the suv. i never liked these things, but since i've actually had to spend more time driving lately, this hatred has grown into something larger, more all-encompassing. (check the web site for some tips on how to creatively protest against these travesties.)

i don't have enough time or enough energy to go through all of the things that bug me about the suv, but aside from the personal peeves- i can't see around them, they take up a parking space and a half, etc.- i have to say that there are a couple of reasons that stand out:

1. the people who have trouble admitting that these vehicles are just a luxury that feeds their ego feel the need to justify the purchase on the grounds that these vehicles are more safe than conventional cars. they aren't. vehicles that have lots of room and have a better safety record exist and they are lighter weight than suvs. they're called minivans. but they don't have the sporty look that the suv driver wants. so you'd rather have a vehicle that is unsafe, but (you think) makes you lok good.

2. there are very, very few people living in cities whose lifestyle actually requires a vehicle with off-road and 4-wheel drive capability. in an urban environment, these vehicles are a nuissance and, given the amount of gas they take and the fact that their presence drives the cost of fuel up for everybody, the choice to own one is extremely irresponsible. these people need to be sent to their rooms until they can behave like grown ups who realise the consequences of their decisions.

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Den said…
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as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …