Things That People Get Wrong
By learning from this post, you will be right about things that nearly every other schmuck is wrong about.
No, Covid-19 will not be “endemic.”
It’s pretty obvious that politicians and reporters don’t know what the word “endemic” means. In case they have no access to a dictionary, I shall now enlighten them (and you, if you are tempted to follow their lead and misuse this word).
What “endemic” does not mean:
A lingering disease that’s not so bad and we just live with.
What “endemic” does mean:
Native or restricted to specific population or space. Marsupials are endemic to Australia. A disease or condition may be endemic to a certain population. For example, stupidity is endemic to politicians.
The corona virus is world-wide and therefore not endemic, unless you are saying that it is endemic to planet Earth, in which case you are just saying that it is pandemic.
No, homework is not good for kids.
Studies have consistently showed no academic benefits to homework. Homework is scholastic hazing. Adults torture children with homework because they themselves were tortured with homework, and it was drilled into them that homework would help them learn.
You may stubbornly resist all the data proving that homework is not helpful and may be harmful because you spent a lot of time and energy doing it yourself. You may believe myths about it creating better character in children. These false beliefs are akin to believing that spanking children is good because you were spanked as a child and you turned out so well. Let go of your ego and realize that just because something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing.
Yes, you really can use nonbinary pronouns.
The English language is not stagnant. If it were, we’d all sound like Shakespearean characters and I, for one, would not understand 60% of what people were saying. So it doesn’t matter how old you are or that you taught English for 40 years. “They” is no longer only plural. You have a brain capable of making this switch. All it takes is:
- Allow your mind to open up just a tiny bit.
Tip: Default to “they/them” when you are not sure.
You will make mistakes at first just like anybody learning something new. But before you know it, you won’t be such an asshole anymore!
We live in a free society.
If you grew up in the United States of America, you probably have it pretty engrained in your head that despite any problems, the USA is a free society. Land of the free. Well, you’d be wrong. Just take a gander over here at reality:
The United States of America is a violent, war-mongering nation that locks up an insane percentage of its population and doesn’t even trust its own population to vote for president in a direct democracy:
- On average, every 100 Americans own 120.5 guns (the only country with more guns than people). That’s less than 5% of the world’s population owning 40% of the world’s guns. They kill themselves and each other with these guns at the rate of over 45,000 per year.
- About 44% of women and 25% of men experience sexual violence in the US; one to two American women are raped per minute.
- The US exports its violence: It is by far the largest arms merchant, supplying the world with 37% of all global weapons exports. The United States has invaded more nations than any other country in history. It is also the only country ever to have dropped nuclear bombs on people… twice. It even tested atomic bombs on its own people.
- No other nation comes close to the United States in locking up its own citizens. The US has over two million of its people rotting in prisons (ten times more than it locked up 50 years ago). That’s way more than the next country, China, which has a population of nearly one and a half billion people! Per capita, the US locks up 629 people per 100,000. But in communities of color, that number is far greater: in the thousands for Black Americans. In 2018 about one in twenty Black men were imprisoned in the United States of America. By comparison, in racist apartheid South Africa, Black men were imprisoned at a rate of 8.5 per 1,000.
- The United States is one of the only countries in the world to routinely strip voting rights from people convicted of felonies.
- The United States still puts its citizens to death despite an abolition of the death penalty in most nations across the planet. In the past decade, the US is the only state on the American continent to legally execute its own citizens.
Guns Don’t Kill People; Police Kill People:
- Well, actually police use guns to kill people, along with choke holds and tasers. The police kill over one thousand Americans each year. By comparison, German police kill about ten and Japanese police kill about two. One in one thousand American Black men end up dying at the hands of police (The Lancet).
- The United States was set up by a racial and class elite that didn’t fully trust ordinary people to vote. The founders created and the country still clings to an antiquated electoral college, to hedge against direct democracy. Thus, the last two Republican presidents assumed office with fewer votes than their opponents. What would international election observer say about this avoidance of direct democracy? What would the US say about it in any other country?
- Because representative democracy was a scary prospect for the White landowners who set up the United States, the Senate was established so that every state regardless of population is represented by exactly two senators. Therefore, Wyoming, with just over half a million people, gets the same number of votes in the Senate as California’s nearly 40 million people.
- Because modern politicians fear “mob rule” of the majority, they refuse to abolish the filibuster. Therefore, a minority party can thwart the will of the majority.
- Even when one party wins the majority of votes for representatives in the US House, the other party can, and does usurp the election and send more of its representatives to Congress. Part of the misrepresentation of electoral results for House races is an artifact of the nature of a winner-take-all district system. If the vote in a district is 47% Party A, 45% Party B and 8% Party C, party A gets 100% of the representation. Misrepresentation is also the result of the party in power in a state drawing district lines to disenfranchise people who don’t tend to vote for them. Currently and for the foreseeable future, more people vote for Democratic candidates for the House, but more Republicans take those positions. This keeps a shrinking and increasingly race-based Republican minority entrenched in power in direct contravention to a free democratic political system.
So while not the land of the free, maybe it’s fair to call it the home of the brave, since you have to brave rampant street violence, the thuggery of over-funded militarized police, the quickly thinning facade of democracy giving way to a White oligarchy, and an injustice system designed to lock up huge numbers of citizens who pose no threat to society. (Most stats are from https://worldpopulationreview.com)