Linky Friday No. 67

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Pursuer of happiness. Bon vivant. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. There's a Twitter account at @burtlikko, but not used for posting on the general feed anymore. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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42 Responses

  1. Saul DeGraw says:

    I see what you did there for my post suggestion.Report

  2. Francis says:

    Great list. But Irwindale is in LA, not OC, and has a total population of 1,400 people! (I’ve heard stories that the City owns virtually all the housing, so that the city government controls its electorate. If you’re not from the right family, somehow there’s never anything for sale.)Report

  3. Anne says:

    is it bad that I knew what a vexillographer was before I clicked on the linkReport

  4. aaron david says:

    Loving the judgement maps! (especially SF)Report

    • zic in reply to aaron david says:

      @aaron-david have you seen this project from Luke Dubois?

      He describes the project thusly:

      I joined twenty-one dating sites in order to make my own census of the United States in 2010. These are my findings: a road atlas of the United States, with the names of cities, towns, and neighborhoods replaced with the words people use to describe themselves and those they want to be with.


      • aaron david in reply to zic says:

        I had not seen that @zic , thank you.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to zic says:

        I was taken by the “happy” map, and the apparent break that occurs at the Rocky Mountains — happy to the west, not so much to the east. And the urban areas from the Rockies west — I’m throwing Denver into the Rockies — seem to be even happier.Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    Can somebody from an Evangelical background answer a question? Why does everything have to be done in the name of Christianity? You need to read Christian literature, watch Christian movies, listen to Christian music, and participate in Christian sports while having Christian sex with your spouse. It might be meant to fill your entire life with Christ but it seems to dilute anything important about Christianity into a marketing gimmick. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that Jesus expects this sort of dominating faith from people.Report

    • Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Well, I’m not sure exactly what “Christian sex” is supposed to mean–and I didn’t read the links above so I don’t know exactly what you’re referring to. But I’ll try to relate what I understood/understand the ethos to have been when I flirted with evangelicalism as a young adult.*

      First, I’ll challenge you a bit on the notion that “everything has to be about Christianity.” I’m not saying you’re wrong, but just that it seems like a broad brushstroke way of putting it that is not always right. You’re probably familiar with similar sweeping statements about “everything” Jewish people have to do or “everything” they believe. I don’t mean to compare the situation of the two groups of people other than to say that both in theory and practice, there are a lot of different approaches to the way life ought to be lived, even among people who self-identify as evangelicals. I’ve known evanglicals who didn’t let their kids go to “secular movies” and I’ve known some who did, for example. I’ve known some who thought that even “Christian rock” was bad, while others enjoy “secular music.”

      Second, I’ll challenge you a bit about “nothing” in the New Testament requiring that type of lifestyle. You might be right that the NT, read as a whole, does not necessarily require a believer to go full hog, but there are at least a few notations that someone might read in that vein. “I am the way and the light.” “who is not with us is against us.” “You cannot serve two masters.” (As a bad evangelical, I don’t have book, chapter, and verse to give you.) Now, these kinds of statements do not necessarily need to be read as requiring the lifestyle you’re asking an explanation for, but I hope you can see how someone might non-arbitrarily infer such a requirement from such statements.

      Third, to actually answer your question, my sense is that one as a believer needs to give his or her whole life to God and to Jesus, and that the trappings of “the world” interfere with that project. The world is seen as inherently sinful and temptations to sin abound. while one is condemned in one’s physical life to live in it, one need not be of it. There is also a notion of forming a community of believers, and that is done through following certain putatively “Christian” activities, such as Christian music, or movies, etc. And there also seems to be the notion that Christianity, if it really is the way to salvation, is all encompassing, and not doing everything in the name of Christianity is mistaken.

      Personally, I think the all-Christian all the time approach is mistaken. In part, this is because (as you point out) there’s a lot of marketing and mammon-satisfying revenue that comes of it, although even there I don’t think “evangelicals” are unique in that regard. I also think fellowship in the Christian sense cannot exist without fellowship among one’s fellow humans. Finally, complete asceticism is impossible, and trying live a “Christain-only life” only re-creates the problem.

      *My own background, which I’ve probably mentioned before: I was raised Catholic, but from around 5th grade through my first year in college, I hung out with and in many ways identified with evangelicals, while never quite giving up my “Catholic” identity. I’d often go to mass on Sunday mornings, and Sunday nights, I’d either go to my Catholic youth group or to my Baptist friend’s youth group, and on Wednesday I’d often go to my Baptist friend’s church. All that changed when I started working (at around 16 years old), and I no longer could go to mass on Sundays because of work, and when my Baptist friend, with whose family I was really close, joined the navy and I stopped hanging around with them.Report

      • Saul DeGraw in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        Why the name change?Report

      • Thanks for asking (and for the record, I haven’t been trying to keep it a secret; I actually came out in a comment to you a while back, but it was long after the thread in question had been a live conversation, so anyone can be forgiven for not noticing). There are a couple of reasons, one innocuous and one suspect.

        The innocuous reason: I’ve never been a huge fan of Pierre Corneille. I’m much more of a Jean Racine type, but if I used that as my pseudonym, people would think I was a woman (Jean) and not a man (John). Also, I like the Conroy character from Joyce’s “The Dead” (and I like that story) for all his contradictions, and in spite of his casual cruelty and philistinism, he is deep down a thoughtful, introspective guy of the sort I’d like to consider myself (one can always strive toward an ideal without embodying it). Full disclosure: as far as I know, I have no discernible French or Irish background.

        The suspect reason: Part of me wishes to start again with a clean slate, and I hope to be a bit more thoughtful with my new identity. That’s a bit naive and dishonest. One cannot run from oneself. And I don’t think my comments so far have been much more thoughtful than my comments before.

        Still, I like the new name personally.Report

      • Saul DeGraw in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        I didn’t recognize you until your last paragraph and then everything clicked.

        So if you wanted a new identity, you could have had it 🙂Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        Well, I’m not sure exactly what “Christian sex” is supposed to mean

        A threesome.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        I was referring to the Christian workout or Christian mixed martial arts links but from when I was a slacktivist fan, there are apparently Christian sexy spanking groups to. I’m relatively sure that Jesus doesn’t care that much about how you do your calisthenics and weight-lifting. It seems like a dilution of the religion to put the adjective Christian in front of everything.Report

      • @leeesq

        You’re probably right, especially about the dilution statement. But the trick is to try to come up with an explanation for why that a believer might offer. I didn’t read that link, so I don’t know what they’re dealing with. But I can imagine, just for the sake of argument, a sound mind, sound spirit, sound body approach that might call itself “Christian workout” in a similar way that some martial arts practitioners see what they do as part of a set of life-values. But again, that’s just a hypothetical on my part.


        I like that joke.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        Duh, Jesus is all about cross fit.Report

      • Murali in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        Some of the meditation and martial arts stuff may have to do with how yoga and some martial arts like shaolin gong fu originated from invoke concepts pertaining to a very specific religious tradition. People who are worried about blasphemy but who still want to meditate or learn self defence may want to be assured that the guy who is teaching him is not trying to subvert his religious belief by sneakily getting him to engage in the practice of other religions. So, you do meditation the way Aquinas did instead of the way Sage Vasishta.Report

      • Chris in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        For Christians, a threesome is the same as…

        Anyway, I think the “Christian ______” began as a way to promote Christian businesses and ensure that those business (and their products) were consistent with Christian values. I don’t see Christian workouts as being at all inconsistent with that, even if I sometimes find using Christianity as a marketing tool for secular products confounding.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        @murali, the Evangelical community that really goes for the Christian fill in the blank is probably not going to be that moved by Aquinas. Too Catholic for them.Report

      • Now that I’ve actually read the links on Cross-Fit and “Christian MMA,” here are my thoughts.

        “Christian Cross-Fit,” at least as it is described in the article, seems more like an attempt to help members of congregations get exercise than it is a marketing ploy using the “Christian _____” business model. What’s described in that article strikes more as, “here’s a way to get in shape, and by the way, it jives with our sense of community” and not “when you exercise, you should try to patronize only Christian workout programs.” The latter might intrude into the former, and I’m not going to discount that it can become and might be a marketing ploy. But that’s not how I read what’s described in the article.

        The “Christian MMA” seems to me strange, but that seems to be more about Christians who do MMA and think that it somehow reflects their spirituality. It does not seem to be about a group of Christians who believe that MMA is acceptable only if it is “Christian MMA.” I’ll also point out that in the interview, the director states that some Christians disapprove of MMA. That statement militates against the notion that all evangelicals are on board with it, whether it’s “Christian” or not.Report

    • NobAkimoto in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Well yes, but very little about evangelical Christianity is actually based on anything out of the gospels or the New Testament for that matter.Report

  6. LeeEsq says:

    Operation Choke Hold doesn’t seem exactly constitutional. I’m wondering if you can litigate against it, at least for the porn industry, as an indirect attempt to violate the First Amendment. That is the government is trying to limit free speech by denial of banking services. Its worth a shot.

    Its also hilarious that the entire comments section is an argument about the merits of bit coin thats being carried out on the level of duck season/rabbit season argument. Both sides aren’t exactly demonstrating their intelligence.Report

    • Saul DeGraw in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think it is good that they are going against payday lenders. I can see why they would find certain segments of the porn industry (especially paysites) to be prone to fraud and they quite possibly are but extending it to porn performers seems like too much.Report

      • The methodology seems suspect regardless of who they are going after.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        From the link they seem to be going after the entire porn industry. They are making it difficult for anybody involved in pornography to carry on simple banking functions like putting a deposit in an account. I can see why a porn actor or actress would be high risk for health insurance and need to pay higher premiums. I can’t see why a porn actor or actress would be high risk for having a bank account. If anything, most of them seem to have constant work. It seems like a serious infringement on their liberty.

        I can support a campaign against payday lenders but wonder if we should develop an ethical replacement first before getting rid of them. Getting rid of payday lenders without an ethical equivalent might be causing a lot of problems.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        I think what the bank means by “high risk” is the odds they face of federal agents creating trouble for them.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        This recession has gone on too long when it is even affecting the one financial institution I thought forever solid, the Spank Bank.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        What’s weird is the Administration was supposedly looking at ways to ease banking hassles for marijuana businesses in WA and CO…porn isn’t even illegal at the fed level, unlike cannabis, so why do this? Are there fed agents with free time now? Or can the banks make way more money off the pot (can’t stream weed for free) so they are ditching the porn?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        @glyph, I wouldn’t exactly blame this on the administration. Different agencies of the federal government often act without exactly telling the President what they are going to do.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        Maybe we can blame their acts on the legislature?Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        The federal government cracks down on porn every few years. Same as it ever was. Much of the adult industry has switched out of traditional banking anyway, because their legal position in always unstable. And distribution is actually somewhat high risk, because of the relatively high rate of chargebacks.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        I already used my “spank bank” joke, so I can’t reuse it*, but what are they using instead of traditional banking?

        *However, I assume the BDSM community is heavily into stocks.Report

      • Isn’t the Operation Choke Hold’s connection to porn still speculative?Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        It’s from Vice, so “speculative” is probably a good way to put it.

        Also, it’s “Choke Point”, though I see why “Hold” has caught on. By Tuesday it’ll be “Chicken”.Report

    • Herb in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Re: “Operation Choke Point”

      Just saying… should be awfully skeptical on this until better reporting is done. The VICE article is rife with 2nd and 3rd hand accounts of people who have no access to the “full story.”

      Not satisfied, I did a Google search. Not a good sign: Infowars and Breitbart showed up before the Washington Post. Not surprising, the Washington Post story has better reporting and reads as less nefarious.Report

  7. zic says:

    Tanks, Burt.

    Here’s a few I found interesting this week:

    1) woman tries to hide her pregnancy from big data.

    2) Jim Manzi on The New American System. Well worth the read; might be worth an OT discussion is someone’s so inclined.

    3) William Salateen on the collapse of anti-gay religion.Report

  8. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, counselor. I’m deeply distressed at the thought of the bike messengering business being cleaned up. Where are the jobs for the hard drinking, clinically depressed college dropouts of the future going to come from?Report