Linky Friday #68

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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136 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    J4 – I knew that would happen eventually. Japan doesn’t have much in the way of energy resources, they have considerable baseload needs, you can’t run the baseload power of a modern industrial country on solar-wind-unicorn farts so if you care at all about carbon emissions that leaves you with nuclear (and hydro but hydro has an implimentable ceiling).Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Japan doesn’t have much in the way of energy resources…

      I think over the next 20 years it’s going to be interesting to watch some areas of the world that voluntarily put themselves in this category. I’m thinking particularly of the US Eastern Interconnect and coal. It is entirely possible that over that period the big-city voters will decide to phase out coal. They’ve reduced their usage somewhat already using temporarily-cheap natural gas; I’ve put a chunk of my retirement into a bet that NG will slowly but steadily return to the historical $7.50 per MMBtu wellhead price, which would make gas-fired electricity expensive indeed. The region lacks decent renewable resources of appropriate scale anywhere near the demand centers. If nuclear remains as politically unpopular as it is now, things will get… interesting.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        The region lacks decent renewable resources of appropriate scale anywhere near the demand centers.

        Maybe Buffalo will grow again.

        But I agree with you. I think if anything prevents that from happening it will be that Eastern states don’t generally make use of initiatives as Western states do.Report

  2. Avatar kenB says:

    H2: wow. “Male circumcision is in principle equivalent to childhood vaccination…Just as there are opponents of vaccination, there are opponents of circumcision. But their arguments are emotional and unscientific, and should be disregarded.”

    Given the vehemence of some of the anti-circumcision folks, I’ll be interested to see the reaction to this. The supposed health benefits were a major part of why we decided to circumcise our son, but we felt guilty about it — I don’t know how reliable this study is, but I find it very validating.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Eh, that quote seems unhinged. The gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated is a distance that includes enormous amounts of flourishing, death, and lifelong scarring and crippling; the gap between circumcision and non-circumcision includes a very small difference in the level of urinary tract infections and a small difference in the probability of STD transmission*. I don’t see the two as remotely parallel.

      *And let’s be frank, everyone who’s having casual sex should be using protection so the marginal protection of being circumcised is mostly moot.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I agree the quote is needlessly inflammatory and minimizes the very real conflicting principles surrounding the issue (full disclosure: after debate, we circumcised my son, based in part on studies like these).

        That said, and taking the linked article at face value:

        1.) Prostate cancer or cervical cancer is no joke; minimizing it to “well, you could maybe catch a STD” seems a little dismissive in the other direction (and that’s not even counting the antibiotic-resistant STDs on the horizon).

        2.) Plenty of people who don’t THINK they are having casual sex, are; because their “monogamous” partner thinks differently.

        3.) An additional $4.4 billion over 10 years may be a drop in the bucket, or it may not; but non-circumcision’s potential costs to society, particularly as we move to a more shared-burden healthcare model, are not necessarily non-existent.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        @glyph I have a major issue with your point #2. It is why a bunch of people oppose universal healthcare. When, “We are providing healthcare to help the less fortunate” morphs into “We get a say in even more things that you do because we’re all sharing the cost,” there is a massive loss of the freedom of privacy and autonomy.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Mo,
        helmet laws, anti-smoking laws, seatbelt laws — all of these have been pushed by the insurance company. Which definitely has a financial interest in making you More Healthy!

        Putting the government in there changes nothing material.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @mo – I *think* you may mean my #3 instead of #2?

        I wasn’t trying to put a “right” or a “wrong” on that statement. Just pointing out that if circumcision is *unlike* vaccination in some respects, it may be *like* it in some others.

        I am in no way advocating compulsory circumcision. But in some respects it might be better for everyone if more people did it, than fewer.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        Yup, meant #3.

        Smoking laws are presumably due to second hand smoke effects, which do not solely impact the smoker. I’m not a fan of helmet laws and seat belt laws for adults. For one, we need a reliable source of organ donations.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        The difference is that supporters have to justify those laws on a basis other than “saves insurance companies money.” Whereas the tax subsidy is treated like a self-contained argument.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Glyph, safe sex involves condoms, spermicidal gels and other such sensible precautions. They eliminate the question of the slightly reduced risk of STD infection. A person who has safe sex has the same risk of infection cut or uncut and I think the social expectation should be that safe sex should be the norm. My understanding is that the prostate and cervical cancer risk issue is linked up to a similar mechanic. So while one might be able to stretch and make the argument that circumcision could –maybe- have an effect in say a high risk epidemic region like Africa applying that argument to North America doesn’t pass the laugh test in my opinion.

        Also it doesn’t pass the laugh test in the level of controversy. Anti-vaxxers have nothing to stand on, no real leg to argue from and the scientific history in favor of vaccines is massive and damn near irrefutable. The medical evidence in favor of the extremely small alleged benefits of circumcision, on the other hand, is a faint flimsy gauze in comparison; a smattering of studies and papers.

        I am utterly indifferent to the question of circumcision in truth- helmet or no helmet makes no difference to me but I am annoyed by any attempt to conflate it with vaccines. Vaccines save lives and underpin modern health- they are the cathedrals of modern science. Circumcision is an incidental question that hinges primarily on religious or ascetic preferences. I don’t want the circumcision wagon hooked up to the question of vaccines. The anti-vaxxer idiots muddy the issue enough already without adding this level of needless hoopla to the debate.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @mo – I suspect we are more in agreement than not about the underlying principle/logic tending towards a one-way ratchet effect (if you must pay, then you get a say). I wasn’t endorsing it, per se; just pointing out that if we (as a society) choose a more shared-burden healthcare model, then we need to accurately estimate the costs that will go into that burden, when deciding whether a given healthcare procedure is “worth it”.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Yea, calling circumcision opponents “emotional” and “unscientific” seems unfair. We debated the issue before finally opting to have the procedure performed. As North notes, the difference in outcome between doing it and not doing it is relatively small and the idea of removing the agency of the child was a non-trivial matter. Reducing that to “emotional” or “unscientific” misses the boat.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      The huge difference between vaccines and circumcision is that there’s no equivalent to herd immunity involved. If people that refused to get vaccines only left themselves at risk, I’d be fine with it as a chlorine in the gene pool sort of situation. The problem is not vaccinating hurts people with autoimmune diseases that can’t get vaccines and the vaccinated people where it just didn’t take.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Wow. That’s some real bull right there.

      We can talk about the benefits and costs of circumcision — but I doubt any scientist has actually done the research on “ease of entry” or on “staying power” (the data’s still out there — there’s a lot of vids of sex online), or even on “intensity of experience” (theory there is that there’s some amount of desensitization that comes with the circumcised wearing underwear.

      Point is: there are a lot of quality of life issues, and any real cost-benefit would take those into account.

      [Not taking a position on one side or the other, for the record.]Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      The benefits outweigh the risks, for a certain selection of benefits and risks.

      Given how very small the benefits are, I wonder how much of a value you’d have to attach to sexual pleasure and bodily integrity, before the outcome changed…Report

  3. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    C1: There are way too many variables with these questions and probably biases. Historically there has always been a deeply and perhaps too deeply practical streak in the United States of “How is that going to help you earn a living?” instead of thinking “this person is smart and trainable and hard-working.” That being said, the article seems generally right, an arts and humanities student from an elite university is probably going to have a better chance than an arts and humanities major from a lower-tier university but this could be more about perceptions of social capital than anything else. People at elite universities tend to (but not always) come from families that are already part of the upper-middle class or above or just strive. I also wonder how many people go to college for an education and how many go for economic reasons or a combination.

    C2: See above. No one wants to train and mentor anymore or that is the perception. This came up a lot during the law school crisis years. My legal ethics professor said when she was a t a big firm during her early associate years, a senior partner would go over everything written by a new associate with a red pen like a teacher. This doesn’t happen anymore. Other old-time sources confirmed the same lack of mentorship. STEM plus Business are currently the majors du jour because the perception is that these folks don’t need further training. STEM is probably more about the TE though. Politicians don’t want Richard Feynman or Carl Sagan (Jonas Salk working at Genetech is okay though). It is really about people who can generate great IPOs. Math is okay for Quant stuff at a finance firm or hedge fund or actuary stuff but not really abstract math at the academic level. The education wars seem to involve two main sides. One side are people who think the point and purpose of education is to keep America an economically competitive nation and freak out when they hear about one pre-school in Hong Kong that posts stock market averages. The other side thinks that the purpose of education is to become education and a free-thinker.

    C4: College sports are big revenue generators for a certain amount of schools. I have no idea how many but I imagine only a small percentage. There are a lot of DII and DIII schools with small endowments that are potentially in danger of shutting down. I wonder if the schools think sports will work as revenue enhancement.

    J1: Only in Japan. The Yakuza seem to open in a semi-public kind of way that is shocking for organized crime. They are still pretty deadly though.

    J3: Japan takes stuff from other countries and makes its own. They are also very good fashion designers for clothing inspired by vintage Americana especially workwear/denim. Some of my favorite clothing brands are Japanese like Engineered Garments (made in NY though with a Japanese designer), R by 45PM, Kapital, Sunny Sports, Post Over Alls, Chimala, and others. Some stuff is better than others though. The Lolita-Goth look is downright perplexing as is corn on pizza.

    https://unionmadegoods.com/brands/chimala/

    H2: This is one of those issues that shows how true multiculturalism might be impossible (or maybe not) and there might be no such thing as matters of private concern. When a circumcision ban was potential for getting on the ballot in SF, most polled residents said that the ban would infringe on the rights of Jews and Muslims. This gladdened my heart. But most people who are opposed to circumcision seemingly do not care about how it is a mark of Jewish identity and I detect a strong aryanizing streak or preference in many on the anti-circumcision side. This could be personal to my interpretation.

    A1: What’s the matter with Illinois? Their concept of pizza 🙂 More seriously, Connecticut seems to have people who are very well off and commute to NYC or Boston or work in Insurance or a very poor population with very little chance of economic opportunity. If you take the train from NYC to Boston, you can pass by a lot of old Industrial towns in Connecticut that are boarded up. I wonder if the same is true for Illinois. San Francisco has a large population of LGBT people who grew up in small towns in the Midwest.

    A3: I think city-based VISAs are just going to cause more problems. We need a better immigration policy though and a more open one.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      re: h2 — my annoyance with the entire debate stems from the fact that most people on both sides haven’t done much research about quality of life, they just seem to assert that either everything’s the same, or it’s totally different but my side’s better. There’s a real cost benefit there, and I’d appreciate if someone, somewhere actually did some thinking about it.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Re: A1: The article from a few week’s back that Doug Glanville road about his experiences with the police in Hartford referred to CT as a state of brown cities and white suburbs. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Illinois has similar demographic patterns.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        Chicago seems fairly diverse but very segregated. North side v. South side. There were issues with this when Chicago was doing work on their public transport system. The entire South Side was shut down in one swoop for improvements which largely hurt the black population. The Northside upgrades were done in a much more reasonable manner. The communities are also segregated on very traditional lines with still having Polish communities, Ukrainian neighborhoods, etc.

        I think that is largely true for CT. Most white suburban kids probably head to Boston or NYC instead of Hartford or New Haven.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Chicago is, in fact, highly segregated (though less so than NYC):

        Report

    • Avatar dhex says:

      “There are a lot of DII and DIII schools with small endowments that are potentially in danger of shutting down. I wonder if the schools think sports will work as revenue enhancement.”

      it is a revenue enhancer in some cases, but not in the sense you’d think – it helps recruitment. a decent athlete who wants a life (e.g. not too into d2 or sitting back bench on a d1 team) is often swayed by being able to have a small school experience and a close relationship with coaching staff, a good shot at playing time, etc. and sports do seem to help the sense of community, particularly in smaller schools. there are ways to balance the costs and benefits, both monetary and otherwise.

      not everyone will do it well, but the same is true of any operation in higher education, be it athletic, academic, administrative, etc.Report

      • Avatar dhex says:

        another angle – athletes also tend to give at much, much higher rates than non-athletes when they become alumni.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I’ve also read that small private schools are starting football programs because they help address critical gender inbalances.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        @will-truman

        I know someone who attends an all-female college that is considering going co-ed because of a low endowment and tuition issues.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I was actually referring to colleges that are ostensibly co-ed, but where there are huge gender imbalances in applications. Which creates a problem in getting female applicants who want to go to college with boys.

        That’s interesting about the female-only college. It makes sense, though, to consider expanding your applicant pool. The question I would have, if I were a part of that conversation, is whether they’d lose the female applicants who don’t want to go to college with boys. (They’d certainly have better information in that regard than I do, of course.)Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Will,
        Chatham just went coed. The pool of girls who don’t want to go to school with boys is crashing (or has it sprung a very major leak?).
        They stand to get a lot more young women applying, once they lose the single sex stigma.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Interesting. I would have guessed that single-sex would be more of a niche than it apparently is.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Will,
        there’s a whole lot of stigma once you leave a college like that. Nowadays it functions like a hugbox — giving people who don’t really deserve it a good deal of inflated praise.
        Oh, and no debate on campus, because god forbid someone should actually have to deal with someone disagreeing with them. It might in some way resemble having a Man tell them that they’re Wrong, instead of Agreeing To Disagree.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        @will-truman

        My friend was concerned but she is graduating. Posts on FB mentioned that parking was an issue to be brought up in the protest. My initial thought was that they could just increase the number of female students and parking would still be an issue.

        I imagine that the schools that can stay single-sex are older, wealthier, and more elite than Chatham was. Wellsley, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, and some historically black colleges like Spellman come to mind as being able to remain single-sex.

        Vassar does not have a football time and did not when I attended. Vassar being a formally all-female school does not care as much about the gender imbalance (which isn’t that bad because it is an elite school) and doesn’t really attract guys who care too much about football anyway.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      According to data on actual inter-state moves (like this Forbes interactive map), it’s almost all moves between urban areas. Rural county relocations seem to be much more intra-state, and even then involve relatively limited distances. Assuming that the wishful thinking stuff follows the actual patterns, in Illinois it’s mostly a matter of people around Chicago looking to go to Houston or Phoenix or Seattle or Colorado’s Front Range.

      Given my sister’s ongoing complaints about this past winter’s weather in Chicago, it’s not surprising that they want out.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        According to data on actual inter-state moves … it’s almost all moves between urban areas.

        Well, urban areas is where the people are. Is that on a population basis, or just raw numbers?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Well, urban areas is where the people are. Is that on a population basis, or just raw numbers?

        That’s a legitimate question. Raw numbers is what is shown. There’s a cut-off if fewer then 10 households moved between a particular pair of counties. At least in theory, a small county could lose/gain a significant fraction of its population and it wouldn’t show if less than ten households went to/came from any particular destination. There is, however, corroborating evidence from other sources — eg, Census Bureau — about the general trends. My personal interest includes looking at the Great Plains, where all of the evidence, including this map, suggest that the original settlement pattern is generally unwinding, with the population moving back to the interstates, railroad routes, rivers, and then east and west to the periphery cities.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      No one wants to train and mentor anymore or that is the perception. This came up a lot during the law school crisis years.

      Economics provides an obvious explanation for this: Employers train when they need to, and not otherwise. When there’s a glut of experienced lawyers whom you can hire, there’s no reason to hire new lawyers who require additional training. In tighter labor markets, employers will train because it’s the only way to get people with the skills they need.

      STEM plus Business are currently the majors du jour because the perception is that these folks don’t need further training.

      Not really. A STEM education teaches you the fundamentals, but you still need job- and industry-specific training. I’ve been hired to program in languages I didn’t know, and to work on projects in which I had no domain-specific knowledge. This is probably even more true of business, as there’s no way you could possibly learn all the things you’d have to know for all the different industries in which you might end up working.

      One side are people who think the point and purpose of education is to keep America an economically competitive nation and freak out when they hear about one pre-school in Hong Kong that posts stock market averages. The other side thinks that the purpose of education is to become education and a free-thinker.

      I guess that’s the kind of nuanced thinking that a humanities degree prepares you for?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Less snarkily, is there any evidence that a pure humanities curriculum actually serves this purpose better than a STEM curriculum?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    E1: It was dreadful, and yet another example of how American broadcast TV series can’t do overarching story arcs. (See Lost, X-files, Twin Peaks, etc.)Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I don’t think it’s totally fair to say “can’t” w/r/t Peaks and X-Files, as they were pioneers in the long-arc field, and their “didn’t”s should have served as warning signs and instructionals to all those who came after.

      Lost, and BSG, and all the others that have gone off the rails at one point or another and should have known better, deserve all the scorn they get.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        It’s not a moral judgment. If you’re trying to tell a story, but you don’t know whether bad ratings will force you to wrap it up immediately or good ones will make you stretch it out for several extra years, you’re not going to tell it well.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Mike,
        I don’t know. There have been a few damn fine writers who have known how to write scripts that are expandable and contractable as time permits.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        I think there are usually one of two things that trip up a series that has long arcs.

        The first is success, obviously. Had X-Files not been such a cash cow it might have stood up better as a series. A series that Carter knew he was going to end with season six — and plotted the mythology episodes accordingly — would have transformed that show from being described as a “phenomena” to “on f the best things on TV ever.”

        The second is shock value. Lost is a show that knew it was only ever going to be six seasons, but after a while all it ever seemed to care about was pulling the rug out from under the viewer. That works really well for a season or two, but after a while it gets tiring. Plus, in order to keep making “OMG!” twist after “OMG!” twist, you have to push that envelope further sac time, until before you know it feels like the writers are trolling the audience. 24 is another example of this. Having a CTU official and co-hero of the show end up being a sociopathic terrorist in the first season was shocking and cool. Having multiple ones show up every single season afterwards became increasingly silly.

        The obvious example of a show that got the long-arc right is Breaking Bad: A show where the writer knew in advance what the entire story he wanted to tell was, and where the focus was on the development of a few humanly complex characters. That was ultimately why that show worked: a set story line that told a definitive story, focus on a few characters who develop over time, and no leaning on gimmicks.

        It’s weird how no one in Hollywood seems to get that. These past few years when I’ve seen new shows trying to copy BB’s success, they all seem to have decided that the series worked because people want to see amoral characters doing bad things. All of the BB wanna-be’s seem to be shows that don’t care about character development and instead focus on shocking the audience with people doing evil things. How do that many professional writers not get the obvious?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Tod,
        Failure also screws up a series with long arcs (I know someone who wrote an episode for Season 5 of Carnivale…) — Carnivale was a decent show, if somewhat slowmoving, but try telling someone “two seasons! Finish it!”Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        @tod-kelly I agree; I think the importance of the story arc of a novel holds here.

        One of my favorite shows ever made was the BBC’s Merlin. We all know the ending before it ever starts. I got better and better; still had many fresh takes on one of English’s most ancient stories. There were flaws, too. But it contained the arc of the novel within it.

        /and on Lost, my complaint is that it reverted to religion and ‘true love.’ If I got to be any character in the show, after the end, I’d be Benjamin Linus.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Does Babylon 5 count as ‘broadcast TV series’? or does syndication give it a distinction?

      (I was never really part of the B5 discussion on this site, but I did catch the premier episode recently – never having seen in the first run – and it’s kinda awful. Maybe just dated, though)Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        This reminds me that I have a half-finished post somewhere on my hard drive from last fall arguing that B5 is simultaneously the best ever sci-fi TV series ever, and the absolute worst.

        I should finish that one of these days.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        “It was the best of shows, it was the worst of shows…”Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        Is that the Schordinger’s Cat theory of science fiction?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        It takes a few episodes to get warmed up. Storyline aside, the acting in the first few episodes is pretty bad. Everybody seems to be figuring it out.

        I remember re-watching the first episode of Star Trek: TNG over and laughing at how awkward and confused everybody seems. After a few years of doing the same show, the actors slip pretty well into familiar surroundings. The first episode, not so much.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I have to say that I enjoyed the HIMYM finale. It gave us all a good look at what the future holds for everyone and it made the point that finding that perfect someone is a fragile thing. Yeah, I know that the writers backed themselves into a corner in the first season and had to follow through with it but because the mother wasn’t with us for very long we weren’t terribly invested in her. Robin though? I rooted for her for years.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    A3: Ugh.

    Immigration rules are overly complex and bureacratic to the point where even the Byzantines would say ‘what is this crap?’, so yeah, lets make it even more convoluted. And while we at it, let’s discard the principles of equal protection under the law and the 14th amendment while couching it in the most vulgar form of ekonomix 101.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      How is tying someone to a city any more problematic than tying them to any job? They’d be allowed to go anywhere, but would have to work or maintain a residence in a particular place.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Well, for one, and most importantly, it’s just another thing. Like Saul and others said above, we need to be working to *simplify* the immigration system.

        For two, it’s neo-feudalism, tying a person to the land.

        And the less hyperbolic reason is that it would suck for any person that’s subjected to domestic abuse and can’t merely flee to another town without jeopardizing their ability to stay in the country.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        If you’re going to bin Labor to a fixed location, what are you going to do about Capital?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        This wouldn’t complicate things for people who already have visas or would otherwise get them through other means. It would simply provide another way for people to get in.

        I think the DV situation can be addressed. Priority visas to other towns looking for residents, for example. Or giving them status specifically to address that situation, as we do with battered immigrant spouses.

        It just seems bizarre to me that tying immigrants to employers is okay, but this is a bridge too far. In many ways, this is a less restrictive option.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        If there are capital/labor imbalances, that would most likely be addressed at the local area. Hopefully, the labor would attract capital (via growth, for example). Where it doesn’t, it wouldn’t be a particularly good site to host visas.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @michael-cain – man, bin Labor has screwed up my life more than bin Laden ever did.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Hopefully, the labor would attract capital (via growth, for example). Where it doesn’t, it wouldn’t be a particularly good site to host visas.

        And if capital flees an area, for whatever reason? You’ve got people legally forbidden from moving to seek work.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        What happens when someone with an H1B gets laid off?

        Also, they should be able to look anywhere that’s sponsoring Reginal Visas.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        bin Labor… Reginal Visas… the auto-correct gods appear to be in a good mood this morning.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        You know how few cities are hiring queens these days?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        What happens when someone with an H1B gets laid off?

        I presume they need to find another sponsor, anywhere in the US.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Right. Or they go home. Here, they can find work with any employer (whether they sponsor visas or not) in their city or another city that sponsors. Here they would have as long to look as they have savings for, instead of being forced out after a limited period of time.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        I’d like to see the work visa program turned into a cap-and-trade type system myself. One “voucher” is good for a single guest worker. Vouchers issued by the Department of Labor and bought and sold on an open exchange. Employers could buy them in order to hire foreign workers, or workers could buy their own vouchers and carry them around with them and resell them when they leave the country. Vouchers could be industry-specific or not.

        That should solve the “wage slavery” problem. It also means that a moron who got lucky doesn’t displace a super-wizard that a company would have been willing to pay a fortune to hire. The market price of the voucher would provide useful information about whether there’s a “real” shortage of workers in an industry or whether employers just want cheaper labor. If you give the vouchers an expiration date, you could get a yield/maturity curve with even more information about projected future employment prospects. Also, no more “phantom job postings” for job seekers to waste their time chasing.

        So where’s the downside?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        What happens when someone with an H1B gets laid off?

        In my experience, they begin a frantic job search and often end up at a contracting house that eerily seems to specialize in hiring desperate foreign workers who need a visa sponsor. No chance of anything untoward in that relationship, I’m sure.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I agree, city-based visas are probably unconstitutional because they bound immigrants to particular geographic area. Its a long established in American law that even undocumented aliens and immigrants with valid visas have most of the same Constitutional rights as Americans citizens and LPRs. While not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, I can’t think of any way bounding somebody to a particular area is going to held constitutional.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        They’re not bound to the area, except to live or work. Which is no more restrictive (and in fact less restrictive) than tying them to employment or specific employers. The only difference is that instead of being sponsored by Microsoft, you’re sponsored by King County.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “They’re not bound to the area, except to live or work.”

        That’s…a rather big exception.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Point being, I don’t see why this should be any more onerous than being tied to an employer. If we were talking about preventing them from ever leaving the area, it might be. But that’s not what we’re talking about.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        K,
        yes, but one should note what Will’s saying : it’s less restrictive than current law.
        H1B sucks. It’s not the worst form of wage slavery we have in America, but it can get pretty damn bad.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        The only difference is that instead of being sponsored by Microsoft, you’re sponsored by King County.

        Just idle thought processes here, but how do you define the physical scope of the visa in a way that works consistently across the country? The western states have counties larger in square miles than some eastern states. Maryland’s population is about the same as Utah/Idaho/Montana/Wyoming combined. Tack on Colorado/New Mexico and the total is still a million less than Georgia.

        Consider the Front Range “region” where I live. Many companies here have operations that span city and county boundaries. Eg, Vestas Wind Systems is (or is setting up to) build turbine blades in Windsor, nacelles in Brighton, towers in Pueblo and do production engineering in Louisville, all part of the Front Range but spread out over more than a hundred miles north to south.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “If we were talking about preventing them from ever leaving the area, it might be. But that’s not what we’re talking about”

        H1B holders (and other ‘guest-worker’* programs can at least take vacations, can’t they? Nobody cares about the hours in which they’re not on the clock, right?

        The ‘limited-place’ visa, coupled with existing immigration law and practices, means that such a holder can only leave the area in one direction – back to their country of origin (ok, or any other country that would take them). If they are caught outside their ‘zone’ they will be thrown into concentration camps.

        So, yeah, for all practical purposes, they would be prevented from leaving the area.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        (sorry the * was for the fact that I generally dislike ‘guest-worker’ programs to begin with – I’ve saw enough of them in the Middle East and it’s one of the reasons why that region is a mess and a generally horrible place)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I’m inclined to say “By county*”… which is imperfect because of a desire to revitalize downtowns and people instead choosing the suburbs. But for the most part, with urban-rural counties, the urban/suburban will be the choice. For depleting rural counties… this won’t really do a whole lot to address the issues there and the impact would be limited. They aren’t really my concern.

        * – I would probably want to have some sort of way to allow multi-county zones, or agreements, between say King County and Pierce County to say that the visa is good (or the terms of the visa are upheld) if you live or work in either of them. To look at Montana, Butte/SBC would probably be one of the areas interested in such visas. They might want to enter an agreement with Anaconda/DLC because they’re in the same boat. But they might not want to enter an agreement with Beaverhead County for fear that people would aim to live and work there. Or Beaverhead might not want to for the same reason, but might want to work with Madison CountyReport

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Kolohe, what you’re describing is not what I am describing.

        If you have a visa for King County, that means that you have to live in King County. It doesn’t mean that you can’t go to Disneyland. It probably wouldn’t even mean that you couldn’t have a time-share in Montana, if you really wanted to. It would instead mean that you maintain residence in King County. You’re there 183 days of the year, or you have a lease/house that you can point to as proof of residence.

        (I’ve mentioned “live or work” because I can also imagine a scenario in which King County is fine as long as you work there even if you live in Pierce County. But if it helps simplify things, we can focus on residence rather than work.)Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        And as we make it more and more complex, the costs go up, the benefits (both micro & macro) become harder to obtain, and unscrupulous operators have more of an advantage and incentive to screw the people over. And the System will swallow more people (often the same people) in its gaping maw.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        And isn’t ‘abusing’ (i.e. overstaying and working on) tourist visas and other entry methods the primary way ‘illegal’ immigration happens today? How is enforcement going to be any better (or any less arbitrary?)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        It only adds complexity insofar as it provides another way for people to enter the country. It only creates enforcement problems insofar as we are allowing more people into the country. On unscrupulous actors, I’d actually expect it to be less of an issue than for H1B’s, which depend on employers to act in good faith. Cuyahoga County will have less incentive to be abusive than Megacorp.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        @will-truman

        Suppose someone has a VISA for Kings County and works for Microsoft. What happens when Microsoft wants to transfer that person to Portland (hypothetical). Is there an easy transfer to a Multomath County Visa or does the person need to resign from his or her job and go back on the market? Can the other county refuse to issue a VISA?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Worst case: Something very similar to what happens to an H1B visa-holder when they lose their job. They’d need to find another job in Seattle, though they could stay as long as they could afford it, if they were so inclined.

        Alternately, Microsoft could use an H1B visa for them.

        Ideally, if I were drafting the law, I would fast-track people wanting to move from one visa-sponsoring location to another. So if Multnomah County (Portland) sponsors visas, they’d likely get one (applied to the next year, if necessary). If Multnomah didn’t sponsor visas, they’d need to find work in Seattle or some other sponsoring county.

        (Further responses may be delayed due to barfing baby.)Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “They’d need to find another job in Seattle, though they could stay as long as they could afford it, if they were so inclined.”

        not according to the great and powerful wiki (which of course, is not a substitute for legal advice. But that section is rather detailed and self-consistent to be something a person just made up for the lulz)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Sorry if I was unclear. That would have more clearly read:
        “They’d need to find another job in Seattle, though unlike with H1B’s they could stay as long as they could afford it, if they were so inclined.”

        Losing one’s job would be a less bad situation under a regional visa than an H1B visa.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Ok, but that’s only if its written into the law like that. The more likely scenario is a carbon copy of existing law where there is no grace period. (any grace period is going to be subject of horse trading – and there’s no way anything will pass with a loophole for an ‘indefinite’ grace period – not if anti-immigration forces are paying attention)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        There is no reason that losing your job would trigger a visa revocation because it’s not tied to your employment or having a job. Losing your apartment could, but that doesn’t happen as inmediately unless there is a fire or something.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “Losing your apartment could”

        Nice incentive there for slumlords to jack up rents with a captured market, then.

        “because it’s not tied to your employment or having a job.”

        Well again, I think the plan creates the worst of both worlds – creating another complex legal structure for people on the margins of global society already to have to thread their way through, while not actually providing either social dynamism or individual liberty – though with that explicit sales pitch, it’s never going pass anyway.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Landlord’s lack the leverage that employers have with H1B’s. H1B visas are sponsored by specific employers, while regional visas would not be sponsored by particular landlords. So they can move around. Also: Term leases! And even when it’s month-to-month, you get one month before notice and actual eviction. You can fail to pay your rent and still get at least three days to vacate the premises before you’re officially homeless. The only real danger here – and when a landlord has leverage, is when there is a shortage of vacancies. There are a few cities where that’s the case, but the program would be geared towards counties with too many vacancies. If an immigrant wants to take their chances in San Francisco… that’s on them.

        (And even these scenarios represent something of a worst-case scenario compared to what I actually advocate, which would allow for relatively free residence switches between visa counties.)Report

    • Avatar tgm says:

      immigration goes hand in hand with globalization, globalization is good for the Capitalist Class and bad for everyone else. immigration and free trade are very unpopular with the masses so the Plutocrats will use any means available to increase where they can, this is just another way of opening the boarders through the back door.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        globalization is good for the Capitalist Class and bad for everyone else.

        Low costs goods are good for consumers; growing wealth in developing countries is good for the people in developing countries; exporting of the values of education and equal rights for women, and an understanding of the importance of sanitation and access to clean water are very good for the world’s most impoverished.

        And my kids love K-Pop. God knows why, but it’s awesome that it’s gotten them very interested in Asian culture so they’re not as clueless about the rest of the world as many Americans are.Report

      • Avatar tgm says:

        wages for the middle class have been stagnant since 1969, during that time the Plutocrats have become much more wealthy than they already were. the media is controlled by Moneyed Interests so it doesn’t report on the way the Immigration and trade have harmed the average person.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        And now you are here. joyReport

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        wages for the middle class have been stagnant since 1969,

        Wages aren’t the issue; purchasing power is.

        Immigration and trade have harmed the average person.
        Really? Who is this average person? Apparently not the average immigrant, eh? Apparently also not the average person in the developing world.

        Is your “average person” just a “middle class American” who had the good fortune to be born in America to middle class parents?

        In the absence of trade, what happens to U.S. exports, which account for about 13% of the U.S. economy, and over 10 million jobs?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        If there’s a brilliant guy in India who can do my job better than I can, I’d rather have him here in the US paying US cost of living and US taxes when he competes with me than living in India with Indian cost of living. He’s not going to disappear simply because I convinced my congressman to exclude him. He’s just going to do what I do somewhere cheaper and sell it to my customers as an inexpensive import good.Report

      • Avatar tgm says:

        the “developing world” wouldn’t be poor if it weren’t for the Plutocrats. if they had less money everyone else could have more but they won’t agree to that they will never have enough money. trade allows the Capitalist Class to ship the jobs of Americans overseas and pay workers less. Internationalist Financiers don’t care about anything other than money. free trade has been promoted by economists like, Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan in order to allow the Plutocrats to acquire more wealth.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        @troublesome-frog
        Personally, I don’t care where he is. I think India needs to develop, so it’s great if he’s there. I like my country to have intelligent hard-working people in it, so it’s great if he’s here.

        @tgm
        I’ve learned who you are. May I be the first to offer to show you the exit?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Guys, tgm was recently banned from Lawyers, Guns, and Money for posting Jew-hating nonsense. He is an anti-Semitic troll. Even uses the term rootless cosmopolitan, Stalin’s favorite term for us.Report

      • Avatar tgm says:

        i never said anything about Jews and i said repeatedly that i am a supporter of norman finkelstein, an “Anti-Semite” would no be a fan of a Jew. “Anti-Semite” is the favorite smear of the Zionists. Jews are not Semitic palestinians are. Jews are germanic european colonalists the only anti-semties are the Zionists.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        How could a racist be a fan of Stepin Fetchit?Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    E1: from the defense of HIMYM
    “Do people remember The Sopranos? Lost? Each of those finales was far more disappointing. The finale of Dexter was an episode that truly did ruin the series, and Seinfeld’s finale is likely the worst sitcom finale of all-time (though the rest of the series is genius).”

    I never really watched Lost, but I understand the general consensus is that the show ended poorly, so no disagreement. Ditto with Dexter.

    But his opinion on final episodes of the Sopranos and Seinfeld reveal him to be somewhat of an idiot. So I did the whole ‘stopped reading there’.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      The last episode of Seinfeld was a terrific concept, but the execution was boring as hell. No energy.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      And BSG’s finale was a reeking abomination.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Seinfeld kinda sucked after Larry David was gone. It was inevitable that the finale wouldn’t be good.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Except he wrote the finale….Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, but you don’t write a show for 4 years (or was it 5), then leave, have the characters completely change over several seasons (George and Elaine became caricatures of themselves), then come back and write a great finale. It’s just not gonna work. What made the show brilliant — David’s ability to make pretty normal but not particularly likeable characters funny and, somehow, likeable — was gone. Hell, the whole point of the finale was that they were basically sociopaths, whereas during the David years, they were nothing of the sort, they were just kinda self-involved and neurotic. Hell, they had moments of being actually good people in those seasons.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        “Jerry. you are a very, very bad man!”Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        On the other hand, it does seem pretty natural that anyone who would be so callous as to convert to a religion just for the jokes would end up being a major meth manufacturer and dealer.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      What happened at the end of the Sopranos? I tried to watch the final episode, but right at the very last part, the cable cut out.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      The Seinfeld finale was pretty bad. I would definitely say it was worse than the finale of HIMYM.Report

  7. Avatar Herb says:

    A2: “Some western Americans are worried”

    Actually, reading the article it seems like Orin Hatch is worried that Obama is going to monument up some land. The Utah Diné Bikéyah (which in translation means “Navajo Nation”) seem to be pushing for it.

    Also, this is a bit much: “Like the attack on Pearl Harbor, this massive proclamation came completely without notice to the public,” Hatch declared on the Senate floor. “The biggest presidential land set-aside in almost 20 years was a sneak attack.”

    Meanwhile, the Dine are standing there going, “No, it’s kind of like the Bosque Redondo all over again.”Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Some hyperbole, yes. OTOH, the first time that the Utah congressional delegation or the governor of Utah heard that Grand Staircase was actually going to happen was Clinton’s public proclamation.

      Support/opposition tends to follow the size of the monument. There is reason to believe that when Congress first gave the President the power to declare monuments unilaterally, it would be used to set aside small tracts and not millions of acres at a time.Report

      • Avatar Herb says:

        Do you think there would be less opposition if more advance notice was given and the tracts were smaller?

        Me, I’m not so sure. I think the principal objection in this case is that these lands are being set aside to the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

        If it was being set aside for coal mining or oil and gas exploration rather than Navajo shepherds, the debate would look very different.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        There would probably be less opposition. Consider the case of Grand Staircase: the designation essentially made development of state-owned land surrounded by the national monument impossible. A few years later Congress authorized land swaps and assignment of some federal mineral rights to compensate Utah; but Clinton created the problem with (apparently) no thought to anything except getting Arizona environmental activists on board his re-election campaign.

        Part of the issue here is that the President, acting on his own, can’t do compensation. That’s one of the arguments for interpreting the original Congressional delegation of authority to be limited in scope and nature: that President-only set-asides shouldn’t include “takings” that would require compensation. So far as I know, no one seriously objected to the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument in New York Harbor, created with the intent of preserving historical fortifications at a former Coast Guard station and making them accessible to the public. It’s the million-acres-at-a-time “grabs” in the West, which sometimes hinder public access, that create problems.

        In the West, particularly for politicians, federal land holdings and land-use policy will remain contentious. It’s not fun periodically having your nose rubbed in the fact that 30-85% of the land area of your state (or much more than that for individual counties) is owned by someone who doesn’t live there, doesn’t have to pay attention to you or the locals, and has a long history of making decisions that turn out to be bad in hindsight.Report

      • Avatar Francis says:

        Michael:

        I will absolutely agree that the checkerboarding didn’t work terribly well and has created utterly bizarre land use patterns. But a principal reason that the government retains ownership of a lot of the West is that a lot of the land is essentially valueless. Ranchers pay far less per acre in fees than BLM spends in providing roads. In the 90 and 00s the Forest Service was regularly getting crushed in lawsuits by environmentalists for illegal land swaps. Fair swaps were unaffordable for the timber harvesters.

        I read once — many years ago — that the counties which complained most about federal ownership would actually be far worse off if the land were privatized. They’d be expected to provide road, fire and police service in these utterly remote areas and what they could reasonably expect to collect in property taxes would be far outweighed by their service obligations.

        Also, ranchers tend to be thinly capitalized. What would most likely happen is that after an initial surge of buying a lot of land would go into tax default and end up back in the hands of the counties. The next round of purchasers would be rich liberals (e.g. Robert Redford) and rich conservatives assembling huge nature preserves / private hunting preserves.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        a principal reason that the government retains ownership of a lot of the West is that a lot of the land is essentially valueless.

        That’s rather a convenient rationalization, given that there’s been no serious attempt by the government to figure out the actual value via the market.

        The next round of purchasers would be rich liberals (e.g. Robert Redford) and rich conservatives assembling huge nature preserves / private hunting preserves.

        Which rather contradicts the claim that the land is “essentially valueless.”

        I’d argue we should set aside some good areas for wilderness preservation and wildlife preserves (keep that land public), and auction off the rest, allowing the state of Nevada to match bids on any parcel.Report

      • Avatar Herb says:

        @michael-cain

        The Grand Staircase situation created problems, no doubt, but they were not unresolvable. That, too, was a situation that had a lobby behind it, much like the Dine with their monumented lands.

        I’m not sure presidential authority to designate protected lands is much of an issue, however. He doesn’t really “act on his own” so much as he acts on behalf of the government, which can be sued for compensation if the situation calls for it. I suspect his agencies would proffer compensation in most cases, or be amenable to grandfather clauses in others.

        I take your point about the “millions of acres” land grab, though, but I would ask you to consider the scale. The west, which is not unsettled at this point, is clustered in urban centers and along highways. Outside of that, there’s a big vast empty. The feds grab millions of acres in these situations because there are millions of acres to grab.

        In this situation, there are people who want the government to grab it, people who live on that land already, people who have a different relationship to the country than we do. They want this to fall under federal purview because the United States has certain treaty obligations with them and this gives them a say in how that land gets developed. Being the Dine will they go for big corporate mines and oil operations? Probably not.

        Orrin Hatch’s hyperbole only highlights how much he’s not paying attention to the locals.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Outside of that, there’s a big vast empty. The feds grab millions of acres in these situations because there are millions of acres to grab.

        Eh, part of the reason it’s a vast empty, and why there are millions of acres to grab, is that it’s belonged to the feds all along, my friend. Nobody’s ever had a chance to even try to do something with it.

        The “grab” doesn’t refer to taking ownership away, but to closing it off to any possibility of resource extraction.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’d argue we should set aside some good areas for wilderness preservation and wildlife preserves (keep that land public), and auction off the rest, allowing the state of Nevada to match bids on any parcel.

        For the sake of argument, speaking as a hypothetical agent for the 11 contiguous western states, my counter-offer would be Hoover’s 1932 proposal to simply deed all of the western federal lands (and associated revenues/costs) over to the states. The main state argument against it in 1932 was that too much of the land had been overgrazed and the states would be stuck with the cost of remediation, starting in a depression. I would argue that, particularly for the very large national forest lands, it’s in even worse shape now due to another 80 years of mismanagement, so the states assuming future costs/revenues is more than a fair price.

        Arguably, the federal government’s current position on those national forest lands can be summarized by the following points. (1) Yes, total fire suppression was stupid, and as a consequence the national forests are now overgrown and greatly weakened with respect to challenges such as climate warming and bark beetles; many millions of acres are already dead and simply waiting to burn. (2) The cost of forest remediation is certainly more than the feds are willing to pay; additionally in recent years, money appropriated for remediation has been diverted to pay for underfunded fire-fighting. (3) The cost of ongoing fire suppression alone — fire jumpers, slurry bombers, etc — is probably more than the feds are willing to pay (see (2)); California has purchased its own fleet of aircraft and Colorado is starting a fleet because it is unclear that the feds will continue to operate their own fleet, and in all honesty, if a fire on federal land is allowed to really get rolling, there’s not a chance in hell of stopping it at the federal boundaries. (4) Therefore, policy is implicitly to simply let it all burn and hope that 150 years from now a healthy forest has regrown; let me show you 50-year-old burn scars if you doubt it will take 150 years. And finally (5) the catastrophic effects such burn-offs of national forests have on municipal water supplies and other uses of scarce water is not a federal problem.

        Explain to me again why the feds can legitimately claim that they’re due any sort of payments for western federal lands they turn over to those states. There’s no fanatic like a convert :^)Report

      • Avatar Herb says:

        @james-hanley

        “The “grab” doesn’t refer to taking ownership away, but to closing it off to any possibility of resource extraction.”

        Oh, I get that. As I said above, the principle objection seems to be that the lands are being set aside for the wrong people for the wrong reasons. If it’s being set aside for oil drilling, the environmentalists howl. If it’s being set aside for Native Americans, the industrialists howl.

        Acreage just seems like a convenient sticking point. It’s almost inconceivable that either side would ever howl that they got too many acres. It’s always, “Hey, that guy over there got too many.”

        As for this:
        “Nobody’s ever had a chance to even try to do something with it.”

        This is contradicted by the region’s history. Gold rushes sent waves of settlers westward. Coal mining brought even more folks. In the 20th Century, the west was the hub of the nuclear industry, from mining to manufacturing to testing.

        Indeed, if you want to know why some people in the west are not too keen on “resource extraction” it’s because of this very history. (Wikipedia even has an article called “Uranium mining and the Navajo people” that provides more context if you’re curious.)

        Reading below, Michael Cain mentions the best and most urgent resource that needs to be extracted from the west: Beetle-killed trees.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        @herb

        I’m mostly in agreement with you. But the history of mining, etc., in the west happened in specific locales, and most of this land we’re talking about was not those locales.

        Do note that I’m not opposed to wilderness preservation. I’m not arguing for opening it all up.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    E4: Hill Street Blues was difficult to follow in those days before Hulu and video-on-demand. If you missed an episode, you really missed it, and since the show had story arcs where important things happened every week, it was like reading a novel with lots of pages missing. But HSB was so different, so inventive, so damned good, that you just accepted that.Report

  9. Avatar zic says:

    addalink:

    Paul Rosenberg has a most excellent piece in Salon on the blindness of privilege.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      And Andrew Sprung (you should be reading Andrew if you’re at all interested in ACA) on the House Energy and Commerce’s hearing on ACA in which the GOP totally failed to look outside their closed information loop for real information.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Insurance companies would be liable if they weren’t reporting the proper numbers — it’s critical information for investors to know.

        The honorable congressmen could have simply asked a staff member to read what Everyone Else Does.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        So, for their next act, will the House Republicans be bringing in the heads of the big hospital chains to explain how getting reimbursed for billions of dollars of what was formerly charity care in states that have adopted Medicaid expansion is a terrible thing for them? The effects of the ACA on large corporations in the US range mostly from non-event to godsend. Which (cynic that I am) is why I argued all along that Chief Justice Roberts would do what it took to see that it got through the SCOTUS largely intact.Report

    • Avatar tgm says:

      who am i? someone who’s willing to expose Capitalist Class for what they are. what’s the the problem James afraid of someone who’s willing to call out the Moneyed Interests. how much money do the Plutocrats pay you to advance their agenda.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Oh, those Jew Plutocrats made me sign a confidentiality agreement, so all I’m allowed to tell you is that the money’s auto-deposited into the Jewish banks. But with the money they pay me, I personally keep 150 Sub-Saharan Africans in poverty. It’s kind of a reverse Worldvision.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        darn, I had a fiver on 24601.Report

      • Avatar tgm says:

        i haven’t said anything about Jews. the only people i mentioned were the Plutocrats. why did people think i was walking about Jews? why are you protesting so much?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        The lack of self-awareness in that last line is priceless.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        The Plutocrats have a right to pissed off big time. Pluto was a planet for years and then BOOM its demoted to a minor planet. Granted that was a correct change, but still.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Relegated. Let Pluto find a decent orbit and a few moons, and it get can right back in the majots.Report

  10. re: H1: I remember the picket fences episode, and I really disliked it. It tried to make the case that the guy who was attacked faced the exact same problems that women face. But in the episode, the guy was tortured, waterboarded, into admitting that he had been a victim. To my knowledge, women aren’t tortured that way by police who want to extract an accusation out of them.Report