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Bretigne Shaffer
Interests: This is also the personal blog of bretigne shaffer, and i will include announcements about projects i am working on or have completed, interesting things i see or do, and/or "stuff i've made" to read about my films and books, and occasional musings on nothing in particular. if you're not interested in the personal stuff - and why should you be? - just click on the "punditry" or "stuff I've made" category to see only that stuff.
Recent Activity
A vicious ugliness had stuck its head out of a hole in the earth and begun spitting venom at us all. Even if that ugliness slinks back into the hole, nobody is now going to forget that it is there. The viciousness isn't new. We saw it immediately after the 2018 election, and probably most of us have seen it rear its slimy head at some point in our various lifetimes. But for me, for some reason, this particular incident stands out. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at On the Banks
This piece, from the Ghion Journal, is well worth a read. "What led to King’s death was a radical departure from his initial foray in the Civil Rights movement. As long as MLK was talking about just “black rights” and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at On the Banks
Posted 3 days ago at On the Banks
A friend posted some comments about the "women's march", in which some women were wondering what rights we don't have, and must march for. I can actually think of plenty of rights we don't have: The right to travel unmolested;... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at On the Banks
Not that I ever trust any of these guys, but wow. Just wow. I know I'm weird. I judge people (AND politicians) by their actions, not their personalities, their graciousness, inspiring words, etc. etc. I was always gobsmacked by the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2018 at On the Banks
I want to stress that this is not the stupidest video I have ever seen. That would be hyperbole. Especially if the 2nd & 3rd episodes of this season's #DrWho count as "videos." But it's close. It's close. So the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2018 at On the Banks
(No, that's not her, it's me.) I can only imagine that the conversation over at the BBC went something like this: BBC Bigwig 1: Oh shit shit shit shit shit! Those SJWs have ruined everything! They’re making us have a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at On the Banks
The book itself is still in Beta, but I am starting to post some excerpts on WattPad. You can see Chapter 1 here. Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at On the Banks
I've just created my first Mighty Networks group. I'll let you all know right now that I have no idea what I'm doing. I am one of the least organized people I know, also one of the least social. So... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at On the Banks
Until this very moment, I think I've believed that all human life was equally worthy, that no-one has more of a right to be here than anyone else, that no-one has the right to pass judgment on the value of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at On the Banks
That's the title Magatte Wade requested for her incredible TED talk, below. The TED folks insisted on this much more milquetoast and vague title: The title change is only part of what Magatte's husband Michael Strong says is an effort... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at On the Banks
“Don’t raise your voice!” The Councillor with the stiff lion’s-mane hair bellowed into her microphone, her face shaking, but her coif remaining eternally still. Each of the guards leaned forward just slightly, their hands still on their hips. Gvtaren scribbled furiously in her notepad. Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2018 at On the Banks
When I was nine, Montessori ended for me, and I went to an "alternative" Catholic school in an all-black neighborhood. There were a handful of other white kids there, but I (until my sister joined me) was probably the only... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2018 at On the Banks
"Helen Thomas' fate serves as a reminder of what we all know, and what the vast majority of us accept without question: That there are different rules for those in power than there are for the rest of us. Those... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at On the Banks
I don’t want to remember Andrea. I want to have her here with us, the way it should be. I don’t even want to write these words. I never did. I knew it was coming, we’ve known for a while... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at On the Banks
I'm sure many of you have heard of "prehistoric plants." Probably you've seen them in movies, looked at pictures of them in dinosaur books, maybe even seen a living one in a zoo that collects specimins of ancient vegetation. I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2018 at On the Banks
A new publication from Physicians for Informed Consent demonstrates why mandatory vaccination for schoolchildren doesn't actually help immunocompromised children in any significant way. This was one of the major arguments that the pharma employees politicians used to get SB277 passed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2018 at On the Banks
For a while now, the links on my "My Writing" page have been down. I fixed them today, so now you can read all about why regulated taxis in Hong Kong were a mess, how free-market reforms began to help... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at On the Banks
Seriously, it's the best thing you will have seen all week. Just watch. It's beautiful: Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at On the Banks
I am NOT, NOT, NOT engaging in the abortion debate here. Just not. But for my pro-life friends, or for anyone concerned with reducing abortions, this is probably the best idea I've ever seen. And according to the Save the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at On the Banks
(Image: Public Domain.) It is easy to become despondent about the creeping tyranny that has sucked away so many freedoms, especially in the past 17 years, and about the tendency of people to just tolerate it. But when one person... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2018 at On the Banks
If you were in any doubt as to whether those of us living in the U.S. are living under a police state, you can now put those doubts to rest. (The truth is, you could have done that years ago,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at On the Banks
This is a very well-done video, from Sean Malone at the Foundation for Economic Education. I would just add that implicit in this vilification of private business and capitalism, is a presumption that its inverse (the state) is preferable -... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at On the Banks
(Image Public Domain via Wikipedia.) I’m going to take off my “anarchist” hat for a moment. Let’s pretend that nation states are in some way legitimate. Let’s also pretend that they are justified in controlling who crosses the borders into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2018 at On the Banks
A cool story about how two crazy Irish brothers from Skibereen (Skibereen!) worked really really hard and won something: Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at On the Banks