Linky Friday #76


Will Truman

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

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Yes, I am up late. Deadlines mean burning the midnight oil.

    S3 – All of that said, space near earth is still very empty.

    B1 – More drug war insanity… sigh.

    B2-B5 – This is why I stopped trying to lose weight. I just try to eat well & exercise as much as I can (not always easy when one knee is dodgy as hell).

    M2 – I just like to have phone conversations in private.

    Hp1 – I max out at about 2000 sq ft. Beyond that, I just get tired thinking about how much work it will be to clean the place. 1700-1800 is just about right (provided good storage/closet space).

    C6 – Well that is just going to stir things up again!Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    C3- Related an essay arguing that all children should be delinquents:

    A lot of the delinquency of yesteryear could have migrated online with today’s generation. It just could be that kids are expressing their anti-social tendencies online rather than in real life delinquency. As we discussed in Saul’s thread about that woman in South Carolina, modern kids are also under closer supervision than kids in the past. That kind of dampers the ability to be a delinquent. Zero-tolerance policies in schools don’t help either. This might also be evidence of Kevin Drum’s lead thesis.

    As a person that wasn’t particularly wild as a kid, teenager, or adult, I’m thrilled. The idealization of childhood and teenage delinquency always annoyed me because it suggested I was failing short in several ways because of my natural inclinations.Report

  3. Re: C2 [teenagers and sex]: the author very closely describes something that could be my own experience. And by the time I was in my late 20s and early 30s, it–or at least the way I handled and reacted to it–had become a very big problem. In other words, I agree with his argument.

    Re: Hi2 [MacArthur]: I know there’s a popular culture idea that the general was vain and, for example, insisted on liberating (Leyte?) when doing so wasn’t militarily feasible. But that–and his WWII generalship and even his Inchon Landing–isn’t my objection to him, and while I’m no expert in military matters, I usually don’t encounter people who question his ability as a commander to manage military operations. The main objections I have and most others seem to have is to what the author here concedes: the general’s insubordination to President Truman.

    Hi1 [rethinking time]: I just wouldn’t have guessed Tyler’s grandchildren would still be alive.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

      C2-Same here. The problem I have with the people that teen sex is that it assumes that every teenager could have this experience if they wanted to. Not everybody has either the inclination or the opportunity to engage in teen sexcapades or even twenty-something sexcapades for a variety of reasons. It would be nice to get some acknwoledgment that not everybody has the same opportunities or inclinations and we aren’t freaks.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:


        That was a really difficult period in my life. I can’t lay my bad reaction to it entirely to the way people talk about teen (and later) sex. I made choices I’m not proud of and chose to believe and say things that in retrospect I realize were wrong.

        But there certainly could have been ways in which society or education or whatever could have made things easier or less difficult. What gets me is that the ones who are supposed to be on the side of safe, informed choices seem to be the ones who adopt this rhetoric, the damaging nature of which the author in C2 outlines so well.

        By the way, I don’t know if you’re still in the situation I was in, but if so, all I can say is I’ve been there and I empathize.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I’m still in that situation.Report

  4. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    [C7] Texting from the toilet would seem to assuage some of the concerns by the employer in Burt’s post about employees spending too much time in the bathroom.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    McArthur was a military genius, and his direction of the occupation of Japan after WWII was a resoiunding success. The popular perception of him as a vain poseur is as accurate as that of J Edgar Hoover as a transvestite (which seems to be universal these days, even though it’s based on one unreliable informant.) It’s true that his attack on the Bonus Marchers was ghastly. For some reason that didn’t affect the reputation of his second-in-command, a guy named Eisenhower.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      My grandfather fought in the Pacific and he never talked about it (though he hinted at some things after he hit his 70’s… thinking about the other guys in his platoon every day, that sort of thing). He had a handful of rants that he didn’t mind giving, though, one involved how he was a democrat proud to have voted against Eisenhower because of the treatment of MacArthur.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      For some reason that didn’t affect the reputation of his second-in-command, a guy named Eisenhower.

      Or Patton, who had a more active role than Eisenhower. Though Eisenhower wasn’t second in command; MacArthur was the Army’s chief of staff, a full general (4 stars, though temporary, while he served as Chief of Staff; his permanent rank at the time was still Major General, 2 stars), and Eisenhower a lowly major.

      You’re also right that MacArthur’s reputation is undeserved, though his behavior in Korea almost makes it deserved. The insistence on a costly and bloody full invasion of the Philippines when it would have made more military sense to either bypass the islands or invade only the more strategically valuable ones, doesn’t help. But he definitely kicked ass once he got out of the surf with his pipe. And on the Marne and in the Argonne.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        Yeah, “second-in-command” was sloppy. Ike was MacArthur’s aide, and wound up writing the official incident report.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Patton’s reputation was somewhat hurt, actually, if I remember correctly. He was pretty brutal. Eisenhower was in an office somewhere.

        Of course, Patton made a career of hurting his reputation.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        Of course, Patton made a career of hurting his reputation.

        That’s quite a slap in the face.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Chris says:

        I can’t forgive MacArthur his insubordination in the Korea conflict. Not that we didn’t go down the path toward something like a militaristic state anyway, but his actions were emblematic of that bad thing.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Ho2-The San Francisco housing crisis is a problem of interesting proportions. Not all of the NIMBYism that led to the current housing crisis is necessarily bad. Opposing free way construction did a lot to keep San Francisco aesthetically beautiful, and lets face it freeways would have destroyed a lot of its prettiness, and probably did quite a bit to prevent San Franisco to suffer the fate of other old cities in the United States. San Franisco was hit less hard by suburbinzation than many other major American cities and remained viable.

    Part of what makes San Franisco a great place to live is how it looks and the fact that its a vibrant place. The issue facing San Francisco is how can it increase its housing stock without totally changing the aesthetics of the place. My suggestion is that there should be a lot more growth in the parts of San Francisco where tourists don’t normally tred, especially around the western and southern neighborhoods of the city and more investment in transit so people living in those neighborhoods have more access to the central parts of San Francisco.

    The other problem is that the other municipalities in the area aren’t doing their bit to absorb more people and expecting San Francisco to do all the work. Oakland and San Jose in particular could absorb more people because they are already big cities rather than single-family home suburbs so building apartments won’t effect the tone of the place.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I just read this morning that median home prices rose above the 1,000,000 Mark last month in the City and County. I’ve a friend who lives in Sunset, a few blocks away from SFSU and Lake Merced, and that’s where some of the “affordable” if often unbeautiful homes are. But when “affordable” is below a seven figure median price, either the housing solutions need to expand beyond the confines of the City and County (necessarily implication transit arteries given the peculiar geography) or we need to dramatically lens who it is that’s affording what.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        One of the big problems in San Francisco, its a problem in many other desirable cities but San Francisco has an especially bad case, is that NIMBYism is preventing new housing development because of greed as the link says. Our political system gives a lot of powers to the NIMBYs. New York City has NIMBYs to but they seem political impotent compared to the ones in San Francisco and its suburbs. Right across the street from me in my Brooklyn neighborhood, a really massive apartment compelx is being built. I can find several other new apartments in my neighborhood, Brooklyn, and the other boroughs easier.

        Liberals are pretty bad when it comes to housing policy. Too many refuse to allow new building to take place because of their vested interest. Either they are home owners that do not want to lose the value of their investment or they have rent control if they live in a city with rent control. Whats worse is that the opponents of building houses warp their self-interest with arguments about historical preservation, environmentalism, and social justice. At least Right NIMBYs are more honest that they are acting out of greed. You can deal with greedy people. People who confuse their self-interest with social justice, not so much.Report

      • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

        One person’s NIMBYism is another person’s local control.

        Who decides densities? The developer? At best he passes through the cost of the increased demand for services? The State? The County? The City? The neighborhood?

        Actually, in California, all of those entities have a voice. The Legislature demands that local agencies adopt General Plans and Specific Plans. The minimum requirements of those plans, including affordable housing elements are set by state law. But the actual content of the plans is largely set by the local government — counties for unincorporated areas and cities within their municipal boundaries. Conflicts between county plans and city plans, and the adequacy of plans can and frequently are litigated. And, because SF is on the water, the California Coastal Commission also gets involved in land use decisions.

        One of the things that really chaps my hide is people like Yglesias asserting that he knows best how people in SF and Silicon Valley ought to live. Increased density everywhere! That will solve the traffic problem!

        No. As the Los Angeles experience teaches, people tend to live not much more than 45 minutes commute from their place of employment, and 30 is better. Adding bus lines, subway lines, freeways, wider roads etc. will change residential demand around the hub of employment, but at the end of the day the traffic will rise to those levels.

        If the fine residents and elected officials of the City and County of SF don’t want to live in Manhattan, that’s their choice. And if it becomes impossible to hire a barista at a minimum wage, then give her a raise or persuade elected officials to expand the affordable housing element. But as a resident of a beach community myself, I have no desire for East Coast busybodies telling me that I’m to blame for failing to vote to raise the maximum height limit.

        And, by the way, SF is maxed out on its water supply. But I’m sure that new water can be found somewhere (in this drought-ridden state) to find a reliable long-term supply. Surely some rice farmers somewhere can be ‘persuaded’ to sell.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        At least some degree of local control over such matters seems reasonable to me. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they are immune from criticism for pursuing the policies that they do. Nor am I particularly obliged to feel a whole lot of sympathy when the pursued policies blow up in their collective faces.

        (As mentioned in my other comment, I am becoming convinced that San Francisco proper has done its part. I’ll stop singling them out. They’re suffering a lot of the consequences caused by surrounding areas, which is unfortunate. Of course, that’s one of the problems with NIMBYism and “local control”… you’re often pushing the problem elsewhere. Which is part of why I think such matters should be subject to some scrutiny and criticism where warranted.)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Burt Likko says:


        Sure we can agree on local control. The bigger issue for me is people who simultaneously want to limit housing and keep it affordable. The basic laws of supply and demand can’t be suspended just because we don’t like their effects. All we can ever do is get other people to pay the price one way or another so that we can hide the effects from ourselves to keep up the illusion that they’re not real.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Only way housing in SF can stay affordable is by having such good public transportation (and cheap food). Hereabouts most people spend so much on their cars (which depreciate) — food’s actually more expensive here too (supply chains are pretty long, i suppose — give the blackhearts that. 😉 ).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Local control is fine as long as it doesn’t get more local than the city or the county. Everything else makes necessary building impossible.Report

      • Avatar trumwill in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Counties. Cities shouldn’t exist.Report

      • @will-truman

        Re: counties over cities: I’d be interested to hear more. Have you written about it before?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @gabriel-conroy Wrote about it here.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Will, re: counties and cities. I just couldn’t disagree with you more vigorously. About a decade ago I got caught up on the research on city-county consolidation. My takeaway was that in a lot of cases it was a really bad idea because there was just too much variation in interests between city and county.

        Toledo, OH, for example, was talking about it for a while, mostly because they were losing businesses to the suburbs, and decided if they couldn’t lock the businesses inside their boundaries, they’d just redraw the boundaries back out around them. But Toledo covers only a small part of the county, and aside from a handful of suburbs, the bulk of the county is rural and classic small farm towns, folks who want nothing to do with Toledo governance, and a lot of whom actually drive across the state line to Indiana to do their shopping.

        Indianapolis/Marion County is often held out as a success, and it made more sense than Toledo because the city covered the bulk of the county, with the unincorporated areas forming a comparatively thin ring around the city. But the benefits have been very one-sided because of that, flowing primarily to the city, and in fact primarily to the upper middle class part of the city. It’s not by any means a disaster, not even really a failure, but it’s not what people make it out to be.

        (Curiously, it’s not just large cities that cover most of their counties where it’s successful, but also fairly small cities in very rural counties, like Deer Lodge, Montana. My take is that in each case the interests of the city and the interests of the rest of the county are not so disparate.)

        Of course you didn’t speak specifially to consolidation, but to eliminating cities in favor of county gov’t. But I think that’s a bad idea, too. As the case of Toledo (and Detroit, and many other places) shows, Tiebout sorting is a real thing. People often take competition between municipalities as a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily so. It’s a type of market and can hold municipalities accountable (Exit, when voice doesn’t work).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Will, it depends on the situation. If there aren’t any well-defined communities than I agree that counties are the only local government you need. Well defined and densely populated, by American standards, should be incorporated. Maybe we could do what Virginia does and make cities independent.

        What I do think we should do is consolidate the elected organs of local government but increase the numbers in those bodies.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @james-hanley It doesn’t surprise me at all that the benefits tend to flow in the direction of the city at the expense of the surrounding areas. The status quo favors the surrounding areas significantly and nixing cities is a negation of that unfair advantage. I am hardly the most yay-cities-boo-suburbs guy around here*, but it allows suburbs to absorb upper middle class and wealthy residents who get to avoid city taxes (excluding sales taxes where applicable) while taking advantage of city amenities and the conglomeration of people that the principle cities stand as the flagpole for.

        My prescription is, I admit, overly broad. There are counties in Montana the size of entire states and that would be a problem (Deer Lodge and Silver Bow being exceptions). But I believe it would be beneficial for at least over half of the cities and counties I’ve lived in. The advantage of some at the expense of others, of course, but advantageous more plus than minus in my view.

        * – I do find urbanists and liberals to be more predisposed to this idea than conservatives, though it’s important to remember this: bringing in the suburbs means bringing in suburban voters. The segregation of voters is an issue related to this.Report

      • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

        On counties v. cities: One of the most obscure areas of California public law is the LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCOs exist pursuant to state law, one for each county, and are made up of elected officials from the county, the cities in the county and the limited purpose agencies (water districts) within the county.

        LAFCOs draw lines. So if a city wants to expand into currently unincorporated county land, the city goes to the LAFCO and gets its boundary adjusted.

        LAFCO work is weird. On the one hand it’s highly technical and utterly obscure. And on the other hand its a critical planning tool by which people shift from county life — less regulated, but fewer services — to city life.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:


      The other problem is that the other municipalities in the area aren’t doing their bit to absorb more people and expecting San Francisco to do all the work.

      Thanks for mentioning this, because that’s one of the things I have become very convinced of over the last few weeks: that San Francisco isn’t really problem. Well, maybe they’re a part of it, but it’s really hard for me to be critical of SF itself when the surrounding areas are going further out of their way to provide considerably less density. I’m starting to think that a lot of my past criticisms have been misdirected.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        Lots of the people moving to San Francisco are single people. What they need are apartments of various size, depending on whether they want or need roomates, rather than single-family homes. Many of the suburban cities are admitently refusing to allowing for the construction of apartment buildings from what I understand.Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    [Hi1]: A few years ago, the unmarked grave of a Union solder was discovered along the road that the Union forces took to Nashville after the battle. Anyway, why it relates to Hi1 is that two children of Civil War veterans (with a third scheduled, but ultimately unable to attend) attended the reinterment ceremony. That’s two children of Civil War veterans, not great great grandchildren, not great grandchildren, not even grandchildren, but two children of Civil War veterans.Report

  8. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Hi2: I’m no military historian so I can’t comment on his WWII record, and by all the accounts I’ve heard MacArthur did a good job in post-war Japan, but that’s kind of outweighed by the fact that in the Korean War he tried to take actions (invading China) that would start a global thermonuclear war, and was only prevented by being fired. There’s worse generals in terms of battlefield competence (McClellan!), but it’s hard to top “nearly destroyed the world through aggressive arrogance”.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Since the pensions went to children of veterans, or wives, with no restrictions on when the children were born or the marriage made, some of it spans really unusual lengths of time. The last Civil War widow drawing a pension died in 2003 at age 93, but IIRC, he was 70-something and she was 16 when they got married.

    History happens. My mother remembers when electricity came to the small Iowa town where she lived as a girl. My grandmother told me about the kids chasing the first car that came through town.

    Inside every old person is a young person asking, “What the hell happened?”Report

  10. Avatar veronica d says:

    [S1, the little planet that could] All I know is Pluto and Charon sharing an atmosphere is the coolest thing I heard this week, and I heard a lot of cool stuff this week.

    [B2, weight loss] For most of my life I’ve struggled with weight, and just couldn’t keep it off. Until I began hormone therapy. After that I lost like 50 pounds in less than a year, and it stayed off.

    My experience probably won’t generalize.Report