Michael Maiello's picture

    BREAKING: NYT Reveals The Problem With Feminists

    "This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men
    slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not
    lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons,
    despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men."
    Just want to start your Sunday morning with some clear thinking.
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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Bitter Turn of the White Male Killer

    I was interested in Brittney Cooper's take on the Santa Barbara Killer because I think she's definitely on to something about the white male snapping.  It's an old story that goes back to the age of "Going Postal."  It's happened enough that it should be addressed.

    But Cooper's take is all privilege without nuance and so it leads her down this road:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Reparations Open Thread

    The Case For Reparations is as good an essay as everybody says.

    Discuss?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The New York Times Op-Ed Page Reacts To The Unveiling of the Death Star

    Thomas L. Friedman: The bathrooms are much cleaner than the bathrooms at La Guardia airport.  Another triumph for the fast growing Empire and proof that “small moon” is another word we can remove from the lexicon of our hyperspace-connected  age where average isn't good enough because your job might be pulverized into atoms at any time.

    Nicholas Kristof: There are no girls on the Death Star except for one kidnapped Princess.  Maybe if there were girls on board it would be a Peace Star.  That’s an idea we can all get behind.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Central Planning Envy

    I'd be way late to the game if I tried to mock the recent David Brooks column where he says we need less democracy at the top and more Simpson-Bowles commissions.  It's all been said and I didn't blog about it right when I read it because you've heard it all from me before. Anyway, here's a good way into the issue, if you're interested.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Kind Of Country Is This?

    Where they can make you sell your own professional basketball team?

    When I was a kid, a man's professional basketball team was a man's professional basketball team and no other man could come take it away for gobs of money.

    This is like armed robbery except instead of a gun the robber is using between half a billion  and a billion dollars to get what he wants.

    What are you going to do when they come for your basketball team?  Or yours?  Or yours?

    Well, I'll tell you this -- when it happens, don't go crying to Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy for help.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Conspiracy Against The Middle Class

    There's a kind of New York Times story that Atrios likes to mock where somewhat wealthy New Yorkers complain about the massive inflation of prices for certain goods in the city, particularly real estate and private school tuition.  Real estate is probably the biggest issue as anyone who wants to buy in the city has to compete not only with ultra high net worth locals but with wealthy buyers from abroad.  So you get stories of people who have managed to save a million dollars and try to buy an apartment with all cash only to be outbid and forced into a mortgage.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Corporations Are Oligarchs, My Friend

    There is the Princeton oligarchy study and there is Thomas Picketty and now you really have to check out what Daniel Denvir has to say about Comcast, coming soon to the Time Warner Cable dominated market near you.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Freedom to Defend...

    I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

    "Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Charming Tax Receipt

    If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How To Misread Flash Boys

    Be David Brooks

    One lesson of this tale is that capitalism doesn’t really work when it relies on the profit motive alone. If everybody is just chasing material self-interest, the invisible hand won’t lead to well-functioning markets. It will just lead to arrangements in which market insiders take advantage of everybody else. Capitalism requires the full range of motivation, including the intrinsic drive for knowledge and fairness.

    This is the reasonable sounding "just getting started" paragraph, but you no doubt see the problem...

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Conservatives Should Be Angry At Brendan Eich

    Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, his donation in support of Prop 8, a proposed anti-same sex marriage in California came to light, many Mozilla employees and users loudly objected to the boss's politics and Eich stepped down.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Crowdrobbing

    Today, Mark Zuckerberg took some of the money raised in Facebook's IPO and used it to buy the immersive experience of Oculus, something of an iPad that you jam onto your face so that you can wander around in your own personal Holodeck.  That's right, I'm old and this technology scares me. What's next, laser swords?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Data Haunted World

    The one somewhat decent idea I had during theatre history class many years ago was that Aristotle's Poetics had managed to identify nothing more than a Tragic Mean and that if a writer followed Aristotle's rules perfectly they were more likely to write something average than remarkable.  Around this time I was also taking a lot of writing classes and reading books by people who offered structural advice for writers -- it was all based on Aristotle, though updated.  Aristotle told us what all the memorable Greek tragedies had in common.  Syd Field told us what all of the Hollywood b

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Titus on Wall Street

    A couple of years back I started writing a bunch of short sketches where old stories, with some of the old tropes, found themselves recast in modern times.  It all ended with Troy! Troy! Troy! a retelling of the Trojan War with the twist that faulty intelligence led the Greeks to invade Troy only to wind up in a quagmire after learning that Helen was never there.  As it turns out, Euripides beat me to this premise by a rather long margin.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Breaking News! Breaking News! Karaoke Spin Class Is Real!

    ...it is real and Ms. and Mr. Destor did it.  On the news.

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Stock Markets Should Not Be Larger Than The Countries That Host Them

    I don't usually agree with Anne Applebaum, a hawkish, right-wing foreign policy thinker, but she brings up an interesting point about the London Stock Exchange listing of Rosneft, back in 2006.  The LSE offered legitimacy to a company built by Putin's expropriation of Yukos, a company run by a Russian oligarch who probably wasn't quite the white hat he's been made out to be since running afoul of Russia's elected strong man.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Don't Know Nothing About Economy...

    I am cleaning out my workspace, in preparation for messing up a new one and I came across a pamphlet I have been carrying around ever since it was given to my by Robert Lenzner, then national editor of Forbes in 2000.  It is called Life Without Treasury Securities and was written by Albert M.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Generation Wuss

    I have to admit that this sentiment has been on the tip of my tongue for a long while.  Brett Easton Ellis just comes out and says to Vice that:

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