Linky Friday #108


William S. Truman

Will. Flipping. Truman.

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209 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali says:

    [c3] Was it even real or is it one of those things where you just make up for the sake of making a point. I mean in this day and age, do people still get teased for reading comic books? It looks like a mash of stereotypes about why someone might get bullied.

    And also, what’s wrong with conformity.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    N5-When I read about sex stories like this my mind boggles at the mental gymnastics necessary to do such a creepy, disgusting, and immoral thing. I hope the guy is lying to get attention.

    C1-This reminds me of an interesting post on SlateStarCodex about the nerds. In the comments section there was a spirited debate on whether or not nerds exist in continental Europe. You can find nerd stereotypes in Anglophone and East Asian media but from what I can tell the nerd stereotype doesn’t exist in continental European or Latin American media for the most part.

    C2-Maybe its because I live in NYC but meeting women that are three or more inches taller than me is not that unusual.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to LeeEsq says:

      N5 – read up on Margaret Lovatt sometime. She loved a dolphin – for science!

      Also, and at risk of making myself that guy who halfheartedly-defended (some) bestiality – I personally find it pretty creepy as well. But as long as the animal is not being harmed (or appears to enjoy it), I’m not sure it’s all that huge a deal. Animals can enjoy sex for pleasure too (in fact, you could make an argument that pleasure is ALL animals enjoy sex for), nonverbal communication is definitely a ‘thing’, and there’s simply no moral argument that you can make that holds 100%, in my opinion.

      If you fall back on “verbal consent”, I hope you are prepared to blanket-condemn consensual sex between mutes, or people who are of differing levels of mental handicap, or even two adults of sound mind and body who happen to speak different languages. I also hope you are prepared to condemn me for rubbing that puppy in the park on his belly and scratching his butt, since if I did the same to you without your express consent, that would be assault.

      I mean, if you eat beef, not only did we DEFINITELY kill those cattle without their consent, but we probably ‘raped’ their parents (by masturbating a bull until we obtained his semen, then forcibly impregnating a cow with it).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

        That last point, @glyph , is an interesting one. The only counter I can think of that doesn’t just lazily fall on “Well, that’s just different,” type thinking is a utilitarian one: raping the cows feeds lots of people; raping the dolphin only benefits one dude. Which may be sufficient, but I dunno.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        In Margaret Lovatt’s case, it’s hard to make the case that it’s ‘rape’ at all – the dolphin would start to rub against her while they were training, and she would manually stimulate him to release, so he could, uh, ‘clear his mind’ and get back to the task at hand.

        She reportedly derived no sexual pleasure from it, though she said that the ability to thus have long uninterrupted training sessions (previously, when the dolphin got horny, she’d send him away to another tank and end the session) made her feel ‘closer’ to him.

        It’s just weird, in a way. If we see a guy who has a horse, and keeps it captive in a barn, only allowing it outside for set period of exercise every day (though to be fair, the horse does get feed/water/medical and dental care – just like a prisoner), we don’t say “Jesus! It’s just like you are keeping that horse in jail!” And if the owner wants to slaughter it for horsemeat he can. And criminy, he can actually RIDE the animal, to exhaustion or until it breaks its leg and he shoots it!

        But let the guy diddle the same horse with his relatively-micro penis, and all of a sudden we are worried he might have hurt the animal somehow. IMO, even if the animal doesn’t enjoy it, it’s probably less-invasive and risky and painful than much of the other stuff that is done to it (if it’s a mare, it’s much more likely to die in foalbirth after being bred with a stallion than it is to suffer harm from sex with a human).

        It’s weird for sure (though I am sure interspecies sex happens in the animal kingdom more than we realize), but cruelty or pain being pointlessly inflicted on an animal bothers me much much more.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Good points.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Glyph says:

        What Margaret Lovatt did seems only slightly better than bestiality for your jollies. I do not think that humans are able to reasonably determine an animal’s mood to decide that the animal is horny for them.

        Considering that humans are evolutionary omnivores, killing and eating other species for food is what we are supposed to do.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Glyph says:

        It’s okay to do this weird thing, so long as you didn’t enjoy it.

        If it’s because you enjoyed it, we’re going to have to lock you up.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        @leeesq I do not think that humans are able to reasonably determine an animal’s mood to decide that the animal is horny for them.

        You haven’t met many dogs, I assume?

        Considering that humans are evolutionary omnivores, killing and eating other species for food is what we are supposed to do.

        “Supposed” can be read several ways here, not all of which track nicely with “evolution”.

        I’m not a vegetarian, so I probably come across (hell, I probably AM) a hypocrite. But if some alien apex predator ever comes to this planet, I sure hope they want to have sex with me rather than eat me.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

        Remember, @glyph … Skpurpoir means skpurpoir.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        @kazzy – I am totally lost, and rot13 and Google did not help.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:


        Wait… did I just make a joke that went over your head??? Or was my joke just a miss??? Hmmm…

        The humor lies in “Skpurpoir” translating to “No” in the alien apex predator’s native language.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        @kazzy – ah, gotcha. Yeah, probably writing SKPURPOIR on a card and keeping it in your wallet wouldn’t be a bad idea. I don’t know if human vocal cords can even properly pronounce the word.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Glyph says:

        Jaybird, I am not concerned about the enjoyment of the human but the displeasure of the animal. Its the same principal why we forbid some other common perversion that starts with a p.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        You know how when macho-esque straight guys make it a point to say “I’m no homo” when they go on to support gay people? — which, whatever. I’m glad they’re supporting gay people.

        Anyway, I would like to officially state that I find bestiality gross. I would never do that. Yuck.

        But honestly, I cannot find anything wrong with consensual sex between humans and animals, at least animals who are large enough not to be hurt by the act.

        And obviously they can consent. I mean, have you been around a frisky animal?

        Anyway, yeah. Let your freak flag fly you crazy dolphin lover you!

        (Oh, and is there anything less macho than saying “macho-esque”?)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        I find getting animals drunk in order to obtain consent to be questionable in the extreme.
        I am further distressed to actually know this fact.
        I don’t think they do this at Harvard — you’re in Boston, do you know?
        (my brain is awful. I’m now wondering if you’re still capable of giving that secret “handshake”).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        There’s at least one game where they have the audio recording of one male dog fucking another male dog. The whimpers are pretty freaking horrible.
        [I don’t know WHY they put it in the soundtrack…]Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        @kim — Uh, that was fairly incoherent. Do you have an actual question?Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        @glyph — +1 🙂Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        You know, I don’t mean to be *totally* dismissive of @leeesq ‘s implication that we should frown upon all bestiality for the same reasons we frown upon pedophilia.

        After all, we know a twelve-year old human CAN “consent” (not in a legal or moral sense, but in a literal “yes, please” sense) to sexual activity with an older person – why, they can even initiate said activity!

        And yet, we know minors don’t have the intellectual capacity to judge all the ramifications of that decision (not least of which is that society will judge such a union harshly). So we pretend (legally and morally) that a minor’s consent is impossible, when what we REALLY mean is, a minor’s consent is *irrelevant* – because adult humans should know better, and should look out for minor humans.

        Which brings us back around to these dolphin-lovers.

        Interestingly, in both cases the human “partner” believes that “their” dolphin committed suicide, after being separated from them – unlike humans, dolphins are active (non-autonomous) breathers, and have to surface to get air; when they become depressed, they may sink to the bottom and simply stop breathing.

        So did the humans harm the dolphins by giving them a taste of intimacy, that was then ripped from them – and knowing what they had lost, the dolphins were then suicidally-inconsolable?

        Or was the issue REALLY that dolphins (as intelligent, social, wide-ranging mammals) should not have been held captive in the first place; and that it wasn’t really the dolphin-lovers’ sexual activity that is to blame, but the holding the dolphins captive, that ultimately led to their depression and death?

        (Or were the dolphins “ashamed” of what had happened – if they are intelligent, and have language and emotions, can “shame” be one?)

        Is it better to be in jail for a life sentence WITH occasional conjugal visits, or without? Conjugal visits might just make you realize the life you will never truly have. They might perversely be a “harm”, when added to the much larger harm of life imprisonment.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        @glyph — Well, my position here should be seen separate from the question of forced captivity, which is complicated by existence of pets.

        Anyway, yeah.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        pretty sure the girls in harems prefer them without conjugal visits.
        Of course, that might have something to do with their lives being endangered by meeting anyone who doesn’t live there.
        [Harem is a word, you might be advised to learn the definition].Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Glyph says:

        Glyph, thank you. This sums up my thoughts on the matter rather well.

        The law holds that certain people can not give meaningful consent in order to avoid some problematic ethical situations regarding sex. We hold that legal minors can not give consent even though the physical difference between a sixteen year old and a seventeen year old is usually next to nothing, we hold that the mentally incapacitated can not give legal consent even though we know that many people with various mental problems still have normal sexual urges, and we hold that people at a certain level of intoxication can not give meaninful consent even though we know that drunk and drugged sex happens all the time. This is simply because it can be very difficult in those situations to determine what consent is meaningul and what is forced or at least coerced. The law just decides to go for the side of caution as it often does.

        The same principal applies to animals. Even if we assume that animals can give meaningful consent, which I’m not really sure that I can buy as a theory, it is not going to be easy for the law to determine what is consenual and what is human on animal rape. Therefore, we go for the side of caution and just assume it is not consenual.

        veronicaD, not every sexual kink deserve the support of society. The sex positive people are just as wrong as their beliefs on human sexuality as the sex negative people. The mistake of the sex negative faction is they think that putting human sexuality under very strict controls is the way to produce a healthy society. It is not, we have ample evidence for it. The mistake of the sex positive people is they think that consent should be the only issue at hand when it comes to sexual ethics. I’m not sure if that is enough. for a healthy society. They ignore or wish away to many of the more problematic aspects of human society like jealousy. Most people might find monogamy chaffing at times but I’m not necessarily sure that polyamory will suit more people emotionally better. Jealously is still a very real thing. Even people who agree to an open relationship often find they have problems really dealing with the fact.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        @veronica-d – yeah, the captivity (or domestication) piece raises more issues, in both directions.

        On the one hand, a person having sex with a dolphin in the wild seems much less likely to trigger these conundrums – the animal’s “consent” is much more clear, and it seems they are less likely to be harmed in the long-term, since they can always go back to dolphins (unless other dolphins shun them now? Or the dolphin says “once you’ve had human, you never go back”?)

        But when we are talking about already-domesticated animals like cows or horses or dogs, it seems possible that bestiality is less harmful than a lot of the other stuff that people already do to them (including, possibly, captivity).

        I never thought I would be putting so much thought into this topic. Thanks a lot Obama!Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        wait, we’re calling rape “normal sexual urges”? The mentally handicapped ought not to be assumed to be getting consent from the other party…Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:


      Was it this post?

      People are saying that there are nerds in Europe. IIRC I saw a comic book and game shop when we were in Italy. I think it was in Sienna. The store looked pretty nerdy in the same way that those stores are nerdy in America.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yes, it was that post. There were people that argued that there were nerds in Europe and others that argued it was a strictly an Anglo/Asian phenomenon because Europeans do not associate academic intelligence with lack of social skills like Anglophone people do.

        There are obviously nerds or people with nerdist inclincations everywhere in the world but they might manifest differently. I can see why European people might find the nerd stereotype to be non-existent in Europe. Based on what I’ve read about teenagers in Europe, this might be some really big stereotyping on my part, is that there is much more tolerance for both teen drinking and teen sexuality in Europe. In Anglophone countries and I’m guessing many developed Asian countries to. This gives European teens more chances to socialize outside of school and might blunt some of the edges of nerdiness.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I did find the parts theorizing about whether and why nerds are less inclined to drinking, drugs, and cursing to be kind of interesting. Though I think people were trying to hard. A lot of it seemed to be “I am a nerd. I don’t drink or do drugs because….Therefore, other nerds don’t drink and do drugs for the same reasons!”Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Germans are pretty much all grognards. It’s hard to have the concept of Nerd when everyone’s like that.
        Italy? Yeah, totally not surprised that country isn’t head to heels in nerds.Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    U1-Works for me. Some of the really well-planned urbanism looks too stagy for my tastes.

    G2-I’m generally in favor of anti-discrimination statutes but they must be well-written and conform with other legal requirements.

    G3-Is the Republican immigration plan. LGM thoroughly mocked it.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      G2 : it wasn’t the bad law I was most disturbed about, it was the reaction of the law prof that Simple Justice was pointing out.

      G3 : when our legislative committees approve those kinds of messages on official sites, I can’t help but think that they’ve given up trying to be serious & now serve in Congress for the lulz.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        G2: The reaction of the law professor was really just typical of how the Far Left perceives the law. Its just another method to bring about their version of a just society to them. Any law that fails to do so or ruling that a law that does so is unconstitutinonal is rank betrayal.

        G3: One of my big problems with many Republicans is not that they have a different idea about government than I do but they seem really not serious about it. Serving in Congress for the lulz is right.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        That kind of ideological thinking is scary. Like back away slowly while making soothing sounds kind of scary.Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    N1: It’s my understanding that historians are pretty skeptical about what happened in Ramree, or at least the extent to which it happened. If I recall correctly, there’s evidence that substantially more of the IJA soldiers who went in came out than the croc story usually reports, for example, and that things like disease, infection, and dehydration were responsible for most of the deaths.

    Don’t get me wrong, the swamps of Myanmar may very well be the most inhospitable and nightmare-inducing places on Earth. Their fauna is basically a combination of the most deadly stuff from India and the most deadly stuff from the South Pacific, so you have the saltwater crocodiles, spotted kraits, king cobras, daboia, and these motherfishers (no combination of “giant” and “scorpion” can possibly be good), but more importantly those tidal swamps have no fresh water whatsoever, and are basically mosquito-filled malaria pits. I’m sure some of each got some of the soldiers.

    Here is the island (look at it with Earth, it’s impressive).Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      Sensational as the article is (and I’ll admit, I chose one of the more sensationally-written ones), it does refer to all those counterpoints and skepticism.

      Still, I’m a “print the legend” kinda guy. There might not have been quite so many deaths strictly from sharks after the Indianapolis either, but


    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      You know what’s interesting about the stories, (aside from their pleasing symmetry, dealing with opposing sides who had each committed slaughters) is that they are both also war-derived.

      I suspect that these possibly-tall-tales grow out of the same impulse, to talk about the abattoir of war (and posit a sort of divine retribution for its sins) without directly talking about it.

      Like small folktale versions of horror or sci-fi tales.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        This has me wondering – does this sort of animal story always pop up after any large battle/war in history? “Man becomes beast, then beast destroys man”?

        Like, are there old stories of wolves descending from the hills to ravage the wounded after a huge Viking battle?Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Hmm… I bet you’re right.

        The keres might count. They’re all over Greek myth and literature, where they’re described as having claws, wings, fangs, feathers, and such, eating those wounded in battle, “gnashing their white fangs, lowering, grim, bloody, unapproachable,” they “struggled for those who were falling, for they all were longing to drink dark blood… And when they had satisfied their souls with human blood, they would cast that one behind them, and rush back again into the tumult and the fray.”Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Glyph says:

        It was the rule that before the 20th century, disease and other ‘non-combat’ causes killed more soldiers than actual combat did. Then health care (and logistics) got better and killing got easier. and *then* (i.e. now) health care and logistics are even better, and a lot of killing has been turned into maiming.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        World War I was, I believe, the first major war in which most deaths were combat-related.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

        And if you could demonstrate that WWI resulted in the influenza becoming an epidemic (which I don’t think you can, though people have tried), that would cease to be true.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    C5: Maddox does make some good points… But why caption the article with the men/women thing? I didn’t see anyone making any argument of the sort.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

      I think he was upset because it was going to be an all-women party, and he took that as an indictment of men.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

      Because a few weeks ago I linked to the story of a fat woman who got nothing but fat-shaming from men when she was memed. The way I segued into the Maddox article (which I added later) did add a touch of confusion.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        Ah, I was thinking that it was a description of Maddox’s take, which I don’t think would be inaccurate (though only partly accurate, since Maddox has a host of complaints about the campaign).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

        Noted. I read it as stating that the initial argument made the men/women claim and that Maddox was right to push back against it.Report

      • I thought Maddox made a fair point about respecting the privacy of the individual in question. His privacy may have initially been violated by Reddit, but the do-gooders amplified it far above and beyond (to the point that it ended up on LF!).

        Even granting Maddox’s criticism, though, I do stand by my point that at least the motivations here were admirable. At least in comparison to the “overweight girl sitting on a chair in a treadmill finishing an episode of House” meme.

        But my blurb was kind of messy on that. I just wanted to include Maddox’s criticism.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

        Yea, I think Maddox makes some good points. I was actually thinking about the heteronormative angle while reading the initial piece.Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    V1: most of the USA (flamethrowers aren’t regulated much)Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    N1: they close with a reference to the ghosts of the soldiers?Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, that’s a little goofy (though they give it a little “Jack Palance” with a perhaps).

      You can find more dryly-written accounts of the same incident, but they don’t contain lines like

      One night British troops patrolling the periphery of the swampland reported hearing panicked screams of terror and gunfire emanating from within the darkness.

      I mean, that’s some “sweaty-pallid-Lt. Gorman-watching-the-staticky-helmet-video-feeds” stuff, right there.


      survivors reported how swarms of the aggressive animals descended upon them as terrified soldiers fired blindly in all directions in a futile effort to drive off their ravenous aggressors. Some reports from survivors described how the crocodiles would often appear out of nowhere from the murky water to drag screaming and thrashing men to their doom. The mosquito-clouded air was reported to be filled with the sounds of gunfire, snapping jaws, and the horrible gurgling cries of men being ripped to shreds


      The crocodiles, alerted by the din of warfare and the smell of blood, gathered among the mangroves, lying with their eyes above water, watchfully alert for their next meal. With the ebb of the tide, the crocodiles moved in on the dead, wounded, and uninjured men who had become mired in the mud.

      The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left…Of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about 20 were found alive


  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Re: G1

    “While “people” designates the broadest possible public as the subject of a political project, “taxpayer” advances a considerably narrower vision—and that’s why we should eliminate it from political rhetoric and punditry.”

    Um… no. Only if you accept the argument (generally advanced by the right but not exclusive to them) that income tax is the only tax that exists. Everyone pays taxes… or at least has taxes paid on their behalf. They may not pay income tax, but they pay sales tax and gasoline tax. They pay FICA taxes. They might pay property taxes. And, if they don’t directly pay property taxes, they likely do so indirectly as property tax expenses are a factor in their rent costs. Similarly, we all indirectly pay corporate taxes, to the extent that is factored into the pricing for goods and services.

    So, no, don’t object to the use of taxpayer by accepting the rhetoric that some large swath of the country pays no taxes. Use taxpayer and demand that it be used in its most inclusive (and literal) sense by pointing out just how many people pay taxes (i.e., 100%). And if anyone wants to argue that those taxes don’t count, ask them why. Demand a good explanation. And then skewer them the next time they try to argument that the government takes 50-cents out of every dollar because that is only possible by counting all those other taxes as, well, taxes.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    V1: I loathe to imagine the Internet and legal fights that are going to happen over whether people should be allowed to own this in the United States.

    V3: Shootings take a toll on people. I don’t know if this is going Godwin or not but the Nazis devised the Gas Chambers because the mass shootings were taking a psychological toll on the executioners and their executioners were hardened anti-Semites!

    C1: I also imagine that the culture of a place helps determine whether cliques form or not. One of the reasons I really love my undergrad and defend the existence of small liberal arts colleges is that for the most part, we all really wanted to be there. You kind of self-select when you choose to attend a small school over Large State University. Also since I went to a high school where the overwhelming push was to get into a good college/university, there was not much bullying for being good at school that I remember.Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    G3: This is either basically using their majority position to troll liberals and/or Idiocracy is on to us. I think it is really about trolling Democrats and liberals.

    Who the hell thought this was a good idea?Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      This fits quite well into my anti-Idiocracy theory. Far from being the fault of the poor and the less intelligent, it’s the supposedly smart elites that seem to be driving us full steam ahead into a world where people argue by meme and politics begins to increasingly look like professional wrestling.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to j r says:

        politics begins to increasingly look like professional wrestling.

        I’m pretty sure most of it is scripted, and has been for a long time. Political careers die suddenly when they go off script to much.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    C1: My daughter’s perfectly innocent descrption of the cliques at her middle school:

    “There’s the jocks and the nerds and the goths. And the popular kids, but no one likes them.”Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Did you read quotations from Yogi Berra to your daughter when she was young?Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      That actually calls into question the methodology of the study, since it basically defined popularity in context of who liked who.

      Can I ask what grade your daughter is in? I tend to associate cliques (and awareness of cliques) much more with high school than middle school, b/c transitioning from a linear model of popularity to a node-based multi-dimensional model of popularity requires a certain amount of social sophistication that middle-school aged students may not have developed.Report

  12. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Americans keep on moving to the Sun Belt. Hopefully this will make real estate prices drop in the Northeast and Northwest. Some thoughts

    1. Is this because air conditioning and other modern tech makes places like Phoenix and Houston more inhabitable? I don’t hate AC as much as my mom but the idea of needing it more often than not is not appealing.

    2. I am apparently in a minority for wanting more October and less July-August.

    3. Tyler Cowen predicted that this would happen because of Economic Stagnation in his two most recent books. He basically thinks America picked all the long-hanging fruit in the economy and we are going to enter a period of prolonged stagnation. The result is that people will move to low-cost Sun Belt areas.

    4. I still really like the desert.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      A lot of the low cost of sun belt living is because of policies that deliberately designed to ignore the costs of sun belt living like the true costs of water, sprawl, and car dependent transportation. Its kicking the can down the road.Report

    • Is this because air conditioning and other modern tech makes places like Phoenix and Houston more inhabitable? I don’t hate AC as much as my mom but the idea of needing it more often than not is not appealing.

      Your biases are showing. How about “Is this because forced air heating and other modern tech makes places like New York and Chicago more inhabitable? I don’t hate heating as much as my mom but the idea of needing it more often than not is not appealing.” I’ve been listening to one of my FB friends, who lives 100 miles or less north of NYC, whine all winter about setting her thermostat at 60 °F and still burning through $400 worth of oil each month. New England supports the population that it does because, in historical order, unsustainable wood harvesting, coal, natural gas. There are darned few places in the US where neither heating or cooling is needed.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Yesterday we had a heat pump installed. My wife wanted central AC for the few times a year it gets hot enough that it’s hard for her to sleep, and I figured we can spend a little more and have an alternative heat source as well (still have the gas furnace, because the heat pump is only really effective down to 17F, and we occasionally get that cold, but not often).Report

      • We have a similar arrangement. We burn more natural gas than you because, at high altitude, single-digit night time temps are not uncommon in the winter (and the occasional upslope where we get into negative double-digits). People use three different cooling technologies in the summer around here: AC, swamp coolers, and whole-house fans (with a few people who just do without). We do almost all our cooling with our whole-house fan, especially after I built my own controller. You have to be conscientious about getting it started in the evening and closing up in the morning, but that’s a habit that’s pretty easy to acquire.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

        We ran the AC last night for a bit and I think I might put in a single ceiling fan to help move the cold air about more efficiently.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:


        What does that even mean? The biases of people who talk about how they can have a monstrosity of a house are showing when they move to Las Vegas, aren’t they?

        Again we seem to be in this weird world where some biases are okay to show but not others.Report

  13. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    G5: I suppose you could make something of the fact that, IIRC, it was a Republican initiative to make Congerss and staffers use the exchanges because the Republicans believed that it would be the worst form of nightmare. A I recall, the idea that the government provided an employer-based healthcare plan was being spun as some sort of royal exception or carve-out instead of just being the way most white collar workers get their insurance.

    We’ll see how it plays out one way or the other. I’m sure that Senator Cruz will come up with all sorts of things to complain about that sound exactly like what we’ve complained about for years when it comes to health insurance. But hypocrisy it’s not. It’s just how we get our insurance now if we don’t have an employer-provided plan.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

      surrounding it with mature eucalyptus trees

      Plus the koala infestation doesn’t help. Those buggers are cute but mean.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Not all mid-20th century architecture is bad. I’m rather fond of the shiny glass skyscrappers and office buildings that were built from the 1950s to the mid-1960s. Lincoln Center also has a lot of aesthetic appeal. The key is to keep the architect under wraps and make sure that things do not get to out of hand like Brasilia.Report

    • Have I ever mentioned that some days I resent that the editors can put more than one link in their comments? Irrational, because you do all those other good things, but still…Report

    • Avatar LWA in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I’m sorry to report that within architectural circles, mid century Soviet style architecture is very popular.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LWA says:

        HUACs true targets should have been architects than. The Cold War was actually a boom of sort for abstract and high modernists artists of all sorts. Since the Communists were devoted to
        Socialist Realism, abstract artists got presented as the vanguard of freedom. Even the CIA got in on the act of promoting abstract art as inherently democratic. Good times, man. Good times.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA says:

        Well, we’re finally able to build the institutions that the folks in the 50’s mocked openly.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to LWA says:

        It turns out the Soviets were just good 21st century urbanists.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LWA says:

        Really? Maybe it’s just the case that living near the Brutalism capital of the free world, they’re deconstructing the mid-century fish you puny human buildings much faster than they’re building any.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LWA says:

        It’s true. Government architecture is losing its honesty.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to LWA says:


        Architect and critic Leon Krier wrote (only half facetiously) that after the war, the Allies should have sent the Nazi rocket engineers into disgrace, and imported Albert Speer to restore Classical architecture to its rightful place as the canon.

        His point was that if we are able to cleanly separate rocket design from its Nazi origins, so we should be able to exorcize fascism from Speer’s Classical designs.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LWA says:


        Isn’t the whole philosophy of Brutalism because the grand old European architecture was supposed to symbolize the bad old days of Imperialism which eventually led to WWI and WWII? Plus concrete was cheap and Europe needed to build a lot of stuff quickly.

        I’m partial to having everything look like Hunterwasser personally (not this a joke but I do admire his sense of play…)Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LWA says:

        I really like Art Nouveau and turn of the 20th century architecture. Art Deco is also fine.

        A lot of architects rejected classical architecture long before the Nazis were defeated. It was seen as petty, pedestrian, and bourgeoisie. The Nazi and fascist affection for classical architecture, even though there was a lot of proto-Brutalism in Speer’s stripped down version of it just, was convenient cover.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LWA says:

        @saul-degraw that doesn’t explain the affection for brutalism in North American, South American, and Australian architects. Brasilia is brutalism on crack.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to LWA says:

        Yeah, pretty much, although there were/ are as many theoretical manifestos of architecture as there are architects, so any style of architecture can mean diametrically opposing ideas (like how Classicism represented both democracy for Jefferson and fascism for Speer) .

        Which is my main gripe about the modern movement- it broke free of the culture around it (even breaking ties with the non-architect cultural elites) and became fixated on its own self, lacking the ability to communicate with anyone else.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

        I think brutalism was also just a lot of learning how to work with concrete. I expect with 3D printing, we’ll see a resurgence of concrete structures, but with more elegance.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Fallingwater is the worst, though. It’s structurally unsound and full of mold and the only way you can appreciate it’s beauty is by standing in a creek. It’s the epitome of architectural overreach.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to Alan Scott says:

        This. The first rule of design is Form follows Function. And Fallingwater fails.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Alan Scott says:

        The function of Fallingwater was for rich eccentric childless department store heir to spend the rest of the family fortune before being bought out by Macy’s

        Mission accomplished.

        (The creek does cool things off quite nicely without central AC. Wright was told to reinforce that one cantilever, but of course he ignored that person. They have fixed it in the last few years, though. The interior design does have a timeless elegance, if a bit rustic)Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Alan Scott says:

        I don’t care. It looks great and this proves modernism can create beauty.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Alan Scott says:

        I was having a discussion about how I hate Wright with my sister’s fiancee, who went to school for architecture. He told me “look at the interiors.”

        And I’ve got to admit. As much as I think Frank Lloyd Wright’s exterior designs are a ridiculous notions that fail to understand the difference between art and design, the inside of Fallingwater looks gorgeous.Report

  14. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Or Cruz could have bought insurance on the open market instead of through his employer. But that would have cost more, and if there’s one thing we don’t expect of Highly Principled People, it’s putting their money where their mouth is.Report

    • If I don’t like the insurance company my wife’s employer provides through, am I a hypocrite or unprincipled for not buying an alternative plan on our own? Are people who don’t think that insurance should be tied to employment at all hypocrites or unprincipled for availing themselves of employer-provided insurance?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        If ending employer-provided insurance was something you were willing to shut down your company over, then, yes, taking advantage of it is hypocritical.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Cruz isn’t a hypocrite here. The basic story is Guy buys employer supplied insurance. Not a really big thing. It’s good he has that option and given they are rich they can afford the gold plan. The question is does Cruz think everybody should have that same ability and if they aren’t rich can they get some sort of subsidy.

        I’ll not that even though Cruz is supposed to be smart guy when he was asked months/year ago about HI he said he didnt’ get any help at all, the got it through his wife. He didn’t seem to know employer based HI gets a tax break.Report

      • He is only inclined to use the exchanges because he failed, and the previous arrangement is no longer available to him because the law he opposed is still the law. This entire situation is due to the law he tried to kill.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Really? He can’t go to an insurance company privately to buy insurance?

        Even if he has to use the exchanges, the story is still Guy buys insurance. Just like people have been doing for a long time. And did his wife have to leave her sweet Goldman Sachs job. Of course if she had to leave her job that could be hard on a family. Because having to stay is a great job, or even a crappy job especially a crappy job, to keep insurance, would really suck.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        Making alternative arrangement would cost money, and he’s a crusader, not a lunatic.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        Liberals can have zero charitable donations, fly on private jets to environmentalist conferences, and owe money in taxes and it’s no biggie.

        But when a Conservative buys insurance?Report

      • He can’t have the health care plan that he had before the law was passed,or any reasonable equivalent. He can buy private insurance, but only if he forgoes the employer subsidy. To get the employer subsidy (the same one he had before the law was passed, more or less) he has to go through the exchanges.

        Yet we’re supposed to believe he is taking advantage of something PPACA gave him?Report

      • Making alternative arrangements wouldn’t be necessary without the law.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Not sure of your argument here Will. He is losing the sweet employer subsidy he had through his wife’s plan. He is lucky to be in a postilion to have that choice but they have money so they can have that option. His choice is between which subsidy he gets: sweet Senate insurance although or his wife’s plan.

        If the complaint is he cant’ get the exact insurance he wants then forward that complaint to the cry me a river section. That sucks for him but of course that is the reality of the insurance market and was worse before the ACA. I and the wife had insurance providers change then told to change docs or hospitals or had options completely removed. And of course there were the people with pre-existing conditions who sort of had the choice of where to get HI changed for them. If that is his problem then he needs to get out of his bubble and see how the rest of country lives.

        He is making a choice about where to get his insurance, which is great i’m glad he has the ability to make choices about which insurance plan to buy….that sounds like a great thing to have.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        “Making alternative arrangement would cost money, and he’s a crusader, not a lunatic”

        He *had* alternate arrangements, under his wife’s insurance plan. Now, since his wife quit her job, the law doesn’t allow him to make alternative arrangements for himself.


        (i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are–

        (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

        (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

        (ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

        (I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term ‘Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

        (II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term ‘congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.


      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Will, how would have not have to make alternative arrangements without the ACA. His wife is leaving her job where they used to get their HI from. In the past they could have used COBRA which costs a fortune but would have worked. In the past he would have just signed up for HI through his senate job where they all got HI.

        I don’t think he is a hypocrite, but i’m also not seeing where the complaint is from his side. He has options, one of which is through his job, just like it was before.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        @kolohe You do know that it was the R’s who put forward the change in the congressional insurance plan?

        Before ACA he had the ability to get senate insurance; now after the ACA he has the ability to get senate insurance. How is he a suffering?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        Alternatively, we’re close to “Why didn’t the Clintons nor the Obamas send their daughters to public school?” (like the Carters did)Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        It was the R’s, but it wasn’t Cruz. Unless he borrowed Obama’s time machine.

        (maybe that’s where the florist took off to)Report

      • @greginak

        In the past he would have just signed up for HI through his senate job where they all got HI.

        Right! And how he can’t. I’m not referring to joining the congressional health care plan as “alternate arrangements”… but I guess you are? PPACA changed it to where “through his senate job” is the exchanges. Which makes criticizing him for using the exchanges so ridiculous. The law was set up so that senators would.

        It’s as interesting as wealthy liberals paying the lower taxes under the Bush tax cuts, even though if they were “really principled” they could have continued to pay the Clinton-era tax levels.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        The Clintons and the Obamas knew that sending their child to public school would disrupt everything and force the schools in the district to impose stuff like security guards and metal detectors. Knowing that subjecting children to that is immoral, they decided to make the sacrifice of sending their children to private school for the sake of the greatest good for *ALL* children.

        This is completely different from when Bush did it.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        “How is he a suffering?”

        he’s not suffering, except for an excess of gotchaitis because the headlines (in the left of center blogowebs) are “Ha Ha! [/nelsonmuntzfont] Cruz Signs Up for Obamacare!”Report

      • It’s the gotcha-itis that’s driving me crazy here. It really has the inside track on “The Exemplar of our Vacuous Political Discourse Award for 2015″… and worse yet, it has me defending Ted Cruz.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will Okay i see what is happening. I’m not criticizing him for being a hypocrite or getting HI through his work. That is fine and dandy. I’m fine with criticizing him and other R’s for their whining about his having to get HI through the exchanges. If you get employer provided insurance sometimes you have to deal with the plan/provider/benefits changing. That is the way of the world with employer provided insurance. Not really what i think is the best set up but its what we got. What Cruz is going through is ordinary reality for employer insured people. He isn’t a hypocrite but if R’s aren’t happy then they also need to remember the congress going to the exchanges was their idea. If he doesn’t like it then we’re all still waiting for the R’s HI plan that will solve all these problems.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Yeah i see you on the Gotcha-itis. I’ll then assume you will see me on the mega tons of ” the ACA is destroying the nation!!!!!!!!!!” bilge that R’s are still dishing out. Because the stuff Teddy is getting is a mili-thingee of the bs and lies and distortions that have been spun out.

        Check out the link i posted below for a fairly tame example of the criticisms of the R’s and the funny ironic responses.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’ll not that even though Cruz is supposed to be smart guy when he was asked months/year ago about HI he said he didnt’ get any help at all, the got it through his wife. He didn’t seem to know employer based HI gets a tax break.

        Any benefit he derived from that was likely more than offset by the higher marginal rates needed to compensate for the employer health insurance tax deduction. Tax deductions are bad, but they’re bad because they distort signals and incentives, not because they’re a big handout to anyone who takes them.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        Once more: if you’re willing to threaten the destruction of the entire world economy by make the US federal government default on its debts, because you consider Obamacare to be just that evil, and then you actually take part in it purely to save a few bucks, you are a giant flaming hypocrite.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress

        And that covers every possibility, since there is no longer a private insurance industry.Report

      • @greginak I haven’t the slightest clue what you’re talking about. Critics of PPACA were the very model of restraint and cold accuracy throughout the entire debate, and have been ever since!


      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will-truman Oh sure take the light hearted jokey yet reasonable way out. Fine if you want to play dirty.Report

      • Well, if you want that earnest crap, here it is: If there is or has been a time where I have been more frustrated at the totality of the GOP as a whole (instead of just this wing or that one) I do not know what it is. Their entire stance throughout the entire debate was somewhere in between grossly cynical and despicable and PPACA was far better than the GOP deserved given their conduct throughout, virtually from one end of the party to the other. I didn’t quite get on board with PPACA, but a part of me wanted to just to spite them.

        That doesn’t absolve the Democratic Party of its sins, in the debate and outside of it, but it was an incredibly sorry affair for the elephants.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        [the GOP’s] entire stance throughout the entire debate was somewhere in between grossly cynical and despicable

        I.e, it took place since 1994.Report

  15. Avatar Dand says:

    Warren Meyer on why he once flew the Confederate flag but doesn’t any more:

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Dand says:

      I wonder when he went to college. I think I may have mentioned before that my high school nickname was The Rebels. When I got there, they’d just built a new gym, which contained a picture of the mascot (a rebel colonel, like so many schools nicknamed The Rebels) in what was unmistakably an all-gray Confederate uniform, but with no flag. In the old gym, the same colonel was there, but he had a Confederate flag on his hat, and there was a big ol’ Confederate flag behind him.

      While there wasn’t enough pressure to change the nickname and mascot, there was enough pressure even in a small southern town to get rid of the flag in the new gym. This led to a pro-flag reaction which culminated in the Senior Committee (or whatever they were called) for my graduating class producing “Southern Pride” senior t-shirts with a big ol’ flag on them and a statement about always waving the flag. Needless to say, the committee was made up entirely of white students, the initial anger at the t-shirts was followed by a boycott; alternative shirts were made (I don’t remember by whom), and I’m pretty sure the committee lost money on the shirts because they didn’t sell enough of them.

      This was in 1994, and it’s not like the sentiments doing battle then were new even then. If you hadn’t heard about the debate by the mid-90s, I’m guessing your eyes and ears were closed.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

        My recollection is that in ’94 it was easier to tune out that it later became, and to think it was still mostly about the Dukes of Hazard. A live debate, at least and at most. The tide on it really didn’t seem to start to turn until the late decade.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chris says:

        Warren is older than me, and I was I college in the mid 90’s, so he probably went in the late 80’s or so.

        Less internet, easier to be blind to ongoing debates.Report

      • Avatar Dand in reply to Chris says:

        He was at Princeton at the same time as Elena Kagan and Eliot Spitzer so late 70s early 80s.

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:


        My high school was founded in the post WWII era in New York was the second high school in town. It was called South for being on the South side of town and the mascot was the rebels. Sometime in the 1960s or early 70s, the Confederate Rebel became a Revolutionary War rebel and our colors became Orange and Blue.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:


        Now I know what Daisy Duke looks like. Wow…..Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chris says:

        The reference to David Brooks’ “Organization Kids” still rings true.

        And yes, @saul-degraw , Daisy Duke in those short shorts and the midriff-tied gingham shirt was something of an iconic figure for people of a certain age bracket. As was Princess Leia in a metal bikini.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Chris says:

        @burt-likko , @all-yall-heterosexual-star-wars-nerdboys:

        As was Princess Leia in a metal bikini.

        There is no greater proof of how fished up straight men are than the continued adoration of that Slave Leia costume.

        Click on that link, and look at at Carrie Fischer’s face in that picture. That face says “we are having none of this bullshit and if you even try to touch me I will choke your gross Hutt self to death with the chain of my oppression.” How oblivious to women or just plain sexually repressed does someone have to be to find that sexy?Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Alan Scott says:

          Well, @alan-scott , I don’t doubt that the costume was uncomfortable to wear.

          But, you see, we weren’t really looking so much at her face as at what had been underneath all those billowy white robes in the previous two movies.

          And yes, we were all repressed, too: sexually, and otherwise. This was the Reagan Era.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chris says:

        Alan, I have no idea if Aaron Rogers has ever asked Olivia Munn to dress up in hers, but I wouldn’t fault him if he has. (unless that’s why he didn’t beat the spread against the Seahawks in January, and I would have had fifty more dollars to my name at the end of the month)

        (though I would have bet the wrong way on the Superbowl then, so I can’t fault Aaron that much anyway)Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        @alan-scott – If I didn’t already know you were gay, you would have just given the game away. 😉

        First, divorced entirely from known plot context, a smolder like that can connote something entirely else. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

        Second, even considering plot context, I don’t know if you watch Justified, but Deputy Tim Gutterson recently explained that he’d like to die thusly: “…I want Sigourney Weaver to choke me out with her thighs.”

        Carrie Fisher, at that time, choking me with the “chain of her oppression” frankly doesn’t sound so bad either. Determined, bad-ass women ARE sexy.

        (Besides, it’s not like narrowed-eye, “I’ma KEEL you”-face is all that unusual in cheesecake/beefcake shots).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:


        “Carrie Fisher, at that time, choking me with the “chain of her oppression” frankly doesn’t sound so bad either. Determined, bad-ass women ARE sexy.”

        TMI dude…..


        I imagine many guys were around 12-13 when they first saw the famous Leia costume from Return of the Jedi. That outfit is hot stuff for 13 year old boys and they are also too young to be cognizant that it might be uncomfortable.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Chris says:

        The obvious solution is to make Che Guevara the Rebels’ mascot, with a hammer and sickle behind him. That couldn’t possibly offend anyone, right?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        People who write under the name “Jane Galt” shouldn’t throw stones,Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Dand says:

      Let’s assume for a moment that everyone who wants to display this symbol on their car is a racist. Shouldn’t we be thrilled if they want to do so? Here would be a program where racists would voluntarily self-identify to all as a racist (they would even pay extra to do so!) What would be a greater public service?

      This feels like an argument that only a straight white dude could make. It basically presupposes that all racists are cartoon villains and that the harm they do is personal and intentional.

      That’s not, for the most part, how racism (or sexism or homophobia etc, etc) works. If every day on my drive to work I see several cars with bumper stickers that say “God Hates Fags”, how am I in any way helped by knowing that the drivers of those cars are homophobes? Am I supposed to honk at them or cut them off to show my displeasure or something like that? All it’s really accomplished is to remind me that a bunch of people think I should burn in hell for my sexuality.

      Now, weighing the free speech rights of homophobes against my right to not have a miserable drive to work means that there shouldn’t be a law against those bumper stickers. But that doesn’t mean we should be encouraging bigots to self-identify by decorating their cars, and it definitely doesn’t mean that the State DMV should be sanctioning the process.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Alan Scott says:

        There is something to be said for letting people self-identify. For instance, someone who has a room for rent can’t post on Craigslist that they are only willing to rent that room to straight white males, but we should be able to agree that there isn’t much that the law can do to effectively force that person not to discriminate. In that situation it might be very helpful to anyone who isn’t a straight white male to know in advance who the bigots are, so they don’t waste their time and energy looking at rooms they won’t get. And even in situations when the law can force bigots to provide goods and services to everyone, some people might want to know who the bigots are so that they can avoid giving the bigots their money.

        At the end of the day, it is likely an individual preference. Personally, I want to know more information not less, but lots of people would likely prefer it the other way.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Alan Scott says:


        I agree with you. The problem for Texas and other states is that by allowing some groups to have license plates, you turn those things into limited public forums and that comes with 1st Amendment Protection. The best thing to do would probably be if the states just didn’t have specialized license plates at all.*

        *People can just get bumper stickers if they really want to spread a message. There is no need for it to be on a license plate.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Alan Scott says:

        The point is typically fundraising for the state. I’m not a big fan of it, either, though I do like having options if a state has a bad default design. It would be better if it were a closed system, though.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Alan Scott says:


        From what I understand, the states don’t raise that much money from license plates.Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The jury in Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins has come back with a verdict.

    Twitter is reporting that Perkins has a total win. Pao got nothing.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yup, she got a donut hole. Congratulations to Lynne Hermle of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe for scoring a very high-visibility defense verdict.

      I wonder if the immense compensation put into evidence turned the jury off — and if so, what to think about that. It seems like it ought to be “Doesn’t matter how much someone makes, she shouldn’t have to put up with a bunch of sexist B.S. to earn what her skills and education are worth,” but on the other hand, it’s easy to imagine jurors thinking “She got paid how much money to do what exactly?” and figured she’d already been compensated for whatever B.S. she had to deal with.

      But I am pretty sure that the relationship with a married colleague which allegedly sparked the retaliation was consensual (you may recall that according to her, he lied about being estranged from his wife) was the ultimately bigger problem. It’s very easy to imagine a jury finding multiple ways to hold that against her notwithstanding her claim that she’d been deceived.Report

  17. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    V3: She was attacked by a man whose intent was to provoke deadly violence from her–and yet she retreated, gave clear warning before firing, and only fired a single bullet. That’s a sharp contrast to the actions of the officers involved in most of the recent high-profile shootings.
    This is the keystone, I think:

    The path that led Person to her meeting with Shea began when she was 6 years old, when she saw an episode of CHiPs.
    “Nobody becomes a cop because they want to kill someone,” she said. “I saw these guys in such awesome uniforms and I decided I wanted to be like them.”

    I don’t think any of today’s police officers are serving because of CHiPs. If any shows were the inspiration to today’s police officers, they were shows where all criminals are violent psychopaths and the police regularly shot and killed the badguys.

    That attitude of paranoia that Person developed only after being attacked by a knife-weilding maniac? Today’s police officers are trained to think that way by the time they’re out of the academy. People can and do become cops because they want to kill someone, and even those that don’t are corrupted by those attitudes.

    Maybe in a few years time we’ll see people who were inspired to be cops by Brooklyn 99, and not by a host of grim police procedurals. But I’m not holding my breath.Report

  18. Avatar ScarletNumber says:


    I know Clickhole is being tongue-in-cheek, but it would help some people to be less obnoxious. Yes, kids too.

    (comment modified by administrator)Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Well, if Krugman says so…Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well Krugdude is an economist so his view is a value free scientific Fact.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        That is a weak argument even by your occasionally purposefully dada standards. The facts say so. 3 million jobs have been added to the U.S. economy and 500,000 of them in California.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        Don’t you know by now that an economist is only an economist if they advocate for conservative-libertarian free market and anti-welfare state views? Otherwise they are just to be mocked and ignored.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird says:

        “even by your occasionally purposefully dada standards.”

        I like this wordage so much, I am appropriating it in the name of the people, and will use it without compensation to the rightful owner.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think it’s more that arguing that bloodletting doesn’t necessarily kill patients.

        The fact that jobs went up in California doesn’t say anything, necessarily, about the ACA or blue California at all (any more than the unemployment numbers that immediately followed the PPACA’s passage says anything about the legislation).

        I think that we’d all be a lot better served to figure out what happened in California and why and see if that can’t be replicated.

        Unless, of course, you’d agree that Texas was an exemplar over the last five years…Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

        Krugman is being somewhat disingenuous by characterizing regulatory uncertainty as “hurt feelings.” The claim was that businesses would be wary of investing in a political climate where there was a chance that the current administration might pass new laws or taxes that could damage the value of those investments. I don’t know how much of a factor that actually was, but it’s a much more tenable claim than what Krugman presents here, which is not even close enough to rise to the level of caricature.

        As for the claim that the ACA isn’t a problem for employment, who can say what would have happened without it? The recovery might have come sooner and/or been larger. Or not. IIRC, Krugman made an argument regarding the stimulus that was essentially the mirror image of this: That the recession would have been more severe without the stimulus, and less severe with a larger stimulus.

        You can’t draw any real conclusions about macroeconomic policy from what is essentially a single uncontrolled data point.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think it’s more that arguing that bloodletting doesn’t necessarily kill patients.

        That’s actually an interesting observation and well worth mentioning when a lot of people insist that bloodletting will kill the patient with 100% certainty.

        Now that the sky hasn’t fallen and we’re moving from, “This thing will kill the economy and we’ll all be fighting over roadkill for dinner!” to, “Well, things would have been even better without it,” I think we’re moving in the right direction. Hopefully in a couple of years when the thing is fully rolled out and stable and our unemployment and growth rates are within historical norms, we can stop speculating. But probably not.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        This is the classic argument in a subject where changing one inout while keeping all others constant is not possible.

        “I did A and got X.”
        “Yeah, but at the same time you did A, B and C happened, and that’s why you got X. Without A, you’d have gotten twice as much X.”

        And then, because it’s economics, A also is either exploitive or creates moral hazard. And is probably unconstitutional or at least the Founders would never have approved.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      From NYT “Well, in the first year of the Affordable Care Act’s full implementation”

      From Obamacare Facts (pro ppaca website) “The ObamaCare Employer Mandate / Employer Penalty, originally set to begin in 2014, was delayed until 2015 / 2016.”

      But if Krugman says so, then I guess 2014 was the first year of the Afforable Care Act’s full implementation.

      Because doubting Krugman’s data is dada.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

        K, I think its fair to assume all economists have values/morals that infuse their theoretical viewpoints.

        I’m fine with pointing out things the ACA hasn’t done or been fully implemented. I’m also fine with pointing out things that are working or where critics are wrong.

        16+ million new insured people so far. Biggest drop in the number of uninsured people ever.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        Sure, but that’s a different conversation than the one that launched this subthread. Otherwise, it’s the Soviets defeated the Nazis, thus Communism works.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        It worked a lot better than Czarism, when Russia could barely beat Austria-Hungary.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        They kicked Napoleon’s ass to the curb.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        Things really fell apart in the intervening hundred years. Part of it is that Russia failed to industrialize, so it couldn’t compete with countries with modern munitions industries, but the rot went deeper than that. And another part is that the Central Powers’ supply lines weren’t anything like as overextended as Napoleon’s were, partly due to geography and partly due to modern transportation.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

        If Solzhenitsyn is to be believed, the corruption and mental atrophy of the aristocracy was directly responsible for Russia’s World War I performance.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        Not having enough guns didn’t help either.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

        In addition to the whole “you’d rather play defense than offense” issue when it comes to war (due to logistical issues alone), Russia had winter on its side.

        For hundreds of years, Russian warfare consisted of “attack us and we will retreat, attack us some more and we will retreat, and soon it will be November.”

        And then Russia beat the shit out of everybody.

        These tactics are difficult to turn into offensive tactics.Report

  19. Avatar testaccount says:

    Ignore this comment.Report

  20. Avatar Citizen says:

    Uber and capitalism3 regulators

    notice police car looks unmarked and police is out of uniform. I have seen many unmarked patrol cars lately, most of them black.Report