Taken at Zed’s Cafe
So I was thinking of getting a shirt from COK , but I don’t have a ready speech.
I believe that participating in harm to other sentient beings cause harm to yourself. The habituation to death, violence, and taking advantage of the weak makes you into a worse person, a person you’d rather not be. Turning the living into animate objects by thinking of them as that, ignoring the value of all life leads to you thinking the same of your own life.
I believe, based on the totality of available knowledge about the limits of the global ecosystem that a diet of grain and chicken-shit fed beef, fish-meal fed chicken and antibiotic and corn fed fish is a diet for ecological collapse and the end of all modern civilization everywhere. The coming famine will make the great famine of China look like a feast. I can’t stop it, but I don’t want it on my conscious.
I believe, based on all currently available knowledge, that a diet high in animal fats is a diet for a short life. Unless your parents were hunters and gatherers from the artic, you and your family have been eating primarily vegetarian diets for the last 4000 years. You digestive system has evolved the ability to cope with gluten, lactose and lost the ability to cope with unlimited quantities of animal fat. I’ve never met a diet fad I didn’t like, so if you still want to be a paleo, you can still be a vegan– you would have nuts and seeds, starchy tubers at the base of your diet, a diet which depending on the season is what real world hunters and gatherers depended on.
However, I also believe that diets are incredibly stable. People are willing to engage in all sorts of irrational thought to cling to their current ways. I would encourage them to stop eating corn fed beef, which makes the cows sick, to eat farmers market chicken and pork so that they aren’t eating the diseased bodies of animals raised in disease guaranteeing conditions, and to stop eating fish– it’s all mislabeled and your are probably eating the unsellable mercury and heavy metal laden poison. Food from local farmers costs more, but you will be giving work back to local farming communities who are being ravaged by meth addiction and desperation as job dry up when another factory farm puts another community out of business.
If you found any of this persuasive, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You don’t have to switch to being a vegan (i.e. no meat, fish, milk or eggs). You can just cut out the meat that was tortured to death from your diet and eat humanely slaughtered meat. You can switch to farmers market meat. You can skip meat on Mondays. You can eat low on the sentience chain, i.e. mollusk instead of beef.
This is the reading list for a popular linguistics book club that I ran for a few years. Wow I read a lot of books. I recommend these for any linguistics book club that has a general audience. Not all of them are strictly about the science of linguistics, some of them are just related to the world of words. I’d re-read all except about one or two of these
How Babies Talk- Golinkoff
Elivish to Klingon- Evans
Babel No More- Erard
Empires of the Word- Ostler (too long for a book club!)
Talking Hands- Fox
You are What you Speak – Robert Greene
Atoms of Language- Baker
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue- McWorter (Everything by McWorter is good for a book club)
The Talking Ape- Burling
In the Beginning- Hoffman
Bastard Tongues- Bickerton
Origins of the Specious: Myths of English- O’Connor
Speak Like a Native- Janish- (I actually don’t recommend this book, there are better ones)
Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes- Everett
The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel, Ostler
“The Horse, the Wheel, and Language”, by D W Anthony
“The Origin of Language” – Ruhlen
Dreaming in Chinese- Fallows
Through The Language Glass- Deutscher
“The Professor and the Madman”, by Simon Winchester
Steven Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought
Adam’s Tongue, Bickerton
Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich
Land of the Invented Language by Arika Okrent
“Language, Bananas, and Bonobos”, by Neil Smith
“Talking from 9-5″, Tannen
The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker
“Metaphors we Live By”, by George Lakoff
Words and Rules, Pinker
The Language Imperative Haden-Elgin
The Unfolding of Language, Deutscher
“Power of Babel”, McWhorter
“Mother Tongue”, Bill Bryson
Okay, for the last two elections, lines started to get really long. Now when I changed states, I couldn’t vote because I didn’t have a driver’s license. I take the metro. So apparently, anyone who takes mass transit is liable to commit voter fraud, or more likely, not Republican enough for the corrupt voting boards.
Voter suppression is the rightwing strategy to make voting difficult for women and minorities and city dwellers so that Republicans will remain a viable party.
Unlike the the poor, black, asian and so on that the Republicans really wanted to suppress, this time they suppress the vote of a white guy. I wasn’t going to vote for Republicans anyhow, but now I’m mad. So I’m joining as many progressive political groups as I can, top among those MoveOn and the ACLU, both which are working on voter’s rights. So here are some things I will be doing in my spare time over the next 40 years since voting isn’t a sure thing anymore. I’ve added my rough estimate of how many vote equivalents each is worth, and given that the Electoral College system makes the marginal vote about as important as mouse farts, maybe in the long run this will work out of the better. All the same, better than a successful revolution after a nearly stolen election, I’d rather not have the Sith Lords take over in the first place.
Donate to GA, TX and AR Democratic party. Worth 50 Votes.
Money talks, well, as long as you have an attractive candidate. And the Dems have more attractive candidates. If GA, TX and AR turn blue, the GOP will be excluded from the presidency for generations. There aren’t enough old white men in those states for the GOP to govern without repeal non-white and women franchise and maybe the repeal of voting altogether.
I’m going to read the news Worth 25 votes.
The poor and disenfranchised are getting screwed because they aren’t paying attention. I can read, I read fast and I use RSS and I can amplify the the news that is being ignored. I even have truth on myside– since as a progressive I won’t need to make up material.
I’m going to blog. Worth 6 votes.
My task as a political blogger is much easier than for conservative bloggers as I only need teach people how to resist voter suppression, where as conservatives have to move the opinions of their sole audience of old white men to political la-la land and get them to vote. Despite the barriers.
I’m joining about about 22-25 groups. Worth about 20 votes.
Votes in congress are only one way that policy gets made. I don’t have $300 million for attack ads, but I got a few hundred bucks to fund a variety of lawyers, think tanks, activists, watch groups that help decide what congress will be voting on in the first place.
I organize meetups. Worth about 15 votes.
I’ve organized so many meetups I’ve lost count. I create groups like I sneeze. In this election I saw that right wing literature is outselling progressive books. I suspect that in part that is because a lefty will read the original, say, Darwin’s Descent of Man, which is not the the politics section, while right wingers need to have their books written by ideological hacks, which will end up in the politics section.
I’m taking election day off. Forever. Worth 20 votes.
I’m not working class. I can afford to use my vacation days to vote and to spend the day driving people to the polls.
It’s time to take America back from the corrupt right wing voting boards.