Boing Boing 

The best deleted political tweets from 2014


Nicko sez, With 2014 coming to close, it's that time of year to curl up by the fire and enjoy the biggest Twitter regrets from US politicians. They're all saved in Politwoops and the midterm elections meant it was extra busy." -

Why you're so busy


The Economist's feature on time-poverty is an absolute must-read, explaining the multi-factorial nature of the modern time crunch, which combines the equivalence of time and money (leading to leisure hours that are as crammed as possible in order to maximize their value), the precarity of the American workplace (meaning that affluent workers work longer hours), and the pace of electronically mediated communications (which makes any kind of refractory pause feel like a wasteful and dull eternity).

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Ayn Rand reviews children's movies

The New Yorker's "Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies" is less funny than it should be (most of the jokes are pretty obvious), but it's not bad.

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UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate


Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

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Stross's Merchant Princes books in omnibus editions


Charlie Stross's "Merchant Princes" series-- a sly, action-packed romp that blends heroic fantasy, military science fiction, economics, politics, and alternate worlds -- originally published as six mass-market paperbacks, is now available in three handy trade-paperbacks.

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Mashup artist challenges Sony to stop gaming Youtube's censorship system

Hugh Atkin (of Romney Raps Eminem fame) writes, "This is a new video I've made in response to repeated, identical claims of copyright infringement by Sony Music Entertainment in respect of my 2008 video 'Barackroll.' Every time I've challenged a complaint, they've let it lapse and then subsequently filed identical complaints."

The high cost of being poor

An excerpt from Linda Tirado's 2014 book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America lays out some of the ways that being poor costs more than having a comfortable income -- it's more than having to pay for high daily rents in a motel because you can't afford first-and-last.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller singlehandedly kills Freedom of Information Act reform


The House unanimously passed a bill that would bring much-needed improvements to the Freedom of Information Act; the Senate had bi-partisan support for it, too -- but outgoing Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) singlehandedly killed the bill in a closed-door committee meeting.

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Leaked docs detail Big Oil and Big PR's plans for a opinion-manipulation platform


The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.

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The Oatmeal to Ted Cruz: Net Neutrality is not Obamacare


It's very well said, but the amazing thing is that it needed to be said at all.

Plutocrats' visual guide to rigging elections


From the Mayday.US super PAC (which backs candidates who promise to abolish super PACs).

21K Kansans' votes will be suppressed this election

To combat the virtually nonexistent crime of voter fraud, 21,000 Kansans (including veterans) who registered as voters will be turned away from the polls, have their votes registered as "provisional."

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Sen Lindsay Graham promises a fine future for "white men in male-only clubs"


Ha-ha-only-serious: He was speaking to the all-male Hibernian Society of Charleston, making a ribald speech peppered with (telling) humor, when he promised them that under a Lindsay Graham presidency "white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great."

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Hungary cancels proposed Internet tax in the face of mass opposition


After 100,000 Hungarians took to the street in opposition to a per-megabyte tax on their Internet usage, the autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban (whose election was characterized by outside observers as "free but not fair") was forced into a rare climbdown.

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David Graeber and Thomas Piketty on whether capitalism will destroy itself

Graeber wrote the magisterial Debt: The First 5,000 Years; Piketty, of course, wrote the essential Capital in the 21st Century -- in a must-read dialog, they discuss their differences and similarities and offer views on whether capitalism will collapse.

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Vladimir Putin takes the gloves off

In a virulently anti-Western and uncharacteristically blunt speech, Russian spy-turned-president Vladimir Putin set out his agenda for Russia and its relationship to "western elites." The speech wasn't widely reported in the west, but Dmitry Orlov has helpfully translated, transcribed and summarized it.

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Millions in dark money via U.S. Chamber of Commerce influencing midterm elections

USChamber

The Chamber has spent $32 million in dark money from undisclosed donors, 96% of which has gone to oppose Democratic congressional candidates, according to a new Public Citizen report. Average spending topped $900,000 per race.

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Dissecting the arguments of liberal apologists for Obama's surveillance and secret war

Democratic party partisans like Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley spent the Bush years condemning the tactics they now defend under Obama -- apart from sheer intellectual dishonesty, how can this be explained?

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Challenger for Michele Bachmann's seat offers "money back guarantee" if he ever lobbies or takes special-interest money

John Denny's standing as an independent in the Minnesota Sixth District, running against Michele Bachmann's successor, and has offered a "legally binding" contract to forfeit his salary and a sum equal to twice any contribution should he ever lobby or take campaign money that puts him in a conflict of interest.

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American cities, ranked by conservatism


A fascinating chart from Representation in Municipal Government, publishing in American Political Science Review and written by MIT political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw. (via Bruce Sterling)

(Image: Carpintera city limit, Al Pavangkanan, CC-BY)

Canadian government threatens bird watchers for writing concerned letter about bee die-off


Dave writes, "A birdwatching group sent a letter to two federal cabinet ministers citing concerns over the effects of certain chemicals on the life of bees. Shortly thereafter, they received a threatening letter from Revenue Canada telling them to stop with the political actions."

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Lamar "SOPA" Smith dispatches GOP commissars to National Science Foundation

The Republican Texas Congressjerk maintains a flying squad of political officers who descend upon the NSF to pore through its grant records looking for evidence of ideologically impure science.

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Mayday PAC will support indie for KS senate if supporters donate $200K by Monday

Brian writes, "The Mayday PAC is thinking of supporting the Independent candidate Greg Orman, who is running for Senate in Kansas against a lone Republican opponent. (The Democratic candidate withdrew); but we're only going to if we can raise $200k by midnight Monday."

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Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War

Laurie Penny, author of Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution explains “Social Justice Warriors” and why they’re winning.

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Clown and cop: ridicule as protest


Remy Gabalda's photo for Agence France-Presse of an anti-Sivens Dam protestor confronting a riot cop is the perfect expression of the moral of Jacob Two-Two: the one thing authoritarianism cannot withstand is laughter.

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Hong Kong and America: two systems, one corruption


The massive, student led protests in Hong Kong were sparked by the fact that Beijing's political and economic elites get to choose the candidates in its elections ("I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed) -- but is this really any different from America's big money primaries, where corporate elites can spend unlimited sums fixing the race?

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David Cameron raps the Tories' nasty party manifesto

Casetteboy's "Cameron's Conference Rap" is a spectacular piece of work -- virtuoso mashupry worthy of Cecil B DeVil.

(via Waxy)

Eric Holder's terrible tech-liberties record


The outgoing Attorney General presided over groundbreaking changes in civil liberties in the physical world but was a disaster when it comes to freedom in the world's nervous system: the Internet.

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Catalan president defies Madrid, decrees independence referendum


Catalonian separatism has grown and grown in the face the brutal austerity imposed upon Spain during the Eurozone crisis.

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