I highly recommend the Jinkx and De La Holiday Special drag show if you're in the mood for something 'tis-the-seasonal. Hilarious and campy and really well done. (Lots of sex and alcohol, but I dud watch it with my 13 year old, and my parents and cousins and other relatives without feeling particularly uncomfortable, and the overall message is wholesome!). Definitely sacrilegious towards Christianity, though, so filter your viewing-mates accordingly.
It's good and sensible to debate the contours of free speech. But we waste a lot of time not on substance, but on meta-quarrels over identifying what we're arguing about. Whenever a public figure makes a dubious pronouncement about free speech, the first reaction is not to evaluate it on its merits, but to dispute whether the person was offering a descriptive statement of the law (which can be true or false) or a normative statement about the culture (which cannot). People interested -- say rather, obsessed -- with the topic can often suss it out from context, but the distinction is often opaque to most.
That's unfortunate. Talking about our legal rights, and helping more citizens understand them, is an unqualified good. Debating "free speech culture" -- that is, seeking consensus on how we should react socially and private-institutionally to speech we hate -- is also good, as I have argued. So, for that matter, is discussing the ancient question of what speech is kind, decent, or morally acceptable. But those are very distinct questions, directed at us wearing different analytical and philosophical hats. The questions address different values.
Heebie's take: It's striking to me that there's such a clear parallel in a math classroom. A very common interaction with a student in, say, a calculus class, is that they ask, "Can I do this?" as they show me a potential step in a problem. There are two embedded questions in there. "Is it algebraically sound?" and also "Will it move me towards a solution?" Generally that's what I respond - "You just asked two questions in one. 'Is it legal?' and 'Is it moving me forward towards a solution?'," and then we can take those one at a time.
(In my head I sometimes think, "We were so busy asking if we could do this, that we didn't stop to ask if we should" but some jokes don't resonate with 19 year olds learning integration techniques.)
We've discussed the Wuhan lab that studied coronaviruses as a source for covid before, and my memory is that it's really problematic to untangle because of:
1. western racism
2. Chinese governmental secrecy and lying
Here's Propublica's attempt to unravel it. (Also someone recently said here that Propublica is slipping in reliability? I can't remember which thread that came up in, or if it was specific to certain topics.)
MT Family ASL and E. Messily would love your money.
Montana Family ASL is a language learning program for families with deaf and hard of hearing children. If you have a deaf or hard-of-hearing child, you are eligible to receive this service free of charge!
Our program focuses on language practice & learning through hands-on play. Participation is always free for families. Our primary mission is improving language access for families that include deaf or hard-of-hearing children, but enrollment is open on a rolling basis and everyone is welcome to apply.
It's a great program, and I'm not just saying that because E. tests out new curriculum on my kids and they think it's very fun. Interventions in rural places are always spotty, but the danger of being a deaf kid somewhere rural is that you can easily go through early years of life without being exposed to language. So programs like this can really change the trajectory of a child's life by facilitating the whole family's ability to communicate with each other, and connecting them to the larger Deaf commmunity as well.
Updated to add: Donate here.
Feel free to drop your favorite worthy cause in the comments! Photo of cute Montana kids under the jump.
Heebieville has some campaign finance caps on city council races. I was surprised that one of the more progressive councilmember opposed these caps, saying that unlimited spending allows you to hire otherwise-disengaged neighbors to work on your campaign and has a trickle-down effect on community engagement.
This doesn't strike me as a particularly compelling argument. Am I missing something? I know we've debated whether or not Citizen's United matters - and I agree that it has mattered less than I thought it would - but it seems like, locally, spending caps really can make a big difference and facilitate a broader range of candidates into putting together a viable campaign.
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.
Episode Kobe forty-six