As discussed previously, on Fridays, I present my weekly social media roundups. Note that toots of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license, and I notice. Most have not, or I don’t notice. But I now add my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

Also, I don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:05 – Mon 24 June 2024 🔗

Image Not Shown: A row of law books are displayed on a shelf

US laws created during slavery are still on the books. A legal scholar wants to at least acknowledge that history in legal citations from The Conversation

…an 1842 U.S. Supreme Court case that held that a state could not provide legal protections for alleged fugitive slaves. The judge cited that case to explain the limits of congressional power to limit gambling in college sports.

Hashtags: #USLaw #Slavery

At this point, I’d settle for not having Supreme Court Justices who find it a benefit to use laws from a time when many Americans didn’t have any realistic civil liberties, but I do like the premise.

12:03 – Mon 24 June 2024 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of that great revolution.

Federico García Lorca

Hashtags: #Quotes #LGBTPride

9:04 – Tue 25 June 2024 🔗

Image Not Shown: Members of the LGBTQ+ community arrive ahead of the passing of the marriage equality bill in its second and third readings by the Senate, which will effectively make Thailand Asia’s third territory to legalize same-sex unions, in Bangkok, Thailand, June 18, 2024

Thailand to become the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage from Fast Company

LGBT advocates called the move a “monumental step forward,” as Thailand would be the first nation in Southeast Asia to enact marriage equality legislation and the third in Asia, after Nepal and Taiwan.

Hashtags: #MarriageEquality #Thailand #HumanRights

Congratulations, Thailand!

12:05 – Tue 25 June 2024 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

Let those who wish have their respectability – I wanted freedom, freedom to indulge in whatever caprice struck my fancy, freedom to search in the farthermost corners of the earth for the beautiful, the joyous and the romantic.

Richard Halliburton

Hashtags: #Quotes #LGBTPride

9:02 – Wed 26 June 2024 🔗

Content Warning: Fascism

Image Not Shown: Roger Severino, vice-president for domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, speaks during the Europa Viva 24 conference organized by the far-right party Vox at Palacio de Vistalegre, Madrid, Spain, on 19 May 2024

Project 2025: The US far-right plan to undermine democracy and rights globally from openDemocracy

This aims to reshape the federal state in 180 days, fire tens of thousands of public servants and replace them with people loyal to the conservative cause, undermine the separation of powers, attack public education, and erase or restrict the rights of women, LGBTQ people, workers, migrants and Black people.

Hashtags: #HumanRights #GOP #USPol #HeritageFoundation

Given that Project 2025 seems to have fallen out of the headlines, it seemed worth circulating this reminder, especially as the “don’t lecture people who don’t want to vote for Democrats” crowd starts getting loud again…

12:04 – Wed 26 June 2024 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and are inwardly tempted to take the other side.

Thomas Mann

Hashtags: #Quotes #LGBTPride

9:06 – Thu 27 June 2024 🔗

Image Not Shown: A bunch of disposable, multicolored plastic bags polluting the environment, one with a sad face drawn on

Barley starch plastic is 100% biodegradable from Futurity

The new biomaterial is produced by either dissolving the raw materials in water and mixing them together or by heating them under pressure. By doing so, small “pellets” or chips are created that can then be processed and compressed into a desired form. That said, I only read the article, not the study.

Hashtags: #Plastics #Sustainability #Pollution

It bothers me a bit that the article doesn’t mention its behavior under the conditions found at a landfill, where you can often find food—also biodegradable with significantly less chemical manipulation—preserved for decades. I don’t think that it helps anybody to have a bag or clam-shell case that can only biodegrade if you remember to send it to the recycling center.

12:07 – Thu 27 June 2024 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

In the debate between those who believe in essentially unregulated markets and others who hold that reasonable regulation diminishes market excesses without inhibiting their basic function, the subprime situation unfortunately provides ammunition for the latter view.

Barney Frank

Hashtags: #Quotes #LGBTPride

9:03 – Fri 28 June 2024 🔗

Content Warning: US Politics, Terrible Ex-President

Image Not Shown: Donald Trump speaks during a dinner with billionaires at Mar-a-Lago on June 5, 2024

Trump’s cash isn’t from the masses but the billionaire boys club from Daily Kos

Of Trump’s funding, $50 million came from a single check from wealthy banking family scion Tim Mellon. Trump is being bankrolled by a billionaire boys’ club—a group of immorally wealthy men sitting on a mountain of cash, who see his candidacy as their best chance to end democracy and bring in an era of neo-feudal plutocracy.

Hashtags: #Trump #USPol #Plutocracy #Fundraising

I should also note that, unless I grossly misunderstand election financing, if a billionaire would prefer to directly donate a lump sum to Trump’s campaign instead of laundering it through dozens of charities, Super PACs, the legal equivalent of straw donors, and other screens, then they see Trump’s position in the campaign as an emergency to fix, not a success to support.

Unfortunately, that means that he’ll almost certainly (have his supporters) lash out more, possibly inciting violence where he can. However, this also means that enough effort could crush the Republican Party badly enough that we can start actually fixing the country…

12:06 – Fri 28 June 2024 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

Most people have only half developed their single personalities. That a man should split his into four and more; and should develop each separately and perfectly, was so abnormal that many normals failed to understand it.

Frederick Rolfe

Hashtags: #Quotes #LGBTPride

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

Image Not Shown: A car fails to yield as a family attempts to cross a road in Long Beach, CA

Traffic engineers build roads that invite crashes because they rely on outdated research and faulty data from The Conversation

Look more deeply, and you can start to see how our underlying crash data gives everyone a pass but the road users themselves. Everyone wants a data-driven approach to road safety, but today’s standard view of crash data lets automakers, insurance companies and policymakers who shape vehicle safety standards off the hook for embiggening these ever-larger cars and light-duty trucks.

This doesn’t end at vehicle-size, for a lot of us. On Long Island—which has a shape pretty much as you’d expect—where I live and so know fairly well, traffic engineers have told me that their predecessors decided that, because the island looks a bit like a tiny California on its side, and since people looked at California at the time as traffic engineering’s big success story (stop laughing…), that they only needed to take what engineers did in California and scale it down. Among other things, this means that we often need to get up to highway speed in four or five car-lengths, because that proportion worked well when the area scaled up to the size of California.

Content Warning: Musk, Tesla, Investment

Image Not Shown: Musk speaking at an event

You Probably Unwittingly Voted to Give Elon Musk a Huge Raise from 404 Media

What this means in practice is that, because of its millions of investors who put billions of dollars into its investment vehicles, Vanguard itself has 232 million Tesla shares, and owns 7 percent of the company. It is the second-largest shareholder of Tesla stock, behind only Musk himself. This money is not actually “Vanguard’s,” it is the money of all of the investors and 401(k) holders using Vanguard to invest. But Vanguard does not ask those individual investors if they want to give Elon Musk a gigantic raise. Vanguard votes on their behalf.

This gets back—appropriately enough—to something that I wrote about when Musk bought Twitter.

If this service ever gains credibility for circulating useful information, what dollar value puts the service into the hands of someone who wants to discredit the community?

And while I framed that as social media, because I had that topic on the table, we really need to start looking at every service that we rely on in these terms. What would it cost for a hypothetical attacker to subvert your power company, your favorite television show, your favorite foods, or yes, the investment back that manages your retirement savings? If it cost Musk another twenty billion dollars—for example—to interfere with Vanguard’s leadership so that he could have them vote for him to get his fifty billion dollars, then he would definitely do that.

In this case, he didn’t need to do that, because wealthy people understand class solidarity far better than the rest of us do. But if we don’t know those numbers, then we don’t see the blatant connections.

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Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.