I would like to propose that after we fix the top few most pressing problems, we consider making all holidays two day affairs. Specifically, the celebration should be the first day, and then the second day should be R&R and getting all the things done that make it easier to return to the daily grind, like how July 4th was not celebrated on the federal holiday of the 5th. Memorial Day and Labor Day should be celebrated on the Sunday, and then you should get Monday off to buffer for real life. (What am I talking about? Keep them on Mondays and make Tuesday a day of R&R.)
(I know it's a Jewish thing, but that's different. Or maybe we all need a travel time, in the metaphorical sense, to get back home.)
Also, AIHMHB, Monday holidays are better than Friday holidays. There are three good parts to a long weekend: anticipation, shortened week, and long weekend. If it's a Friday holiday, your short week coincides with your anticipation week, and so you only have seven days of joy. If it's a Monday holiday, the anticipation week is separate from the short week, and so you have 11 days of joy. It's scientific.
My students told me all about fideo a year or so ago, and so I made some for my own kids and reported back to my students. A thing that the fideo recipes do is have you brown the noodles in oil for a while before adding liquid and cooking them.
My knowledge base of recipes is pretty thin, so maybe that's a technique that shows up elsewhere, but I haven't seen it in other recipes. I've started doing this with rice and pastas more generally - basically frying them up in a little bit of oil for a minute or two or three, and then adding the water or broth. (In fact, what I do is put some water in the microwave while I'm heating up the oil/garlic/etc and then while the noodles are frying. Then I can add hot water or boiling water directly in.)
Either this tastes really good or it's got a really strong placebo effect. And either this is a common technique with a common name, or it should be. I pass it along so that you can educate me, or I can educate you.
I very much enjoyed this dry profile of Rebekah Neumann, the weirdo married to Adam Neumann, the WeWork guy.
Like her friend Ivanka Trump, Rebekah lacks charisma on film (and in person, according to people who know her) and gives off weird vibes. Which is ironic, given that she has been known to have people fired, such as a mechanic for WeWork's Gulfstream jet, within minutes of meeting them because she didn't like their energy. "I got the sense that she was guiding the company through her astrological intuition," said a person who met with Rebekah for a contract role, during which they mostly discussed his birth sign to determine if he would be a good fit, energetically speaking. (He was not.) Another person said that both Adam and Rebekah complimented him several times on his "good energy" when they first met him. (He was hired.)
She spends a lot of time starting a school called WeGrow. If you don't like reading about insufferable people, then maybe skip this one.
This detail is hilarious to me:
She loathed the appearance of cords and electrical outlets and had an office with no hard surfaces, requiring anybody meeting with her to sit on an oversized pink couch. While visitors awkwardly balanced their laptops on their knees, she would sprawl out on the floor on a fluffy white sheepskin rug.
(She is also Gwyneth Paltrow's cousin and is apparently tortured by her eternal failure to be her cousin.)
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Mossy sends in these two links on the proposed minimum 15% corporate tax: EXPLAINER: Deterring tax avoidance by global companies and this one (paywalled).
Negotiators from 130 countries have agreed on a major overhaul of how the world's biggest companies are taxed in an effort to deter international avoidance schemes that have cost governments billions in revenue....The key feature is a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15%, endorsing the broad outlines of a proposal from U.S. President Joe Biden.
The talks seek to put a floor under corporate tax rates by having countries legislate a minimum that they would levy on untaxed foreign income. In other words, if Company X headquartered in Country Y paid no or little tax on profits in Country Z, Country Y would tax those profits at home up to the minimum rate.
As a math instructor, I wouldn't have used a variable for Company X in that sentence. You could just say "a company" and save your variables for the countries.
According to Gabriel Zucman, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has written extensively on tax havens, the minimum tax will still work even if some countries don't sign up. He said in a tweet that "the fact remains: If some countries refuse to apply a minimum tax, then other countries will collect the taxes they refuse to collect."
This seems so pat that it can't possibly work. Am I being unduly pessimistic?
There is so much irritating crap in this post that I don't know where to start.
I've made this point many times before, and I want to make it again more loudly and more plainly today. It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a culture war battle. It is liberals. And this shouldn't come as a surprise since progressives have been bragging publicly about pushing the Democratic Party leftward since at least 2004.
He's looking at policies and thinking that those are the same as culture wars and polarization. Of course the left has gotten more leftward over the past 20 years - in 2000, Democrats were the Republicans-lite. Of course Republicans haven't gotten much more conservative over the past 20 years - they don't have any policies or goals they're promoting! They're not actually working to improve the country! They want to grab money and resources, and exert power over other people. The extremely overt racism and xenophobia and authoritarianism of the past 5-6 years should count as moving more rightward, but not if you're stuck assessing it by policy goals.
Culture wars is not the same as policies!! Culture wars is the insanely angry loathing by the right of those bi-coastal elites and their arugula, and their equally intense persecution complex delusion that they believe there's an equal amount of anger targeted at sweet mama and her apple pie who finds fulfillment getting dirt scrubbed out of the corners.
Then there's a long quote by David Shor looking at how race breaks down in the 2020 election and how "defund the police" alienated Hispanic voters and sent them towards Trump. Which of course has a kernel of truth to it, although I'm more inclined to blame the gross mischaracterizations by Fox et al than the fringe activists who picked an inflammatory tag line.
The problem is that Drum wants the leftiest lefties to shut up. You don't need to silence the leftiest lefties in order to win elections in Georgia - you need to mobilize and empower Georgian Democrats to win elections in Georgia. The Democratic party has to run different races and platforms in different states, and I imagine that's always been true, and it's also probably always been true of Republicans.
Anyway, there's too much to quote and gripe about, so I'll leave you with this irritating footnote at the end:
¹And for God's sake, please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination. Sure, they overreact to this stuff, but it really exists, it really is a liberal invention, and it really does make even moderate conservatives feel like their entire lives are being held up to a spotlight and found wanting.
omg. This is such an absurd broad stroke. I recently listened to the
Dixie Chicks episode of You're Wrong About. Guess which side is really into cancel culture? (Also the episode on political correctness and college campus hysteria in the 90s reminds me how old this counter-reaction really is. I'm sure before PCness, it was something else.)
That last clause is killing me in particular: "it really does make even moderate conservatives feel like their entire lives are being held up to a spotlight and found wanting." I can believe that moderate conservatives feel constantly harangued by liberals. It's just that that's not truly coming from liberals. It's coming from irresponsible media and a general pre-existing belief that those whiny, annoying liberals are always judging you.
WAIT, I'm forming a thesis!! Ok: Does this cliche of the irritating, woke, cancel-culture lefty actually exist? Of course! But in relatively tiny and powerless numbers. We are able to ignore plenty of messages shouted by small groups of people. So why does woke/cancel culture stoke this sort of belief in people like Drum? Why can't we ignore Fox hysteria on this issue?
What is very widespread is that most of us can look back on ourselves as teenagers and young adults, and remember being relentlessly obnoxious and out to prove that we were the most smart/correct/pure in our beliefs. Concessions to the Fox News framing on wokeness/cancel culture are all about our own self-loathing and discomfort with the stages we passed through and outgrew.
Two links from Mossy:
Updated data on 23 big cities (250k+) with crime statistics available through June.— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) July 30, 2020
Murder is up a combined 23% in those cities, but overall crime is down 7.2% with violent crime down 2.2% and property crime down 8.8%. pic.twitter.com/AzxtGsO1cr
and the following tweet says:
This would be an unprecedented trend as far as crime trends go. Violent crime and murder almost always move in the same direction and they are never this far apart nationally. Here's % change in violent crime & murder since 2000 nationally.— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) July 30, 2020
Gotta get my kids so no labels sorry pic.twitter.com/FQpE2ROgZd
It's interesting, but what exactly is the popular media narrative attributing the rise to? Does it correlate with lockdowns and an increase in domestic violence? I'm always pre-defensive that last year's crime rate is going to be used as evidence against BLM.
Also, suicides rose among people of color in the US last year, but fell overall. (AIHMHB, there was a horrifying number at the local high school this past year, so I am a little surprised that it wasn't worse everywhere.)
Drug overdoses spiked dramatically last year.