Good Articles That Don't Deserve Their Own Threads

Fwiffo

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Lehman anniversary: The five most surprising consequences

1. We have fewer children, if we have them at all
2. We've accumulated a lot less wealth than prior generations
3. We hate the stock market
4. We don't buy homes
5. We trust no-one

I'd say a few of those apply to me but then again I found a job in 2010 in the middle of the Great Recession that paid me more. And although I moved my money out of equities for a long time, the sitting President has renewed my confidence.

The financial crisis happened 10 years ago — that's how long it took this man to sell his house

"Last year, Dezember finally managed to sell the house. He tried to estimate how much money he had lost in 10 years, after tabulating maintenance costs, losses when tenants skipped town, and selling the house for less than he paid for it. He stopped counting at $60,000 US. 'On a house that I only paid $137,000 for, that's pretty tremendous.'"

Honestly if you don't even have 137K to buy a house in some village in Alabama - should you even be a home owner? How does anyone trust you to pay it back? This man moved out of state and continued holding on to the property trying to rent it out and paid 50% more in maintenance and upkeep. At some point a smart intelligent person would just cut his losses and move on. Something tells me some sentiment with the ex girlfriend or wife and/or some stubborn pride thing interrupted logical thinking here.
 

formby

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This is quite clever and made me chuckle...

A Brief History of Philosophy:

1. Socrates deletes his account.

2. Plato posts screenshots of Socrates.

3. Aristotle unfollows Plato.

4. Aquinas retweets Jesus.

5. Descartes mutes Aquinas.

6. Locke mutes Descartes.

7. Kant unfollows Locke and Descartes.

8. Hegel subtweets Kant.

9. Schopenhauer blocks Hegel.

10. Marx likes Hegel.

11. Nietzsche gets hacked.

12. Heidegger DMs Arendt.

13. Adorno reports Heidegger.

14. Derrida gets verified.

15. Heidegger gets banned.

16. Wittgenstein only does instagram.

17. Confucius and Al-Ghazali are still waiting to get verified because of their avatars.
 

Journeyman

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http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20181101-fire-the-movement-to-live-frugally-and-retire-decades-early

Retirement at 43? Honestly he must be single. I also see five years of retirement did nothing to improve his visual appearances.
It is possible to take the idea a bit too far, but it is a great and very simple idea - don't let your spending rise in tandem with your income.

I'm fortunate that my wife is very frugal and so she keeps me in check! However, I'm nonetheless amazed at the sheer number of people we know who have two very decent incomes and yet virtually no savings. As an example, one of my colleagues needed to buy a new fridge a couple of years ago back and she actually had to apply for a new credit card just to get the fridge, even though she and her husband must have had a combined income of $160,000 or more. Of course, they both drove European cars (that broke and needed expensive repairs), they ate out at least a couple of times a week, they sent their children to private schools, they took expensive holidays and so on - in other words, they lived up to (and perhaps beyond) the limit of their income. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem uncommon.
 

Fwiffo

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You should read Mr Money Moustache's blog. I think you'd find it interesting.
There's a lot of shilling of different software and services on that site. Maybe that's how he is making money too.

I have quite a bit saved up mostly because as a young kid I had no idea how to spend money (vices, clothing, etc.) and I lived with my parents until I went out to London (where I lived on the company's dime). How did these people spend the first 15-20 years of their working lives happy? Happy Christmas - here's a t-shirt I knit from compost. Or wait, he is eating on $7 a day. Yeah let's have some tilapia that grew in a puddle somewhere.

Plus, as I said, what motivates them after they retire in their 40s?

had a combined income of $160,000 or more. Of course, they both drove European cars (that broke and needed expensive repairs), they ate out at least a couple of times a week, they sent their children to private schools, they took expensive holidays and so on - in other words, they lived up to (and perhaps beyond) the limit of their income. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem uncommon.
Someone has to keep the economy going mate. I have an ex coworker who was like that. As he advanced in the ranks and his wife got out of maternity leave they broke the six figure mark. He had to dip into a line of credit to finance Christmas and a holiday in warmer climes. A timely bonus helped pay it off but with a rental property (his first home) and two incomes you would think you didn't need that. The funny thing is he is an immigrant of a humble background. His father is working retail past retirement age. He went to public school but finances private school for his children even though we both said we did well coming out of the public system. After all it's not like his kids are going to Eton or something.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I'm fortunate that my wife is very frugal and so she keeps me in check!
My missus is the same, she's seriously tight and likes to save. It's a good virtue to a point, but she'll be contemplating 4 star hotels (even 3 star ones) when a 5 star one for a vacation will be more apt and not that much more expensive. Or why don't we fly through a couple of cities and take 20 hours to save a few bob on flights? And it grieves her awful sore if she buys anything outside of a sale.

Good job I'm ruthless when it comes to decent hotels and restaurants. But I daren't infringe on liberating/repatriating any savings/kids university money. That's off limits.

There's a lot of shilling of different software and services on that site. Maybe that's how he is making money too.

I have quite a bit saved up mostly because as a young kid I had no idea how to spend money (vices, clothing, etc.) and I lived with my parents until I went out to London (where I lived on the company's dime). How did these people spend the first 15-20 years of their working lives happy? Happy Christmas - here's a t-shirt I knit from compost. Or wait, he is eating on $7 a day. Yeah let's have some tilapia that grew in a puddle somewhere.
I always knew how to spend money and earn it relatively speaking. As soon I was going out to pubs, I realised that spending prowess was the real power when it came to the fairer sex. Age too, the kind of ladies I wanted when I was 17-23 would not be interested in a geeky and lanky middle class student, I needed to find a way to usurp this predicament. I always liked enough money to go out and have a great time and buy champagne and drinks for the ladies at the decisive moment.

I didn't have much saved, or at times, anything saved, but I always had enough to have a good time. At least when it counted.

lus, as I said, what motivates them after they retire in their 40s?

Someone has to keep the economy going mate. I have an ex coworker who was like that. As he advanced in the ranks and his wife got out of maternity leave they broke the six figure mark. He had to dip into a line of credit to finance Christmas and a holiday in warmer climes. A timely bonus helped pay it off but with a rental property (his first home) and two incomes you would think you didn't need that. The funny thing is he is an immigrant of a humble background. His father is working retail past retirement age. He went to public school but finances private school for his children even though we both said we did well coming out of the public system. After all it's not like his kids are going to Eton or something.
Two incomes means nothing: mortgage, living expenses, child care and everything else on top is critical. Other then owning everything, paying for everyone....my spending power, me personally, feels about the same as I was when I was single in my early 30s with a lot less responsibilities.
 

Jan Libourel

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North Sentinel Island:

An interesting piece in the recent news about that chap who went to North Sentinel Island in an effort to convert the natives to Jesus, despite the well known practice of the natives to kill any outsider who ventures onto the island. He got pincushioned with arrows for his efforts, but I suppose it brought him the Crown of Martyrdom.

I can recall many years ago talking about North Sentinel Island with one of my best friends, now gone to his reward. I said I thought it was cool that there were still some good, old-fashioned, uncontaminated savages around, this in an era when the grandsons of cannibal chieftains were wearing Madonna T-shirts. He said sadly, "Just think, they'll never know Jesus." This rather put me to shame since I was a much more active churchman at the time, and I had always thought of him as a heathen. Interestingly, I only learned after his death about 20 years later that he had spent a few years as an active Jehovah's Witness. I had always found it surprising that a fellow I thought of as thoroughly secular had such extensive familiarity with the Bible, but that explained it.
 

Fwiffo

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Do cold remedies like chicken soup and vitamin C work?

"As well as trusted friends and family, the placebo effect could also be strengthened by how foods are marketed, Bishop adds.
The good news? Knowing that home remedies are placebos won’t necessarily stop them from alleviating our symptoms. 'Open-label placebos, when a doctor tells the patient something is a placebo but that it’s helped some people, can still make patients better,' she says."

I have to get myself some of this placebo!
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I use to work for this outfit, just when the pension schemes favourite top 100 FTSE company, Tilbury Douglas, merged all the Group companies into the many headed hydra of Interserve and promptly put scaffolding foreman and dodgy pretend accountants in charge. You could not make a mess of their business model, lucrative government contracts, to build, operate and sell back over a decade or two. In with Blair/Brown corporatist vision of UK PLC. But somehow they managed to screw it up:

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/10038066.article?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CN_EditorialNewsletters.Reg: Send - Daily news&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTldNMVpEa3hOalprWlRZMiIsInQiOiJUVGh5Y1NwR3hMNmtORkd3UkRoREhidUdVdWpmYldcLzJVYTc3bVc3WDlIa0l0UnNGQUk0em5KWldWTklHU1pRV1JIaCtGamw5dWZlOU9KMVVXRkhaZWYydUVcL0NTeEpEZGd4YnJ5SnRcLzNkRjJZZWZNM09VV3N5MEpQUHc1KzZzaSJ9
 

Fwiffo

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Huda Kattan

""I hated it as a child because I never fit those standards of what beauty was and I always loved individuality."

She didn't fit standards of beauty in Tennessee?

 

doghouse

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Kingstonian

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Nostalgic article, written by someone who must be even older than me, reminding us that BBC was always an instrument of the state. Focuses on the use of ‘the wireless’ to motivate the workers in the days when we still had large numbers of workers in factories. Light, slightly upbeat music to help production. ‘Deep in the heart of Texas’ off the playlist in case the workforce downs tools and starts clapping along. More a case of not culturally approved I suspect, as would apply to jazz and later popular beat combos. Lord Reith still held sway.If you want that sort of thing, seek it out in your own time - maybe on Radio Luxembourg or later one of the pirate radio stations.
https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/the-lost-bbc-music-while-you-work/
 

Fwiffo

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Why walking makes you a better worker

"There is mounting evidence that spending time in nature makes us healthier and happier.

It’s something many people feel instinctively. But we’re busy at work, distracted by technology and often live in urban environments far from wild spaces. We also don’t get out much: the average American, for example, spends about 90% of their life indoors."

90 percent? That sounds like me. Unless you count patios and rooftop bars as outdoors. I do walk a lot, but ironically in cities.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Perhaps one could use this in Gestalt psychology: one individual sees happy Dutch children taking their liberators for a tour around the local castle, another individual sees satanic nuns leading the innocent in hands with killers....
 

InstaHate

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https://www.npr.org/2019/03/31/708039892/in-an-increasingly-polarized-america-is-it-possible-to-be-civil-on-social-media

In general I find the erosion of civility more alarming than anything else in this country (even gross inequality). A person interviewed in the article espouses what I expect is Rambo’s view on the subject, which is that this isn’t the time to be civil because there are significant and divisive issues that must be dealt with and major changes which are required. However, this isn’t an either-or situation, or at least it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible to be civil and engage with contentious and emotionally charged issues; it’s just much more difficult. Furthermore, the internet has removed a lot of incentive to be civil, and it is bleeding over offline, I think.

Civility is important because ultimately we need to be able to reach compromises, develop mutual understandings, and at least respect each other in order to make any progress, much less function.
 

Rambo

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https://www.npr.org/2019/03/31/708039892/in-an-increasingly-polarized-america-is-it-possible-to-be-civil-on-social-media

In general I find the erosion of civility more alarming than anything else in this country (even gross inequality). A person interviewed in the article espouses what I expect is Rambo’s view on the subject, which is that this isn’t the time to be civil because there are significant and divisive issues that must be dealt with and major changes which are required. However, this isn’t an either-or situation, or at least it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible to be civil and engage with contentious and emotionally charged issues; it’s just much more difficult. Furthermore, the internet has removed a lot of incentive to be civil, and it is bleeding over offline, I think.

Civility is important because ultimately we need to be able to reach compromises, develop mutual understandings, and at least respect each other in order to make any progress, much less function.
this twitter thread should be an interesting read for you. LOTS of shit libs but some interesting comments as well


short version of my take is that of course its possible to be civil on social media, but civility is just a cover for people to continue to engage in shitty behaviors behind the curtain, thus i think its completely ridiculous to be civil to the large majority of these people. don't be mean to bob. he's just advocating children should be force-ably separated from their parents and kept in dungeons.
 

InstaHate

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this twitter thread should be an interesting read for you. LOTS of shit libs but some interesting comments as well


short version of my take is that of course its possible to be civil on social media, but civility is just a cover for people to continue to engage in shitty behaviors behind the curtain, thus i think its completely ridiculous to be civil to the large majority of these people. don't be mean to bob. he's just advocating children should be force-ably separated from their parents and kept in dungeons.
Lettered so I can keep track.

a) I agree that civility is decoupled from action. That’s sort of a necessary assumption for my point. You can be civil and make the world a better place, you can be civil and make it worse, you can be uncivil and make it better, and you can be uncivil and make it worse. Civility in interaction doesn’t reflect action or behavior.


b) For me, it is what one is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to blow off steam, feel like you won an argument, or even galvanize the already converted, there is little instrumental benefit to civility.

On the other hand, if you want to change people’s minds, or even simply just convince them to be open that their are alternative perspectives that are at least reasonable, civility is important. Incivility causes people to shut down and become defensive or antagonistic. They can be driven further to some extreme not because they necessarily agree with the associated positions but because they are reacting to a lack of civility and respect from the opposition.

d) So what should we want to accomplish? I think we both agree that radical change is required. I suspect we disagree about the role of civility in accomplishing that change. I think it’s necessary. You might not think it is. I don’t think incivility is necessary because of a) above.

Unless force is used, we are in a country which requires cooperation from people with different views. However, the win at all costs mindset has been adopted by, well, almost everybody. With the mindset, there is no need for civility.

e) We also have a strong preference for self-consistency. As a result, incivility in our discourse does lead the incivility in our thoughts. Incivility in our thoughts leads to incivility in our actions. Conversely, civil discourse fosters civil thinking.

Does that mean that Alex Jones is going to become reasonable if he treats people who disagree with him with respect? Fuck no. Nor does it mean that Lindsay Graham isn’t a blown-out cunt behind the civility. It just means that he likely would be worse if he embraced incivility. More broadly, if you got 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and convinced them to behave civilly towards each other, and 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and convinced them to behave uncivilly to each other, and you check back on them in a month, the first group will be much more functional than the second.

f) I recognize that it is often futile to try and convince people to even consider alternative interpretations or viewpoints. I remember arguing with OfficePants about the percentage of American jobs lost to globalization. Ultimately, he explained that it doesn’t matter what any numbers say, he knows people who lost jobs due to outsourcing. Nevermind the numbers show that people lost jobs to outsourcing, and we were discussing a ratio...he saw what he saw.

I’ve given up trying to convince unreasonable people on the internet, but I feel that incivility and unreasonableness are self-reinforcing. Anecdotal evidence (and therefore worthless beyond exemplification), but I’ve found civility to be very effective in getting people to recognize an opposing view point. I’ve convinced a number of conservatives to recognize the structural and institutional barriers faced by minorities in the US, for example, and a number of liberals to recognize that gun violence actually isn’t that big a deal. I could be wrong on both those counts, of course, but that’s besides the point.
 

Rambo

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a) I agree that civility is decoupled from action. That’s sort of a necessary assumption for my point. You can be civil and make the world a better place, you can be civil and make it worse, you can be uncivil and make it better, and you can be uncivil and make it worse. Civility in interaction doesn’t reflect action or behavior.


b) For me, it is what one is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to blow off steam, feel like you won an argument, or even galvanize the already converted, there is little instrumental benefit to civility.

On the other hand, if you want to change people’s minds, or even simply just convince them to be open that their are alternative perspectives that are at least reasonable, civility is important. Incivility causes people to shut down and become defensive or antagonistic. They can be driven further to some extreme not because they necessarily agree with the associated positions but because they are reacting to a lack of civility and respect from the opposition.
see here's where A and B don't mix for me. there's never going to be enough flowery language or kind words to get the people who rule and own this country to change. that will only happen with violence, and mark my words, its coming. whether its the nazis or the socialists. likely the nazis, but i digress. changing people's minds is a wonderful thing. i've had my mind changed more through comedy than i have books, for whatever that's worth. the problem is what you're attempting to accomplish. all the rainbow pride parades in the world didn't convince people to allow gay marriage. all the sob stories and medical bankruptcies isn't getting us anywhere on single payer healthcare. people thought Obama was the greatest president ever. 2 years after he left office and we have this dumb asshole showing us what's what, everyone is starting to realize what an abject disaster his presidency was. in the end words don't do shit.

d) So what should we want to accomplish? I think we both agree that radical change is required. I suspect we disagree about the role of civility in accomplishing that change. I think it’s necessary. You might not think it is. I don’t think incivility is necessary because of a) above.

Unless force is used, we are in a country which requires cooperation from people with different views. However, the win at all costs mindset has been adopted by, well, almost everybody. With the mindset, there is no need for civility.
i pretty much answered this above but i want to object to the 2nd paragraph here. we don't need to cooperate with these chuds. there are more of us than there are of them. there aren't two sides to every opinion. there isn't always a fair and balanced opinion. i'm happy to see you're coming around. i was where you are last year. you'll get there eventually once you realize this shit will never ever change with the things we say. direct action gets the goods.

e) We also have a strong preference for self-consistency. As a result, incivility in our discourse does lead the incivility in our thoughts. Incivility in our thoughts leads to incivility in our actions. Conversely, civil discourse fosters civil thinking.
i have to be honest i have no idea what the fuck this means.

Does that mean that Alex Jones is going to become reasonable if he treats people who disagree with him with respect? Fuck no. Nor does it mean that Lindsay Graham isn’t a blown-out cunt behind the civility. It just means that he likely would be worse if he embraced incivility.
i disagree with this. lindsay graham would be the same piece of shit if he came out and said that he hated jews. look at his record vs. steve king's. the only reason we hate steve king is because of the things he says. the flowery language and behavior just masks the evil deeds, so i think it would be better for everyone if he was an out and out cunt.

Does that mean that Alex Jones is going to become reasonable if he treats people who disagree with him with respect? Fuck no. Nor does it mean that Lindsay Graham isn’t a blown-out cunt behind the civility. It just means that he likely would be worse if he embraced incivility. More broadly, if you got 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and convinced them to behave civilly towards each other, and 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and convinced them to behave uncivilly to each other, and you check back on them in a month, the first group will be much more functional than the second.
maybe in 1976. but these shitheads we have now are ideological. that's what you need to understand, its not politics, its a game. its about winning. did you read this piece on mitch mcconnel?

https://newrepublic.com/article/153275/mitch-mcconnell-profile-nihilist-chief

you should. i think it'll help to illuminate a lot of the mindset that takes place in our politics today.

f) I recognize that it is often futile to try and convince people to even consider alternative interpretations or viewpoints. I remember arguing with OfficePants about the percentage of American jobs lost to globalization. Ultimately, he explained that it doesn’t matter what any numbers say, he knows people who lost jobs due to outsourcing. Nevermind the numbers show that people lost jobs to outsourcing, and we were discussing a ratio...he saw what he saw.

I’ve given up trying to convince unreasonable people on the internet, but I feel that incivility and unreasonableness are self-reinforcing. Anecdotal evidence (and therefore worthless beyond exemplification), but I’ve found civility to be very effective in getting people to recognize an opposing view point. I’ve convinced a number of conservatives to recognize the structural and institutional barriers faced by minorities in the US, for example, and a number of liberals to recognize that gun violence actually isn’t that big a deal. I could be wrong on both those counts, of course, but that’s besides the point.
but much of this outlook comes from your station in life. i suspect you'd be a lot less amenable to this point of view of you had to talk with the local 112 plumbers union. could you talk down the people who work at a factory that got closed down because all the jobs got shipped off shore? you work in a university and talk with academics. and you know what, i've got the perfect litmust test for you. next time you're talking at a department meeting or talking with the administration, bring this up:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article228492714.html

"The adjunct faculty at Miami Dade College have officially won the right to form a union."

i bet you a sawbuck you'll be thrown out on your ass quicker than a topless lesbian protestor.
 

InstaHate

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FWIW, I’m sure they are out there, but I’ve yet to encounter a tenure track professor who doesn’t think adjuncts need better treatment (nor an administrator willing to grant it). The adjunct system is one of many things that are horrendously fucked up about academia.

And while I couldn’t talk the plumbers down, I also wouldn’t see what is accomplished by calling them idiots for being unable to understand the complex processes of the labor market and global economy . I think one of the reasons the Left lost so many in the Rust Belt is that they took those votes for granted and ignored their concerns. Politicians in general don’t address people’s concerns, but it gets really bad when they don’t even bother listening to them. People often just need recognition that their concerns are valid. Like I know white people who honestly fear the changing demographic nature of the US. The programmer I’ll have lunch with occasionally fears anti-white sentiment should black people ever take power. This is a ridiculous fear, but ridiculing him accomplished nothing but alienate him (and I imagine meetingbhis expectation of liberal academic elites treating the common man like retarded goats) and I guess make me feel superior? Probably push him towards Breitbart so he could get some validation. Do I disagree with him? Absolutely. And I tried to explain why I felt he was wrong (and tried to understand why he felt that way in the first place).

I’m not suggesting stupid opinions be respected, only that most stupid people be treated with respect (after all, I’m sure many who disagree will think I’m stupid).

But what do you think uncivil discourse accomplishes? And keep in mind you can adamantly disagree with someone while remaining civil.

I’m not reading the McConnell article, but I bemoan the win-at-all-costs mindset as well, and I don’t think there is a single public figure I detest as much as I do McConnell.
 
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Journeyman

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And while I couldn’t talk the plumbers down, I also wouldn’t see what is accomplished by calling them idiots for being unable to understand the complex processes of the labor market and global economy . I think one of the reasons the Left lost so many in the Rust Belt is that they took those votes for granted and ignored their concerns. Politicians in general don’t address people’s concerns, but it gets really bad when they don’t even bother listening to them. People often just need recognition that their concerns are valid. Like I know white people who honestly fear the changing demographic nature of the US. The programmer I’ll have lunch with occasionally fears anti-white sentiment should black people ever take power. This is a ridiculous fear, but ridiculing him accomplished nothing but alienate him (and I imagine meetingbhis expectation of liberal academic elites treating the common man like retarded goats) and I guess make me feel superior? Probably push him towards Breitbart so he could get some validation.
Perhaps it's because it simply reinforces my existing views, but I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I know that there's a lot of hypocrisy out there, but insulting people and throwing around abuse does alienate people. Quite simply, it just pushes two sides further apart and causes even greater division than already seems to exist.

Are people hypocritical? Yes, they are, on both sides of politics. On the right, Trump gets a pass for all of his abuse and name-calling while Hillary is vilified for her "deplorables" remark. On the left, Trump gets criticised for his abusive, insulting language but someone like Michelle Wolf or Robert de Niro is cheered when they are insulting or swear at Trump, his family or administration.

However, simply because people on both sides are hypocritical doesn't mean that abuse and incivility is appropriate, nor does it mean that it's the best way to deal with the situation.
 
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