Security Specialist, Abolitionist, Anabaptist
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Indirect Detection

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I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.
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toddgrotenhuis
3 days ago
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Indianapolis
popular
3 days ago
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7 public comments
Covarr
3 days ago
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I had a friend a couple months ago ranting about how awful the pro-pedophilia movement was, and all I could think was "what pro-pedophilia movement?"
Moses Lake, WA
chrisamico
3 days ago
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This is pretty much the social web in 2018.
Boston, MA
rraszews
3 days ago
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Fred Clark, the Slacktivist, has written a bunch of times before about the "Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition". Long story short, probably no one is burning kittens or hunting shelter animals for sport; claiming such (and in many cases, convincing yourself you believe it too) is a way to make yourself feel like a hero for opposing something evil (Without having to do much work, since you can't actually go out there and fight the kitten-burners as said burners do not exist), and get other people to sign on to support your side because otherwise they're siding with the kitten-burners.
corjen
3 days ago
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Sharing for the alt text.
Iowa
ireuben
3 days ago
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I totally thought this was going to be a “my hobby is...” post (or maybe that’s just what the friend is doing!).
alt_text_at_your_service
4 days ago
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I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.
alt_text_bot
4 days ago
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I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Literary Turing

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Thanks to Ken, Michael, and Barbara from patreon for helping make this more clear! If anything is confusing, it's their fault.


Today's News:
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toddgrotenhuis
4 days ago
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Indianapolis
acdha
8 days ago
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Washington, DC
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I Intend to Vote Everyday

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Young people tend to think their vote doesn’t matter (compared to the views of older Americans).

Which is a shame. Because their cynicism is directly tied to public policy, which favors older Americans and, quite frankly, is responsible for younger ones getting the shaft these days.

But it is what it is. If young Americans don’t care enough to vote, then I’m not about to feel sorry for them when their government sticks it to them. Decisions have consequences. Both good and bad. Surely they can’t be so stupid not to realize that.

I also don’t get worked up about it because I realize being politically active involves more than voting. A whole lot more. In fact, the case can be made that our vote is a minor political act in the overall scheme of things.

So what’s potentially even more important than voting?

For one thing, money. More precisely, how we earn it and spend it.

These are the decisions that permeate our lives. And also permeate the market, commerce, investments and public policy in a myriad of less conspicuous ways. But highly impactful ways nonetheless.

Money reflects priorities. And sets priorities. Indeed, the power of the pocketbook is greater than the power of most politicians. By a wide margin.

Money is the means by which we reward certain businesses, nonprofits and activities, and penalize — and sometimes kill off — others.

Yet I wonder how many people take money as seriously as their vote when it comes to politics. Undoubtedly, some people do, but I bet most don’t.

I’ve decided to become more politically active with my money. It started a few years back, but my personal movement has been picking up steam lately, propelled, in part, by the excesses of our market economy and the lunacy and threat posed by corporations and incredibly selfish and shortsighted elites, including our current president.

So while I still intend to vote (and can’t imagine why so many people don’t), I’m going to try to put voting into better perspective, which means it will take its rightful place as a minor political act.

So what else do I intend to do?

Here are a few things:

  • Never invest in an oil or gas company, chemical company (yes, I know, I used to be the CEO of one), social media company (Facebook being the prime culprit), casino, defense contractor or spirits company (the booze kind, not Halloween costumes or makers of Ouija boards)
  • Never buy a lottery ticket (i.e., don’t participate in a system that does considerable harm to poor and working class people)
  • Minimize my purchase of gasoline (walk and bike even more, drive even less)
  • Use cloth bags and go bagless as much as possible, avoiding those environmentally senseless plastic bags
  • Never donate to a nonprofit that hasn’t demonstrated a sincere commitment to its mission by the way they spend their money and also demonstrates competency (which eliminates most but not all nonprofits)
  • Donate to people and organizations that are effective at standing in the way of evil and idiocy (e.g., the ACLU and NGOs that are combating global warming, which could threaten humans’ very existence)
  • Buy books written by thoughtful people who are calling attention to the illusions and lies that are threatening our planet and the well-being of people and nature generally (even if I can’t read them all)
  • Move into a smaller house, with geothermal heating and solar panels if feasible (I’m hoping the guy next door will sell me his property so I can build a more suitable house there, but I concede this is a goal that may take a while to achieve.)
  • Patronize stores that treat their employees well (e.g., Costco) and avoid those that treat their employees like chattel
  • Drink less alcoholic beverages (I’ve already nearly eliminated my purchases of spirits.)
  • Eat less red meat (raising cattle in particular is an environmentally harmful activity)
  • Buy eggs and milk that were collected from chickens and cows that lived in pastures (I realize this is a luxury given the premium prices these products command.)
  • Buy organic
  • Patronize local farmers by shifting more of my purchases to the local farmers market (a short walk from our house)
  • Try not to patronize harmful idiots (in particular, those who foster and promote a culture of stupidity) and hate-mongers, meaning ignoring most of what appears on TV, cable or radio and a whole lot of print and web media
  • Consistent with the immediately preceding bullet point, endeavor to not buy anything made by any company that supports Fox News (yes, I realize it’s more propaganda than news) (GEICO and Procter and Gamble are two easy targets)
  • Withhold my tourism dollars from states that are harming our country (Texas probably heads this list)
  • Try to think of additional ways to vote that haven’t occurred to me yet (any suggestions?)

Each of these steps, taken alone, is insignificant. And useless. But taken together, by enough people, they are powerful. And impactful. Far more than anything we can do behind a curtain on a November Tuesday.

Not that I don’t think my vote matters. I’m not an idiot — well, not entirely so. I will vote tomorrow. Against the party of stupidity, unconstrained greed and hate. The party that doesn’t care if we heat up our planet to uninhabitable levels. The party that doesn’t care if our air and water are clean. The party that loves to demonize other people. The party that fosters a culture of hate and division. The party that cares more about one thing than any other: money. Profits. Wealth. Theirs. Not anyone else’s.

Is it because I have faith in the other party? Hardly. They’re not much better. But, at least in this moment in time, they are better. At least by a smidgen. And smidgens matter when it comes to matters of survival. And well-being. And priorities. And our future. It matters a lot.

But I won’t delude myself into thinking tomorrow is that much different from any other day. I will endeavor to be more mindful of that reality than I have been in the past.

The reality is, I am voting each and every day, whether I am mindful of it or not. Each time I make a decision. About money.

I love the fact we have a vote in this country. And I intend to exercise mine a lot — indeed, every single day.



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toddgrotenhuis
10 days ago
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Indianapolis
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I Am the Ultimate Outsider In this Election Because I Only Have a Vague Understanding of Politics

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Voters, if you want the average politician who knows what the “DC” in Washington DC stands for, then I guess don’t elect me because I haven’t a clue. I can’t even locate Washington DC on a map, and I made a promise to myself at an early age that I would never give in and learn where it is.

The mainstream media would claim in my recent stump speeches they saw me doing the Sieg Heil salute and making secret white nationalist gestures. What they won’t tell you is that when I talk my body is constantly gyrating, emitting thousands of symbols per minute. So they take one or two snapshots and use that to say I’m some kind of racist, but they don’t show you the thousands of other normal shots where I’m laughing, clapping, holding up my middle finger, doing push-ups with my shirt off, or demonstrating martial arts by chopping the podium.

Am I going to drain the swamp? No. Absolutely not. Because that’s where my family lives. We live in the swamp. If there is no swamp water, I cannot run my business. I started my own business from the ground up. It’s a paddleboat rental company that lets people battle it out on the water, incorporating a mixture of both paintball and laser tag. A lot of customers drowned the first year, but I came out all the stronger for it.

If elected, I promise you that I will not be beholden to “laws” that stop others from getting the job done. Last year, people in my state needed water and the establishment types wrung their hands and wondered, “Oh, what ever will we do?” I got to work bottling up the swamp water and writing that the water contained “coconut extract” and clearly marking “not from swamp” on every label. Politicians will tell you can’t do that. But I did, and guess what? A lot of people got water, I made a lot of money, and not everyone got dysentery.

I listen to the people. Even when the people ask me to move to a table further away from them to stop listening to their conversations, I continue listening.

I am bold and unpredictable. Doctors have testified under oath that they literally have no idea what I will do from one moment to the next. They would love to lock me up and keep me out of this election because they’re afraid of my ideas and the confusing, threatening letters I’ve been writing to my local library.

We need business leaders in charge who can actually get things done. At my corporate job, I like to cut through the elite meetings and get right to shouting, “Where are the bagels?” And pointing at people saying, “What did you do with the bagels?” Going right down the line asking, “What did you do with the bagels?” to each and every colleague. And then shaking hands with everyone there, looking them in the eyes and shouting, “Blood oath!” I usually cut my hand on the glass door whenever I barge into a room and blood is everywhere, and it makes it seem like I cut myself on purpose.

You want dirt on me? No need to look. I’ll give it to you. That’s how outsider I am. I’m the one who’ll dig up my own dirt and hand it over to you.

Let’s get into it!

  • I was married briefly to a Russian spy who seduced me and stole a lot of lucrative U.S. paddleboat industry trade secrets, and I loved the hell out of her, and I’d take her back in a heartbeat.
  • I am not a resident of the country.
  • I burn books that I disagree with or sometimes just by accident when cooking on my grill.
  • There is a Facebook group devoted to me called Stop The Panera Bread Listener with a photo of me where a lot of people write some mean, hurtful things.
  • I am not allowed to set foot within 100 yards of my local library.

I’m tired of business as usual. I hope you are too, and that’s why I’m asking for your vote next week for PTA President. Thank you.

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toddgrotenhuis
13 days ago
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Indianapolis
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Wants

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
BUT THIS TINY BLIP ON AN ELECTION PREDICTION GRAPH IS REALLY IMPORTANT


Today's News:

Thanks for buying, geeks!

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jlvanderzwan
16 days ago
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Speaking as someone who does not have the "immediately forget" part: amnesia is underrated.
toddgrotenhuis
13 days ago
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Indianapolis
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hannahdraper
16 days ago
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This is too close to home.
Washington, DC

I Traveled to a Diner In Trump Country to Write Another Article On Whether the President’s Supporters Still Want to, Quote, “Smash My Libtard Face In”

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It has been, to put it lightly, a bad few years for journalism. Public trust was shattered after the surprising results of the 2016 election, leading to a lot of self-reflection on the part of journalists. How did we mess up so badly? Was it the fact that we harped on a non-story, pushed entirely by a bad faith Republican media machine? No, we decided; it was the fact that we weren’t in touch with Trump voters. What do they really mean when they say, “Journalists are the enemy of the people?” It’s truly a mystery. Luckily, I drove from my coastal elite bubble to a diner in America’s heartland to hear things straight from the President’s supporters’ mouths.

After all, the only way to stop people from wanting to bash your face in for writing something they disagree with is to sit down across a platter of some bacon and eggs and just talk.

The concerns of President Trump’s supporters are valid, and they deserve to be heard. All opinions, after all, are equally valid — whether that opinion is “I have a journalism degree and spend my entire day trying to get the facts” or “I pipe The Daily Caller directly into my prefrontal cortex and that’s just as good as facts, you [pick a slur, any slur].”

I came to this diner, The No Safe Space Café, to get a taste of the Real America. This America exists outside the liberal echo chambers, somewhere with real diversity of thought: The opinions of straight, white, Christian men.

“George Soros commands an army of transgender Jewish robots, who have infiltrated our society and aim to make all our kids gluten-free,” says Paul, 54, a white, middle-class, salt-of-the-earth, blue-collar financial analyst and property developer making $329,000 a year.

I say that surely, he means this metaphorically. Surely, he’s expressing some sort of discontentment with the fact that the middle of the country feels left behind as the industry and agriculture sectors have—

“No, no.” Paul shakes his head. “The control center George Soros uses for these robots is in Berkeley, California. Someday we’re going to find it, and then you will all get what’s coming to you. And by ‘all get what’s coming to you,’ I mean violence.”

I thank him for agreeing to sit down and talk with me.

“Enjoy the ability to trash talk our president while you still can, scum,” he says, shaking my hand.

Disagreements are what make us American. You believe journalists should be thrown in jail for saying things you don’t like? Totally fine, but I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree there. Even though I’m a smart and sensible person, for some reason I believe that Trump supporters are going to say something new and insightful in the next 8,000-word profile, or at the very least they’ll see themselves represented in print and stop wanting to take a baseball bat to our faces. Fingers crossed this will be the article that accomplishes all that!

I continue through the diner, discussing the issues with Trump supporters as they thoughtfully throw sugar packets, straws, and crumpled up napkins at me. As they prepare to pummel me with their fists, I type out a genius lede to the article:

In a time when division and political change is racking the country, one group stands firmly behind President Trump — the people who like him.

I get back into my car, proud of myself about how fair I’m being, blood oozing from my ears. I pull up my GPS. It’s time to go ice skating with the subject of my next profile — a white supremacist who, like, actually kinda loves ice skating? Isn’t that quirky and fun?

Yes, America. It’s all so, so quirky and fun.

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toddgrotenhuis
13 days ago
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Indianapolis
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