The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

I’m sorry, but the ol’ US can’t come to the phone right now. ¿Why? O, ’cause she’s dead

From The Hill:

The Department of Defense clapped back at Fox News host Jesse Watters on Wednesday after he said Taylor Swift could be a “psyop” for the Pentagon.

“I wonder who got to her from the White House or wherever,” Watters said on his show Tuesday night. “Who makes that initial handshake.”

Waters was referencing a partnership between Swift and intended to encourage young people to register to vote.

The remark spawned conspiracy theories suggesting Swift could be a government asset or part of a broader information campaign.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh shut down the speculation Wednesday in a statement to Politico. 

“As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off,” she said, a tongue-in-cheek reference to one of the pop star’s hits.

¿What the fuck kind o’ world am I living in?

I’m grateful the hip kids @ The Hill took the time to ’splain to my grandpa living under a rock that the phrase “shake it off” is a “tongue-in-cheek reference to one of the pop star’s hits”.

To add to the meme, I created this:

Posted in No News Is Good News, Politics

Some Moomer like you, giant stick up his ass, age, ¿what, 32? ¿He’s just going to Break Benjamins? – Nostalgic Novelty Noughties Nu-Metal

Pro tip to album cover artists: don’t make your album cover depict the expression o’ someone who might hate your music; you’ll just open yourself up to mockery.

Breaking Benjamin, which is probably not a nu-metal band, but an alternative rock band inspired mo’ by The Smashing Pumpkins ( in fact, Billy Corgan worked with them on We Are Not Alone ) than Korn or Limp Bizkit, is not a band that people think ’bout much when thinking o’ cheesy 2000s bands, which is too bad, as they’ve got some amazing lyrics — & by amazing, I mean amazingly cheesy. They might be 1 o’ the most common sources for the weird Spanish titles or alternative titles I create for my poetry.

In line with this series’s duty to bring light to such 2000s meme fodder lost in dark obscurity, we will be taking a look @ what was, I think, their big breakthru album, We Are Not Alone. This was, a’least, the 1st album I heard from them, discovered where I discovered most o’ the early music I listened to, lost in a sea of ol’ CDs my mother had in a bunch o’ leather cases, & had the 2 songs I heard on the radio most from this band, “So Cold” & “Sooner or Later” ( I think “Phobia”, which came later, & honestly is probably a better album, was bigger, & I’m almost certain “The Diary of Jane” is their biggest song ). But most importantly, I picked it ’cause it has the most memorably cheesy lyrics, which is what matters most in this series.

1. So Cold

I believe this was the biggest song on this album, played in a bunch o’ Halo games or commercials or something. It also received a remix with some woman I’ve ne’er heard o’ without the singer’s input that pissed him off & caused him to fire the rest o’ the band. Thinking ’bout it, it’s odd that the lead singer’s gainst that kind o’ butchery, but fine with this deep, brooding song playing in a shoot-shoot video game.

As a kid, I ne’er understood the hype, but that’s just ’cause it’s a slower song. I’ve come to appreciate its dirginess better. I mean, I can’t deny that the slow opening is memorable. Also, it seems like they put mo’ effort into the lyrics. “In this land of make-believe, dead and dry” isn’t Leonard Cohen, but it’s better than the vague lefto’ers found on the tail-end o’ this album.

Apparently this song was inspired by a movie.

Grade: B

2. Simple Design

Here we have some memetic lyrics:


Yes, it’s shouted like that.

The rest o’ the lyrics aren’t any saner. Look @ the 1st verse:

i live a chemical life
i’m on a mission to try
you went insane for the day
i’ll have to shove it away
my only option is gone
smile as they break and they fall
you want a simpler life
you can’t erase what was mine

I swear none o’ these lines connect. ¿A mission to try what? This reminds me o’ that poem the Seventh Sanctum Writing Prompt Generator wrote 7 years ago.

According to Genius this song’s ’bout Ben trying to get his ex to understand & accept that he cares mo’ ’bout himself & his band than her. That’s not a new sentiment — I believe Led Zeppelin had a song ’bout choosing music o’er one’s lover — but worded this way is just hilarious & makes the song e’en funnier.

Grade: A

3. Follow

( Featured here is the “radio edit”, so our Christian grandmothers lets us listen to it ).

I still have no idea what “I don’t know why you lie so clean” ( which I always interpreted as “laugh so clean”, which I actually think would be a better line ) means, but I love the way Ben pronounces “clean”, putting his whole throat into it.

Genius gives no greater explanation than that Billy Corgan o’ The Smashing Pumpkins co-wrote this song. That actually ’splains a lot.

Grade: B

4. Firefly

Like Papa Roach’s “Revenge”, it’s criminal that this song has no memes ’bout it. Imagine an angsty, loud nu-metal song with a deep, scraggly voice shouting:


I also love the lines:

bring me your enemies
lay them before me
& walk away

I don’t care what Ben says: I’ve decided this song is ’bout the singer sacrificing people to a giant daemonic firefly. Such are the vile powers “Death o’ the Author” gives me.

The best part is that this song was apparently used in wrestling video games. I can only imagine the bathos o’ watching some beefy wrestler storm out the stage while a song blasts ’bout fucking fireflies.

Grade: S

5. Break My Fall

You almost think this is a normal Evanescence song till the bridge when you hear these weird intercom voices say, “MAY DAY, MAY DAY, WE’RE IN DANGER OF CRASHING” before we’re back to the solemn guitars & sad, soulful singing.

Also, tho the line makes sense in the context o’ the song, I love the line, “I will clean your fuckin’ mess”, said with just the amount o’ bitterness you’d expect. “All right, I’ll clean the milk you spilt, you lazy asshole”. ¿Why have I not used that line yet?

Grade: C

6. Forget It

I already did.

I’m genuinely shocked that this o’ all songs was a single. Most o’ this song is meh, specially the chorus which is just repeating “Forget it”. Granted, I do like the pre-chorus with its grand philosophical question: “¿how can I believe when this cloud hangs over me?”. ¿Belief in what? ¿God? “I can’t believe in God if I can’t see them, & I can’t see them with this dumbass cloud in their way”.

From Genius, Ben’s own review o’ his own song:

It’s very cool – both structurally and melodically. It’s subtle, but listen closely and you’ll hear the song move up a half-step every verse and chorus. As a vocalist, that’s really challenging because it forces me to sing in a different key every time. It’s definitely unusual, and had it not been for Billy, I probably never would’ve tried something like that.

¿Did this cracker just do the whole Noel Gallagher “I’m a fockin’ genius ’cause I did a key change, wanka”?

Grade: C

7. Sooner or Later

This song, which I knew was a single, since I’d heard it on the radio, has a music video, but the only 1 I could find on YouTube looks like a blurry mess & will probably be taken down someday, so I didn’t bother.

I made the mistake o’ looking @ the lyrics, — something I’ve ne’er done in the years I’ve listened to this album — as apparently what I always heard as “I am a lava-hater”, which I ne’er understood, is “I am a lover-hater”, which… I actually understand e’en less. Fuck that: Ben hates lava, it’s canon.

I tell e’eryone my personal mantra is “just call my name, you’ll be ok / your scream is burning thru my veins” & they look @ me & put me in an insane asylum where I belong.

Also: “sooner or later, you’re gonna hate it / go ahead & throw your life away”. I also love the way he rolls his R’s when saying “drrivin’ me under”.

Man, these Genius annotations are a bizarre whiplash, trying to interpret these songs as being a multilayered tapestry, which seems positive, but then casually throwing in stuff that e’en I think are a bit too low, like, “we all know that ben is alcoholic”, which was probably intended to sound far less insulting than it came ’cross. Dude, the guy got a serious disease from it. Also, I’m pretty certain he went clean, so it’s not e’en accurate.

I legitimately love the menacing bass lines seeming to bubble under the verses. I think that was 1 o’ the 1st legit critiques I’ve given to these songs.

Grade: A

8. Breakdown

Mo’ amazing meme lyrics:


Also love the line that introduces it:


The odd piano notes @ the beginning, followed by an awkward pause, & then sudden loud rock, only adds to the unhinged energy.

Genius annotation:

Breakdown is about a relationship that has fallen and ended and the other wants to keep it up but the other person keeps moving away from that idea, making you feel like you about to have a breakdown in all the madness thats happening.

I feel like I’m having a breakdown trying to decipher this annotation.

Grade: S

9. Away

I was going to say I usually drop off the album @ this point, but ’pon listening thru this song ’gain it came back to me from some dormant decades-ol’ memory. It’s a nice song, I guess, but that’s probably just that pleasant nostalgic feeling o’ re-encountering an ol’ song you forgot. I kind o’ like the chrous melody, but the verses are boring.

Also, ¿“only God could save you / if you knew your way to the light”? ¿Was Breaking Benjamin a Christian rock band this whole time? ¡This isn’t the Thousand Foot Krutch ( yes, that’s a real rock band ) or Skillet episode!

Grade: C

10. Believe

O, yeah, I remember this song, too. The chorus is just Ben shouting from ’hind his hands like he’s pretending to be a military commander, with the line, “shut up, smart little bitch”, which is probably the closest Breaking Benjamin has come to sounding like a nu-metal band. I do kind o’ like the bass-heavy “DOW DOW DOW-DOW DOW DOW DOW-DOW-DOW” @ the beginning & end. I guess it’s kind o’ a banger, but not very memorable beyond the weird shouting chorus.

Honestly, the Genius annotation is mo’ inspiring:

Believe is about a person who is self devoted and only cares about themselves and is always hostile and aggressive towards the other and doesn’t care about the other and kinda hates them a good bit.

I love this long Biblical parataxis ’bout being “always hostile” toward someone else, but then ending with the understatement, “and kinda hates them a good bit”. Yeah, that’s how I’d describe someone who is always hostile & aggressive & doesn’t care ’bout “the other”.

Grade: C

11. Rain

( Serious, whoe’er is running the official Breaking Benjamin YouTube channel, upload these music videos already so I don’t have to rely on videos with the resolution o’ a GBA game uploaded by “bassroxpunkrock” ).

Long before recent hood classics like “ABCDEFU” & “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bitch”, Breaking Benjamin made a song whose chorus literally starts with “rain, rain, go away, come again another day”. As someone firmly in the pro-rain camp, I could not disagree mo’. Apparently these lyrics & the bland acoustic strumming with some weird water dribbling sounds lightly in the background required the assistance o’ Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.

According to YouTube music, there was an “Alternate Single Version”, which is called “Rain (2005)” by the official YouTube channel, & which has some distracting electronic notes in the background, but better, mo’ forceful singing, specially the final chorus, which is built up with a bunch o’ drums. Honestly, that ending ’lone bumped this up to a C, where it otherwise would’ve been a D.

Grade: C

Posted in Nostalgic Novelty Noughties Nu-Metal

Mo’ Like Newspee — Mo’ Dumb Newsweek Articles

I made a horrible mistake. I let someone online point me to an article on Newsweek & I couldn’t help looking @ that goofy sidebar with article titles… ¿& would you believe they’re e’en goofier this time? ¿Remember how last time Newsweek had a riveting debate ’tween 2 articles on whether the death penalty is good or bad… ( or, rather, whether the death penalty is only good if Hitler is ’live or if it’s proven good ’cause time machines don’t exist )? Well, take a look @ this new hardball debate:

The fact that neither side is “pumpkin pie”, which is, objectively, the best choice that anyone would e’er make, is proof that Newsweek can’t be taken serious. ¿Fucking stuffing? Stuffing is the very telltale American “let’s just throw a bunch o’ random shit together & pretend it’s food” kind o’ “food”. Stuffing gets a D tier — as do both these articles.

Anyway, the article I was linked to was ’bout terrible political cartoonist ( I know that’s redundant ), Michael Ramirez, whining ’bout how he’s being canceled ’cause The Washington Post took down a racist cartoon where he peddles Israel’s bizarre Orwellian rhetoric that Hamas are really the ones killing all those civilians by forcing Israel to bomb them to get to the secret military hide-outs they claim are there ( but ne’er prove so ), which is itself just a repeat o’ the “dead baby strategy” conspiracy cooked up by the unhinged propagandist Alan Dershowitz, which apparently includes collusion with the UN ( who, coincidentally, has repeatedly criticized Israel’s actions gainst Palestine ). The idea that most people express is that these deaths would stop if Hamas would just nicely surrender, which isn’t e’en true, since there’s no guarantee that some other group that hates Israel for bombing them for the 1,000th time wouldn’t pop up; but e’en if ’twere, you could say the same thing ’bout Israel surrendering — but I don’t think Ramirez would take that seriously as a “solution”.

For comparison, nobody e’en blames the Nazis for the Dresden bombing & claims that the Nazis really killed those Germans by being dirty Nazis — & you could make a better case for that, since the Nazis truly did start that war by just invading countries, whereas history clearly shows that both Israel & Palestine started the current conflict 80 years ago by ne’er truly agreeing on borders or e’en whether or not they should be 1 or 2 countries. This kind o’ empty-headed propaganda is the apex o’ cowardice & it’s understandable that any news organization who received it would blacklist the artist due purely to the evidence o’ their hopeless hackery & the inevitability that they will ne’er produce any good art.

In any case, The Washington Post’s true mistake was e’er letting Ramirez make a comic for them if their goal was to avoid racism, as this was far from the 1st example o’ him being racist. I could think o’ many, including 1 where he defined Obama as a pot-smoking basketball player ( & alleged that these were morally congruent with homophobic assault ) & ’nother that basically calls all potential immigrants terrorists by warning that 9/11 would happen ’gain if we made the borders “wide open”, which is a policy that exists only in conservative fantasy. Then ’gain, he did also make an amazing comic for labor day showing pregnant Karl Marx.

Unsurprising by the kind o’ hack who compares conservatives ( a moral choice, like choosing to murder, which cannot be made a protected class without causing all laws to collapse, since all laws, by their very nature, are biased gainst certain morals ) to black people ( an unchosen class without any inherent morality to it ) facing discrimination ( like Obama being considered inferior for certain cultural aspects by Ramirez ).

The gruesome details and brutal savagery of the October 7 attack launched by Hamas operatives on innocent civilians was shocking to even the most battled-hardened [sic] soldiers and war correspondents.

No it wasn’t. Ramirez couldn’t know this ’cause he isn’t a “battled-hardened” ( which is how an illiterate person says “battle-hardened” ) soldier or war correspondent, but a sheltered, spoiled, upper-middle-class cartoonist. My nerdy ass wasn’t shocked by it — probably ’cause unlike most o’ the people who’ve come out o’ the woodwork to share the “wisdom” they just learned on social media last month, I didn’t just become aware o’ the intermittent violence ’tween Israel & Palestine for the past 80 years or so.

Evidence of beheadings, babies shot in their cribs, parents shot in front of their children, entire families massacred, the torture and execution of the elderly, people burned alive, and hundreds of young people gunned down while attending a musical festival for peace, were widely reported and verified by video, audio, and forensic evidence.

Rational people judge actions not on their ultimate outcomes, but on how gross they look. In the end, Palestinians murdering Israelis in exotic ways is no different than Israelis evaporating Palestinians in an instant with drones: death is death. The #s — & in this scenario, Israel’s death count is much higher than Hamas’s — should matter most. If anything, the real revealing aspect is how much poorer Palestine is that they have to resort to brute force while Israel can just use expensive technology. In essence, Palestine is bad ’cause they’re low class.

Most people would be horrified. Yet in an interview on Lebanese television, Senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad hailed the brutal October 7 attack and pledged to repeat the October 7 attack again and again until Israel is “removed,” claiming Hamas “was the victim,” therefore “everything they do is justified.”

Wow, nobody’s e’er said stuff like that before in war. It’s not like the US is infamous for calling civilian deaths “collateral damage”.

That interview was the inspiration for a recent cartoon I drew for the Washington Post depicting Gazi [sic] Hamad and his human shields.

No, your inspiration for making this comic involving Ghazi strapping Palestinian civilians round him was mirroring Israeli government propaganda, which invented the concept o’ “human shields”, which is, as mentioned earlier, their Orwellian way o’ saying, “It’s the other side’s fault I’m killing civilians”. If anything, one should give credit to Hamas for a’least being honest ’bout the brutality o’ war. If what Ghazi said had inspired a comic from you, it should show Hamas leader killing Israeli civilians & hypocritically criticizing Israel for attacking civilians. That would’ve made mo’ sense & probably would’ve garnered less outrage since it’d actually be true, whereas Ghazi, in fact, ne’er did strap Palestinians round him while they stared @ the camera bug-eyed like wacky cartoon characters ’cause “human shields” is a myth.

Also, kudos to the tag-team incompetence on both Ramirez & the Newsweek editor that nobody noticed this inconsistent spelling o’ Ghazi’s name.

Any decent human being would agree that this war is catastrophic. I mourn the loss of innocent life—on both sides. I am shocked by the destruction that has shattered their lives and grieve for those families. I wish for the safe return of the more than 240 hostages that Hamas has taken. But those are separate issues.

“Look, I know this is a complex issue that only an idiot would try to boil down to a single-panel cartoon; but I’m choosing to completely ignore all that context & just focus on calling 1 guy a poopy face”.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that blames Israel for the attack on civilians, but ignores its own complicity in their suffering. It was Hamas that first launched the attack on Israel, continues to use civilian infrastructure as cover, and restricts the evacuation of Gaza civilians from areas which Israel has given advanced warning of strikes. [ Emphasis mine ]

Ramirez is so dumb or thinks his readers are so dumb that he’s saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started this year, that there wasn’t already violence building up to this day. He is literally just as dumb as those TikTokkers who just realized that Osama bin Laden existed.

It’s ironic that those who criticize the cartoon for overgeneralizing and stereotyping cannot seem to distinguish between a known terrorist group and Palestinians.

No, it’s mo’ ironic that Ramirez is too dumb to realize that the “human shields” is a stereotype o’ all Palestinians, not just Hamas. That’s like if someone were to make a comic o’ Netanyahu being a puppet leader o’ the media or being a banker &, after the inevitable criticism o’ antisemitism, being all, “No, you’re the antisemite ’cause you can’t distiguish 1 Jew from ’nother”. This is, in fact, a common rhetorical game that propagandists use to try & justify their sloppy bigoted statements.

And it’s a tragedy that their only way of coping with the truth depicted in my cartoon is to erase it from view.

¿What truth? Show me this video evidence o’ Ghazi tying children round him like body armor. Let’s see it, Ramirez.

In my speeches, I say, “An editorial cartoon is not humorous for the sake of humor. It is not controversial for the sake of controversy. Whether you agree with it philosophically or not, a good editorial cartoon engages the reader in debate. It informs and challenges. It draws the reader into the democratic process.”

This comic does none o’ that. ¿What debate does this comic inspire? ¿Are civilians fair game if they’re tied round a government official @ which you’ve gone to war? Nor does it challenge anyone: it’s straight-up redundant repetition o’ Israeli government propaganda. ¿Why not just read an article from The Times of Israel? It’d certainly be better written.

Liberty, the free exchange of ideas, is the foundation of our democracy. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Our Liberty depends on the freedom of press, and that cannot be limited without it being lost.” The reason our Founding Fathers included the right to a free press in our Constitution was because they knew the communication of ideas and information, the right to inform and be informed, the dissemination of ideas and the expression of opinion, are all necessary components in a political system based on self-governance and individual liberty. Limiting the exchange of ideas even in our common culture limits our freedom.

There is nothing mo’ embarrassing that reading e’ery mediocre pundit trying to pretend like the Constitution was made specifically to prevent their terrible work from being put in the slush pile — like that makes them the next Salman Rushdie.

So, ¿how are we serving the freedom o’ the press by forcing the press to serve government propaganda they don’t like? It seems to me that freedom o’ the press means that any press outlet like The Washington Post can choose to publish & not publish any crap they want & if you don’t like it, well, you can always make your own blog, Ramirez — or just get a 3rd-rate newspaper like Newsweek to publish your whines. This is literally this “I am being silenced” cartoon. ¿How are you being “canceled” when Newsweek is publishing your stuff? Shit, Newsweek won’t publish my articles ’bout you being an idiot; I guess that means I’m getting canceled. & yet, somehow I manage to keep living my life.

The purpose of an editorial cartoon, and a good editorial page is to be the catalyst for thought. By promoting the thoughtful exchange of ideas, we forge a consensus through the fiery heat of debate.

So then it’s a good thing The Washington Post removed your idiotic comic from the editorial page, as ’twas impeding thought & the exchange o’ ideas by making readers dumber. Also, debate ne’er “forge[s] a consensus”, a consensus ­is — you know what, I don’t need to do that lecture ’gain.

Today, political correctness and the woke —

Good news: since this paragraph uses the word “woke” unironically, we can skip it, since nothing that involves that can e’er be intelligent or useful. You can already guess what it says: people complaining to The Washington Post that they don’t want to pay money for garbage is the exact same as putting Ramirez in the gulag. Left-wing people are the only people to e’er remove content that doesn’t agree with their opinions from their media; this is why Fox News regularly has socialists on their program & those LGBTQ+ book bans ( by government officials, not private organizations, mind you, ’cause conservatives provide the only major forces in support for government censorship in the US ) are not a thing.

Critics of my cartoon are using an accusation of racism as a device to “cancel” the truth—the overwhelming empirical evidence that Hamas uses civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, as human shields.

You can’t fucking put scare quotes round a word that you are using unironically. ¿What, are you making fun o’ your own inane whining?

Yes, ¡look @ all that empirical evidence that Ghazi tied people to him with rope! ¡It’s right there! ¡Just look!

I do not mind being attacked for my cartoons. People should be emotionally invested in their politics. While the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, it does not insulate you from the consequences of your speech. I accept that. It is part of the job.

Those consequences being the ability to make e’en mo’ money whining ’bout this “punishment” on a different newspaper.

Tier: E

All right, that was intolerable. It would be e’en mo’ intolerable if I found ’nother article ’bout a rich white man whining ’bout being “canceled” while their opinions are clearly still being —

This is “The University of Michigan Failed to Protect My Right To Free Speech” by Josh Hammer. You may recognize him from my previous Newsweek article as the only person to land on the coveted 🤪-tier, given to him ’cause he sounded like a fascist nut, using Nazi phrases like “fifth column”, which is used to depict all members o’ certain races, like Jews, as conspiring with enemies, both real & imaginary; repeatedly using the far-right conspiratory term “liberal imperium”; & writing ’bout modern “decadence” — which as I said, is an idea only entertained by certain reactionary Marxists & fascists, & Hammer certainly is no Marxist. You’ll notice that his photo looks a lot less drunk & disheveled here, tho he does seem to be doing the good ol’ “Dreamworks Smirk”. Good for him. ¿But has he cleaned up his fringe fascist rhetoric?

The talk’s blunt title, selected by the local Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, reflected my own unambiguous approach to the conflict: “Israel’s Righteous Fight Against Jihadism.”

Nope. Remember, in the previous article he described Israelis who were too sympathetic to filthy Arabs & Muslims as “fifth column”, so we were already familiar with this man’s ardent support for Israeli Islamophobia.

Within minutes of starting my speech, 20 to 25 protestors stood up in unison. They held their arms high in the air to expose their shirts, which featured photos of Palestinian-Arabs who have died in Gaza since the war started. (The students are unaware of, or simply disinterested in, the fact that every one of those deaths is legally attributable to Hamas under international law.) Undeterred, I continued. A few minutes later, the students began obnoxiously coughing in unison each time I opened my mouth, in a clear attempt to drown me out. I reminded them of the university’s code of conduct, which prohibits shouting down speakers, but that only made them cough louder.

Shortly thereafter, the mass coughing turned into shouting, coordinated by a visible ringleader toward the front of the pack. The chants would be familiar to those who have paid attention to the explosion of on-campus antisemitism since the Hamas Holocaust of Oct. 7: “Remember their names!,” “Free Palestine!,” “Stop the genocide!,” and so forth. At one point, a protestor started to walk briskly toward the stage, prompting my body man to leap out of his front-row seat to protect me. Finally, a tepid university administrator replaced me at the podium, seemingly to once again remind the students that their conduct violated university policy. He too was drowned out; his exhortations were largely inaudible.

Eventually, the protestors escorted themselves out of the back of the room. They never ceased chanting, and proceeded to physically bang on the walls of the lecture hall exterior once they exited—leaving red handprints all over the wall behind them, since they had painted their hands blood-red. The whole disruption lasted probably 30 to 35 minutes, after which I finished my remarks for those who had the patience to remain in their seats. After student Q&A and photos, a campus police officer escorted me to my friend’s car.

So, in short, the University of Michigan did protect this speaker, they just didn’t silence the free speech o’ people protesting a speech that you admit was deliberately named to provoke outrage. This is, ’gain, not a new idea from the far-right. I’ve already noted the Orwellian way the right is trying to frame “free speech” as requiring the suppression o’ speech from the left, as they interpret its existence @ all as inherently incompatible with right-wing speech.

Even more important, the university failed to secure the other half of the right to free speech: the right to freely listen, especially for those who drove hours to Ann Arbor just to hear my talk.

This is not a thing.

University administrators and campus police officers acted shamefully in failing to suppress the pro-Hamas students’ heckler’s veto—a disreputable act that here, there, and everywhere falls outside the scope of First Amendment-protected activity under well-established case law, and which may even be prosecutable depending on the jurisdiction.

This is, in fact, utter hogwash, & it’s notable that he ne’er provides a single citation. All cases I could find related to the Heckler’s vote, like Feiner v. New York, are defenses o’ police arrests o’ people when they believe those people are in danger o’ starting a riot ( how this is proven or judges is, ’course, vague so as to give the government flexibility to suppress anyone they wish ); it has ne’er involved charging an institution for neglecting to suppress hecklers, nor have I seen any case where people are charged for heckling when they could have started a riot, but didn’t. The fact that a riot didn’t happen here makes this whole idea moot & idiotic. Like all fascists, he makes up whate’er law he wants that serves his interest — for that is the purpose o’ law for fascists: to serve the chosen people & work gainst the hated people.

Most o’ the rest o’ this article is boring, pathetic lusting for punishment gainst the people who don’t obey him & lame, uncreative slanderous attacks gainst people he doesn’t agree with ( anyone who doesn’t support Israeli theocracy is an antisemite, just as how anyone who opposes school prayer wants all Christians to be fed to lions, etc. ). There is something to be said ’bout cooling the bloodthirsty rhetoric o’ protestors; then ’gain, there’s also something to be said ’bout not giving racist, empty-headed propagandists like this writer a special spot to spew hateful propaganda. I ask ’gain, ¿why do colleges, which charge mo’ than $10,000, & oft up to $100,000 & o’er, waste their students time & insult their intelligence by inviting these mediocre partisan hacks speedrunning logical fallacies & not actual scientists? @ that point students may as well just be watching Stephen Crowder on YouTube & save the $100,000. ¿What message are they teaching their students by encouraging them to treat uncredentialed influencers as experts to be listened to & not questioned? ¿That they should be just as shallow as the average person on social media? ’Gain, ¿can’t you get these kind o’ rock-bottom standards for free? ¿Why pay so much money to colleges so ready to throw ’way their credibility?

But I do want to end with 1 ironic part @ the end:

In April 2019, I was personally present at my alma mater, the University of Chicago Law School, to see fellow alumnus and legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich speak about the First Amendment and state-level anti-BDS (“Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions”) legislation.

’Gain, it could not be clearer that this writer thinks the 1st amendment just protects whate’er he likes. In fact, Kontorovich’s anti-BDS laws are real violations o’ freedom o’ speech by governments, which, in some cases, have been struck down.

Color me with the brightest o’ surprises that someone as inarticulate & primitive-minded wilts like grass the second he encounters anyone with a different opinion & runs & hides ’hind authoritarian institutes rather than trying to argue back with them.

Tier: E

Ugh. Tired o’ all this government propaganda for Israel. Well…

This is “Hamas Can Never Again Decide Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die”. It reminds me o’ that inane article from our last trawl thru Newsweek in which a retired lieutenant insisted that Putin, the world’s only war criminal, must be tried for war crimes, e’en tho that was ne’er going to happen — & still hasn’t happened. Similarly, this writer makes the empty moral case that Hamas cannot be allowed to decide who lives & dies ( only Israel can, since, as the Torah says, they are God’s chosen people ). What this article doesn’t do is specify how Israel bombing the hell out o’ random civilians — like I said, Israeli government choosing who can live & die — stops Hamas, many o’ whose members very well may not e’en be in Palestine anymo’, since bombing people & fleeing to unexpected areas is a common tactic o’ terrorists, from deciding who will live & die. If we agree with the “human shields” theory, then Israel killing Palestinian civilians is what Hamas wants & so by doing so they are, in fact, helping Hamas choose who lives & dies. Which means those protestors are, if anything, idiots for protesting: Israel & Hamas are getting ’long fine, both killing each other’s civilians. It’s not like Hamas or the Israeli government are the ones bearing the brunt o’ it.

I won’t quote much o’ this article ’cause it’s boring & makes e’en less attempts @ arguments than the previous 2 articles. This article can be summed up as: the Holocaust existed, the Hamas attack on Israel was kinda like the Holocaust if you squint @ it & multiply its casualties by 5,000, therefore Hamas is like Hitler 2.0.

Admittedly, this writer isn’t helping win o’er an atheist materialist like me with constant recitation o’ religious drivel — & not e’en the cool stuff, like kids being mauled to death by bears ’cause they made fun o’ a man for being bald — or cult shit like the “collective Jewish soul”, which can’t be better than the Collective Soul that sang that “baby, let your shiiine down” song. Yeah, I love it when newspapers that are s’posed to “inform” me “inform” me with primitive superstitions.

For all the post-Holocaust promises of “never again,” international support for Israel eroded rapidly once Israel went on the offensive and launched a ground invasion into Gaza.

Yeah, it’s shocking that people who don’t like genocide don’t like invasions, either. I’m not sure why this writer assumes that “no Holocaust e’er ’gain” means “we unconditionally support anything Israel does” or why this idea that genocide is bad should only apply to Hamas threatening to destroy Israel & not Israel’s threat gainst Palestine’s existence or the very nature o’ a Jewish state making any non-Jewish person a 2nd-class citizen. The mo’ shocking thing is that a people who witnessed the horrible outcome o’ a people setting up a state to serve only them, while all others are treated as lesser people, would turn round & try the same thing, but with them as the chosen people now. You’d think they would support secularism & not giving any priority to any religion or race, but nope. It’s mo’ shocking how many people who probably think o’ themselves as “liberal” simping for either Israel or Palestine, when neither are compatible with the principles o’ secularism — & in fact, due to Israel’s insistence on keeping Israel a Jewish state, are also not compatible with democracy, as Israel disallows Palestinians in occupied territory the right to vote for the very reason that they consider so many non-Jewish voters a threat.

After 75 years believing Israel would protect Jews from being lined up and singled out for life or death, Oct. 7 awakened a sobering realization that even the Jewish state’s military, economic, and technological strength offer no guarantees.

¿Who believed this? ¿Dumbasses who had no idea what was going on politically in that region for the past 80 years? I mean, yeah, when you have an unresolved land dispute ’caused by the goal o’ creating a Jewish state in land with both Jews & Muslims, that’s inevitable. Maybe 2 groups trying to set up theocracies that upholds 1 people as better than all others in such a culturally-diverse place ’cause some ancient fairy tales said ’twas super important to an invisible man in the sky was the dumbest idea in the world.

Today, the voices calling for a ceasefire are far louder than those affirming Israel’s right to defend itself.

¿Really? ’Cause I’ve been getting 3/0 on “Israel Rules, Palestine Drools” from Newsweek. ¿Where’s the Newsweek article titled “IDF Can Never Again Decide Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die”?

The goal of peace-loving people should not just be an end to this current war; it should be to end all wars between Israel and Hamas. And the goal of Israel must be to ensure that no enemy will ever again decide who among the Jewish people shall live and who shall die.

Yes, eliminating Hamas will totally eliminate racist hatred gainst Jews that existed for many decades before Hamas existed. This will totally happen & we won’t see several mo’ decades o’ continuous murder & destruction by both sides. This writer is super wise & has demonstrated great awareness o’ the development o’ realpolitik ’tween Israel & Palestine & isn’t just spewing empty hallmarkcard pleasantries while intentionally heeing & hawing o’er the unsavory aspects & was totally worth wasting an article on. ¿Did she pay Newsweek for the privilege o’ writing her blog post for them? That’s the only reason I could think o’ for why they would accept this middle-school drivel. I certainly can’t imagine anyone dumb ’nough to consider it worth monetary compensation.

Tier: F

In case you haven’t gotten the ideas Newsweek wants you to believe from these 3 articles screaming their 1-sided stories, there are several others, including 2 articles ’bout how anyone who doesn’t support Israel’s divine wrath supports the rape o’ women, ’cause e’eryone knows that Palestinians are the only people to rape people in war ( ¿but should we believe the Palestinian women who alleged that Israeli soldiers threatened to rape her? ), as well as white-supremacist Trump crony Stephen Miller clownishly demanding Democrat senator leader Chuck Schumer “name the antisemites” in his party. My favorite part o’ that article is that he lists Cori Bush & “Trans rights for Donkey Kong 64” AOC, but the links this article provide are just tags for their names on their articles, not actual citations — ’cause there’s no evidence o’ them being antisemites, other than not supporting Israel’s far-right government. That’s kind o’ like how anyone who doesn’t support Putin is racist gainst Russians, since he is leading the only Russian government, & hating Russia’s government is just like hating Russian people. Real cool that Newsweek has the legitimacy to give government cronies like Stephen Miller free podiums to spew propaganda, just like how it’s cool that they let India’s Hindu-supremacist prime minister, Narendra Modi, who has encouraged the rise in violent attacks gainst Muslims & is eroding democracy thru Xi-style “corruption” charges conveniently lodged gainst political opponents & abuses anti-terrorist law to suppress vile leftists protesting racism ( while ignoring bribery charges gainst Modi ), write an article for them. ( Thankfully, it’s just empty niceties & doesn’t talk ’bout any o’ his political opposition, beyond some vague sentence ’bout having “zero-tolerance” for terrorism, while calling for peaceful means o’er hostility ).

But I think my favorite is “I’m an Israeli Arab. I’m Embarrassed—and Hamas Is to Blame”, the obligatory apologia by the racist’s Arab best friend defending their racist friend as totally not racist. In actual fact, Hamas is only responsible for what they do, not what they inspire your fellow Israeli to do. If your Israeli respond to actions by Hamas by blaming all Arabs, then that is on them.

Against this backdrop, the paranoia, tension and fear that Jews feel when they encounter Arabs is understandable.

That’s right: Newsweek wants you to think that feeling paranoia round any Arabs, including those who have been citizens o’ Israel for their whole lives, is “understandable”, just like how you can’t blame white people in the US if they feel uncomfortable round black people. I mean, it’s the fault o’ the black people who commit crimes, not racists. If black people ne’er committed crimes, then racists would stop being racist gainst them, totally. Newsweek are literally KKK-level bigots — & cowardly & pathetic ones, too, since they bribed an Arab to give a fake N-word-privileges to the hate they spew.

The other question I’m frequently asked is, “Do you condemn Hamas?” Asking Israeli Arabs this question misses a fundamental aspect of just how much we’re intertwined with Israeli life. Does it make sense to ask an Israeli Jew if they condemn Hamas? Of course not.

This is why the world needs to understand that Israeli Arabs reject Hamas and its ideology just as much as Jews do.

The fact that this writer feels the need to say this is damning: if the average Israeli Jew weren’t racist, they wouldn’t need to be told this; & since they are, they ne’er will understand this. I don’t hear ’bout many American Jews going round questioning random Arabs if they support Hamas, ’cause if they did they would be associated with far-right racists like Glenn Beck.

Showing empathy for one side in a conflict does not negate the capacity to have empathy for the other. Rather, it shows that you’re human. Arabs do not need to choose a side in this conflict.

“Arabs don’t need to choose a side, but if they don’t choose the Israeli government o’er Hamas, they’re evil”.

For the sake of humanity, I implore the Arab community to move forward and to cleverly and responsibly understand the Jewish narrative, as we have been asking them to understand ours for 75 years. For the first time, as an Arab minority we are requested to stand with empathy and understand the majority’s narrative.

1st, ¿how do you “cleverly understand” something? Cleverness is inventiveness that comes from oneself, understanding is getting information externally. When you think ’bout it, they’re contradictory. That doesn’t mean one should always be clever & ne’er stop to understand others; but doing both @ the same time is… I dunno. I’ve ne’er heard anyone use the phrase “cleverly understand” ’cause it means nothing — it sounds like gibberish poorly translated from a different language. If this writer wrote this in a different language, then they should fire the translator.

2nd, this writer is morally demanding that all Arabs just bow down & throw ’way their own beliefs & feelings & just let the “Jewish narrative” ( right-wing racist doctrine ) dictate them, ’cause they are the “majority” ( that’s debatable, considering the amount o’ Arab-majority Palestinian territory Israel controls ). As an American who doesn’t think black people or Native Americans should just accept the “majority” white narrative, I find this peculiar — ¡but this American-oriented article certainly inspires this idea ’mong Newsweek’s majority-white audience! This brings up questions that don’t get answered: ¿why do Jews & Arabs have different understanding in the 1st place? ¿Why is there no call for compromise on this understanding? ¿Is it perhaps ’cause Israel power finds the idea o’ seeing eye-to-eye, to treating Arabs as equally, distasteful? Or maybe it’s that Newsweek finds this distasteful, since, despite what your local Nazi says, I don’t think Israel can force them to publish anything they don’t want. Also, I love how she says that Arabs have been asking Jews to understand their perspective, but doesn’t say how most Jews have responded. If Jews are indifferent to Arabs’ perspective, ¿why should anyone expect Arabs to be open to theirs? Also, I’m very doubtful that this is the 1st time Arabs have been asked to have empathy with Jews & “understand the majority’s narrative” ( just unconditionally accept what the dominant ideology tells them, as in an authoritarian regime ). Undoubtedly, there are many Arabs who don’t have empathy for Jews & ne’er had, entertaining such lovely topics as Holocaust-denial, but despite what Israeli propaganda cries into their pillows, the world has been pretty disgusted by these things, just not ’nough to think they merit decimating any Arab one can find — after all, if Holocaust denial deserves death, then Israel’s own prime minister deserves it.

At University of Haifa, we’re preparing to do just that. While the beginning of the school year has been delayed due to the war, the University’s administration is brainstorming ways to turn down the temperature on campus so that our students are reintegrated into a peaceful environment.

By violently suppressing any protests — just as Newsweek hopes the US starts doing gainst ideas they don’t like.

In the city of Haifa, there are mixed neighborhoods and mixed apartment buildings. At the University, Jews and Arabs learn and grow together. This is the paradigm that Israel must replicate in order to move on from the tragedy of Oct. 7.

Meanwhile, Israeli Arabs are poorer and there are only 16 out o’ 120 Arab members o’ Israeli parliament ( 13% vs. 21% population ). & Israeli parliament rejected a bill to give Arabs equal rights ( ’cause apparently equal rights threatens to “erase Zionism” the same way the US Civil Rights Act threatened to erase white supremacy ). But they live near each other, so they totally get along great.

I’m not upset when I see the posters in Hebrew around campus stating, “Together We Will Win,” because I know that Arabs are included in that fight.

“A’least I will be, ’cause I’m 1 o’ the good 1s”.

Together we can use our voice to speak against rising levels of discrimination we’re seeing.

You were just saying you weren’t being discriminated gainst. ¿What happened to the idyllic mixed apartments you were raving ’bout just earlier?

I was also asked recently if I ever see myself leaving Israel to a place with a much larger Arab population, like France. My answer is clear: I’m not going anywhere. Israel is my home.

Ah, yes, France, famously free from all racism fore’er, specially gainst Arabs.

The sad thing is that she treats this racist sentiment as normal. Like, if somebody asked me if I’d be happier being somewhere surrounded by people o’ my own race, I wouldn’t answer them calmly; I’d tell that Nazi to fuck off.

For Jews and Arabs alike, this country is special. When each of us sees an olive tree, we’re in awe of this majestic force, of nature’s ability to grow out of the arid desert soil.

“I see that all the races are equal in their superstitious stupidity & mystification in the face o’ basic biology”.

If Jews and Arabs are adamant about not going anywhere, it’s up to both communities to determine what’s next in a healthy and productive way.

They are not doing that.

On Oct. 7, Hamas did far more than kill 1,400 people. It also set back any hope we had for peace, gearing us all up for another generation of nothing but violence.

¿What evidence was there that Israel & Palestine were heading toward peace before the attack? There were clashes as recently as August 2022.

But for every tragedy, there is a silver lining. A recent survey by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) indicated that 70 percent of Arabs in Israel identify with the State of Israel. IDI reports the highest percentage of respondents who feel part of the state since they began asking this question in 2003. This demonstrates that the Arab community in Israel aspires to further integrate into society and distance itself from bad faith actors like Hamas.

That’s pretty sad when you have to celebrate a whopping 70% o’ your country’s minority citizens not preferring another country, specially since it’s not as if the people who answered couldn’t lie & wouldn’t have a good reason not to loudly announce, “Nope, I’m an enemy o’ this state”. If you have any attachment to Israel’s far-right government, I guess this is heartening. Personally, I don’t like governments that engage in antisemetic conspiracies round George Soros, so I don’t give any greater fuck than if American Arabs identify with the US. The real issue is how we can get both Jews & Arabs to accept the supremacy o’ Englesist Magical Socialism o’er their silly superstitions, which don’t involve cool things like sticking dicks in each others’ bums, but, in fact, are very anti-dicks-in-bums.

Israeli Arabs and Jews are like salt and pepper: They both belong on the table, and once they’re sprinkled into a dish, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between them.

You got me in favor o’ Arabs & Jews getting together & putting their dicks in each others’ bums till you brought up this metaphor. I disagree: salt does not belong on the table — salt is in too much stuff already & gives you hypertension — & I can very much tell the difference ’tween spicy pepper & too-sharp salt. For me, ¡it’s all pepper, from the river to the sea!

This was the most reprehensible article I have e’er read — e’en compared to the COVID-denial 1 — & Newsweek are detestable for publishing it.

Tier: F

For a palate cleanser, let’s look @ a familiar topic: simping for school privatization schemes, ’cause nothing’s better for the US’s low education problem than doing the opposite o’ what better-educated schools do & dig our heels into the US’s uniquely fanatical obsession with privatizing e’erything & fighting gainst woke schools who teach things like that gay people exist & that dinosaurs didn’t chill with people 6,000 ago when both were invented by that same wacky sky god we can thank for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We came so close. Texas was on the brink of passing a significant school choice bill (HB1) that would finally achieve the impossible: break the public school monopoly and empower parents with a choice of where they send their children to be educated.

This kind o’ propaganda is perplexing: ¿who likes parents? Parents are dumb karens, & taking ’way their choices only makes the world a better place. After all, they were dumb ’nough to think having kids was a good idea. Plus, parents already have influence o’er their children by being able to teach them whate’er fringe ideas they want for the whole time they have them outside o’ school & have the advantage o’ children hating school ’cause it’s boring & parents’ emotional connection with children ( ’less they’re abusive, which is the only case where schools would probably be liked better by children ). ¿How ’bout we worry ’bout parents monopolizing childrens’ learning so they can’t just indoctrinate them in whate’er cult ideas they have & polluting the voting population so their bad parenting hurts the rest o’ us? Since it’s unquestionabe that how children are raised affects the whole community, including those who don’t have children, it in fact makes sense that the whole community should have a choice in whether or not children are raised into abortion-clinic bombers, not just totalitarian parents. This is the central fallacy o’ this “choice” idea: the Orwellian “freedom” for parents to control their children like dictators. ’Course, dictatorships being freer than democracy is a common philosophy ’mong the right, including laissy libertarians, so this is nothing new.

Now, instead of a law that could help fix our broken public education system, Texan legislators will vote on yet another bill that throws money at the problem. As a public school teacher myself, I wouldn’t mind the extra cash, but I know only a tiny sliver would end up in my paycheck, and today’s systemic problems would continue to fester.

Maybe instead o’ trying to throw money @ random rich organizations with li’l o’ersight, you should try electing government officials that aren’t incompetent, corrupt loons — like, maybe not the kind o’ government officials who take so much cream off the top. I love laissy libertarians who emphasize how corrupt & evil their governments are, but have no concern with keeping them in power, as if that corruption won’t manifest as a problem in other ways. This is probably ’cause the corrupt governments who support them love having their corruption normalized & accepted & can exploit privatization schemes to employ mo’ corruption. In short, when you start with the refrain, “our government is corrupt”, then you already found the root o’ the problem that must be solved before you start discussing issues like education. The idea that a privatization scheme could be properly employed by a corrupt government doesn’t e’en make sense: if your government can so easily embezzle money out o’ funds, ¿what checks & balances exist to keep them from just giving money to their friends during privatization, which is a mo’ subtle form harder to detect?

The original bill would have “establish[ed] an education savings account initiative that would set aside $10,500 every year per student for private school expenses” and “include[d] a bump in per-student spending by the state, from $6,160 to $6,700.”

This is contradictory: ¿does each student get $10,500 or $6,700?

It also would have increased teacher pay.

This is a virtual word-for-word quote o’ the article they cited, but without quotation marks, which is plagiarism.

Neither article provides evidence for this claim, but what data I could find from a decade ago shows the opposite: that private schools tend to pay less than public school.

No longer would poorer students be forced to attend failing public schools in their area. They could use their voucher to attend an alternative.

Well, that would be the case if poorer students could afford the transportation to these farther-away schools — which is to say, if they’re not poor.

As one might guess, the success of a bill like HB1 comes down to funding and accountability. It’s not enough to simply hand families a check and expect them to reward good schools with their business. First, there must be viable alternatives to the underperforming public school (whether private or charter) that offer families a real choice. Moreover, those alternatives must be amply funded and properly accredited to successfully compete with the public school.

¿Why are funding & accountability not ’nough for improving public schools? This writer just recently complained ’bout a bill that “throws money at the problem”, but now is doing so, so long as its for their rich friends’ organizations.

The closest thing this article does to back up the vague idea o’ “viable” & “real” choices, as opposed to imaginary choices, is proper accredation, which I assume means regional accredation, but is vague ’nough that it could include any loose restrictions. ¿& if we’re forcing these schools to be accredited, are they truly “alternatives”, since they’re just following government rules? This is the problem: choice & standards are inherently contradictory: in order to have high standards, you must have strict rules; in order to have choice, you must give people terrible choices. & as this article outright admits, parents are too ignorant to know what is & is not a good school, anyway.

As it stands, most charter and private schools have much smaller budgets than their public school counterparts.

That link, which is a pro-school-choice organization quoting a pro-school-choice, conservative newspaper, quoting a study by a pro-school-choice organization, CREDO, is interesting, as a different study by Sanford says the opposite.

This funding gap limits the former’s appeal and makes neighborhood public schools the default option for most families. After all, who wants to send their kids to a school that rents out space from an ugly building and is staffed with untrained adults?

¿What evidence is there that giving mo’ money to charter schools will lead to better training for adults when apparently giving mo’ money to public schools doesn’t lead to better teachers? ’Cause there aren’t tons o’ businesses that make loads o’ money & still barely pay their workers. That’s why expensive iMacs aren’t made by lowly-paid workers in 3rd-world countries.

School choice legislation that significantly boosts funding to public and charter schools can foster meaningful competition between campuses. Schools would be incentivized to increase academic rigor, offer interesting course options, hire the best teachers, and create safe, aesthetically pleasing environments.

¿By what basis? ’Gain, we’re assuming the economic fallacy o’ perfect information: that parents will choose the optimal choices, despite knowing nothing ’bout academics. Based on that logic, video games have mo’ academic rigor than books, ’cause people choose to spend mo’ money on video games than books. ¿& how do we define “best teachers”? ¿The teachers mo’ liable to kowtow to karen parents who demand they give their special child A’s & let them act like li’l shits? ’Cause that’s the kind o’ criteria we’re feeding by giving parents mo’ power.

Additionally, they would likely find ways to cut down on waste and inefficiency—this would mean fewer useless administrators, expensive technology boondoggles, pointless trainings, and superfluous meetings and committees.

¿How would creating mo’ school choices — mo’ schools — lead to less inefficiency? In actuality, monopolies can lead to greater efficiencies due to needing fewer redundant resources ( since competing schools, by the nature o’ competition, are working separately, & thus cannot share resources ). As for “expensive technology boondoggles”, that points to ’nother advantage monopolies can have: greater independence from consumers gives mo’ discretion for innovation & research beyond what consumers could e’en conceptualize before it already exists, — ’gain, imperfect information — while competition will just lead to schools climbing o’er each other to fit consumers’ desires, while schools that take the risk on innovation probably won’t last long ’nough to see their innovation to fruition. Meanwhile, the downsides to monopoly are offset by these public schools being democratically run. It’s harder for schools to gouge people when citizens can vote out the government officials gouging them. The fact that this writer doesn’t realize these issues shows how fake is their knowledge o’ economics: rather than truly understanding the complexities o’ competition, they just fall into the lazy “competition is good” fallacy.

I should add that this whole concept assumes that monopolies are only created by the government, which only the most religious o’ market thumpers who have ne’er heard o’ such obscure mom-&-pop stores as Google or Microsoft believe. ¿What happens if 1 private school drives out all other competition? ¿What’s to stop the propagation o’ the Wal-Mart o’ schools, spread out all ’cross the state, but all controlled by the same business? Then you get both the downsides o’ public monopoly & private lack o’ democratic o’ersight.

Ideally, they would have the opportunity to attend schools with advanced coursework, vocational training, and exceptional programs in fine arts and athletics.

Yes, & ideally I’ll win the lottery I ne’er enter & win a million $. Unfortunately, neither will happen.

For once, this wouldn’t only be a possibility for richer parents who can afford to send their child to such schools, but for all students who desire it.

I’m pretty sure there are rich parents who pay mo’ than the $10,000 max than the Texas state is offering students, so this is straight-up false. ¿Does this bill include regulations forcing private schools to accept poor students who cannot pay their full fees? I saw no mention o’ such.

If this same bill is proposed again and actually passes, it could be massive shot in the arm and offer a whole new model for American public education.

Considering this boondoggle goes back to a’least the 90s, there is nothing new ’bout this model.

If the dollar amount of the vouchers is too low, then the only beneficiaries will be private schools and the students already enrolled in them. Private schools will simply raise their tuition, and the parents who already have their kids at those schools would apply for a voucher and enjoy a small subsidy—while those who do not will still be priced out.

This makes absolutely no sense: they claim that paying a li’l to vouchers will cause private schools to raise their tuition; ¿but someone paying a lot won’t? ¿What’s to stop private schools, specially those who don’t want dirty poors in their halls, to just add the voucher amount to their tuition, so that rich people pay the same & poor people are still priced out? “It just subsidizes the rich while still pricing poor people out” sounds like the strongest case one could make gainst voucher systems, & it’s made in this article trying to promote them. Amazing.

If states increase per-student enrollment funding only marginally, or even reduce it, charter and public schools will have to cut back on what they offer. Thus, instead of schools trying to deliver the best product, they will be competing on who can provide the cheapest product and coax the best students. This is the current complaint of a lot of public school educators—they claim charter schools essentially steal away the most motivated students from public schools, which are then left with the most high-need, at-risk students. When vouchers are thrown into the mix, both public and charter schools may be left unequipped to handle their respective student populations. This in turn forces state and local governments to drop standards for teachers and cut back on various school programs, something that is now happening in Arizona.

’Gain: we have a fundamental problem with voucher systems, evidence o’ it happening in real-life examples o’ voucher systems, but then this article claims that magically mo’ money will ’scape these problems, e’en tho they provide no evidence, they just make sloppy claims.

Finally, if legislators do not add serious accountability measures beyond market forces, the result will be a proliferation of scammers exploiting the voucher system.

’Gain, the cited evidence is gainst, not for. Moreo’er, the whole point o’ putting schools on the market is to exploit the s’posed regulatory role o’ the market: you were just talking ’bout how market competition would lead to efficiency. If we’re spending government resources on accountability measures to o’erride the market’s failure to lead to efficiency, ¿why have the market @ all, since the proliferation o’ scammers proves that the market utterly fails to do its job? & if a government who’s directly running the schools can’t ensure standards, ¿how would they better ensure standards when they’re indirectly o’erseeing private schools? ’Gain, none o’ this deals with the true root o’ the problem, which is Texas’s corrupt & incompetent government who can’t provide any form o’ good schooling, whether private or public. This is what laissy libertarians fail to realize: the market is ultimately run by the government, so a corrupt & incompetent government will bungle a market just as badly as socialist economics.

That being said, this article is still better written than the last charter-school article I wrote, as it a’least attempts to counter criticisms rather than pretend they don’t exist.

Tier: C

Anyway, ’nough o’ all this negativity. A’least Newsweek can find us things to be thankful for:

Thanksgiving is the best holiday on the American calendar. It applies to everyone, there are no presents involved, and even if Black Friday is coming, it hasn’t arrived just yet.

Um, no, Halloween is. Halloween also applies to e’eryone ( & Thanksgiving doesn’t e’en apply to e’eryone — ¡it only applies to Americans! Newsweek can’t stop revealing their bigotry by literally being oblivious that there exist countries outside the US ) &, unlike Thanksgiving, does have presents in the form o’ candy.

It brings us together as does no other day[…]

Yeah, it brings us together to fight o’er the dinner table ’cause Uncle Bob couldn’t stop enlightening us on the intriguing news he heard on YouTube ’bout Biden’s globalist, Marxist plot to… ¿be woke? I don’t think e’en conservatives can think o’ anything nefarious for that president to do.

[…]and can be celebrated whether you were born in this country or arrived last Tuesday.

Well, ’less you’re celebrating Thanksgiving inside those cages they put caught illegals in.

Sure, the tradition—at least in the movies—is for families to gather and hate each other, but not only is that an overplayed trope, it doesn’t consider just how sleepy everyone is from the tryptophane and alcohol that are part and parcel of the celebratory meal.

Yeah, pessimists: it’s your fault for not plastering Uncle Bob with so much booze he can’t e’en speak beyond mumbles.

And this year, there are many things to be grateful for. I know it doesn’t look like it at first glance. There are wars being fought and fears they may grow. There are global rivalries, that are, if not hot, scary and point to a dangerous future.

¡Nothing’s scarier than global rivalries that aren’t e’en hot!

Anyway, let’s see what Newsweek thinks should make us thankful weeks after Thanksgiving:

Will Israel and Hamas fight until the last baby is slaughtered?

Interesting choice. I mean, on the upside, it would end the conflict once & for all — you can’t have a war if neither side exists anymo’. You clowns ne’er considered that solution, ¿did you?

We must face the truth that while the war looks lopsided now […]

This is the 1st time Newsweek seems to give some credit to Palestine, that they are the much weaker —

[…] offer Hamas the chance and more Israeli children will die.

Ne’er mind. This article is literally Newsweek being the drunk uncle. Dude, I’m trying to be thankful, ¿& you can’t go a single article without opening your trap with your lazy, uneducated takes on an 80-year war that long predates Hamas? Yeah, & I’m sure given the chance — which Israel has, since they are the mo’ powerful side — Israel would accept & raise in comfort & health all Palestinian children as their own & totally aren’t shoving them out as filthy otherbloods whose cursed blood will make them grow up to be terrorists, regardless o’ who’s raising them.

Will the United States need to face off directly with the cult of death that runs Iran?

No, ’cause Iran isn’t being run by a “cult of death”, but cynical Islamic fundamentalists who pretend to care ’bout religion to keep their uneducated populace obedient, just as how the US is run by the “death cult” Christianity — a religion that looks forward to Jesus coming back & destroying the world in a glorious apocalypse — as a way to get its uneducated populace obedient. Funny how this writer says this, when it’s well known that many US supporters for Israel do so ’cause they view it as playing a part in the Christian apocalypse, as stated in that great religious work, the airport novel Left Behind. It amazes me that a newspaper I assumed was as prestigious as Newsweek would let someone as uneducated as a Jack Chick hero write for them.

And if the Middle East doesn’t get us, perhaps China will.

Ah, yeah, ¡bringing back the classics with that sweet yellow peril! Hey, ¿why stop there? ¿Why not warn us ’bout those sneaky Bolshevik Jews undermining the Aryan race while you’re @ it?

Against all reason, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has decided the world needs more nuclear weapons.

¡That’s the heinous thing China did that you’re complaining ’bout? ¿Having too many nukes they will ne’er, e’er use! ¡Not their treatment o’ Uyghurs? ( ’Course not — they’re dirty Muslim terrorists  ). ¡Not their increasing hostility toward Taiwan? ¡Fucking nukes?

A bigger deterrent, as if their hundreds of nukes aren’t scary in themselves. How many bombs does it take to be scary? One is enough. One bomb will do the trick.

¡Then why the fuck are you complaining ’bout China having too many, you fucking moron?

This idiot writes with the elementary-school-level eloquence o’ Donald Trump & it infuriates me mo’ than anything else in these articles. “Let me restate the point that contradicts my earlier point ’cause I assume Newsweek readers are all illiterate imbeciles who just blackhole entire sentences, distracted by their efforts to keep themselves from drowning in their own saliva”.

Thousands more merely ensure the radioactive grease spot that was humanity will be… well, a radioactive grease spot.

We know this thanks to the effects o’ the only e’er use o’ nukes gainst people done by… ( checks notes ) the US. Tell me, ¿how many nukes does the US currently have? ¿Does that not give you concern? ¿Or is it just when dirty foreign hands touch them that they’re dangerous?

And Russia, of course, is fighting a war against Ukraine—a war for which the United States and European Union are paying half. A war for democracy where very little democracy may actually be involved.

O, ¿Newsweek is gainst the war in Ukraine? They just straight up are 100% Republican now, aren’t they.

At home, people are scared to death about their way of life, which is being attacked from so many angles that it’s hard to keep track.

¿What way o’ life & how are they being attacked? Please give me these details, person who has established himself so far as very reasonable & not unhinged @ all.

For decades, people have felt worse off than their parents. And in some ways they are, despite enjoying luxuries and technologies the Greatest Generation could only dream about. There is the feeling of being left behind as the top of the pyramid reaches into the clouds while the people inhabiting it no longer have any idea what lies below them. Those better off have always been with us, but rarely have they been so far from the muck of everyday life. Flying in economy to and from your family this Thanksgiving gives you a sense, certainly, of the divide between that haves and have nots.

Stability at work is virtually unheard of. Keeping a job from one year to the next is the stuff of legends for many. And the flip side of that is that customer service—such a staple of the service economy that we long ago became—has gone to hell. Nobody wants to work crappy service jobs and that makes the service ever more crappy.

It’s pretty funny that the closest to a liberal sentiment Newsweek has had in all these articles has been a Marxist sentiment. That’s OK, ’cause they’re advocating for national socialism, not the filthy Bolshevik kind.

(But by no means consider allowing in immigrants who will do these jobs for the price of air. Keep them out at all costs!)

This writer a’least found 1 thing to like ’bout foreigners: making them their wage slaves.

We’ve reached that point in the column where you’re probably expecting sarcasm and an admonition to enjoy your holiday—if you dare!

I mean, that’s what you’ve been doing for this whole article. It says something that a curmudgeonly asshole like me who constantly complains ’bout “hallmark card” shit is now wishing you’d done that ’stead o’ whate’er this is.

Former President Donald Trump and the end of democracy loom on the horizon (He’s saying it himself, folks, believe it!), but there’s still plenty of time to act and room for hope. People may yet see that when someone tells you Freedom Is Slavery, you might want to look for another option at the ballot box. We must vote it to make it so, and 2024 hasn’t even arrived, yet. President Biden may triumph—or not be on the ticket, allowing someone not older than my grandfather when he died to serve in the highest office in the land.

¿Did this article jumble together the various sloppy hot takes o’ fascists, socialists, & milquetoast liberals or is this writer schizophrenic? My bet: he’s just very ignorant & has no idea how these ideas connect or contradict each other.

And, as much as we all fear economic uncertainty, it’s hard to beat an unemployment rate that stands below 4 percent and has for quite a while.

That’s actually pretty shitty, considering we were @ full employment not that long ago. O, wait, I forgot, low employment is good, ’cause it keeps those dirty poors from getting too much money & keeping it where it belongs, in rich people’s stock market.

It’s encouraging to see that at least some of the country’s infrastructure issues are being addressed, that we’re making some small efforts to fight climate change, to make medicines somewhat more affordable, to stand up to our enemies around the globe.

You mean your enemies; Palestinians & Chinese have done nothing to me & Israelis have done nothing for me.

Sure, the forces of medieval darkness—left and right—are trying to draw us away from the light with book bans, the resurgence of antisemitism, and an ignorance of history that is simply astounding.

¿Where are the left-wing examples? I’ve only seen right-wing examples so far…

Jason Fields is a deputy opinion editor at Newsweek and the author of the murder mystery Death in Twilight.

I love how all the other articles are written by people who are part o’ organizations that a’least seem respectable ( e’en if in reality they are hack partisan think tanks ), but this writer is just a hack airport novel writer — an airport novel that cynically exploits that most cliché & common repository for cheap, easy catharsis, the Holocaust, like a Swiss bank taking in Nazi gold.

Unfortunately, this article came out too early to be thankful for the biggest thing we should be thankful for this year: ¡Henry Kissinger is finally dead!

O’ all the brain-damaging stupidity I’ve read in this article, this is the worst o’ them. Like I said, this writer literally just filled this article with empty Uncle Bob rants @ Thanksgiving. Well, I’m thankful I didn’t have to spend Thanksgiving with this writer, as he sounds insufferable.

Tier: F

& now, the final insult:

That’s right: Newsweek has the fucking audacity to boldly claim “Democracy Needs Citizens Who Can Think—Not Just Act”. Well that just proves that Newsweek hates democracy, ’cause they certainly don’t want their audience to think.

We’re not going to read it, — well, you fuckers don’t have to read any o’ it; I still had to — ’cause it’s all empty drivel ’bout how we need to be mo’ civil & dicksuck George Washington some mo’ in a way that’s virtually identical to what pundits were doing in the 90s. The 1 thing I will note is this:

Hans Zeiger is president of the Jack Miller Center, a nationwide, nonpartisan civic venture to build talent networks of educators who share a commitment to the stories, documents and values we hold in common as Americans.

This writer is hypocritically criticizing a lack o’ thinking on the part o’ citizenry ’cause they can’t pass some empty multiple-choice questions that in no way challenge critical thinking skills, but this writer is “nonpartisan”, e’en tho the kind o’ person who can’t tell the moral or qualitative difference ’tween the 2 parties, — like that only 1 o’ them e’en supports democracy anymo’ — must be extremely uninformed. It takes literally no thinking to just say “both sides” for all issues, regardless o’ the actual issues. It’s also ironic, given how 1-sided most o’ the articles in this paper have been — which also doesn’t take much thought if one fails to e’en try arguing their case beyond appealing to mystical phenomena like “the collective Jewish soul”, as all these writers have. Also, if this writer knew so much, he’d know the US was ne’er founded as a democracy, but as a deliberately vague “republic” as a compromise ’tween populists & aristocrats, & that many o’ the founding fathers hated democracy, but this basic fact easily obtained simply by reading their own writing in works like The Federalist Papers, as I had to do in high school, is embarrassingly elusive ’mong “intellectuals” who write for these papers. Complaining ’bout how kids these days don’t know nothing ’cause they don’t know what year the constitution was ratified while being blissfully ignorant o’ the actual philosophical underpinning o’ said constitution is the kind o’ classic boomer energy I expect from dinosaurs like Newsweek.

Tier: F

We’ve finally come to e’eryone’s favorite part: the final tier list.

As you can see, compared to the last Newsweek article, this is a particularly terrible showing. It says something when the articles praising stuffing & cranberry sauce are ’mong the least idiotic.

So, o’ the 14 articles I read in this newspaper that AllSides calls “centrist”, 2 o’ them aren’t right-wing ( the 1st 2 ’bout best Thanksgiving food ) & 1 was a schizophrenic mix o’ e’ery political belief, so long as it’s stupid; & o’ those 11 right-wing articles, only 1 o’ which wasn’t racist & far-right, the milquetoast laissy-libertarian 1 ’bout school choice. 2 articles were unfiltered propaganda straight from far-right governments themselves. Note, I’m not e’en including the op-ed they let Texas Senator, Trump footrest, & pretend human Ted Cruz write for them the riveting & enlightening, “Marxists Have Always Aimed To Infiltrate Education” ( ¿who doesn’t want to infiltrate education? I don’t see Christian fascists going all, “Nah, we’re good”, but Cruz is as absent on that subject as during a Texan winter storm ), ’cause I’m not reading that shit. ¿So I guess Newsweek is just a far-right periodical now? The Southern Poverty Law Center seems to think so, going into detail ’bout our friend Josh Hammer’s lovely connections with white supremacists & fascists & his own use o’ violent civil-war-type rhetoric.

While we’re talking ’bout AllSides, I should note that, despite bragging ’bout how transparent they are ’bout their owners, shocking o’ shocks, their own biases are sus. They were founded by a right-wingers & a “centrist”, while adding on a token leftist. Their definitions o’ right-wing & left-wing are dumb: they list “freedom of speech” & “decreasing taxes” as right-wing principles, despite the right-wing’s notorious history o’ censorship, up to their LGBTQ+ book bans today ( in contrast, most examples o’ left-wing “cancel culture” doesn’t involve government @ all & are just individuals engaging in their right to not consume bigoted garbage ) & right-wingers only support lower taxes for rich people.

1 o’ their examples o’ a “centrist” article is yet ’nother o’ the billions o’ articles Newsweek pumps out just regurgitating Israeli claims without verification. So in AllSides’s fevered mind, straight up copy-pasting propaganda from 1 side is “in the middle”. That’s the kind o’ mental damage that the average American has.

In fact, it’s clear that they base these just on the reputation o’ the papers rather than the actual contents o’ the article. Take the article, “House Intel panel chair Mike Turner says Biden ‘absolutely’ deserves credit for Hamas hostage deal”. Now, it’s debatable whether or not this is right-wing or left-wing depending on whether or not you consider the US getting involved & pressuring Hamas to do what Israel wants them to do to be right-wing or whether its praise o’ Biden @ all makes it left-wing. This is why these kind o’ 1-dimensional “maps” are so inane. I would argue that anything that doesn’t call for Israel & Palestine to become secular, racially-equal, democratic socialist societies with no mention o’ Judaism or Islam in the constitution or any government apparatus to be the left-wing side, while both the Israeli government & Hamas are far-right theocracies. Like much US media, the actual left side doesn’t exist, but is shoved to the fringes. But considering regurgitating Israeli propaganda is “centrist”, we’d expect praise for Biden to be considered “left-wing” — we’d assume they define “left-wing” as “pro Democratic Party”, keeping in mind that the Democratic Party is also mostly pro-Israel, with only a few stragglers. But no: they list this article as right-wing. ¿Why? Presumably ’cause it’s The Washington Times, which is popularly considered a right-wing paper. Meanwhile, Vox calmly explaining the recent Israel-Hamas hostage deal is considered far-left. ¿Why? Presumably ’cause Vox wrote it, & people consider Vox super left-wing — & by “people”, I mean ol’ boomers who think anything left o’ calling black people the N word is Marxism.

So if you want a website that will tell you e’erything from Fox News is right wing, e’erything from CNN is left-wing, & e’erything from Newsweek is centrist, then here you go. If you want actually useful information, I would recommend you look somewhere that isn’t run by absolute morons.

Posted in No News Is Good News, Politics