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small change

just thought i'd call your attention to the fact that i've made a little addition here that may be of interest to some of you:

on the upper right hand side of your screen, you will notice that there is now a "featured" post. so i'll be updating this periodically to call attention to something interesting, or timely, or weird, that's been on more like space in the past.

for the moment, i've chosen to feature a post from the currently defunct but hopefully returning when i sort out my timing paranoid theory of the week series.

i wrote the piece one year and one day ago, because of a funny rumour rippling through the internet in both left and right wing circles. at the time, i almost laughed at myself for giving it a 3/10 on the likelihood scale, but in the 367 days that have passed, i'm wondering if i wasn't a little dismissive. although i find it interesting, i'm not putting any serious weight the pop psychology diagnoses of donald trump as either a psychopath [which isn't even a mental disorder] or a narcissist [ok, i'll admit, i give some credence to that one]. but there is a part of me that thinks that this is a practical joke that has gotten way out of control, and the man's only recourse is just to make things so off the chart bad that the republicans run him out of the party on a rail.

i wish that i could remember the name of the republican analyst who said that he hoped trump won and proceeded to get blown out so that the gop could rebuild. i'd like to ask him how he's feeling right now. also, i'd like to ask him if i could borrow the genie's bottle he has, because there are a few things on my wish list right now.

there will, of course, be different featured posts and, as i change them, i'll try to introduce them and explain why those particular posts are there. 

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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 …