Linky Friday #73


Will Truman

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

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68 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I4-The person who writes the Why I Left Sweden site doesn’t seem to be the most reliable narrator. Sweden can be a bit much when it comes to what we Americans call political correctness but the site takes this to Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Communist level.

    T2-Japan has a lot of private rail companies and many of them are in the real estate, entertainment, and retail industries as well. Many of the terminal stations of private rail companies are anchored by a department store or some other business owned by the rail company. The land around other stations is also similarly developed. It used to be this way in the United States. The local power company probably also ran the local trolley system and was involved in entertainment to encourage weekend and holiday ridership. The Pacific Electric in Los Angeles was as much as a real estate developer as it was a transit company. Anti-monopoly laws and trust busting put a stop to most of these practices.

    T3-Most infrastructure in the United States is pretty expensive compared to other countries. If you read the link, you’ll learn that other countries including Japan aren’t exactly that cheap to build rail in as well.

    L2-I wonder if this is because BMW is a German company and Germany still has a strong apprenticeship program. American companies still seem uninterested in training new workers.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    I thought this was an interesting (and depressing) read on the origin story of a cult.Report

  3. Avatar zic says:

    F3 (she likes books) totally stokes the imagination by going to a ‘post not found’ page — so does she like real books, does she like to eat books, did the dog eat the book, or do you read her imaginary books?Report

  4. Avatar Kim says:

    F1: guys in general have been socialized to try to “fix things.” I think fathers (particularly single ones) ought to remember that part of the function of being a parent is just listening, and being there when a kid’s upset. Plus, the article’s right when we set up a societal expectation that mothers will listen and fathers will judge. It’s important to counteract that… particularly when you’re talking about a girl’s adolescent crush on a boy (kinda /is/ weird to tell your dad about that. then again, kinda weird for a boy to tell mom about his crush).Report

  5. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    I4: I agree with my brother. This seems to the Swedish equivalent of Rush Limbaugh. FWIW I thought Sweden was a very pleasant country and I got a nice shirt there.

    E3: College is not for everyone but I don’t think we will ever be able to decide who should and should not go to college without classist assumptions being part of the factor because of unconscious psychology. I will believe in the “not everyone should go to college” meme when two wealthy and college educated professionals are told that their children are not the college types and successfully sent to vocational school. The problem with Thompsons article and similar ones is that it rests on a bunch of assumptions and they are:

    1. The purpose of a college education is just to get the skills to pay the bills.

    2. That students who pick the majors other than business and engineering don’t know the financial risks and rewards of said major. Perhaps they are truly dedicated to the arts and know it means a hand in mouth existence. Perhaps they want to be like Miss Mary and dedicate their lives to the service of those in need. We need social workers and teachers. I wonder if articles like Thompson just turn good people away from teaching and social work. I’d rather have a million social workers than a million majors in marketing studies. In my ideal world, people who want to study business will go to apprenticeships like the BMW program and people who want to study the arts, humanities, engineering, sciences, and stuff like social work will go to university.Report

    • As long as people know what they’re getting into. What I find interesting is the juxtoposition or two points of view that often come from the same people:

      1. College graduates are right to be upset about their financial troubles. They went to college like they were told to.

      2. We shouldn’t be telling people not to go to college.


      1. College graduates are right to be upset about their financial troubles. They went to college like they were told to.

      2. College shouldn’t be about jobs and job prep. There are other reasons to go to college.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

        My issue with telling people not to go to college is that it often seems to end up with the wrong short-hand about who should and should not go to college.

        My view is that the bright and bookish kid with a deep love for learning will be told not to go to college if his or her parents were farmers, factory workers, in the trades, unemployed, or insert any other non-college graduate here.

        The entitled kid who just likes to party and puts in a half ass effort to his or her studies will go to college if his or her parents went to college and/or had graduate degrees and were nice professionals. Or the kid who just wants to major in business. This was covered in “Paying for the Party: How College Increases Inequality.”

        My concern is creating a system that does not let family history be destiny and this is how tracking systems often seem to go. Perhaps the only way to avoid is to say college is for everybody. If you can tell me how to create a system that gets the poor bookish student into college and keeps the dumb, rich kid out I would be intrigued. And no I don’t think the answer is just letting the poor bookish kid be self-educated because this will just mean you need to be rich and bookish to enjoy a college education and that goes against my sense of what is right.

        I also am cynical about what will happen if kids don’t go to college. I don’t think they will enter trades but will just end up as low-wage service workers who suffer potentially long bouts of unemployment. There is still plenty of economic evidence that college graduates suffer less unemployment and that not being a college graduate is a road to hand in mouth destitution as well. And not everyone is going to move to North Dakota or Alaska because you are still dealing with the social problem that people like to and sometimes need to stay close to friends and family. Skype doesn’t cut it for many people especially if you need mom to babysit the kids every now and then.

        The problem is that we have a system where you are damned if you don’t go to college and potentially damned if do go to college anyway. I agree that reforms and possibly radical reforms are necessary. I don’t agree that instantly telling kids that they should not go to college is going to make companies reconsider stances on credentialism.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think we waste a lot of resources sending kids to college out of high school; that a couple of years of experience being responsible for yourself is of real value before going to college.

        I’d like to see a community service option, particularly for kids who aren’t sure where/what they want. A couple years of military or community work in exchange for a couple years of college or some such seems like a grand notion; but of course, as in all things, the devil’s in the details.Report

      • If the justification for the anger and resentment of current college graduates is that they were told to do go college, then it seems problematic to continue to give that advice. I have difficulty rectifying those two things.

        My advice to individuals is to go to college, if you can. There are, clearly, cases where it simply doesn’t pay to go to college. None of what you said makes that go away. So if they’re going to college for expectations that will not be realized, it doesn’t seem right to encourage them to do so.

        It seems like quite the sort of thing that has a lot of people quite angry at the moment.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

        Saul and will,
        Correction: The black kid will be told, that despite him passing college courses in high school, that he ought not to look into college and instead ought to look at a vocational school. Guidance counselor may or may not receive a payout for this advice.

        /cynic just telling it like it is.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        Kim has it right about the downside of saying college isn’t for everybody. The people that are going to hear this are people of color even if they are immentiably suited for college. A white kid is only going to hear this if that white kid is really and painfully obviously not well-suited for college.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph says:

      The first picture reminded me of this. Many years ago, when I worked at Bell Labs, I met one of the other staff members there who was the world’s leading expert on flavors that squirrels and gophers disliked. So that non-toxic ingredients could be added to the outer insulation on cables that would discourage rodent attacks.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain says:

        And this is why it is a BAD IDEA to use peanut oil inside your fiberoptics.
        Also a national security issue.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I have a friend who has an irrational fear of squirrels as the devil’s pawns – partially caused by her time as a vet assistant, when a vet tech there (against policy) treated somebody’s pet squirrel and suffered a bite that almost caused the loss of a finger due to infection (had to get it scraped down to the bone), but also due to the fact that they have those soulless black eyes, and hands made for mischief.

        Also, speaking of the mayhem squirrels cause to infrastructure, I’ve told this story before, but when my son was three or so, he asked me how those cracks in pavement/asphalt get there. I tried to give him a simplified age-appropriate explanation of heat/cold expansion/contraction.

        He listened doubtfully, considered a moment, and then very seriously said, “Maybe squirrels did it.”

        Which is why “maybe squirrels did it” is now my default explanation, for any inexplicable phenomena or damage.Report

      • When I was the sole IT person at an office with a lot of older people who didn’t know computers all that well, the phrase was “The Gremlins did it” whenever anything went wrong with the computers.

        I found that it was easier to agree than to say “Actually, you renamed the file and stripped it of its extension” or the million other user-generated errors.

        What really drove me crazy was when they didn’t understand the difference between “I can’t find the link to the central database” and “The central database has been deleted.”Report

      • Squirrel: A rat with better costuming.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:


        My mom is currently trying to learn more about computers and get confident with them. She asks me to teach her stuff every now and then but my problem is that I just can intuite what to do or futz around until I figure it out. It isn’t something that I can explain. She would probably love your explanations.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain says:

        get her some decent help guides online. “How do i X” in a search engine does wonders. (also, linux geeks rock and love to help noobs).Report

  6. Avatar Kim says:

    I remember when DailyKos was explaining why gun control was such a hard sell to rural areas.
    I remember when folks were stamping their boots as Jon Tester said, “If we keep this Patriot Act, we’re gonna need our guns.”

    Gun control is possible, and even probable. As we see more and more people hurting others, folks want some solutions. That’s fine. But Mike Dwyer’s point on illegal gun sellers (online businessmen) is well taken. We may be able to achieve a lot simply by getting the ATF to harass the people semi-knowingly selling to bad guys.Report

  7. Avatar Pinky says:

    F1 – I’m surprised that this is being treated as new information. Fathers have a huge impact on daughters’ romantic lives. A good father provides a daughter with the sense of unconditional love. Maybe “the sense of” isn’t a strong enough way to put it. A girl can experiment with who she is around a father, and her understanding that his love isn’t based on her actions gives her confidence. Without that confidence, she’s more prone to shyness and/or seeking approval through promiscuity.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Pinky says:

      Without that confidence, she’s more prone to shyness and/or seeking approval through promiscuity.


      Shyness is mostly a function of introversion/extroversion; I don’t see that it has anything to do with confidence developed due to a father’s love; it’s brain wiring.

      And seeking approval through promiscuity? Maybe, sometimes. But often, it’s other things, too; one oft overlooked fact being that girls are every bit as sexual and horny as boys. Girls (at least some) like sex, that don’t just crave attention and approval.Report

    • Avatar Roger in reply to Pinky says:

      Fathers are extremely important. Complicating and amplifying matters is that fatherless households tend to be bunched geographically. Thus you have fatherless kids growing up surrounded by fatherless kids with no father figures.

      Culture may not explain everything, but it sure explains a hell of a lot.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Pinky says:

      I was reading something the other day about a twitter has tag for EndFathersDay because of rape, or something.

      It seemed so ridiculous I figured it for some kind of Poe, but part of me wonders if people weren’t serious…Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

      That story won’t load in Chrome or IE. I have no idea why he can’t get a bank account.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

        Loads fine for me. As for the why:

        Thousands of banks and credit unions screen would-be customers through databases like ChexSystems that document repeated overdrafts, bounced checks, unpaid balances and other behavior that could signal fraud. ChexSystems has declined to say how many people were listed in its database, but regulators say just about every lender subscribes to such services as a measure of fraud prevention.

        The bank account version of a bad credit rating, so to speak.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

        Fields is exactly the kind of customer banks say they want, a high earner ripe for a car loan, mortgage and all sorts of investments. But he is also among many people whom banks ignore — because his name appears in a little-known database that tracks financial transgressions, ChexSystems.

        But [Fields], like so many of them, ran into trouble that pushed him to the fringes of the financial system. Four years ago, Fields worked contract assignments that from time to time left him in between jobs. He said those stints of unemployment caused him to overdraw his account at U.S. Bank as he scrambled to pay bills. “I literally had no other option but to let the account be overdrawn until I was employed again,” Fields said.

        He eventually wound up with a negative $1,200 balance, half of which was in overdraft fees he couldn’t afford. U.S. Bank closed the account and sent the case to a debt collector. (A U.S. Bank spokesman declined to comment on Fields’s case, citing customer privacy rules. But the spokesman said that when an account is overdrawn for an extended period of time, the bank is required by regulators to close the account and charge off the balance due.)

        I’m shocked that banks are reluctant to give a checking account to a guy who wrote bad checks.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Morat20 says:

        I’m shocked that banks are reluctant to give a checking account to a guy who wrote bad checks.

        On one hand, yes, that’s a pretty fair point. On the other hand, banks are supposed to be sophisticated data analysis wizards who are really good at boiling your profile down to a single number that tells them whether you’re a big risk or not. I obviously don’t have all the data here, but I’d expect “current cash on hand” and “current income” to be really strong predictors, especially when combined with those variables when he was overdrawn.

        Then again, they all use the FICO score which, as far as I can tell, is a formula that was eyeballed by somebody using a spreadsheet program rather than something that actually came out of serious statistical work. With all the machine learning and “big data” analysis we do these days, it’s surprising to see stuff like that still treated as the gold standard.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

        Amex doesn’t just use FICO. it drops members if its analytics show that they may have lost their job (buy a ton from the liquor store…)Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Morat20 says:

        What makes you think he wrote bad checks?

        Its possible that he was simply the victim of fraud as in this class action lawsuit:

        Where the bank deliberately changes the timing of charges, so as to create the maximum number of overdrafts.

        I only point this out, given the nature of your comment- that you conclude that it was a moral failing on this guy’s part.

        It seems like an example of our double standard of morals- financial failure in a poor person is a moral lapse; criminal behavior by a bank is shrugged off- I mean, does anyone outside of Occupy refer to Wells Fargo as a criminal syndicate?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

        “What makes you think he wrote bad checks?”

        Because he said so? In the passive voice, to be sure, but that’s what he said he did.

        I’m sure there are freelancers on this very site that understand that one needs to budget their savings between gigs. Not just say ‘fish it, I have no other choice’.

        And there’s no indication he just wouldn’t do the same thing again if and when his current employment contract expires.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Morat20 says:

        @lwa – from the blockquote Kolohe pasted – “He eventually wound up with a negative $1,200 balance, half of which was in overdraft fees he couldn’t afford.”

        Put some responsibility on the bank if you like for the overdraft fees, but that sentence seems to indicate to me that Fields overdrew by at least $600 all on his own.

        And I didn’t see anywhere where Kolohe assigned a moral component to that overdrawing. Someone who previously wrote bad checks might be considered a business risk to a bank that provides checking accounts. They might well be a wonderful person who had no other choice in what happened, but if I’m the guy in charge of opening a new checking account for them…Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

        you do like the next shmuck and ask for collateral. “If you screw this over, we put a lien on your house.”

        I’m not saying giving him an account ought to be FREE, folks.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

        And morality has nothing to do with it. (though writing checks with insufficient funds is technically illegal). Fields made a business decision to overdraw his account, not pay the penalty, so the banks are making a business decision not to do business anymore with Fields. A result that is completely unsurprising.

        But you know, Walmart is giving him a chance, which I suppose makes them moral now?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

        current version of walmart is going out of business. does that make it immoraler?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

        “you do like the next shmuck and ask for collateral. “If you screw this over, we put a lien on your house.”

        Which actually is kinda a surprising that nobody’s doing it, and a market failure of sorts from being too risk adverse. I would think, and the article alludes to this, that if someone walked in with 20K+ to deposit – esp in the midwest – they would set up an account with a minimum account balance of somewhere between 10K – 15K with additional fees and penalties were the account to get below that amount. That’s something my big bank did (before I switched over to credit union only years ago).Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Morat20 says:

        Oh I agree the guy was irresponsible in managing his account; Was it deliberate though, or accidental?
        Compared to the deliberate conspiracy of how Wells Fargo can cheating its customers, and yet our society heaves a collective shrug, as if this is just, y’know, how things are.

        Think about it- their policy of deliberately pushing their customers into overdraft wasn’t a simple oversight, or accident. There were likely dozens of people within their organization who held meetings about it, discussed methods of doing it, ways of hiding the behavior. They knew it was wrong, had no compelling reason for it other than “we get a bonus at year end”.

        But when someone states clearly and correctly that Wells Fargo (and most of the Wall Street banks, as well as large government contractors) engaged in a criminal conspiracy, it sounds odd, shrill and hyperbolic.

        Yet we have no problem bringing the hammer of consequences down on this guy, or the welfare recipient who has drugs in their house, or lies on their application, or any one of a dozen other injustices, because, well, they Broke The Rules.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

        “We” aren’t doing this to him. The banks are. We are actively preventing the banks to do this to him, but that’s not the same thing.

        I supported the requirements that banks not be allowed to automatically put people on overdraft protection, for a variety of reasons. One of the downsides to the legislation, though, is that it gave banks even less reason to support risky borrowers given their inability to collect as much money in the case of risks realized. Maybe for their own good, maybe not. But it’s a thing.

        I’m not really at the point where we should say “Wells Fargo, you must service this customer despite the risks he may represent to you.” I’m not sure what argument you’ve provided that I should other than “Wells Fargo Bad.”Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    L3: Of its employees based in the U.S., 53 percent are white, 38 percent are Asian, 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black.


    European American 72.4 %
    Hispanic or Latino 16.4 %
    African American 12.6 %
    Asian American 4.8 %Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird says:

      Thank you. This discussion comes up over and over again and a lot of people seem to skip the obvious questions like, “What’s the breakdown of people who live near their offices? What are the statistics for college degrees in the relevant fields?” Some of the people writing articles about this stuff seem to think that Yahoo and Google can wave a magic wand and change the racial or gender breakdown of computer science graduates. To the extent that it is a “problem” they’re looking at the problem on the output side rather than the input side.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        The US freaking Gov’t has waved a magic wand and changed the racial and gender breakdown of CS Grads. (aka they have a wonderful diverse workforce, not that they actually did something about graduation rates).

        If they can manage it — and get more work done as a result, why doesn’t google?Report

      • Could you elaborate on this wand?

        Even granting that, Google is still dealing with a pipeline that is running behind that of the education system. It would take some time for the numbers to reflect the changes in racial educational apportionment.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        Sure, it’s easy. The US Gov’t has a reputation for a diverse STEM workforce that is fun for people who are minorities. Plus, the US Gov’t is always hiring.

        Get a rep for being good to a somewhat closeknit group, and they’ll show up in droves.

        (Google, in particular, is using a different strategy: “we’re the best at letting you have FUN!” … also free massages)Report

      • Gotcha. I thought you meant that the government did something in terms of education policy when you meant hiring. Makes more sense now.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        The US freaking Gov’t has waved a magic wand and changed the racial and gender breakdown of CS Grads.

        No, they changed which CS grads they selected from the pool. Which is all any organization can do without working hard to affect who studies what in school.

        My point is simply this: If, say, 20% of CS graduates are women, why would we expect the percentage of new hires of recent CS grads to deviate very far from that 20% figure? If a tech company ends up hiring 20% women, that’s a pretty good sign that they’re not discriminating by gender. If we have a problem with it not being 50% women, we should focus our efforts on getting more women to study CS in the first place, and at the elite level, that starts early. Slinging poop at the companies doing the hiring doesn’t really do much.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        the US gov’t is ALWAYS hiring. They can’t afford to turn competent scientists away. They aren’t changing who they’re hiring, they are changing the pool itself.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        I know I’m going to regret going down this rabbit hole to try to get to the root of the model you’re using, but let me give it a go.

        the US gov’t is ALWAYS hiring. They can’t afford to turn competent scientists away.

        Is the claim here that the government will hire any and all applicants with a computer science degree? Because my experience tells me that this claim is simply false.

        They aren’t changing who they’re hiring, they are changing the pool itself.

        You’ve said this twice, but I don’t see any reason to believe that it’s true. I suppose there may be department of education programs that try to get different people into CS and engineering programs. To the extent that that’s happening, I think that’s the only sensible way to change the outcome.

        But I don’t think that’s what you’re claiming. What I’m reading in your posts is that through some spooky action at a distance, the US government manages to make more degreed CS grads appear simply by hiring them. Are you saying that they can change the pool by actively hiring in proportions that don’t reflect the underlying pool frequencies, thus changing incentives for people who are thinking of going to college to enter the pool? I suppose that’s possible, but I think it would be hard to find in the data.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        sorry, nothing so complicated.
        The gov’t is changing their “hiring pool” …
        which consists of everyone who attempts to get hired by the government.
        The “general hiring pool” of “all cs grads” remains unchanged (well, except that the gov’t has pulled out some of the diversity, so…)Report

  9. I4: I’d wager that Sweden is better off without that guy. He’s blatantly obsessed with race and, if there’s a way to be anti-immigration without being xenophobic, he’s about as far from that ideal as I can imagine. He calls Pam Geller a “journalist.” Pam Fishing Geller! Even crazier – even as he seems to hold Pam Geller in inexplicably high regard, he’s about as anti-Semitic as they come.Report

  10. Avatar greginak says:

    T6- That was a pretty poorly argued case against bike helmets. He notes that most head injuries happen in cars but that is because car accidents are far different from bike injuries. And also cars have a lot of safety features, so it is more that major car accidents are very violent, energetic things. A bike accident can be simple and low energy yet still lead to a head injury. Apples v. Oranges comparison. I’ve read about that one study showing drivers give less space to cyclists wearing helmets. Ummm its just one study, not quite the bible, or koran or torah, of bike safety yet.

    The best reason not to wear a helmet is because you are riding safe streets with bike lanes or bike paths and are cruising along, not riding hard for fitness, so you are very likely to be safe. That is why biking w/o a helmet is so common in europe. Cruising in safe lanes, slower traffic and bike paths.Report

    • Avatar Roger in reply to greginak says:

      I really enjoyed the argument and found it reasonably well balanced.

      I do bike a lot, and tend to wear a helmet, especially when exercising hard as opposed to just pedaling somewhere.

      To the extent parents or regs force kids to wear helmets, they may very well be discouraging biking, exercise and healthy habits.


      • Avatar greginak in reply to Roger says:

        I still think comparing bike and car accidents is poor form. I agree there are tradeoffs in everything. however making kids wear helmets might also get them used to it, so they don’t turn into adults who think helmets give them cooties as some seem to now.Report

      • Avatar Roger in reply to Roger says:

        Maybe. Seems like the kind of thing I would want to know empirically before I made it a law though. Otherwise it is just a rationalization.Report

  11. Avatar Roger says:

    E4: the reason parents care about where other kids go to school is that one of the most important impacts they have on their kids is in choice of peers. Every parent knows this.

    A good school is composed of good kids from good families with responsible parents. This establishes a positive dynamic, a virtuous cycle. It attracts good teachers, it attracts adequate funding and so on.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Roger says:

      A good school is composed of motivated students, who are trained to excel. It need not have responsible parents or teachers.
      But your endgoals may differ drastically from mine.Report

      • Avatar Roger in reply to Kim says:

        Not sure where you disagree. The assumption parents tend to have is that responsible, bright, conscientious parents tend to have similar kids. Every study I have ever read reflects that statistically this is indeed at least a reasonable starting assumption.

        So parents avoid bad neighborhoods, low socioeconomic areas with crime and broken families (such as areas with low rates of father figures). It has nothing to do with my end goals. It has to do with the goals of parents to protect their kids from bad peers and get them into schools with good peers.

        As for teachers, many (not all) seem drawn to kids with a desire to learn without dysfunctional families.

        As I said, virtuous and vicious cycles.Report

    • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Roger says:

      Roger, did you read Conor’s piece? Parents in a different catchment area want kids in Conor’s catchment area to attend those public schools. So, the kids of the “other parents” that are referred to will not be attending the same schools as kids in Conor’s area.

      The issue is that the parents at the really good public schools need *all* public schools to be well-attended in order to have the political capital to demand a high quality middle school. So these parents want Conor’s kids to go to a crappy public elementary school so that their own kids can go to an even better middle school once they’re out of their really good elementary school.

      It’s pretty wretched.Report

  12. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    W1 – Thanks for that. I often find the NRA, et. al. to be a tough pill to swallow most times. Nice to know there are folks on the left concerned about gun rights as well who can’t stomach the NRA. I’ve added them to my feed.

    I’ll also add that lately, I have found that an apparently* growing segment of the left is becoming less & less tolerant of others. I have often found myself on the bad end of a “How can you support gun rights in light of the latest mass shooting?!”. It’s a false choice, akin to supporting gay rights in light of the latest Catholic priest molesting boys scandal.

    *Perhaps they are just more vocal thanks to the power of the internet, not sure.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      when your rights seem to be (falsely) impeding someone else’s urge to get stuff done, of course they want to understand you.

      The easiest and simplest answer is: “Because I can’t call the police.” A more complicated answer might be — “Because I like to help people along the side of the road, if they’re in trouble” (hereabouts that might be an ambush — not exaggerating).

      I remember when dailykos was calling for gun rights, and explaining to liberals why pushing for gun control was a bad plan (alienating rural america, which it damn well does — particularly places like Montana, which we need).Report

  13. Avatar Kim says:

    Well, I guess now we know why Dov (of AA) got fired:
    the consumerist posts video of him dancing naked in front of employees.Report