I know how to fix the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “problem”!

You may have seen the tedious Politico article which fished up criticisms of AOC from her fellow democrats for making waves — most of these democrats haven’t made so much as a ripple, so their envy and resentment were understandable. I think this rebuttal was spot on, though.

But how do we end the whiny nobody problem? The Democratic party is full of status quo whimperers.

There is only one solution: we need to elect a few hundred of the kinds of prospective politicians who are inspired by and model their efforts after Ocasio-Cortez. I don’t necessarily want to elect her to the presidency, but a Democratic party that had discarded its apathetic weasels and was populated by an army of AOC types would finally give us a choice. Make her the rule rather than the exception.

The Democrats are talking about actually doing things?

Be still my heart. There are a couple of promises that have gotten me excited.

One is Pelosi swearing that she’s going to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. Please do that. Could you time it for something like March or April, when us normal human beings are paying our taxes? I don’t expect that they’ll contain anything blatantly illegal — but if they do, I’d be happy to see our president in prison for tax fraud — but I do expect that they’ll reveal he’s been worth much less than he claims (make his ego bleed!), that he used all kinds of loopholes to avoid paying taxes, and that he paid nothing to little to the treasury. That’ll piss people off, and motivate support for the second thing.

AOC suggested raising the top tax rate to 70%. That’s still too low, but it’s a step in the right direction, and if the Democrats were smart, they’d realize that’s the kind of positive policy change that will get the masses to start supporting them with a little enthusiasm. It’ll also make the pissant conservative pundits pee their pants — Ben Shapiro is already whining that that’s scary. The centrists will want to hedge on everything, but fuck the centrists, create change.

The rich should appreciate it, but they won’t. The nice thing about taxing the rich is that the rest of us can stop building guillotines in our back yards, and it’s a nice compromise with eating the rich. They’re high in cholesterol and I’ve cut way back on meat anyway.

Commie know-it-alls can dance, but Republicans can’t?

Clearly, we need to settle the next election with a dance-off. One of those bizarre conspiracy theorist conservatives dug up an old (well, from 2010) college video which included shots of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez committing a grievous sin, dancing, and triumphantly presented it as if it were an indictment. Said crackpot’s account has since vanished, possibly out of embarrassment at his failure to elicit howls of outrage.

It’s kind of amazing. I only wish I could be 20 years old and dancing, and am a little envious of the young…but this was a good thing. Why would anyone think an innocent video of college students expressing some joy is a sign of nitwittery? Are the critics Baptists, or Republicans?

Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Friedrich Nietzsche

If you want to watch the whole video, here it is. It’s not a moment of high culture and deep political significance, it’s just young people having fun.

If that’s bad, you haven’t seen Tucker Carlson dance. I don’t think Carlson should be fired for bad dancing, though, but for being a racist fuckwit.

Will scientists be smarter than atheists?

Once upon a time, a small group of atheists declared that not believing in gods was not enough — that atheists should also stand up for justice, fight for equality, and oppose the fascist tendencies that were even then becoming apparent in government. They decided to set themselves apart and call their movement Atheism+, and the goal was to organize people to do more than promote the separation of church and state, but also to oppose sexism and racism.

They didn’t last long. The howls of opposition were prolonged and vicious…how dare anyone proclaim that, as atheists, they had wider, deeper interests? They were harassed out of existence. The knives came out, and the regressive, tribal atheists launched constant hate campaigns that linger on today. I still get frequently accused of being the wicked instigator of this perfidious attempt to organize SJWs who were also atheists (I wasn’t, but the idea that it was women who actually did the work was unthinkable, so I have been promoted to Atheism+ General). If you look in some places, especially YouTube, you find instead that anti-feminist jackholes rule the roost, and they do so by specifically ridiculing anyone who believes in the equality of women and minorities.

I wish Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Sarah Tuttle, and Joseph Osmundson luck with their manifesto, We Are The Scientists Against A Fascist Government.

Science, even just within the United States, is an international enterprise; it’s an intricate multinational dialogue and financial ecosystem. The scientific community in America contains — indeed relies on — immigrants from countries around the world. We recognize that there are hierarchies of power — as with every other facet of society — within the scientific community. We must stand with those at the greatest risk, including people of color, women/gender minorities, immigrants, and those at the intersections of these identities. Attacks on those at the margins — both within and without the scientific community — are attacks on human knowledge, on the very advancement of our society.

They are attacks on all of us.

As scientists, we cannot accept this new status quo. While we are deeply concerned about what the future holds for scientists — especially scientists from traditionally-excluded communities — we are also concerned about the impact of the administration’s agenda on the broader U.S. population, the global population, and our planet’s entire ecology. We understand in this context that it might seem simpler for scientists — especially those from backgrounds that have been more readily welcomed into the scientific community — to “reach across the aisle” and work with the new administration.

But we believe it is imperative that scientists pause and consider the profound implications of this proposal.

They’re aware of the pushback they’re going to get, and have already received.

Already we have heard our scientific colleagues murmur about trying to keep our work and ourselves “apolitical.” We even saw an early, now-retracted statement from the American Physical Society (APS) that sought to capitalize on Trump’s racist dog-whistle slogan “Make America Great Again.” While APS eventually recanted their statement, we understand that it reflects a deeply flawed, but broadly held belief among scientists that bipartisanship is always the answer, even if that means power-sharing with an administration that intends to cause financial and physical harm to vulnerable members of society — many of whom are scientists, the very people doing the work they claim to want to protect.

We have also heard private rumblings about what type of scientific funding might be spared in Trump’s America: Climate change will go, but cancer research must be safe. Even if they come for cancer research, particle physics merits an independent defense. Max Planck, for example, similarly argued that Jewish theoretical physicists were different from other kinds of Jews, in an attempt to spare Jewish scientists’ lives. As we know, this protective presumption was swiftly disproved by the Holocaust, which targeted the already marginalized Roma and most widely known, European Jews.

Science has never been apolitical. The only people who claim it is are the privileged ones who benefit from the status quo.

They have a list of action items so there are things scientists can do. At the very least, sign up for the cause. This is important, every level of society must mobilize to oppose the Republican dystopia, and scientists don’t get to hide behind that cowardly ‘apolitical’ canard.

Be better than the atheists have been.

What do you think of Elizabeth Warren announcing her candidacy?

I think it’s good. I don’t know if I want her as president yet, but declaring an intent to run means we can discuss what a Democratic presidency should mean, and that other candidates will be jockeying for policy positions relative to hers, and maybe a compelling vision will gel by the time of the primaries. A battle over what our government should do should sharpen the field…as long as it doesn’t descend into a contest over who hates Trump more.

Because I think I’d be a contender in that contest, and I’d be a terrible president.

Someone actually gets it

I’ve had people describe me as a far-left radical, which makes me blush…I’m honestly not that far our there. And I know a lot of university people, they tend not to be extremists. This comment is accurate.

You have to have drunk deeply of the wackaloon-right kool-aid to think university faculties are hot-beds of radicalism. Our students tend to be more pissed off at the system than we are.

The brave little intern

As President Trump walked through the Capitol building, an intern shouted out the only reasonable response to the man: “Mr President, FUCK YOU!”. The Capitol Police are now looking for her. It’ll probably cost her her job.

If it’s any compensation, I think we should erect a large marble statue of her on the mall, facing the White House.

If she’s caught, that is. I’m hoping all of her friends and colleagues are protecting her identity right now.

Journalism as a high-risk profession

It’s not like being a lumberjack or a commercial fisherman, but being an American journalist does involve risk. We’ve just joined the list of the top 5 most dangerous nations for journalists! You can read the full report from Reporters Without Borders. It’s not a distinction to take pride in.

The report doesn’t place specific blame, but I suspect that having a wanna-be dictator who idolizes tyrants and urges his followers to target journalists might be playing an enabling role here.