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Twitter person finds silver lining in the looming heat death of the universe

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A day rarely passes in which I don’t congratulate myself for abstaining from Twitter, but fuck me with a roasted gerbil, today offers a special reminder that whatever time I might devote to that everlasting dumpster fire remains better spent gazing hopelessly into the middle distance, sipping Early Times from a half-pint mason jar, and weeping softly as I rank my faults. Rania Khalek — an independent journalist who apparently can’t count and was recently spotted repeating the conspicuously stupid argument that Clinton is “clearly to the right of Trump” on trade issues — now supplies us with the ingenious observation that Trump’s candidacy has actually worked out well for immigrant rights.

To her credit, Khalek is at least consistent in her understanding that heightened contradictions always end up well. While ignoring my children’s pleas for affection and food this afternoon, I spent some time combing through her past “tweets,” as I believe they are known. Here are some of my favorites:

A friend who works on Cherokee rights told me Jackson’s election has been a boon for anti-removal fight. National Repubs will galvanize.

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) December 2, 1828

Opponent of war with Mexico told me Polk’s all bluster. Liberty Party will teach the Whigs a lesson! #NeverClay #BirneyOrBust!

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) October 7, 1844

Lincoln assassination, though tragic, will be a boon to freedpeople, Radical Repubs. On treason issues, AJohnson way to the left of Abe!

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 15, 1865

A friend who works on civil rights told me Wallace’s teaching liberal warmonger establishment stooges a lesson. I truly fear Humph > Nixon.

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) October 22, 1968

So disappointed Nader only got 685,000 votes. Clintons, neoliberals everywhere rejoice, no lessons this year. *Eyeroll*

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) November 6, 1996

2.9 m for Nader/LaDuke! Might have thrown Florida to Bush, but friend who hates neolibs tells me W will be weak prez. No fear!

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) November 8, 2000

I you aren’t following her already on the Twitter machine, now’s your chance!

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  • Warren Terra

    A friend who works on immigrant rights issues told me Trump’s been a boon for the fight against deportations. Suddenly influential ppl care

    Avoiding the temptation to come up with parallel arguments because the temptation to go Full Godwin is too strong, let’s take a whack at that “suddenly influential people care” claim.

  • Brien Jackson

    Khalek is, quite possibly literally, the worst.

    • She really is terrible. She, along with that Breunig asshole, have been repeatedly spreading lies about Imani Gandy’s former work as a lawyer, knowingly falsely claiming that she had minorities thrown out of their homes. Then their idiot followers, not knowing any better, start parroting it.

      • kped

        Don’t forget our friend Freddie. He paid money to get old legal documents Imani worked on! And then…didn’t read them because he’s not that bright, but was sure it all meant *something*!

        • MDrew

          What a lovely place this has become.

        • Bas-O-Matic

          God knows why, because I don’t really know any of these people, but I’m vaguely aware that she did something with loan mods for a while. But my thing is, so what if she did do some foreclosures for 9 months when she was starting out!? That could literally not matter less.

    • sharculese

      I hadn’t heard of her before two weeks ago and it’s amazing how little time it’s taken me to come to the same conclusion.

    • HenryW

      Possibly apocryphal story: during the first chaotic days of Operation Barbarossa, as the Nazis were pushing deep into Soviet territory, one of Stalin’s generals telegraphed that they were advancing dialectically, i.e., retreating. At which point Stalin decided to eliminate the teaching of dialectics in Soviet military colleges.

      • elm

        Japanese army rules in WWII did not allow commanders to order retreats. So, instead, they ordered “advances in a different direction.”

    • TroubleMaker13

      I’m struck by the self-contradiction in her defense of Rensin and anti-Trump rioting. She seems to pivot fluidly from “Hillary’s the worst, let Trump win.” to “Trump’s racism/fascism demands a violent response.”

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        is it a self-contradiction, though? I get the impression that their particular problem with Clinton is that there won’t be enough revolution, so electing Trump will (series of magic events) bring about the (good kind, natch) revolution

        • TroubleMaker13

          “Let’s you and them fight for my honor.”

  • Linnaeus

    Good to see you, Dave, and I appreciate the reference to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    • wjts

      I dug the deep cut David Birney pun.

      • Hogan

        (Pssst. I believe that was James.)

        • wjts

          No, I’m like 99% certain it was a St. Elsewhere joke.

  • Brilliant.

  • Joe_JP

    pinned tweet: My latest: Is Hillary Clinton more dangerous than Donald Trump?

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    I see now that it’s the drinking and weeping that has been left out of the ritual… (makes note)

  • Murc

    I’ve been looking for an excuse to share this here all day and this thread seems as good as it’ll get because it is about horrible things on twitter and here, have a very horrible thing on twitter preserved for posterity on tumblr: the St. Louis PD bragging about locking up poor people.

    I mean… wow. We actually live in a world where rich people can anonymously hit a button on their pocket supercomputer and the authorities will come and arrest poor people for being poor.

    Twenty years ago if you had tried to write dystopian sci-fi with that plot it would be considered too heavy-handed.

    • The Dark God of Time

      I’m not surprised. When I volunteered in the E.R. room at Barnes Hospital, they sent an African-American patient who had a knife stuck in his back near his spine, to City Hospital for the necessary surgery to remove the knife. His family didn’t have the 1,000$ that it would’ve cost to have it done there. I rode in the ambulance with the poor chap to CH. This was in 1980.

    • ChrisTS

      Jesus. Seriously? Someone turns in panhandlers to the cops? Give them some money or don’t; why make them even more miserable?

      • wjts

        Panhandling is a crime. And as we all know, crimes are awful and must be punished in the most draconian fashion possible.

        • Warren Terra

          I remember an ambitious city attorney in Seattle cracked down by creating a new offense of aggressive panhandling. Because otherwise what do you do when you’re not sure it was a mugging?

          • Hogan

            We had a bill proposing that in the ’90s. I did some of the organizing to stop it, and we had one event where a city councilman got up and said, “You know, I’m an aggressive beggar. Everywhere I go, everyone I meet, I’m always asking for money. We call it fundraising, but that’s what it is.”

            • Gregor Sansa

              Speaking of which…. I have a favor to ask “for a friend”.

          • Gregor Sansa

            Sidran? I tried to pie that guy. I waited on top of an awning with two pies where he would be appearing, a bald guy walked by underneath, I jumped down, it was the wrong bad guy. They said on the radio that my pies tasted good; it was a lie, the “throw away the key lime pie” was just a store piecrust, some foofer cream, and some lemon slices. Which I guess is not the least tasty thing you could get hit in the face with, but it’s not really a pie.

            • Warren Terra

              Lemon slices? Lemon juice in the eye? What kind of monster are you?

          • Linnaeus

            Ah, Mark Sidran. He also got city ordinances against sitting on the sidewalk and on the street curb. I’d almost forgotten about him.

            • TroubleMaker13

              I thought that move was pioneered by Frank Jordan in SF. Pro-tip: probably a bad idea to elect the Chief of Police to the Mayor’s office.

              • SFPD have had some real prizes as chief. Jordan, Richard Hongisto, the guy who just resigned whose name I can’t remember, etc.

                • TroubleMaker13

                  Greg Suhr. It seems like there’s actually been a distinct lack of any real leadership, good or bad, in the SFPD in the last 5 years or so. Sadly similar story in Oakland too.

            • taylormattd

              God, I’d almost forgotten about him

        • efgoldman

          Panhandling is a crime. And as we all know, crimes are awful and must be punished in the most draconian fashion possible.

          Where’s Throttle Jockey to tell us that panhandlers deserve to be tried and locked up for felonies because reasons.

      • Murc

        The guys working the freeway offramps around here routinely get rousted by the pigs, I can tell you that.

        • vic rattlehead

          I always thought this was unfair to actual pigs, which are, you know, intelligent and social. Whereas, many if not most police departments see intelligence as undesirable. And beating and summarily executing people is kind of, you know, antisocial.

          So I’m not sure what animal would be better. I was thinking hyena is apt, but they are also intelligent and social. What is a dumb and brutish animal?

          • Brien Jackson

            What is a dumb and brutish animal?

            An average police officer.

    • George Orwell would like a word.

    • Breadbaker

      Nice to see they have their priorities straight in St. Louis. Let’s dispatch officers to arrest a panhandler. I’m wondering what happens when there is a break-in in an African-American neighborhood. Or if they will even take any more than a pro forma police report when someone breaks a car window and steals a cell phone.

    • And it’s not just panhandling, it’s any sort of crime, or just suspicious activity.

      Essentially, it’s NextDoor hooked directly to the cops.

      • JonH

        “or just suspicious activity.”

        Like being black.

    • John Revolta

      Pffft. Thirty years ago I saw a NYC cop dragging a panhandler away in handcuffs. The guy said, “I’m just trying to get something to eat” and the cop said “Yeah, you’ll get something to eat. It’s called a baloney sandwich”. Good times.

  • pianomover
    • junker

      A southern Republican is an unapologetic public racist? I am shocked, shocked I say!

      • Warren Terra

        There is something special about a Southern racist demanding, more than fifty years later, that Al should be called “Cassius Clay, given that they are seeking to impose upon Ali a name that Ali rejected, as was his right, but that was originally given to Ali to honor the legacy of a brave abolitionist, a fellow who’d have despised them (and would presumably have respected Ali’s right to choose his own name).

        • Emily68

          Plus there’s the practical matter that if you talk about Cassius Clay, maybe half the country, and I’m looking at you, young whippersnappers, won’t have any idea who you’re talking about.

      • pianomover

        The Knoxville racist.

      • TommyDeelite

        Got into a Twitter spat with someone who wanted to know if Martin Daniel had served. He thought it was such a gotcha; my response was, what if he has served? What then?

        Just the worst combination of a) thinking hypocrisy is the gravest sin, and b) buying into the idea that only service members’ opinions matter regarding the institution.

    • Warren Terra

      Sure, Ali changed his name more than 50 years ago, but why should this jackass respect that decision? Sure, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Ali was exercising his Constitutional rights, but this fine fellow, who describes himself as “Big on the Constitution”, knows better.

      Needless to say, he’s a Trumpard. Screw him, and screw the deeply regrettable people of his district who elected him to the Tennessee State House.

    • Origami Isopod

      The tweets got yanked, so for the curious latecomers like me, here’s a summary.

      But what should come as a surprise is that one of those idiots was an elected official in a real-life state legislature.

      “Should,” yeah. I’d like to live in that world.

  • #BirneyOrBust is basically the best thing to happen in 2016.

    • Hogan

      Seconded, and not just because 2016 has been a shit sandwich on Wonder Bread with expired mayonnaise so far.

  • Arla
  • geniecoefficient

    My impression of her is that she’s a fairly tireless critic of the media and other relevant actors and discussants for “othering”, depersonalization and erasure of Muslim victims of U.S. violence. Recall that quite recently, it was deemed a revolutionary act when a major party candidate for President publicly recognized that Palestinians are people. There can’t be enough of the calling out on the double standard in the coverage and overall discussion of brown and white victims of state violence, and I don’t find her to be a villain at all when she comments in that arena.

    But yeah, that tweet is just dreadful.

    Edit: of course I’m referring to the violence of the U.S. *and* its allies.

    • TroubleMaker13

      You know, here’s the thing– I’m highly receptive to messaging to the effect of:

      Hey, let’s not get too smug about the groundswell of luke-warm neoliberal support for Clinton as the reflexive default spoiler pushing back against the naked, ugly, brutish barbarism of Trump; let’s recognize how much further we really need to go to get to a real progressive society!”

      But when it takes the untethered-from-reality form of “Clinton is the real enemy! Let’s embrace the cleansing class war that will surely lead to the new era of righteousness!” then I’m absolutely going to call bullshit on that ridiculous nihilism. Because that’s what it is.

    • EliHawk

      was deemed a revolutionary act when a major party candidate for President publicly recognized that Palestinians are people.

      That’s because plenty of people live in a world of amazing strawmen. For over 25 years, it’s literally been the policy of every US President, not just candidates, that the Palestinians are people deserving of their own state. It’s deemed revolutionary because there exist people that if
      Bernie Sanders walked outside in a hurricane and said it was raining, they would tell you it was a bold revelation.

      • Origami Isopod

        Official policy != media representation. And ordinary political conversation.

      • geniecoefficient

        U.S. leaders may prospectively recognize the dignity of the en-stated Palestinians of the future, but in the here and now they don’t condemn rights abuses, including criminal state violence, against occupied Palestinians. I think that’s the argument, and I’m not really seeing the straw man.

        • JonH

          I think that sort of thing happens more quietly through diplomatic channels. To the extent relations between Obama and Netanyahu have been rough, I think it’s because of the Obama administration’s back-channel responses to Netanyahu’s abuses. It’s mostly visible as passive aggression, not the sort of clear public condemnatory statements that gets used about countries we aren’t allied with.

          • EliHawk

            Yeah, and you get things like B. Clinton and Obama being so pissed at Netanyahu that they send political aides to help his opposition, with mixed success (Clinton’s help fared better, electing Barak).

  • Brett

    Speaking of the heat death of the universe, I was kind of bummed to find out that our eventual fate is for the galaxies of the Local Galaxy Group to merge together into one super-galaxy amidst endless darkness due to dark energy expanding the space between the Local Group and other galaxy groups enormously over time. Granted, it will take tens of billions of years, but still . . .

    • sonamib

      And because of that, in 100 billion years or so, there will be zero evidence that the universe is a big place in constant evolution. Any intelligent being looking up the skies will only see their one galaxy and empty space beyond. The cosmic microwave background and other evidences for the Big Bang will be undetectable. The universe will look like it’s been this way forever.

      It’s a little disturbing that, in 100 billion years, it will be impossible to discover the correct theory for the universe’s evolution.

      • Hogan

        In fifty years no one will remember that phones didn’t always connect to the internet. These things happen.

        • wjts

          When I was a kiddie, I remember being baffled by old signs and the like with phone numbers like “MUseum 6-4481” or “EM 2-7615”.

        • N__B

          In fifty years no one will remember that

          Donald Trump didn’t win the Revolution by crossing the Delaware in a solid-gold boat.

      • Matt McIrvin

        However, most of the bright stars will be dead and there will be many black holes and neutron stars about, so if any intelligent beings survive (maybe in the star systems of dim red dwarfs, which are very long-lived) they may at least have ample opportunity to discover general relativity.

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