Third Graders Forced to Reenact the Holocaust

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You know, I like to think of myself as immune to antisemitism. I wasn’t raised to think of myself as a jew. That came over time. And because of my background, there are jews who would think I wouldn’t qualify. And because I grew up in Oregon where other jews were scarce, I didn’t encounter much in the way of overt antisemitism as a child. Third to 7th grade when I was in private school a bit, but nothing that gave me lasting scars, old wounds that might be extra sensitive to pain.

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Philosophy’s Sufficient Causes

Philosophy is the inevitable result of a houseful of books, alcohol, and vibrators. If you don’t have something interesting to say after drunk-masturbating while reading Judge Sirica’s Watergate memoir because you really wanted to finish it before dinner but it was getting a little dry, and speaking of dry your hitachi is right next to you so why not? then you won’t ever have anything interesting to say.

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The law can be dry, does that mean that lawyers are anti-poets?

This question came up in response to a new Elon Musk tweet that asserted, “Laws are on one side, poets on the other.” I think that it’s wrongheaded and under appreciates what lawyerly skill entails.

The best lawyers are often poetic (even if it doesn’t seem that way in certain filings/statements), since skill with the law requires keeping multiple possible meanings in your head at the same time. Just writing a contract requires something that may look like anti-poetry, but the reason is that the drafting lawyer is going through the process of anticipating possible alternative meanings and excluding them.

Poets, too, have to anticipate possible alternative meanings, though they only exclude the ones that disrupt their intent and deliberately import those ambiguous, multiple-meaning phrases that enhance their intent. Likewise, when the lawyer isn’t drafting something precisely, but rather finding the advantage in something already written (often a statute, but it could be a contract previously drafted), it’s to the client’s great advantage for the lawyer to see multiple meanings in single phrases and craft an argument that employs the most favorable meanings rather than the most obvious ones.

Skill with puns and poetry is correlated with skill in the law. If you’ve got puns, poetry, and logic all down, you’ll probably be great.

Here comes the sexism, WTF, people?

The Rittenhouse verdict hasn’t even been public for an hour and already I’m seeing supposed lefties criticizing Rittenhouse’s mother not for her parenting or her recent interviews but for her appearance.

People are saying she must be a drunk or a meth head or a victim or incest or a perpetrator of incest all because they’re

  1. pissed at the legal system, and
  2. offended by her unattractive (to them) looks.

I get that people are pissed, but if how you want to express your anger at our legal system is to trash a woman who didn’t commit a crime, don’t do it here and maybe don’t do it at all.

Fuck all that sexist shit. Fuck it right out of the universe.

Quality of TERF-Adjacent Discourse

If you’re curious about the quality of the comments I do not let through, well, know that as a minnow in the giant blogging ocean, I don’t get too many bad ones. (Save for last summer when blogging about Portland. Hoo, boy! Got an increase in douchegabbers that month.)

Still, once a month or so, I get comments like this from an asshat who named his commenting account “robert paulson“:

tired of all the faggotry goin on these days

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I AM THE KNISHEST!

Oh, yeah, baby. I had not crafted homemade knish in, well, decades (and never by myself or even as the lead cook). Then a couple months ago I decided to give it a try, since I’m not always great at cooking for myself when I need food. I tend to only cook when others are around. But prepared food is expensive, and take out food more so, so I often eat only one meal a day, and my snacks aren’t the healthiest. So what to do? Well, I love my homemade pizza, but prechopped toppings & pre-grated cheese only goes so far. It wouldn’t be homemade pizza without homemade dough, and that takes a while. I needed quick (or at least easy) finger food. I no longer live close enough to Solly’s in Vancouver where you can buy frozen, ready-to-bake knish, but I could make them myself.*1

So I made some knish a couple months ago, but they didn’t end up with the right texture (the dough baked into more of a hard, crisp shell than is traditional (and good)).

Since then I tinkered with the recipe and the spices, opting for a samosa-inspired filling, but going out of my way to pick up fresh fennel & caraway & cumin seed. I used no caraway or fennel in the first attempt, and relied on powders for the second. Neither gave that sharp, fresh flavor after cooking that fresh cracked seed imparts, so I knew the whole seed would be crucial to my third attempt. I have a 3-day gaming retreat once per month for the last few months, and the need for easy food is particularly high during those days. It’s coming up this week, so this weekend was time to give the knish another try.

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Guy Fawkes: Good Activists and Social Change

So the first official entry in our Guy Fawkes series is from a great thread on Pharyngula about Beyoncé’s feminism. The whole thread is worth your time, but let’s pick up where beloved commenter chimera mentions

One of my favorite philosophers said something on the radio the other day that struck me. He said his favorite black civil rights leaders of the 60s were The Black Panthers because they had no pretension of being “good” (read: appropriate, upstanding, notable, conforming, respectable, moral, role model for your kids, and all that….). And that a person doesn’t have to be “good” (in that sense) to call for political change.

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Do I have to do everything around here?

Fortunately, no. No I do not. On every issue that I address, there’s someone else right here on FtB who also discusses (or has discussed) the same thing. But there are issues where I feel I have that little extra bit of expertise, or where I flatter myself that I have had a particularly good insight and start to feel, “Gosh, I really should write something on that.” My feeling of moral obligation has been expressed in many ways. A couple of my favorites are the Hebrew, “Tikkun olam,” and the West Wing quote from a fictional New Hampshire Catholic,

If fidelity to freedom and democracy is the code of our civic religion, then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received.

I just can’t seem to leave poor enough alone. But there are times when issues come up,  as has happened in the last few days, that I feel I’ve already expressed myself well on a topic, but in a comment on some thread where it is more than likely to be lost to time. Writing on trans issues can be exhausting for me. Frankly, it’s not necessarily good for my mental health. But leaving the  world in a poor state is not only bad for the world, it’s also bad for me: as a relentlessly self-critical ethicist, shirking my ethical duties only results in self loathing, which ain’t any better for my mental health than writing on difficult topics. As a result, I’m going to start doing something I previously felt ws too vain to do more than once a year or so. I’m going to be resurrecting some of those comments that I consider worth time and attention even outside of their original contexts and recreate them as posts here on Pervert Justice. Note that I won’t be merely linking them, since we know that it’s easier to lose blog comments in a technology transition than blog posts. When I do this, I’ll be copying them whole, sometimes with bits of additional context surrounding them so that there are no gaps in understanding.

Bonus points to those who understand why I chose today to embark on this new policy (no peeking at this post’s URL), and on the off chance someone who reads me elsewhere has a suggestion for a topic on which I’ve expressed myself (or even a specific comment), you can put it below.

How do you solve a problem like kathleenzielinski?

So, over on that Pharyngula thread that has sparked a week’s worth of posts here on Pervert Justice, the main instigator of the back and forth was a commenter named kathleenzielinski who tends to pop up in threads that are not about trans people and pose a very, very serious question about “Why do we take all these trans people seriously, with their rights and stuff, when they deserve rights of course but not the almighty excessive rights that these trans people are always demanding, like the right to grow their wheatgrass for juicing right in my shower under my bathroom skylight? Why are over 90% of trans people telling me that I can’t move wheatgrass out of my own way when I take a shower in my own bathroom just because the shower is where the daylight from the skylight hits?”

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