Linky Friday #70 [Updated!]


Will Truman

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

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126 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    C3 Well yeah plenty of conservatives have criticized capitalism nor has the current “free market” obsessed/do what big business says/ regulations are evil views pushed by Repub’s been to conservatives liking. Try telling that to most conservatives though. It would be great if we could have fuller, less tribal talk about capitalism. Not that the Big C isn’t the absolute bestest thing ever if we could just stick to the true path we would all be rich.Report

  2. Avatar James K says:

    C3 Bear in mind, a desire for more wealth wasn’t necessarily considered bad before then, it was just couched differently. A merchant’s desire for coin was considered bad because merchants were nasty people who moved goods around, instead of engaging in the noble, aristocratic pursuit of wealth – murdering people and stealing their land so a slave population could work it for you.

    A lot of anti-mercantile norms were just the cultural elite of the day wanting to badmouth the competition.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      Aristocrats mad that lowly merchants were making money–the old timey equivalent of modern executives being affronted that a mere salesman might make “almost as much” as the CEO in a good year?Report

  3. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    F4 really pisses me off. “The gay community” != your circle of gay friends. To say that probably three quarters of gay marriages are non-monogamous is like me estimating that 80% of gay men play Dungeons and Dragons.

    The idea that there’s something fundamentally countercultural or transgressive about homosexuality is one that ignores the existence of me and millions of other LGBT men and women who don’t subscribe to those definitions..Report

    • Yeah, that was a bit of a mess. It argued against itself (gay marriage will ruin marriage because it might return marriage to what it used to be before feminism/monogamy ruined marriage!). There was an element of concern-trolling. And there was a ton of stereotyping/essentialism going on. I can’t take people too seriously if they take “women are from venus” at all seriously.

      Of course, it’s unclear what he really took seriously. Just a giant mess.

      [Which is actually too bad, because there could have been some interesting discussions to be had about different parts of his argument(s).]Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Yeah that article was pretty much drek other than the astute observation that when you go far enough to the left or the right the fringes look pretty much alike in their puckered horror at the idea of gay people being rather ordinary people who just happen to find people of the same sex attractive.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Hanna Rosin got in trouble months ago for making a similar “observation”. The cultural stereotype is that gay men are promiscuous even though thats not true. There is a certain investment in this stereotype.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Hanna Rosin got in trouble months ago for making a similar “observation”. The cultural stereotype is that gay men are promiscuous even though thats not true. There is a certain investment in this stereotype.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      What gets me is that he cited a study from San Francisco, America’s most promiscuous city. (Pittsburgh’s third. If he had cited a study from Pittsburgh, I wouldn’t be so incensed — we don’t have the rep.) .Report

    • Avatar veronica dire says:

      Here in Boston about half of my social circle is in some kind of polyamorous relationship. Many of those include a marriage. Quite a few of those are straight marriages. On the other hand, I’m a queer-kinky trans woman who is myself in a polyamorous marriage, so this might be selection bias. Either way, that article was crap.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    A4- Carriers *may* be obsolete, but that is not quite yet proven, and nobody really has an alternative to them yet. (unless you live in the world of UNIT or SHIELD.)

    and even then, battleships were proven obsolete on December 7, 1941, but still built for another half dozen years and used for another 50.

    Douglas has one incorrect premise (that we are reducing our ‘containment’ presence in the Western Pacific) and at least once or twice mixes the 30,000 ft view with the 500 ft view.

    For instance, sure, China could strike bases in South Korea and Japan, (I’ll take his word for it that they haven’t been hardened in years), but this would itself be a tripwire of global significance. Even if it’s just “US” bases, does anyone think either South Korea or *especially* Japan will just sit back if Chinese ordnance is detonating within its territorial borders?

    (and we’re moving Marines off of Okinawa (eventually) because 1) they’re not wanted there 2) they’re not particularly useful there. Okinawa is strategically important because it sits astride the major sea and air lanes of Westpac, but isn’t the best place in the 21st century to base an offensive ground force)Report

    • Avatar Citizen says:

      On the scales of protect and serve, is it better to have a 12.8 billion dollar flat top that may be obsolete before the hull cuts water, or to invest in ways for the populace to enjoy the waterways within its borders?
      Ah well, so goes the war on fish. Pointless I suppose. Damn things rarely bite anyway.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      I’m willing to make my standard policy bet (a small beer) that the US as a global conventional superpower has less than 25 years to run. Sure, we’ll still be able to smack around the occasional small, poor country that gets too far out of line. But the chances that the voters will tolerate putting 100,000 pairs of boots on the ground anywhere outside the Western Hemisphere will be small. And the chances that they will tolerate a WWII sort of effort on behalf of someone outside the Western Hemisphere will be zero.

      (Some of my bets — I keep a record of the unsettled ones — are now far enough in the future that I may not live to see them resolved. How do you affordably set up a tiny trust to pay off beer bets that won’t be settled for 25 years?)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        a small beer

        Couldn’t you at least wager one with a noticeable alcohol content?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Kvass! Kvass! Kvass!Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        My bad. I meant small in the sense of “not physically gigantic.” In the future I’ll make the offer for a pint.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I would take the other side of that bet – mainly because 25 years is the sweet spot between war amnesia fully set in and the sustainability of today’s institutions based on mere inertia.

        I agree we’re not going to do another WW2 – but we haven’t done one of those since then anyway. But another Iraq 1? I could see that happening.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’ve put it in the database. I’m not sure a note that says “Kolohe (Ordinary Times)” will be meaningful contact info at a time when the bet can be settled, but it’s in the data base. Hmm, I see that I have to send e-mail to a friend; time to collect on an oil price bet :^)Report

      • Avatar Citizen says:

        Thats crazy talk Lil, beer will be illegal in 25 years.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        How about this for victory conditions?

        I win if all the following conditions are met:

        1) US Department of Defense expenditures in Fiscal Year 2040 are greater than or equal to 3.0% of 2040 GDP and

        2) equal or exceed 400 billion in 2014 dollars and

        3) pay for at least 750,000 active duty personnel that year.

        All those numbers are smaller than today, but larger than most everyone else, and would, in my opinion, define us as a conventional superpower. And avoids trying to predict technology changes that would make equipment mix predictions a bad measure. It also doesn’t attempt to assess force projection capabilities, but assumes (yeah there’s that word) that 750,000 people would be doing more than simple garrison duty.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        No, while China has a smaller total budget than that, they’ve got almost three times that many on active duty, and are still only a regional power. “Global conventional superpower” implies global reach in a timely fashion. How about ≥5 carrier strike groups (or something of equivalent power and mobility, I’ll accept your judgement on that at the time); ≥2 of those groups at sea and ready to deploy outside the Western Hemisphere a majority of the time; ≥50,000 ground troops with equipment forward-deployed outside the Western Hemisphere; and ≥6 fully-equipped air force bases in Europe, Asia, and/or Africa. Those numbers are all less than half of today’s deployment. I didn’t count ground troops or air bases currently in Afghanistan or the Middle East in arriving at those numbers.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        If Afghanistan hasn’t shown anybody anything since 1985, it should have shown you that the term “conventional superpower” is pretty much meaningless.

        “Superpower” is pretty meaningless, too, unless you have nukes, the guy you’re arguing with does not, and you’re willing to use them. I’m not sure this term applies any more, either.

        I’m okay with submarines, but I’ve been saying that aircraft carriers are past EOL for a few years now. Blaise and I argued about this on a thread a couple of years ago.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Make it 6 total & 2 deployed/deployable on the carrier strike groups (you can’t get below a 3:1 ratio without eating the seed corn, so 5 & 2 would imo itself be an indication of a hollow force)

        50,000 is a scent enough number but we barely have that ground troops left outside of CONUS/AK/HI (and Afghanistan) even now. We’re down to less than 29K in the ROK, 30K in Europe, and no tanks in the latter.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    R2- “But the essence of the technology is there already, since the modular reactors would mimic the ones that power U.S. nuclear subs, without the high-grade uranium.”

    This is either a huge red flag or crappy science reporting. (crappy science reporting? no wai!)

    The bog standard HEU PWR is great when you need a fairly compact design with high endurance – and someone else is picking up the bill. The US Navy nuke program is a heck of a lot of things, but it is no way economically efficient.

    Furthermore, smaller is inherently *less* safe in this design, due to reduced shutdown margins. (i.e. the amount of negative reactivity – neutron vacuuming – you can have available goes down as the geometry gets smaller). The military abandoned decades ago the porta-nuke plant (something that would have been very useful in Afghanistan) due to safety concerns (and after at least one deadly accident)

    So, no Lori Hinnant, there is no way these new modular reactors would mimic the ones on US nuclear subs.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Although some of them mimic a subset of the reactors in Russian subs and now ice-breakers — ie, fast-neutron liquid-metal-cooled. If I were going to bet, I’d bet on the Russians getting to market with small modular reactors first. Just another piece of their one-stop full-service sales strategy for nuclear generating technology.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Because nothing on the world market says quality, reliability, and safety like “Made in Russia”Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Everybody loves AK-47!Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        If you are running a developing country, or even a country at the low end of the OECD list, looking to grow base load electricity in a big way so you can (hopefully) grow your economy, the choices today often come down to coal or nuclear. For many of those countries, coal supplies look tenuous. In the nuclear arena, there’s only one supplier today who will (a) make you a construction loan, (b) sell you a reactor, (c) sell you fuel for the reactor, (d) take the spent fuel off your hands, (e) train your techs, and (f) operate the reactor for you if you don’t want to be bothered with that.

        Fundamentally, it’s a choice between an almost guaranteed bad outcome if you don’t buy the Russian nuke(s), but only a chance of a bad outcome if you do. The US made a decision in the 1980s, consciously or otherwise, that its vision for energy as a tool for global power/good/whatever was “unlimited fossil fuels for everyone forever.” Not a particularly good one, IMO.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        watch reporters interview experts for a Russian nuclear-themed television program or pick up a “Miss Atom” calendar featuring the year’s prettiest Russian nuclear workers.

        Oh, Russia you scamp. Don’t ever change.

        But really, fair points all, I’m simply not sure even with that they’re going to be sell to anyone that’s anywhere close to a functioning democracy (which a fair number of the OECD countries you’re talking about are).

        I’m also not so sure if even non-functioning democracies will calculate the concentrated risk of having nukes is better for them than the higher, but distributed and often mostly externalized risk of coal plants. Turkey’s recent mine disaster, though, is likely a test case of this hypothesis – it hasn’t brought down the government yet, but is definitely Erdogan’s toughest fight since he took on directly the military establishment.Report

    • Avatar morat20 says:

      Are they thinking RTGs? Although I can’t imagine them getting even remotely enough power on those though. Aren’t they like maybe 10% efficient?Report

    • Avatar Citizen says:

      Wow, I think that really missed the mark. If she was supposed to be describing the TerraPower reactor that is a depleted uranium fueler.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      The mini nuclear reactors are not the same design as sub reactors, although I don’t have the details in hand at the moment. And they are being designed to be walkaway safe for multiple days, up to a week or more.

      The article overstates their size. The developers (there are about 3 or 4 at present) are aiming at sitting them on flatbed semi trailers.

      They also won’t necessarily be underground. The goal is cost-effectiveness. Being modular, they’ll be built in factories, on a mass production model, rather than on-site, which means much lower construction costs per GW. Putting them underground would most often be a pointless expense.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    W3- “Dutch battles against water led his country to develop a communal society. To this day, Water Boards, which date to the Middle Ages, are a feature of every region, and they guide long-term infrastructural planning. American individualism, on the other hand, has yielded a system in which each municipality has a great deal of autonomy, making regional cooperation difficult”

    Man, if there were only a regional authority charged with planning, building, and maintaining the infrastructure in and around the waterways of New York City.

    (and let’s note that there appear to be multiple water boards distributed across the major metro areas of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and that several of these water boards geographic limits are approximately equal in size or smaller than the territory managed by the unitary authority of New York City.)Report

  7. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    The first link in R4 goes off to a Soylent and coding/cooking piece.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      My vote for worst (and most dangerous) bad energy predictions in the recent past go to the IEA and EIA forecasts for oil in the early 2000s. Basically, their 10-year forecast was for production to reach 120M barrels per day, all of it conventional, at a price in the near neighborhood of $30/barrel (today’s dollars). In actuality, production of conventional crude plateaued in 2005 at around 80M barrels per day, the other 14M barrels/day of today’s total liquid fuels production is stuff that looks less and less like actual petroleum, and the price bounces around in the $100-110 range. In short, the people who are paid to be the expert forecasters for policy makers in the US and Western Europe missed it almost entirely.

      Their current forecasts can be summed up as “Oil production isn’t really going to increase much, and prices are certainly not going to come down, but it will all be okay because large efficiency gains are possible quickly at essentially no cost.” I’m inclined to bet that they’re still optimistic about supply and prices, and seriously wrong about the cost of efficiency.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      @michael-cain Fixed! Sorry about that.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    C3- I am underwhelmed by Rollert’s argument. As James K pointed out pursuit of wealth wasn’t necessarily seen as a bad thing during the Middle Ages or earlier. Its just that good wealth took the form of land and estates rather than something more liquid like money. The societies of the Middle Ages still needed financial services and the ball was left in my people’s court to provide them at the cost of ostracization.

    The anti-greed argumetns were also used to justify extreme poverty. The masses weren’t poor. They were simply living lives of spiritual and material simplicity rather than suffering from extreme want. Gandhi’s vision for an independent India involved everybody living simple sipiritual lives in the villages. The simple life isn’t easy and commercial capitalism and good government have done more to raise people’s standards of living than anything else in the world.Report

    • Avatar morat20 says:

      That’s probably at least more flattering than today’s views of the poor, which is that they’re poor because they’re sinners. (Slothful, greedy, lustful — pick your poisonous stereotype).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        It still keeps them in mired in terrible states of want. The simple life isn’t easy.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        I don’t think that’s a fair characterization.Report

      • Avatar James K says:


        Not really, for all their praise of the life of “spiritual simplicity” practically none of those powerful people tried to emulate it – it reeks of self-serving rhetoric.

        Also, bear in mind that the other part to the attitudes toward the poor was that peasants were born peasants because God wanted them to spend their lives in toil.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        Someone should do a post on the prosperity doctrine. That’s some pretty fun stuff there.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      I don’t think Rollert accomplished what he set out to. A couple of people have noted that he doesn’t prove that “greed is good” is a new idea. He also seems unaware of the arguments against greed that have been made in the past 300 years. It’s weird. This is something I’ve noticed philosophers tend to do: believing that everyone thinks what the most recent philosopher says. It’s like everyone was a Thomist until Smith wrote, then everyone believed in the Invisible Hand. It’s an elitist conceit. It implies that (a) philosophers carry a lot of weight, and (b) that each philosopher correctly refutes everyone who came before him. Maybe I’m overthinking it, and it’s just an easy way to format an article.Report

  9. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    T1: Fascists! /jk

    S1: Crowd Sourcing can be a good if people go into it. The problem with crowd sourcing in general is that it is what gets funding is often just as tied to prestige and popularity as what gets traditional funding usually except cult things. Reading Rainbow was able to raise lots of cash in under 24 hours. The random independent theatre production? Maybe not as much. So the answer is maybe.

    S2: I’m skeptical on this one. I think that the social-cultural divide in America is that you have cities and inner-ring suburbs on one side (inner-ring suburbs often seem to be more town like) and outer-ring suburbs and rural communities. This divides often seem to be over social-cultural politics than anything else. As LeeEsq pointed out, Prohibition was a lot about how small town and rural America felt like they were losing their place of power and at the center of American life and wanted to exert control again. Drinking was seen as something dirty immigrants in the city did, not wholesome protestant Americans in the country. I also think it is hard to determine how many areas are really self sustaining. I visited my friends in Santa Cruz on Sunday. Santa Cruz has a population of 60,000 and is a university town with nice beaches and redwoods. My friends said that unless you work for the university, there is not much employment in the city. Many people still commute to San Jose and other parts of Silicon Valley. Suburbs might represent the policy/popularity tension that is inherent in Democracy. Is it good policy to favor the suburbs over the country or the city? No. Is it done because it is popular and most people want it? Probably. The only way to solve this is to end Democracy and promote Klenian wonktocracy. Also in the US, plenty of wonky types would argue that rural living is heavily subsidized.

    S3: I believe this.

    F1: This is all stuff I have read before and it makes sense. There was another article from a few weeks ago that said many working class women choose to stay single moms because they see working-class adult males as being just another mouth to feed. I don’t think this is necessarily just a working class thing being a perma-freelancer for the last two years has certainly effected the way I see myself as a viable romantic partner and the way I think I am seen and I am a lawyer. Why date a freelancing lawyer when you could date someone with more promise? That being said, I would like data on the young professional men used to marry their secretaries. I think that is more of a story than truth. My undergrad was all-women until 1969 and had a reputation as a “Girls With Pearls School.” I’ve had older Yallies like to tell me how they used to drive to Vassar to meet girls on the weekends or to Connecticut College for Women (now co-ed as well). I imagine that there was just as much assortive mating back then as there is today. Just like there was probably just as much pre-marital sex but no one talked about it or the terms were non existent.

    That being said the article did make me wonder something. I think that conservative and liberal elites have a lot in common taste wise because they are part of the same professional, upper-middle class. Connor F and I can probably bond over indie rock, craftbeer, and local restaurants that specialize in seasonal ingridients and farm-to-table. Ross Douthat also probably has a lot of cultural like similarities with the liberal elites he criticizes. I wonder how much concern trolling and fretting over liberal elite late marriage and child-rearing is saying “Come on, help us out. Look at how bad things are in red states. Help us teach by example, etc.” I also think it shows a conservative disliking of the effects and consequences of capitalism. It is wealth and capitalism that allows young professionals like myself to marry later and have children later (if we have children at all.) In the past people like me would be confirmed bachelors and maiden aunts and confined to a shadowy existence. Now we can lead fully realized lives and I think this freaks the fuck out of conservatives. Also people tend to act “young” until they have kids and I think they also freak the fuck out at 30 and 40 somethings going to indie rock music festivals with their free time.Report

    • Regarding S2: a little context is missing if you just visit that one post; my site Steps from the Canal is specifically a blog about life and politics in my home town, Ottawa (I will, occasionally, write about things from other jurisdictions if I think they’re applicable to Ottawa in some way). So, my argument wasn’t that the potential for urban/rural cooperation is always possible, but that for many of the issues that Ottawa faces (and the municipality stretches out into some rural-ish areas), people from the two types of areas will have coinciding interests.

      The sprawl that Ottawa has experienced is one such instance. It encroaches on rural areas (and semi-rural, small town-ish areas), and it also places demands on city infrastructure that has some big negative implications for urban (and semi-urban) communities.

      This isn’t a call for less democracy, in fact, it’s a call for more democracy. It’s a call for more collaboration between different communities (and their city councilors), communities that haven’t always collaborated.

      It could also require a combined effort to actively fight a non-elected body. Our province has what is called the Ontario Municipal Board. It is a board that hears appeals from citizens (including developers) when they don’t like a decision city council has made. The OMB is often uber-quick to overall decisions of council. Ottawa, in the past few years, has been putting a cap on extending the amount of land that is available for more development (more sprawl), as we have a lot of space within the development limits that could be developed. Developers have regularly complained to the OMB and the OMB has been more than happy to overturn council decisions and allow more sprawl.

      I certainly don’t know the political, economic or community dynamics of other cities, and most certainly not places like Santa Cruz or San Jose, so I won’t argue that my observations apply to such places. However, even though I write a lot about urban development (and argue against the massive subsidies that are gifted to the suburbs), I also try not to get sucked into the typical urban vs. suburban vs. rural debates. I deplore attempts to gin up such culture wars, so I like to try to look for issues or instances where the interests of the different factions dovetail. That was my other motivation for writing that post.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      The terms are poorly defined. When they say “rural”, they really mean “rural that is close enough in it can be subdivided and suburbanized.” At least in the states I’ve spent time in recently, rural areas outside of that distance view both the suburbs and the urban core as the enemy.

      I have a tendency to point out what I think are urban and rural contributions to the overall problem. The rural areas have failed to produce jobs in meaningful quantities, so the young adults leave; the urban cores have, in the opinion of many young parents, failed to produce affordable kid-friendly living space, so the young parents leave. You can make a similar argument about some business problems. The rural areas can’t provide a large enough trained workforce, and the urban cores can’t provide affordable space of appropriate nature, to support the economies of scale many businesses require.

      Whether it’s reasonable to say today that the suburbs are subsidized is a difficult question. In the case of Denver (and I live in the western suburbs; I suppose I have an ax to grind), the suburbs pay the lion’s share of the cultural support taxes; for practical purposes, the suburbs are building a light-rail system; as more and more of the funding for roads and schools runs through the state General Fund, it’s at least arguable that the suburbs are subsidizing those things in both Denver as well as the rural areas of the state.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:


        I keep on hearing that people from my generation are choosing to stay in the cities as they have kids instead of moving to the burbs. By people from my generation, I of course mean upper-middle class and usually white people who were normally the ones who partied in the city and then dashed to the burbs.

        My hunch is that a lot of people will duke it out in the cities until the children are about to start middle school and then dash. We shall see. I think the stay urban or not is a 50/50 split.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Depends on the urban area. Pittsburgh’s got plenty of kid friendly space. There’s little reason why Detroit can’t have more, particularly as more buildings are demolished and parks put in.
        the ongoing impoverishment of America means that people quite simply cant’ afford the cars.Report

      • MC, you’re absolutely right that too few urban centres make kid-friendly spaces. Of course, the suburbs aren’t totally kid-friendly either (at least in my neck of the woods). Big wide boulevards, long blocks, few sidewalks or paths… kids may have backyards and some park space, but the actual streets aren’t particularly kid-friendly.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I should also acknowledge that by many people’s standards, Denver doesn’t count as an urban core. That’s broadly true throughout much of the American West, where so much of the population growth has been post-WWII.

        For example, starting from nearly anywhere in downtown, I can walk for 30 minutes and be in neighborhoods where things look much more like the small rural Iowa town where my grandparents lived than any contemporary suburb. Big trees, small houses on brick foundations, streets about the same width, alleys in the back. The biggest difference is that the streets are lined with parked cars; but we’re a lot richer these days, and the garages off the alley weren’t ever intended to hold more than one per house. “Affordable” becomes an operable word in many of those; a hundred-year-old two-bedroom house can be attractive; at $600K there’s some question about affordability; and if it’s not $600K, you’d better find out what’s wrong.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        @jonathan-mcleod @michael-cain

        What is and is not kid-friendly often reflects more on the parent/speaker and their stereotypes of the city, suburbs, and the country.

        The people I know who were determined to raise kids in the city thought the suburbs and country were cultural wastelands. The people who want suburbs talk about open space, safety, and good public schools at the K-12 level.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Absolutely. What I find more interesting, from the perspective of the original “rural and urban as allies” theme, is that we’re not talking at all about people choosing to move to a rural area outside of the distance where suburbanization is looming [1]. I’m sure they’re around, but by comparison they’re rare.

        I’ve spent most of my adult life around the edges of the Great Plains, driving across different parts of it regularly, and I’ve been watching it die for going on 40 years now (the population actually peaked in the 1930s). Large areas have reached the point of positive feedback: not enough people to support many types of service (eg, specialist medical care that you can visit and return home in a morning), so even more people leave.

        It’s not just the Great Plains, although the GP are in a class by themselves. A majority of the Northern California counties (and the adjacent Oregon counties) that say they want to split off and form the State of Jefferson lost population from 2010 to 2013.

        [1] The US Census Bureau keeps changing its definition of rural (the previous one was >25 miles from any town with population >25,000; the new one doesn’t lend itself to an easy description like that). I suspect that by the current US standard, most of the areas the author is talking about as allies against the suburbs don’t even count as rural.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

      @saul-degraw I’ve said the joke before, maybe on this site, that I’ll actually believe the money people behind the Conservative Movement, as far as funding it, actually want to deal with the consequences of it, when Fox News, the National Review, or Rush Limbaugh, move their headquarters/broadcasting studios to Oklahoma, South Carolina, or some other blood red state.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

        I think that Rush broadcasts from Palm Springs, Florida. Not quite a fully red state but one that can produce some very Tea Party or Republican Senators. Though Florida is weird demographically.

        Strike that, Florida is just weird.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    T3- Does anyone know off the top of their head how much experience Google has accumulated with their driverless cars in bad weather? I’m thinking in terms of some commuting experience a few years ago where once each week it was nice in the morning but by the time I could leave the office there was six inches of snow on the ground, and the roads were getting covered with packed snow and ice. Most of the lane markings became invisible and people created “lanes” by consensus, not always where the lanes actually ran.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      They’re testdriving in Pittsburgh, so they’ll see snow. And flash flooding.
      All indications are that they’ll be safer than truck drivers by the time they hit the road for real.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I don’t know the answer to your question, but my assumption is that there will always be some circumstances in which a driverless car would have to say “nope, my programming doesn’t handle THAT, let’s switch over to manual”.

      Which makes total sense to me; but it also means that people are going to be kind of out-of-practice/not “warmed-up” when it’s actually their turn to take the wheel, with driving conditions at their most difficult. So you could perversely see MORE accidents, in really inclement weather.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        For a while at least.
        But, glyph, I Swear to God, most people haven’t been trained in how to drive a car like a boat (aka what happens when your wheels are completely off the ground.)

        There are places where folks know how to drive like that (Arkansas, where fords are more common than most places, you learn this for emergencies — and hope to hell you don’t need it.).Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        Generally speaking, a computer would probably outperform your average American driver in adverse conditions, and seriously underperform an actual good driver… but we have very, very few good drivers.

        Mostly because it won’t be bone-stupid about the cruising speed, I’d guess.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        And it would always observe a safe following distance.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Of course, they’re also testing drones here.
      One decided to fly into a pothole and was never heard from again.
      (in the fifties, one Pittsburgh Pothole was declared a formal bomb shelter
      in case of nuclear war).Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      With driverless cars, lane markings wouln’t really be necessary. The systems on the car can detect where other cars are and react to them more quickly, so the could handle higher speeds with greater congestion. This is true even now, when a driverless car is limited to its own systems, and will become more true when we reach the point that the cars are commiunicating with each other.

      As for bad weather, it should be child’s play to have the system detect wheel slippage. It would do so long before a human driver would, and would make adjustments earlier.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Ah, good point, the fact that lane markings aren’t needed was the part I was missing. The wheel slippage part I know they do already (it’s how AWD gets activated on most cars with it).Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’m more concerned with the 20-year transition period when there are mix of computer- and human-piloted vehicles on the road.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @michael-cain – I’m not really sure that’s an issue. The computer-driven cars *should*, all else equal and once bugs and kinks are worked out, be superior to the human-driven ones in every way – so with a mix, it will be the human drivers causing trouble and even then, most of the time the computer drivers will *still* be able to avoid an accident with them. We’ll probably mostly see human-human accidents, as we do today.

        Maybe someone who designs video games can say, but it’s my assumption that computer games can be programmed so that a human player can *never* beat the computer-controlled players, which can just react faster, every single time. My assumption is that the game designers *slow the computer controlled players down*, to give human players a sporting chance and make it fun for them.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        it REALLY depends on the game (some are more dependent on initial values and randomness than others). I know a video game designer, and there are TONS of tricks used to create a “fun game” (among them being creating a “not truly random” pseudorandom number generator).

        But I’m pretty sure Chess is something computers are better at (limited variables, well controlled conditions — limited foresight).

        and an AI needn’t be terribly… optimal, to be fun to play against.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        … actually, computers (like people) are pretty easy to troll when you’re playing Chess. not saying you can win like that, but it at least makes things interesting.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        There’s two types (well, very simplistically) of Game AI problems.

        In one, you have to work hard (and cheat at times) to make the AI seems worse than it is. In the other, you have to work hard (and cheat at times) to make the AI a lot better.

        For simple physics problems — like, say, aiming and shooting in a first person shooter (or, I would imagine, a simple problem involving multiple vectors in only two dimensions and how not to let them intersect, like driving), you have to dumb the AI down. Because a FPS AI finds it trivial to headshot any target that it has any line of sight on. So programming that AI to be ‘realistic’ involves working hard to make the AI make believable mistakes. (Act like a human). Things like “miss occasionally”. 🙂

        The harder parts of FPS AI — like pathing — aren’t really a problem on roads, because the existence of roads solves the hard part of pathing.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Thanks Morat. That was basically what I was thinking in my incoherent way.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:


        One of the greatest things about driverless cars is that scaling up should improve performance (by allowing a greater number of vehicles on the road to talk to each other, and reducing the number of much-less-rational-and-unpredictable human drivers), but doesn’t any scale at all to be an improvement over the status quo ante. Google’s over 700,000 miles of testing has demonstrated this. The car can see further down the road than a human can, can see “through” obstacles like big truck, and can sense other cars’ speed changes and directional changes faster than a human can.

        That’s why various elements of the technology are already being incorporated piecemeal into luxury cars, from self-parking cars to ones that brake automatically when you’re backing up if there’s an obstacle (another car, a kid) behind you.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        The Goosinator already does pathfinding in the Real World.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:


        Well yes, but have you ever seen a car GPS recalculate a route? It’s not fast — and much of it’s behind the scenes work wherein the bulk of such routes are ‘pre-built’ (or pre-calculated) and your GPS or map program is only doing the last mile stuff.

        Which is how pathing in most games is done, if you want it to look realistic. You identify several nodes (critical spots on the path, like say — the only two stairs between levels, major intersections) and build routes between them, then the AI only has to identify the major nodes and path to the closest — and then from it’s destination node to it’s actual destination.

        Pathing for ‘driving’ is done using the road system, which has already pre-built those critical paths and also ranked them (big highways to dirt roads).

        IIRC, Google’s biggest actual programmatic challenges were handling temporary road signs, construction markers, coned off lanes — that sort of thing — and police hand signals.

        Actually having the car drive and not hit anything was pretty easy, even with lots of other cars around. It was figuring out what to do if lane you were in was blocked off ahead, or the guy with the badge was signaling to move…or the ambulance behind you wanted by and that meant running a light.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        I’m often a little surprised at how slowly some of the GPS computers recalculate a route. My 2011 Nissan nav system is shamefully slow while my wife’s 2006 Acura nav system is quite snappy. Given how small (relatively speaking) the graph that represents an entire city’s worth of intersections is, finding optimal routes over any reasonable distance should be a snap, especially if you make the assumption that the fastest way between any two non-adjacent cities is probably a major highway. I have no explanation for how slow some of the implementations are.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Maybe the 2011 is comparing more different routes?Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        It seems “simple” but it’s not. I’m not exactly an expert on this, but the way I understand it (and this is based on the ‘general’ approach to pathing) is it works like this:

        You take your big map — your 3D terrain for a game or your giant map of the US — and you work out ‘primary’ nodes and primary paths. Kind of hardcode them — like if you want to get from Dallas to Houston, I-45 is the default path.

        And so the GPS says, if you’re about 25 miles outside of Dallas and want to go to someplace about 20 miles from Houston, says “Okay, my nearest node is Dallas. The nearest node to my destination is Houston. The path from Dallas to Houston is 45”.

        Then it solves “How do I get to 45 from here” and then optimizes the path. Except you have lots of layers of nodes, you start with the biggest and work down.

        Except “optimization of path” is really, really, computationally expensive. There’s no shortcuts — you’re pretty much stuck with direct examination of all cases, and every place you can turn one of two directions adds another case.

        THEN you add in factors like “Do I allow toll roads” and “what are the average highway speeds”. You can understand why Google Maps is lightning fast — they’ve got all this on their giant servers, and their layers of nodes can go as deep as they want. Memory is cheap — they can precalculate it and then they’re basically just optimizing the path from your neighborhood to the nearest node, which is probably less than five miles away.

        Your 2011 might just be crappier. It might also be ridiculously more detailed or accurate.

        But pathing is hard. VERY hard.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        But pathing is hard. VERY hard.

        Well, not in the NP-hard or NP-complete sense of hard. It’s a structured depth-first search on a directed graph, or a sequence of such problems. Granted, the problems can be large, but they’re also amenable to fast heuristics. When I wrote code for that kind of problem 30+ years ago, it took a lot of time to solve. On contemporary hardware, where you can settle for a “very good” solution that may not be quite optimal, it should be very quick. Unless your data is badly organized or otherwise requires ridiculous amounts of time to fetch.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        But pathing is hard. VERY hard.


      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        I’m still not seeing where the expense comes in, especially for within-city routes. Let’s take New York for an example and do some really questionable math. If you can fit 100 city blocks in 1 square mile (rough Google estimate) and NYC is 468 square miles, that’s 46800 blocks. Each block has 4 street segments around it, but each segment is shared with another block, so that’s 2 segments per block, or about 100,000 edges. Worst case is 2 way streets, so it’s a digraph with 200,000 edges, weighted by average time to traverse. Each block has 4 corners, but each corner is shared among 4 blocks, so let’s say 50,000 vertices.

        A naiive implementation would just use Dijkstra’s algorthm which is O(e + v*log(v)), which is coming in on the order of 1 million iterations. If you work at various levels of granularity and use the fact that roads are naturally designed hierarchically you can probably improve on that pretty substantially, as you note, but the worst case doesn’t even seem all that bad. I may have botched the math here, but at a glance it doesn’t seem likely to bog down unless you do the naiive algorithm for trips from San Francisco to Orlando and have it checking the side streets in Boston.

        Anyway, I’m pretty sure that the Acura nav is fast because it’s coded in C by an engineer who would see his daughter date a death row inmate before he called malloc() unnecessarily and the Nissan nav was written in Java by somebody who just called java.internetbloatlib.dijkstrasolver() which allocates big objects in the inner loop. Or there’s a big difference between the two in terms of how efficiently they swap those big matrices up and down from flash memory. In any case, the Acura finds better routes several times faster with hardware that’s 5 years older. Not good.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Eh, most of my knowledge of this class of problems comes from the NP complete type (my master’s work was on evolutionary programming, and trying to find acceptable solutions to NP problems in reasonable amounts of time is a staple of the business) and in games, where you’re pathing through a 3D mesh in real-time, which is why game levels and such (well, one reason) have designs ameniable to node-based pathing, which probably has a real and official name, but heck if I can remember.

        But you’re probably right in that what you’ve got is a lazy implementation, or else someone really cheaped out on the hardware. Or both. I’m a little annoyed I’ve got to scrape up 160 bucks to update my Toyota’s navigation software (update the maps, basically), which is why I think in the future I’ll go for stuff I can plug in an update myself.

        I still think there’s a magnitude of complexity I’m not remembering for map algorithms, but I might be thinking of ones involving traffic analysis. (Although I think civil engineers and such have really good rules for traffic flow).Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:


        Dave: I want to go to Jupiter.

        Djikstra 9000: I can’t let you do that, Dave. I consider “Go to” harmful.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        My guess is that Google does much of its pathing now by seeding with real world data. Real pathing (provably correct pathing) is computationally impossible for suitably large path choices.

        But Google has a large corpus of pathing data just by using all of that tracking data they get off of smartphones, and they likely weigh possible paths heavily along those lines.

        None of this stuff works if the net is down, though, because all the computational work is done at the cloud end, not by the car’s nav system itself.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire says:

        @patrick — Wait, what is this “provably correct pathing” that you refer to?Report

        • Avatar Patrick says:

          Finding the provably correct shortest path (including traffic time) is a fairly difficult problem, particularly given long driving times where traffic conditions change. Google isn’t trying to find the mathematically correct shortest path, they’re trying to find a satisficing path (one that’s short enough for practical purposes).Report

      • Avatar veronica dire says:

        @patrick — Ah, okay. Dynamic graph. Got it.

        Actually for a while at work I wanted to build a stochastic model of Internet traffic and put that through a tricky convex optimization model to try to find best throughput with a cap on % packet loss. (Where I worked at the time puts enough traffic on the net that we could get good global measures along with decent correlations between our traffic and global traffic.)

        But I never got much management buy-in for that kinda thinking — seems they decided all the hard problems they wanted to solved were already solved. So I changed jobs.

        But anyway, it’s in many ways the same kind of problem.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I’m curious how driverless cars will interact with cyclists.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Built in tazer probably, with a cowpusher attachment deployed off the front/side to keep the twitching hippy from falling into the wheel well.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Extensible robot hand, to smack those tight buns as you pass.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        Probably better than human drivers, which is low praise.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        What Morat said. Human drivers have 2 particular problems concerning cyclists. One is just not seeing them, which will be less of a problem with autonomous cars. The second is disliking and wanting to scare them, which will only be a problem with autonomous cars if the software designers hate cyclists, too.

        I suppose there’s some potential after-market plugin that would support cyclist scaring, but it would probably still do better at avoiding an actual collision when trying to scare than would a human driver.Report

  11. Avatar Kim says:

    *grumbles* McArdle is an idiot.
    ” I think many people would rather have a 45-minute commute during which they can read than a 35-minute commute during which they have to listen to talk radio while white-knuckling the steering wheel and silently wishing elaborately horrible deaths on the drivers around them.”

    … if this were the case, folks would take the bus far more than they currently do.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      also, wrt liability: this is why truck drivers will be eliminated first. There’s money in that, and much less liability (in that more of it is assumed by the company at this time).Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I read the McArdle quotation over at Sully’s place and thought the exact same thing Kim. Well, not about taking buses, but about her trivial reduction of the decision process going into why people would or wouldn’t drive. Also, her comment about “wanting to murder other drivers on the road” really rubbed me the wrong way.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I disagree.. sitting in your own private car space sipping your coffee and browsing the web for forty minutes =/= to waiting for a bus to arrive and then sitting cheek to jowl on it with a bunch of strangers to get to your destination.Report

  12. Avatar Kim says:

    The Ottawahn is funny. He misses how the suburbs “cheat” the system using beltways.
    Interestingly enough, part of pittsburgh’s competitive advantage is not having a functional beltway system.Report

    • Please point me to Ottawa’s beltway.

      Also, please explain to me what system they are supposedly cheating.

      Have you ever even been to Ottawa?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        I apologize, I did not realize you were merely talking about your own city, rather than a more comprehensive survey.

        Beltways allow suburbs to cheat because they do not route traffic through the city — which, as you were suggesting in your post, would like to encourage pedestrians/bikers rather than cars.

        Haven’t been to Ottawa, nope.

        Again, sorry for broadening the discussion — I think you’re missing part of the point of suburbs, which tend to work like locusts — building on fresh ground rather than “reusing” older structures (including basements).Report

      • I’ve no argument against broadening the subject. I think that my observations about Ottawa will be applicable elsewhere, but not universally.

        Beltways can certainly help in re-routing cars around the urban core, but there is then the worry that they will just create a commuter class that will naturally rely on their cars even when then venturing into the city. And, of course, cars don’t pollute any less on a beltway (well, if they’re not stuck in gridlock, maybe they do, but they certainly don’t reduce pollution).

        The sprawl that Ottawa sees is not merely at the expense of reusing older structures (though sometimes at the expense of building up rather than out), it’s can be at the expense of developing currently unused (or under-used) lands inside the suburban ring. Even when Ottawa is trying to limit sprawl, there’s still no actual cap on it. The sprawl is happening. We’re really just talking about harm reduction measures (to pick a totally loaded term).Report

  13. Avatar Kim says:

    The piece on the “Rental Affordability Crisis” puts the lie to the unsubstantiated claims floated around here on how we’re better off than we were in the past (better standard of living). Note that we’re still seeing this as buildings downsize (they’re building smaller structures to accomodate our ongoing impoverishment).Report

  14. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    R1: ITYM Caves of Steel.Report

  15. Avatar Kim says:

    That piece on how gays are changing the face of marriage is freaking hillarious.

    Citing a study from San Francisco, America’s most promiscuous city, to show that gays are pretty promiscuous? ROFL. Who does that?Report

  16. Avatar Kim says:

    There’s multiple methodological issues with the eHarmony stuff.
    1) Opposites attract — this tends to be a … more physical phenomenon, that may be very much lessened in an electronic environment. [also: they’re looking at sociological factors, my analysis is tending more towards biological factors.]
    2) In terms of sociological factors, Opposites do attract — but they also go kablowie much quicker. Someone heading to eHarmony may have already had their “opposites attract” phase, and learned “don’t date crazy”. also, such a place lends itself more to cognitive thinking, rather than “hey, he’s charming. Let’s have some fun!”Report

  17. Avatar James Hanley says:

    I’m convinced housing is beginning a shift from on-site construction to factory production with varying amounts of on-site assembly. The example in the link is great–the potential for people to produce thousands of design variations, distribute them freely, and have people manufacture the parts locally at low cost is truly awesome–but it’s far from the only venture in the field of production-built housing.

    The factor that makes it inevitable is that home construction is still labor intensive. Homes are generally too big to be mass produced in factories. Nonetheless, there were efforts toward the capital intensive model over a century ago, such as the Sears kit houses, which could be ordered out of the Sears catalogue. Barns also were prefabbed; the pre-cut and numbered pieces were delivered to the site. In a sense, the guy in the article is mimicing a 19th century idea, but today we have the technology that enables him to visualize a great leap forward with the idea.

    We also have manufacturers making homes in modular pieces constructed in a factory. Each module is small enough to be shipped by truck, and their are enough different modiles, or they can be assembled in enough different ways, that it doesn’t result in perfect cookie cutter homes. Even shipping containers–often used–are increasingly being used as pre-fab modules that can be assembled in a variety of ways.

    The efficiencies to be gained are fantastic. It’s going to resemble, although on a smaller scale, the 20th century shift out of agriculture. (There’s some fodder for post-work debates!)

    The article is wrong about permits, though. There’s no way in hell just being built to code, or even above code, would result in an assembled-on-site house to go without permits. There’ll still be required building permits to ensure compliance with local zoning, such as setbacks, minimum sizing, etc. You’ll still need water/sewer/electrical permits. Inspections will still be required for each of those, as well as to ensure the owner actually screwed all the pieces together. And I’d expect that we’ll see instances of rent-seeking where contractors push for local codes to require assembly by a licensed contractor. Unlike autonomous cars, which promise both an economic and a regulatory revolution, the shift to capital- intensive home construction is likely to be just an economic revolution, with minimal regulatory effects.Report

  18. Avatar Will Truman says:

    New links added, involving The Wonder Years and Girl Meets World. The wrong revision of the post got put up.Report

  19. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Linking a couple of the resource articles together, I think environmentalists need to get smart and support fracking, because it’s significantly reduced the amount of coal bejng burned. Not only has this reduced US greenhouse emissions due to gas’s much lower carbon content, but coal mining is more environmentally destructive, and causes far more loss of life, both as a consequence of extraction and a consequence of burning. (Deaths per terrewatt hour for coal is more than five times what is for gas; and for nuclear much less than for gas). Gas is not the end-game solution, but it’s a crucial transition technology.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Most of the known fracking problems to date involve improper well completion; requirements that all cement jobs be better tested and certified would help a lot. New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio could learn from Texas, who recently tightened up their already pretty comprehensive regulations on casing and cementing.

      Doesn’t coal mining risk depend heavily on above-ground versus below-ground? Almost 40% of the coal burned for electricity in the US comes from surface mines in six northeast Wyoming counties; TTBOMK, it’s quite safe work. There are awards given for safest mining operations there; IIRC, if you have any worker days lost to injury in a particular year, you’re going to be completely out of the running for those.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:


        The deaths per terrewat hour are, as I understand it, comprehensive. Burning coal shortens lives. Fewer now, thanks to CAA, but nom- zero.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I only mentioned the surface- vs below-ground difference since you brought up mining. I’m sure the vast majority of the deaths are related to things like fine particulates that don’t care about where the coal came from. I’m kind of looking forward to Monday to see just how aggressive the Administration is going to be on CO2. It’s been a bad several months for coal companies generally, what with the Appeals Courts twice upholding the mercury restrictions and the Supremes blessing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Not likely to get any better what with the coal ash rule coming out (later this year, I believe?).

        I think there’s some red states in the Eastern Interconnect that are going to see some nasty electricity rate increases over the next several years when they either (a) pay to clean up their coal use or (b) pay to switch to other fuels or (c) both.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        I’m sure as far as industrial accidents go, underground mining is far more dangerous. No less environmenatally destructive, though. (Well, maybe less so than moumtaintop removal.)Report

  20. Thanks, Will, for making note of my non-Ordinary writing.Report

  21. Avatar Pinky says:

    C2: Is eHarmony data the best source for answering the question of commonality versus complementarity? It’s an artificial environment. Dating sites push us to think in algorithms, which isn’t human nature. I’m not surprised that when you ask people to describe themselves and their perfect matches in binary terms, people will tend to choose safely. Actually, this is probably related to the tribalism you tend to see online. People sort rigorously when they’re given an opportunity. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      That’s probably the biggest problem with dating sites: when people look at the profiles, they’re looking for themselves, but when they go on a date, they’re looking for someone else.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        It seems (but only seems) like a good strategy. There are enough differences we notice in people as we get to know them, and no one’s going to be exactly the same as we are. There’s no reason to go looking for trouble by seeking out people who you know are different.

        The one universal is that guys are less likely to filter. We’re just not fussy.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Guys can be pretty fussy.

        It’s been my experience that certain personality dimensions are better with different personality dimensions: interoversion with extroversion, neuroticism with, uh, low neuroticism, while others tend to require the same in partners, like openness to experience.

        But the best way to find out what people want is to just ask them what music they listen to. If I were wealthy and or had any business sense, I would start a dating/music service in which the only information you got about people was the music they listened to and/or liked, and maybe a picture.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        If I were wealthy and or had any business sense, I would start a dating/music service in which the only information you got about people was the music they listened to and/or liked, and maybe a picture.


        I might include food preferences, hopes hone in on the sense of smell.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        I read somewhere that the single biggest predictor of long-term relationship success is compatibility with regards to intellectual curiosity. If true, it gives me a bit of concern because of sometimes being pathologically intellectually curious with a heavy dose of antsiness mixed in.Report

  22. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    Thought this it’d be interesting and this is the best place to put it, especially for certain libertarian-ish guys.

    :It passed 219-189 overall. Democrats were 170-17 in favor, while Republicans were 49-172 opposed, so yet another Hastert Rule violation.

    As to be expected, the Dem noes were mostly those at the conservative end of the caucus, although there were a few surprising no votes as well given what a small group this was.

    Dem noes: Barrow, Bass, Cooper, Cuellar, Gallego, Hinojosa, Keating, Kennedy, Levin, Lipinski, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson, Rahall, Sewell, Wasserman Schultz, and Wilson.”

    So ya know’, both parties are exactly terrible on even this kind of policy.Report

  23. Avatar Will Truman says:

    From DRS:

    Maybe not the right thread but couldn’t find another place to put it. This article is interesting because it discusses the decline in manufacturing capacity in SW Ontario (where I’m from) and what various public authorities (including but not limited to governments) are trying to do about it:

    None of these problems are unknown to Americans in the Rust Belt but what I’d like to point out is that nowhere do you find digressions into what might be called the moral decline of citizens as reasons for the economic situation. Rod Dreher et al are always willing to believe that the increased access to birth control is the reason why things are going to crap.

    You should be able to access the article for free, as you’re allowed 10 free articles a month at the G&M.Report