"The President said he was going to run America like his businesses. Apparently we have reached the part where he would usually just declare bankruptcy and run away. #TrumpShutdown" -- Jason Kander 2018-01-19
"The secret here is not that Trump made the Republican party a joke; it's that the Republican party was such a joke that Trump became president." -- Dan Pfeiffer, Pod Save America, 2018-01-05
"CONTROVERSIAL IDEA: there are enough geniuses in the world that we don't need to coddle the ones who espouse bigotry and hatred." -- EricaJoy to The World (@EricaJoy), 2017-12-14
Ugh. you really don't need to send 43,076 bytes of CSS and table directives to communicate a brief ad 1,665 characters long with a 576 character stock footer. (Call that about half a page, in all.) Note that this does not include the verbose email message heder, just the message body. Skimming all of that code to try to spot the 3% that was te actual meant-for-human-eyes part ... well, it failed, so I resorted to banging on it with a text editor to find the actual message buried in that thousand lines of uselessness (and only then discovering that it was neither the expected subscription information nor interesting news, just an ad for something I don't care about).
I'm not saying this is unusual. That it's not unusual just makes it more absurd.
Best answer: just $%#*ing skip HTML email and send the text that says what you want to say. Acceptable answer: send messages as MIME type "multipart/alternative" and include a plaintext version (which my mail reader will show me by default) so I can at least find the content of the message in a glance. But really, 45 kB to send a paragraph? <eyeroll> But there's no chance the organizations that send these sorts of messages will reform their habits, so I'll just tell my spam filter to junk 'em, on the basis that even when they do say something interesting I'll never find the interesting text among the 97% cruft, so throwing the messages away unread won't be a significant loss.
HTML email has its uses. I have written messages that wanted the kind of structure that HTML was the most reasonable way to apply. (Once something mathy, another time something with insertions, deletions, and annotations distinguished from original text I was marking up.) But a paragraph -- or two or three -- of ordinary, straightforward text, is not a feat that requires HTML to accomplish.
"Humans are political creatures but generally not political cartoons." --Holden Shearer, 2017-12-03
"How would they manage if they didn't have servants, minions, etc., at their beck and call? Could they mess up boiling water if they tried to cook a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner? Or be unable to figure out which is the hot water and which is the cold water on the washing machine? Or find their way anywhere without chauffeurs, guides, etc.?
"Before his election, George Washington was a surveyor in what was then wilderness, doing the complicated mathematical work necessary to make straight lines on a map correspond to the undulations of countryside. John Adams was an attorney; he defended the British soldiers accused of murder in the Boston Massacre because he believed everyone deserved a good defense. More recently, Harry Truman was a haberdasher -- he could hand-tailor and fit a good men's suit, and was always stylish and perfectly well dressed -- and Dwight D. Eisenhower was a farmer and a general, who understood strategy, supply lines, and outthinking the Nazis. John Kennedy, when in the Navy and his PT boat was destroyed, got the sailors on the boat to an island, found ways for them to survive, and sent coconuts with messages on them of their location out to help people find them. Lyndon Johnson was a small-town Texas attorney without a pedigree. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer (and still is a peanut farmer, as well as a house builder.)
"Whereas the current crop couldn't cross Fifth Avenue without limousines equipped with military-grade navigation systems."
"I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous, but Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity.
"The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and He has left in this universe "enough and to spare" for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth."
[On Mr. Trump's new challenge coin...]
"Overall, the coin looks like the type of flashy souvenir that Trump would've sold in his casinos' gift shops -- assuming those casinos were still open.
"Moammar Gadhafi may have had his gold gun and Saddam Hussein boasted a gold toilet-paper dispenser, but Trump's flashy gold coin would make them and other dictators green with envy. Apparently, MAGA stands for 'Make America Gaudy Again.'
"No doubt Trump supporters will love this new Trumpian coin. But to me this coin is like Trump: a bad penny that's an unwelcome, worthless knockoff of the original -- that we can't seem to avoid."-- Dean Obeidallah, "Trump's new coin remakes US in his own gaudy image", 2017-12-27</p>
"Look, Certain Subset of Star Wars fans: Star Wars is about the same stuff it was when you were a kid. It's not the franchise's fault you grew up to join the Empire." -- Mishell Baker, 2017-12-20
"End of the year Twitter confession: Until recently, I was a conservative. I rolled my eyes at almost all talk of ongoing oppression, systemic racism, sexism and misogyny, microagressions, and any hint that speech could = violence. I considered myself a classical liberal
"Since meeting the students of @WabashCollege and the MXI, I simply can't be a 'classical liberal' any more. There simply isn't a level playing field, not in terms of race, educational opportunities, economic resources, etc. To act like there is is cruel and self-serving.
"To end the confession, perhaps too honestly: Only 5 years ago I might have said 'all lives matter'; 'not all men'; 'everything is up for debate'; 'I'm a free speech absolutist'; 'students need to be prepared for the real world'. Now I say 'black lives matter'; 'I believe women'; 'I don't get to debate the existence of others'; 'free speech absolutism benefits the already powerful'; 'marginalised students have already seen more of the real world than I ever will'. That's my paradigm shift."
-- Matthew A. Sears, 2017-12-29 [bold emphasis added -- follow link to whole thread to see how he got from one paradigm to the other]
"SUMMARY OF LAST 5 YEARS GG [Gamergate]: we hate white women, queer people, and black people SUPPORTERS: ok but they're not Nazis GG: here's us with some Nazis SUPPORTERS: still not Nazis BANNON: big thanks to GG for creating our Nazi movement SUPPORTERS: who could have foreseen this" -- missus claws (@alicegoldfuss), 2017-12-16
A tweet from Liz Lilly XoXo (@GuildingLilly), 2017-12-07:
So I just talked with my girls' daycare teacher. "The girls asked if I had a daddy. Then they said 'our mommy Liz used to pretend to be a daddy. But she just pretended.' I wish more adults would see it like that."
"Darkly amusing that TERFs claim I should be scared of trans women being violent, when it's TERFs openly talking about murdering people. Given their lack of ability to 'tell' (as they think they can) who's trans, how long do you think it'll be before they murder a cis woman? [context] I've literally never been attacked by a trans women. I have however, had screeching crazy cis women abusing me in bathrooms because they think I'm 'too tall' to be female, and they think they can 'tell' who is trans. GUESS WHAT. YOU CAN'T.
"I, fortunately, when that occurred, was in the bathroom to change my tampon, and so I had a (quite heavily) used one I could wave in her face, which shut her up pretty quick. Seriously. One of these days a TERF is gonna bash or murder a cis woman for not looking 'female' enough."
-- Petya (@PetyaLB), 2017-12-14( some discussion... )
"Understanding conservative legal arguments against SB 179 requires uncovering under-studied aspects of U.S. law regulating gender authenticity and gender vulnerability. Since the colonial era, codes regulating dress have been part of managing racial hierarchy, gender conformity, and class difference. These laws treated transgressing race and gender boundaries not only as ' fraud' -- passing oneself off as someone else -- but often as ' theft' -- stealing identities that come with explicit and implicit power advantages. Contrary to conservative views, however, changing one's identification to align with one's gender isn't concealing anything -- it brings identifying documents into line with actual identity. Far from enabling 'fraud,' SB 179 eliminates the fraudulence of fixed-at-birth binary gender classification for gender minorities." -- Nadja Eisenberg-Guyot, "From Masquerade Laws to Bathroom Bills: The ugly legal history behind the opposition to California's new trans rights bill.", 2017-12-08</a>
"A war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships. Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (b. 1882-01-30, d. 1945-04-12; President of the United States 1933-03-04 to 1945-04-12), Statement on the National Industrial Recovery Act, 1933-06-06
[Today is 2017-12-25 on the Julian calendar. Merry Christmas to old-calendar Orthodox folks!]
"Once again may we discover Word made flesh sent from above
In our neighbor, sister, brother, in the lonely and unloved.
May we touch him, may we hold him, may we cradle him with care
As we learn to love each other, bringing hope from out despair."
-- from "Epiphany Carol" (2002) by Francis Patrick O'Brien (to the tune of "Beach Spring")
[For folks who take down their Christmas decorations on or just after Epiphany, here's a relevant cartoon]
"And this is the truth of the universe: to live, you must kill. We can be as moral as we want, but the calories have to come from somewhere, and humans can't eat stone. Death feeds life, and life feeds death. The line between greed and necessity is a thin one, [...]" -- from "An Equal Share of the Bone", by Karen Osborne, 2017
[I've been listening to Escape Pod for a few months (since Karen mentioned having sold a story to them) and working my way through old episodes. So far this has been the only story where my immediate reaction at the end was to replay it from the beginning.]
"The death of Net Neutrality will not affect you overnight like most places are reporting. You won't pay $10 for Facebook, $5 for streaming sites, etc... or things like that. You won't have access to certain sites blocked.
"Rather, it will happen slowly and secretly over the next few years, which is arguably worse. You'll notice Netflix and Twitch will start buffering more and more while your ISP sends you a mailer to buy their cable/movie package. Your VoIP will drop calls while your ISP promotes a competitor at a 'special' price. Independent online games will struggle to have reliable pings while AAA games seem to have no problem.
"How do we know this will happen? Because ISPs have already tried this in the past when the legality was unclear. Now that it's fully legal, what will stop them?
"In the meantime, you'll forget. When they don't charge $3 for access to Netflix, you'll think to yourself that the whole #NetNeutrality cause was overblown. You won't notice the gradual decline of your ISP, and you'll forget what you once expected of them. The ISPs will win unless we continue to fight, but I find it hard to believe that we can maintain this anger for so much longer.ISPs have done this before. And repealing Net Neutrality only enables them more."</i></p>
-- CrazyAsian, 2017-12-14
"So, @sama wrote this piece where he says that 'we' should be entitled to say dumb shit because things that start as dumb shit may lead to good shit.
"I need people to understand this about minorities. Please. If you're from a historically oppressed group then...by survival...you've become extremely adept at detecting good faith arguments and bad faith arguments.
"I can tell you that black people and black families have been disagreeing with each other since Mansa Musa. In fact, I'd be willing to suggest that black people are the only people that constantly have intense, existential sociological arguments amongst themselves. What @sama is missing is that what he refers to as 'PC culture' is mainly people quickly nipping dangerous buds that have always grown into large problems.
"Here's an illustration: I know one black lawyer who got asked to remove a Malcolm X quote from their office's wall. But, this is not what Sam would couch as PC culture. By his own blog post, Sam would say restricting the ability to 'debate' the mental inferiority of blacks is PC culture.
"The one thing I hate about education is that it gives really, really wrong people, who are operating in bad faith, a 'smart sounding' accent that makes all of their sleights harder to catch.
"1. I do not know a single 'PC person' who wants to ban 'wacky' ideas. 2. 'Gay people are evil' is not a controversial idea. There is literally no controversy, no more than me saying I should be able to kill a person a day is 'controversial.' A brave person would say this idea is wrong and it has no home here. @sama is not a brave man.
"That's the thing that gets me. People are constantly trying to gaslight us with bad faith arguments and it is extremely transparent.
"Last point, my existential dread kicks in when I realize the far right, the far left, the terrifyingly wealthy, and the tech bros of San Fran are probably four years away from finding a point of unification and that behemoth's blind spots will do us all in."
-- KYLE A.B., 2017-12-15 (tweet thread ... excerpt of the piece the author is reacting to is attached as photo to first tweet)
"Voter fraud is a virtually non-existent problem that Republicans use as an excuse to justify voter suppression tactics. In fact, voter fraud is so rare that the only person to be charged and convicted of committing voter fraud in Colorado in the 2016 election is...the former Chair of the Colorado Republican Party." -- Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Eric Walker, quoted in "Steve Curtis found guilty of voter fraud, forgery" by Blair Miller, thedenverchannel.com, 2017-12-07
[The article mentions two other convictions this year, one for casting a fraudulent vote in 2013 and another with the year(s) of the offense not given. But only Steve Curtis, former chairman of the state Republican Party for committing the act in 2016.]
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