Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Sympthsical's Journal
Sympthsical's Journal
January 24, 2022

That mass grave of Indigenous children in Canada may not exist

It was a major story last year, and I think we were all pretty horrified and outraged about it. We know the history of what governments have done to Native populations and the treatment and conditions on reservations.

However, this is interesting. A history professor from the University of Montreal dug deep to research what happened. He came to some conclusions. It's a long article with over two dozen footnotes at the end.

But still, interesting reading. Even without the initial story, it relates a lot of information about how things operated in the early 20th Century.


January 23, 2022

Cable news is dying, but older viewers won't let it go

I wanted to discuss this a little bit, because it seems like many people are watching cable news nonstop and placing great importance on what is said on it. I'm using CNN as an example, because I happened to see their 2021 ratings this morning.

Overall, CNN averaged 1,078,000 total viewers in prime time, 268,000 adults 25-54 in prime time, 773,000 total viewers across the 24-hour day and 185,000 adults 25-54 across the 24-hour in 2021

Let's look at this. CNN in prime time is getting less than 300k viewers under 54.

You know what gets over 300,000 views? Reaction videos on YouTube. ASMR artists. Pam's Home Cooking 'Splosion Extravaganza. (She mixes folksy with ramen!)

In a nation of 340 million people, 300,000 viewers is 0.08%. Even mixing clips on YouTube or shared on websites, this is a vanishingly small number of people under 54 bothering about these overpaid, know-nothing talking heads.

Cable news importance is probably one of the most imbalanced things in our media ecosystem. Who is paying attention? Politicians and other media figures. It's a tiny little bubble they all exist in. When someone retires from politics, here's your cable news paycheck. Back scratches all around.

So all the drama, nonsense, bloviating, "Hey, this person on my tv is wrong!" angst doesn't really mean anything. No one sees it. It's a niche TV show you're watching. It's the Matlock of politics.

If people would stop watching, it would die. If people would stop spreading it, it would die.

And it deserves to die. It serves this country not at all. No, not even the ones we like.
January 22, 2022

COVID death celebration evokes memories of HIV death celebration

As a young gay man, I had a very formative impression instilled in me in my developing years. When people on the Right (and sometimes not so much) were happy when someone they hated died of AIDS. And I'm not talking about the 1980s when HIV wasn't understood well, when transmission was a bit unknown, when the risks weren't fully understood.

I'm talking about in my lifetime, in my adolescence during the 90s and beyond. Rush Limbaugh had several infamous remarks about it. "I hope you get AIDS and die," was something still said when I was a teenager and trying to shape my identity and struggle out from the clouds of Catholic guilt and shame and society's broad disapproval of what my life would be.

It's inhumane. The people who engaged in it had no empathy. They barely saw the afflicted as people. They were the bad people, the people who deserved it. And yes, a lot of people in my community ended up getting it through bad choices. Risky sex. After they knew better, they still made those choices.

Ask yourself, were you there clapping when those people died from poor choices? Were you clapping when people who lacked sex education or received misinformation wasted away from a disease they walked into?

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm wired differently, but HIV and AIDS have existed my entire life. That cloud of death, that lost generation shaped and formed who I ultimately became as a gay man. I remember, when I was preteen or teen, nearly every gay movie I could find (which wasn't easy when sneaking into the local Blockbuster), was about death or grief or about whether or not a positive man and negative man should date. A sadness hovered over everything, that life and love were fleeting and always would be, because the plague coated everything in a dangerous film. Even in a happy film like "Jeffrey" someone had to suddenly die of AIDS by the end.

And the Right loved it. High five! Another one of those dead. Could you imagine if there was a subreddit called the Freddie Mercury Awards? Would you be ok with that?

I won't celebrate death and suffering. Even if that person thinks differently than me about politics. Even if that person made a poor decision that resulted in getting disease. Death to me is a sadness. When a terrible person dies, it's still a sadness, because I think about what that person's life could have been had they made different choices or had different opportunities.

Celebrating the death of the Other is something I grew up with. It's not something I'll ever share in. And when I see others do it, I think lesser of them.

Being a lesser person is always a choice.


January 21, 2022

Sens. Klobuchar and Feinstein tussle over tech anti-trust bill

Legislation like this is going to become increasingly important in the coming years. I already think tech has far too much power and monopolistic aspects. Sens. Padilla and Feinstein are Silicon Valley's representatives, so of course they're going to have "concerns" about it. Seems like Feinstein was attempting a "Some people say . . ." defense.

I can only copy and paste a limited portion, so reading the full link is useful to understand the full exchange.


California Sen. Dianne Feinstein got into a tense exchange with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar during a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over bipartisan antitrust legislation.

The legislation in question was introduced by Klobuchar and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and bars large tech companies such as Apple, Google and Meta from favoring their products and services over competitors while also giving more power to antitrust enforcers. It has support from senators across the ideological spectrum, including Cory Booker, Mark Warner, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley.

. . .

At another point in the hearing, Feinstein said she had heard that members of the Biden administration did not support the legislation, which sparked the run-in with Klobuchar.

. . .

“Are you implying, Sen. Feinstein, that the U.S. government — that the administration — is against this bill?” Klobuchar asked. “I would like to know if you have some knowledge that I do not know that the administration is against this since they have made antitrust enforcement — as has the Justice Department — a major priority,” Klobuchar added.
January 7, 2022

That 5 day COVID isolation guidance feels strange

So given we were both positive, neither of us have gone to public areas since last week. However, staples have been getting a bit low, so it feels like a trip to Costco is in order this morning. I went to the CDC guidance page to see what could be seen.

The guidance for isolation is 5 days after symptoms start. The way omicron has been running with us and our friends/family who have also tested positive, it has taken almost five days just to have it run its course. I didn't feel approximately ok until Day 5. It was the first day I didn't take advil. CDC guidance says five days, and you can end isolation after that if you don't have a fever or heavy symptoms.

It's Day 9 for me, and I think I'm fine. Light run of the mill winter/cold air congestion, no fatigue. Partner has a persistent but occasional cough - once or twice an hour there's some of that deep chest action he's had since he started.

I'm skipping gym for another week, because it's an enclosed space with a lot of breathing. Doesn't feel quite responsible to go yet. Just walking and bike riding until then. But I do need to go to the store.

But 5 Days. Even though I didn't need advil by Day 5, going out in public does not feel like it would've been at all responsible. I think the store is fine. Mask, way social distance out of caution for others. But if I didn't work from home and had to go back to the office on Monday? I don't think anyone would've been entirely safe around me. Literally the day after symptoms, we're all good with being around co-workers?

The thought feels very strange.

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Feb 14, 2020, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 8,555

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Sympthsical's Journal