As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

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

9:03 – Mon 26 October 2020

Postal workers really do not feel safe from Quartz

Out of a workforce of about half a million, more than 50,000 have taken time off because of Covid-19…

The United States Postal Service has been enduring the same pandemic as the rest of us, plus laws that prevent it from being able to pay for its services and an attack on its legitimacy from its current leader. And yet, the mail still shows up in a (mostly) timely manner. When this is all over, Congress needs to look into expanding the service, because the dedication of the agency’s workforce needs to be put to more than delivering parcels. For decades, the USPS was a bank, and they nearly became an ISP, both of which would dramatically improve the economy.

12:03 – Mon 26 October 2020

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!

H.L. Mencken

9:05 – Tue 27 October 2020

Far-Right Trump Supporters Are Infiltrating Polling Stations from VICE News

Dozens of other members of TheDonald have also indicated that they have volunteered to be polling station monitors at locations across the country. And many more members say they will bring guns to the polls.

Be aware that, like the Postal Service, the election is also under attack. Consider becoming a poll-watcher in your community, if you can.

12:02 – Tue 27 October 2020

We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing, both absolutely and relatively. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them; and this task is now well begun.

Theodore Roosevelt

9:01 – Wed 28 October 2020

If You Love Your Family, Cancel This Year’s Holiday Gathering from VICE

There remains no wiggle room in the rules, no matter how incredibly tired we are of living by them.

I like the holidays, but unless things change radically in the next month in your part of the country, definitely reconsider getting large groups together to laugh and shout over each other.

12:04 – Wed 28 October 2020

The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.

Katherine Mansfield

9:04 – Thu 29 October 2020

To Everyone Who Can Vote, From Someone Who Wished He Could from Latino Rebels

Your vote, in fact, affects many people like me: people who perhaps wish they could vote but cannot.

This has been the deciding factor, for me. I spent far too long insisting that voting didn’t matter. But to do so, I needed to ignore the voices of the people who can’t vote, whether that’s due to citizenship, voter suppression, or an inability to make ends meet with time out to vote. If you’re still not convinced that your vote matters, vote on behalf of someone who can’t.

12:05 – Thu 29 October 2020

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

Willa Cather

9:02 – Fri 30 October 2020

The Real Reason Trump Is So Obsessed With Fracking from VICE News

They are also connected to identity, and especially a particular culture in the United States around working-class masculinity.

Years ago, I made the point on an article’s comment section that there’s a certain kind of executive that enjoys fantasizing about ramming a pipe into Mother Earth and pumping in a secret (and possibly toxic) chemical mixture until the surface shudders, regardless of the consequences. I’m sure they’re not compensating for any impotence anywhere else in their life, because such an assumption would be rude, but it is worth noting the rather direct association with manhood.

12:01 – Fri 30 October 2020

Well, children, when there is so much racket there be must something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women of the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

Sojourner Truth


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here’s a sixth article that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird to not mention.

How Trump Gutted OSHA and Workplace Safety Rules from The Intercept

Although the union suggested that OSHA interview workers who had been sick with Covid-19, the inspectors declined to do so.

The administration “supports” its blue-collar supporters by letting their employers make them less safe. I’m not even going to link to the more blatant offense of leaving rally attendees to freeze in the night.

We need to talk about the science behind implicit bias training from Fast Company

Politically, this kind of training is often more palatable to employees than training that focuses on explicit biases. It does not force anyone to confront beliefs they hold and to work to change them…

This is a big part of why the term “anti-racist” has come into fashion, that it’s not enough to say “I don’t consider myself racist and it hurts when you call me that.” We need to tolerate the pain and actively work to overcome our racism.

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