Linky Friday #118: Evil Dentists, Haunted Mansions, and the Scent of the Dead

Will Truman

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

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348 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    O1: Outrage culture existed before the Internet. Busybodies always passed judgment. The Internet just gives them a weapon to wield.Report

  2. Glyph says:

    O4: I’m not really interested in rehashing the Suey Park thing – it appears she was using the context-free weapon of the hashtag, then was surprised when the same nuancelessness ( I know that is not a word, but damn it looks good) got turned on her. I don’t really care about her attacking perceived “allies” on the left, but deliberately misconstruing/misrepresenting known satire for use in her own self-promotion and then having that backfire is…unsurprising.

    I will say two things – it’s too bad that the backlash against her appears to have escalated unreasonably and bled into the real world (she claims to have been essentially stalked and threatened IRL). It should go without saying that is unacceptable.

    The other thing I didn’t know was that she chose “Suey” as her handle, to satirize exactly the sort of Orientalist easy cheap jokes that she slammed Colbert over. I need chopsticks to parse out the irony here.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Glyph says:

      I was only vaguely aware of her, but read the linked article. My main impression is that she seems insufferable: the sort of leftie activist who serves as a walking billboard for the right wing.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    I’m starting to think I offended Will, because I didn’t get a shoutout on the Peter Watts item, and this submission got skipped a few times now (but I promise, it’s a great read):

    “My Dad Tried To Kill Me With An Alligator”:

    • Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

      Dagnabbit! Sorry, man. On both counts.

      (FWIW, shout-outs are most likely to be missed when there’s not a blurb I can immediately use. When I come up with my own description, I sometimes forget the shout-out. But still, my bad.)Report

    • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      Bird possessed the two key components to being a true adolescent badass: a driver’s license and a mullet. He’d also been shot in the eye with a pellet rifle, which split his pupil in half and made him squint, which made him look like a pirate.

      I read that, and had to look to see his name again just to make sure he wasn’t describing anyone I grew up with.Report

    • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      And that was seriously excellent.Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    O2: Sonetimes the right thing requires breaking protocol a bit.

    O3: I think this is part of a larger debate in the LGBT community between the radicals, who deeply invested LGBT rights with revolution, and the more bourgeois LGBT advocates.

    CT3: There are two big issues with raising kids in the cities, housing and schools. Housing is a solution with at least some known solutions. You just build housing suitable for families with kids somehow. Schools are a tougher nut to crack.

    CT4: Many people like driving. That doesn’t make the various negative parts of car culture like sprawl or environmental damage go magically away.Report

    • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

      O3 is the debate that won’t end until total normalization occurs. The radicals truly started the movement, they were the ones who cared enough to get their asses kicked and to stand up to the establishment while the normals by and large hid in the closet. But it was the normals who humanized the movement and helped turn it from a niche movement to a broad based ibe wutg popular appeal and, alas, the normals represent the norm which speaks to their eventual triumph. As gayness becomes widely accepted it will lose (or has lost) its radical character and become anodyne which can feel like a betrayal.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        I understand that the radicals were betrayed but I belong to a group that has historically been at the receiving end of the mad dreams of various utopians. This makes it hard for me to feel sympathetic to any sort of utopian. I also think that even a cursory glance at history should turn off any reasonably ethical person to Utopianism of any sort.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

        What did you think about Lowder’s essay on being born homosexual but choosing to be gay?

        I don’t know if complete normalization can ever occur. There is probably a not unsubstantial part of the world that will always damn LGBT people and there will be not unsubstantial part of the LGBT population that wants it to have their act be transformative and radical.Report

        • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Every human on the planet thinks they’re unique in some way that makes them stand out from the crowd.

          The terror that gay radicals feel at the speed and nature of the triumph of gay rights is rooted in a growing horrified recognition that it’s becoming increasingly possible for people to be born homosexual but not have to choose to be gay. That homosexuality could become like left handedness or red headedness. There can be loss in the acquisition of freedom; oppression can create a sense of solidarity and community.

          If the developed world can follow this path I have confidence that in time the rest of the world will follow along similarly. Gay rights flow naturally from racial and sexual equality; I would not expect gay rights to progress in their absence. I see liberalism (small l) advancing in all corners. So much of the foofaraw rocking the world is a revanchist reaction to its introduction; like steam out of a garbage fire as the water starts pouring in.

          If the masses accept the gays then the radicals will be just like the radical straights. Dolled up in their attire and wringing pale satisfaction from their scandalized elderly neighbors.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

            I am less certain that small l-liberalism is going to end up widespread soon or even in the distant future for a variety of reasons. Even before the current foofaraw rocking in parts of the world, many nation-states had trouble with certain philosophical ideals at the heart of liberalism, mainly that there are multiple versions of the good life, that people should be allowed to live the good life as they see fit, and quietly discuss it with their neighbors. Without this concept, a liberal democratic society is not possible.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Bryan Lowder is very young so is affection for classic gay culture might be similar to young people who wish they were there for the Counter-Culture. It simply might be that the LGBT experience in an earlier era seems more exciting to him than the current one.Report

        • Alan Scott in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          @saul-degraw , what’s so striking about his first piece is how incredible self-centered it is. @veronica-d rightly pointed out in the previous thread that it completely ignored the experiences of Lesbians and Transgender people. But it also ignored the experiences of today’s gay youth–even the cisgender male gay youth.

          He phrases his complaint as a matter of the young engaging, or not engaging, with cultural gayness–But it’s always in the context of some frozen-in-time 80s/90s gayness. Which is especially weird because Lowder is younger than I am.

          Today’s gay youth are smashing up the stereotypes of what gay is and isn’t without being pressured into some kind of “straight-acting” category. Look at science whiz-kid Jack Andraka–He’s been out since he was 13, wishes there were as many gay role models in Science and Tech as their are in the arts. Look at HuffPo blogger Amelia, whose son came out at age seven. He likes boys, and has a pretty gay fashion sense (which must be awkward for his parents, b/c I can’t imagine that much ‘gay’ clothing is sized for fourth-graders)–but on the other hand, is the most athletic and stereotypically jock-ish of her three sons.

          So much of the history of gay culture was built as a reaction to oppression. Some of it is secret slang and signs and mannerisms that helped people hide while still connecting. Some of it is loud and bright and says “fish you, we’re done hiding”, but it’s almost all reactive.

          That culture is dying, and for those like Lowder who seem to be fixated on the past, that means that gays are just going to assimilate, and to adopt straight culture. I think that’s an absurdly pessimistic view. Why can’t gays get on with creating new cultures, cultures shaped by acceptance, not oppression? The death of yesterday’s particular iteration of gay culture doesn’t mean the death of gay culture–it means that gay culture is free to grow and change, just like all culture. And that’s overwhelmingly a good thing.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Alan Scott says:

            Like I said above, this is the LGBT equivalent of wishing you were around for the Counter-Culture and pissed that you missed out of the 1960s or whatever. Some people are nostalgic for things that they did not experience because it seems more romantic to be both underground and on the front line than a second or third generation who is stretching the boundaries but doing so with greater safety. The romanticization of the LGBT past is kind of reactionary.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Alan Scott says:

            Well, I’ll say this, the younger generation of trans women largely feel zero connection with the broader gay community, and in fact our sole point of engagement is to remind clueless gays that, indeed, we trans folks were at Stonewall also.

            Cuz we were!

            Myself, I really have zero trust in gay men to have our backs. They’ll condescend to us, pontificate to trans women based on their own ignorant bullshit, largely as they’ve experienced drag culture.

            But I’m not a drag queen. Not even close. I have virtually no connection to drag culture.

            (My girlfriend does, but she and I are very different.)

            Anyway, the fact is, if I wanna hear ignorant, transphobic nonsense, I can hear it as easily from a bunch of old Southie bros as I can from a gaggle of washed up old queens hanging at a gay bar.

            And that all kind of sucks. Cuz they could at least try to understand that we have shared history and we really should be allies. But it ain’t that way.

            Anyway, blah blah blah.

            @leeesq — Don’t say “LGBT” when you mean gay/lesbian. Bi folks are pretty far outside of this conversation. And we T’s — heh. Yeah, I wish our “counter cultural” fight was over. But it ain’t.

            Remember when Ellen came out and it was a big fucking deal. Now, go turn on the TV and watch any “entertainment news” show. What’s the big story this week?Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

              @veronica-d I am using this as short hand that I see advocacy organizations use to refer all people outside the cis-heterosexual norm. I am aware that there significant factional fights among people outside cis-heterosexual norms but there are also many related issues.Report

            • Michael M. in reply to veronica d says:

              @veronica-d That was easily the most repugnant, insulting and anti-gay comment I’ve ever seen you post here. Congratulations, this “washed up old queen” no longer regards you or the people who share your bitter, ugly attitudes toward gay men as an ally. I guess that was your goal, but it seems a curious way to build support for an inclusive movement.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Michael M. says:

                @michael-m — You realize these “washed up old queens” are particular gay men who have made particular terrible comments to me. Like, I’m talking from experience here. Sorry if you take that personally, but gay culture is pretty terrible on trans stuff and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

                Own that or not. Your choice. I have zero faith in the gay community to be there for us.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

                So it’s okay to use a slur the denigrates an entire group because some members of that group were mean to you?

                I am so glad we have people like you to help me navigate these rules, because this stuff is way over my head.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                You guys are confusing an insult with a slur. I’m certainly insulting them. But what slur have I used? “Queen”?

                You’re gonna jump to their defense on that? Heh.

                Anyway, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t like being called “washed up.” But also, I’m pretty sure they’d just laugh if they knew someone was defending then cuz I called them “queens.”

                (And honestly, unless you’re gay or trans or in some other way part of this culture, I’m really not interested in your opinion on this subject.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                Slurs are what lazy and/or stupid people use instead of insults.

                Edit: I realize now that that probably really came across really differently than I intended it.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

                Alec Baldwin will be so relieved to learn that “toxic little queen” isn’t a homophobic slur. Tweet away, Alec!


              • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                Shoot, now that Jaybird has qualified/clarified I feel like I should too.

                If I were to call some gay men “queens”, I’d have several available rationales.

                I could say it was meant affectionately, and people would judge my claim based on context and history.

                Along with that, or separately, I could say that I arguably have standing as a member of the group (or one adjacent), to use the term without carrying the full weight of the slur. And again, people can judge that context.

                But to claim it’s simply *not* a slur, would never occur to me. Because in my experience, “queen” has been used as a slur for “effeminate gay man” since at least the eighties, if not before.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

                Baldwin gets himself in more kinds of trouble: first Words With Friends and then Words Against Enemies.Report

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    Pr2: The team says they’re planning on starting trials with higher animal models, such as sheep, and hope to get their human trials underway in 2017.

    I don’t understand this. I would think, given the results, that testing this out on humans would be a pretty high priority, to the point where they’d want to get started on an independent replication in mice yesterday, then move onto higher animals as soon as that’s done. I assume that there’s already a full pipeline of model higher animals being raised to test out other therapies. They may be reserved for other researchers, but surely some of those would be willing or could be paid to be bumped back a place for something this important. Then onto human trials.

    I’m having trouble seeing how each of those steps takes a year. Yes, of course there could be unanticipated side effects, but how much worse can they be than the unchecked progression of Alzheimer’s?

    This just seems broken to me.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      You’d think there would be a mechanism by which late-stage Alzheimer’s patients (or their legal guardians, obvs.) could say, “yes, I know this is an unproven technique, but let’s give it a shot, and you will be held harmless if it is ineffective or harmful.” Because, yeah, there should be a way to leapfrog some of the safety barriers in cases like this.

      Also, I wonder if all memory returns immediately, or over time; or, if some have been lost/damaged in the interim, but now new memories can once again be made/stored. Is this a regular treatment? Would people deemed to be prone to Alzheimer’s need to go in for regular sonic brain massages?Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

        There was a link last week about Texas joining some other states in trying to allow terminally ill patients to use non-approved drugs. I don’t know how that intersects with this. (Physical death from Alzheimers may not be sufficiently imminent?)Report

        • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

          The “physical” death distinction is interesting here, since the memory/personality-obliterating aspects of Alzheimer’s make it a sort of living death.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

            Yeah, I had to add the word “physical” in there.

            Boston Legal had an episode about this, actually. Denny Crane trying to sue to get some experimental cure for his “Mad Cow disease” (which was what they called it.) The counter-argument was that if we let any drug company ever bypass the FDA, they’ll try to cut corners on everything and Big Pharma Is Bad.Report

          • Neil Obstat in reply to Glyph says:

            Most folks with Alzheimer’s don’t die from Alzheimer’s. Pre-existing co-morbidities of cardio-pulmonary nature, circulatory problems, chronic kidney disease, and every malady that comes to the “chronologically persistant” individual. Influenza (get immunized before visiting the grandfolk) pneumonia, and other acute ailments.

            The wasting that comes of difficulty swallowing and reduced desire to eat, loss of senses of taste and smell. People don’t die because they stop eating. They also stopped doing a number of other things as well, just not as blatantly. They generally stop eating because they are dying.

            Everyone wants their loved one to get better, I hope this development doesn’t give false hopes. I’ve taken care of too many people in extended care who’ve “left the building” long ago and families insisting that all possible measures be taken rather than work to maximum dignity and comfort.

            Just this Nurse’s humble opinion.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Glyph says:

        “Because, yeah, there should be a way to leapfrog some of the safety barriers in cases like this.”

        Slippery slope, and you can’t entirely be sure if the interests of the guardians are aligned with the interest of the ward. (e.g. look at some of the high profile cases of alleged or proven malfeasence like Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Casey Kasem, and now most recently BB King)

        But at the end of the day, medical ethics is the hardest thing there is.

        (edit: let me clarify based on what Will just said. It’s a different matter if the illness does not involve cognitive function and the person that would be assuming the risks of experimental treatments can make that choice with informed consent.)Report

        • Glyph in reply to Kolohe says:

          In cases where the interests are not aligned, the guardian would presumably NOT want the ward to recover cognition and therefore autonomy, since it would take the guardian’s power away. So if they are saying “try it”, it seems a worthwhile risk?Report

          • Kolohe in reply to Glyph says:

            Widower Rich McRicherson suffers a mental incapacity for whatever reason (Alzheimers, stroke, tbi, etc), and this gives power of medical consent (maybe the same as medical power of attorney, I don’t know the exact terminology) to his only offspring, Sonny McRicherson.

            An experimental treatment has the potential of curing Rich, but also may kill him (in a more expeditious manner than ‘nature’).

            I’m saying the probability percentages of a) cure, b) kill, c) does nothing matters ethically, particular when Sonny has a substantial financial stake in scenario b.

            Now, it seems to me in real life (and in the sensational headline stories) what happens as a practical matter that there’s often multiple people with an interest in the different scenarios, and they duke it out in the courts for the right to make the choice. (heck, this is pretty much happened with Terry Schiavo).

            edit again – what really gives me pause is the phrasing ‘Because, yeah, there should be a way to leapfrog some of the safety barriers in cases like this.’, because it brings to mind the dialog from The Man For All Seasons about cutting through the forest of law to get to the Devil.Report

          • Autolukos in reply to Glyph says:

            Another good idea ruined by game theory!Report

          • Murali in reply to Glyph says:

            Or the guardian would be suffering from caregiver fatigue and would be willing to risk the ward’s death for the chance that the ward need not be in his or her charge for the foreseeable future.

            Caring for people suffering from Alzheimer’s/dementia is an extremely thankless job. The ward can become physically violent and abusive. At the very least, the caregivers are emotionally abusive. They confabulate, say hurtful, horrendous things. Caregiver fatigue is a real thing. And when guardians have caregiver fatigue, they may not necessarily think clearly in terms of the best interests of the ward, but (understandably) want to risk an unknown treatment which would one way or another, ease their caregiver burden.Report

            • Glyph in reply to Murali says:

              I am mostly just playing devil’s advocate at this point, I see where @murali and @kolohe and @chris and @bluefoot are coming from, but the fact remains that Alzheimer’s, left untreated (as it currently must be), is AFAIK ultimately terminal.

              If I have gangrene in my foot, the shock of chopping off my leg may well kill me.

              NOT doing it, will DEFINITELY kill me.

              If it risks killing me sooner, but might save me from a certain death, it still seems like possibly a good tradeoff, regardless of the caregiver’s intentions (to help me, or to ease the burden on themselves).Report

    • Chris in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      I assume that in addition to not knowing whether it will scale, it’s an issue of dosage or levels or whatever the appropriate term is for ultrasound. That is, you get the appropriate dosage for mice, try to scale it up for sheep, then try to scale it up from there to humans. While I understand Glyph’s point below about just trying it, it would be unethical to just throw a treatment at humans without any real idea of how to do it with larger animals first.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        I also assume that where this is going to help is not in late stage Alzheimer’s, where pretty much everything is gone, but in earlier stages when the people are still able to lead relatively normal lives. This makes the ethical questions even more pressing.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          You’re right, of course. I just (like many people) have a particular fear/revulsion of this particular type of cognitive-destroying malady, and hate the idea that we might know how to fix it (roughly), but a bunch of people are going to suffer/die while we “drag our feet”. Alzheimer’s is about as close to zombieism as we get.Report

          • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

            I also remember this from a few years back, but no idea how much progress has been made since:


          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            If I’m not mistaken, 2 years from mouse to humans would be really fast as these things usually go, so they may already be expediting the process.

            It is true that people will die, and other people will go from a stage where it might help to a stage where it could no longer help, but that’s true of every treatment and cure discovered by the methods of modern scientific medicine. As Kolohe suggests, this might change if we were willing to avoid the many methodological, practical, and ethical issues associated with medical testing, but I suspect we would find the downside much, much worse than the lives saved.

            A big part of what makes modern medicine as effective as it is, is the process. Researchers follow it not just because giving humans treatments that have not been tested on anything bigger than a mouse is unethical, but because in order to know whether it works, and how it works, and what might work better, we have to stick to the process.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

              To be clear, I’m not saying that they should jump from a single, unreplicated experiment on mice to human testing. It’s just not clear to me why it takes two years to 1) replicate it in mice, and 2) figure out whether this is safe and effective in higher animals, and 3) then start phase I testing on humans, which involves testing the safety of sub-therapeutic doses.Report

    • bluefoot in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Two years proof-of-concept in mouse to first-in-human trials is incredibly fast. Translation to human is complicated stuff, as is Alzheimer’s. Any mouse disease model has a very specific genetic background, and all the mice are essentially genetically identical to each other, which if course isn’t true to humans. So there may be effects that are seen in other genetic backgrounds, or the therapeutic effect may only be seen in one genetic background. I am sure they’re already testing in other mouse AD models and plan on going to primates as soon as they can. Primates will help address the questions of dose and frequency, toxicity, immune effects of clearing Abeta, etc. Also, ultrasound to “open up the blood brain barrier”? The BBB protects the brain from a lot of crap.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, so it takes time to measure the effect of any therapy. In mice it’s usually weeks to months (you compare disease progression in placebo vs. treated mice). In humans, the first (i.e. preliminary) readout might be a year or more. Definitive endpoints to get approval from the FDA can be years.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to bluefoot says:

        They’re claiming complete recovery in the majority of test subjects. I understand that measuring a moderate slowing in progression is difficult and error-prone, but it’s much easier when you have that kind of effect size.Report

        • bluefoot in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Well yes, definitely easier. Still, there are regulatory requirements (i.e. FDA requirements) that must be met, no matter how good the efficacy. That means efficacy and safety in two species, short term and long term tox studies, etc, etc. They will also (from my quick glance at the paper, they haven’t done it yet) need to look much more at the kinetics of the effect in non-humans – how fast does it work, how long does the effect persist. Is there immune activation after some number of treatments? (God forbid we improve early Alzheimer’s then induce an IRIS-like response.) Long-term damage to the blood-brain barrier?

          Safety and tox is especially rigorous for AD trials, since it is essentially a geriatric population which means they have a lot of other health issues (plus concomitant therapies) that can interact with the AD therapy.

          For very serious diseases, the FDA will allow you to do your Phase 1 study as essentially a Phase 2a. That is, do your single ascending dose and multiple ascending dose studies in a disease patient population rather than healthy volunteers, along with appropriate efficacy readouts along with safety readouts, but you still need sufficient pre-clinical data and justification to do so.
          Even so, IMO a properly powered Phase 3 AD trial would take at least five years from start to final report, and that’s if the data looks as good as the mouse data.

          [As you can guess, I work on developing new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. We complain about the regulatory environment all the time, but we take it really seriously. We are, after all, experimenting on human beings. We ask a LOT of the people who volunteer for clinical trials, and we owe it to them to do the very best we can do to keep them safe and to do the best science so that the most people can benefit.]Report

  6. Damon says:

    01: Grats douchebags, you got two old guys fired. Smooth. Tell me when you die so I can piss on your graves.

    05: “it’s about power”. Nuff said. Douchebags.

    L1: sounds like common sense…probably means it’ll fail…
    p02 Meh, i’ve gotten more pressure to participate when my ceo was the national savings bond chairman.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    O1: I think that this article was trying a bit too hard. Not all of these examples are equal. Some are true examples of people trying too hard for a moral highground but these people always existed as Lee pointed out. The shirt example was really bad and I think a women could significantly wonder whether they would be seen as equal’s in a workplace that let a guy wear that shirt. I’ve been thinking about outrage recently and why people can’t say “not everyone will agree” and move on. This is probably because a lot of politics is a constant war over morality. If someone sincerely (but in my opinion wrongly) thinks SSM will lead to God (who probably doesn’t exist) in causing everyone to burn in Hell. How can they just say “I am clearly in the minority and will just let things be.”

    O3: What Lee and North said. Also this could be a proxy fight over gentrification. I think that people might see LGBT people in the same stereotypical lens that they see Jews and Asians. Namely, upper-middle class, educated, and polite. However, not all Jews, Asians, and LGBT people are upper-middle class or polite. Plus cities should be allowed to be cities. Not every place should be a suburb and there is something to the argument about keep the character of a place.

    O4: I read the profile and found it humane. Interesting that in the end Park is just like so many young college grads and works as a Barista while trying to figure things out. One wonders if the economy was better would we be having all these fights. For some reason, I found her Christianity surprising. DeBoer got a lot of heat on LGM for his take-down of the Toast piece. The Toast is just largely silly and should be taken down as such. I like the observation of the very small slice of the Internet/Twitter. I doubt most people know what the Toast is or know who DeBoer is.

    L1: Good

    L2: Bad X ruin it for Good X can be said for any profession. As a plaintiff’s lawyer, I usually wince at the firms who go all out with their advertisements in ways that Crazy Eddie would find distasteful.

    L6: This is probably the correct ruling as more and more people work remotely because of the Internet. Though I bet a lot of companies will go 1099 just to make things easier.

    Pr5: I dislike perfume in general and this seems especially creepy.

    CT2: Interesting. Commuting in the Bay Area goes all over the place and no one seems happy. San Franciscans dislike the Google Buses of people who live in the city but work in Silicon Valley because the Google Buses often use public infrastructure and can be quite arrogant. As far as I can tell, the Google Buses are not ADA compliant. The Muni buses are. There have been accidents where a disabled person is getting on a MUNI bus (this slows things down) and a Google Bus tries to pass the MUNI bus in a narrow line and both get clipped. I wonder what causes some businesses to move to suburban office parks but not others. Law Firms seem to like cities because of access to courts. Even if most or all of your lawyers live in the suburb, the major courts are still in cities. It doesn’t make sense of the 9th Circuit to move out of SF or the 2nd Circuit to move out of NYC. Where will they go but NYC can act as a central location for all the suburbs.

    CT3: I find it interesting that the American Conservative is complaining about cities being kid free because it is decades of largely conservative policies that turned cities into zones largely for childless people (usually very young) and/or poor minorities. More middle-class educated white people are choosing to raise their kids in cities but we are going to need to reverse decades worth of policies meant to kill cities. Lee points out the big issues are housing and schools. Housing can be built but building affordable housing for two parents and two kids in a city is very tough. The School situation is tougher because you have a lot of different people with different needs and expectations. You can see this in gentrifying neighborhoods where there are clashes between middle-class white parents and poorer parents over resources and what should be taught.

    Developers also don’t seem too keen to build 3-4 bedroom apartments. They are much more likely to build studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms for maximum number. You can upzone all you want but those are what are going to be built. This further makes cities the playgrounds of the young, wealthy, and childless. There are also lots of culture clashes between parents and non-parents. When you don’t have kids, you can live like you are in your 20s all the time. You can go out to bars and restaurants late on a weeknight, take weekend trips, etc. Not so easy with kids. So childless people want bars and restaurants that stay open late. People with kids generally want good schools and quiet neighborhoods. They don’t want to live next to a bunch of 23 year olds who play music until 3 A.M. Some separation might be best.

    Po1: I don’t think so. Plenty of Democrats still really, really hate Dubya and Cheeney. We are going to see the rise of the partisan Presidency though.

    Po2: I don’t think employers should try and influence the way people vote. It seems morally questionable to lecture to a captured audience or to make employment contingent on listening to political lectures.

    Po5: I don’t know how much someone can separate political and moral character. Politics is largely about what we think society and policy should look like and this is always going to involve morals. Law and Policy is morality becoming realized. This is equally true for social safety net loving liberals and social conservatives.Report

    • j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      San Franciscans dislike the Google Buses of people who live in the city but work in Silicon Valley because the Google Buses often use public infrastructure and can be quite arrogant.

      Did you just accuse a bus of being arrogant?

      I’m hearing that whole comment being spoken in the voice of Dr. Evil.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      OT3: Good manners and politeness have never been part of the Jewish stereotype. Niceness yes, politeness no.Report

    • San Franciscans dislike the Google Buses

      You left out “A small number of”.Report

    • I wonder what causes some businesses to move to suburban office parks but not others.

      Joel Garreau asserts that the single best predictor for headquarters is “Where does the CEO want to live?” and that a new HQ will be located within eight miles of the CEO’s preferred residence :^)

      One data point… The hardware side of tech often requires significant quantities of toxic stuff (particularly true of integrated circuits). Large cities, and in some cases inner ring suburbs, justifiably ban transport and storage of the necessary quantities of some of those (a downside of density). But engineering follows production, and if that’s the whole business, all of the support organizations follow. Then there’s a whole chain reaction: ICs are in the suburbs, so the quite large industry that builds equipment to make ICs follows, and the printed circuit board businesses that consume ICs (and PCBs have their own toxic problems), then the coders who write software for all of those processes… Suddenly there’s an entire group of industries whose expectation is “office campus in the suburbs” and the cities are playing catch-up. Inertia matters.

      If I were a large city manager, the question I would be asking myself each and every day is “What else can I do so that we have inexpensive safe places for pure software plays to work, and their staff to live?”Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:


        I admit that I know more about law than anything else and most law firms seem to choose to remain in big cities. So do industries like Publishing, Banking, Finance, Advertising, Fashion, etc. Unsurprisingly these are all industries with a fair amount of prestige and are often known for liking fancy restaurants. You can find small or medium firms in the suburbs and maybe some smaller branches of big firms in an area like Silicon Valley but you will rarely find a large firm move their entire office from downtown SF or NYC to a suburban office park. Related businesses tend to stay in cities. NYC still has some businesses dedicated to legal printing where lawyers work round the clock to get a big document done and the firms print them.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Law firms are going to want to remain as close to the courts they need as they can. It saves travel time at least. Since the courts have remained in the downtown areas of cities than many law firms are also going to remain in the downtown areas of cities.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

        e.g. Intel is not actually in Portland, but outside of it, in Hillsboro.Report

        • El Muneco in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          And LSI Logic is in Gresham, or was when my company was contracting there.

          On the other hand, there is (or was) a very similar silicon wafer fabrication facility in Newport Beach, CA, hardly more than six blocks from John Wayne Airport.Report

        • On Google Earth, Intel Dublin and Intel Dresden can be distinguished only by the kind of rural area on the edge of the metro area where they are located. In Dublin they appear to be surrounded by small farmsteads; in Dresden the space is carved out of the forest. In both cases, sprawling building complex and huge parking lots.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Developers also don’t seem too keen to build 3-4 bedroom apartments. They are much more likely to build studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms for maximum number. You can upzone all you want but those are what are going to be built. This further makes cities the playgrounds of the young, wealthy, and childless.

      You’re getting cause and effect mixed up. If developers don’t build 3-4 bedroom apartments, it’s because they don’t think there’s a market for it. They’re not sitting around laughing about all the people who want 4-bedroom apartments and saying, “Screw those guys! We don’t want their money anyway!”Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Saul Degraw: how much someone can separate political and moral character

      This assumes that a person who aligns with a political party/figure is majorly or completely in agreement with said party/figure, and I’m betting that is rarely the case. Perhaps if we had a very wide political playing field where numerous parties help effective levels of power at a given time, then politics & morality would better align. But right now, with only two real parties, that’s a tall order.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        I was thinking more on and issue to issue basis and not on a party basis. That being said I think more and more people are thinking “Vote the Party and not the Person”Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I can’t do that, I vote for a person. In the US, parties exists to get people elected. I know in other countries, people vote for parties & parties appoint people to posts, but that isn’t how things work here.

          But that still doesn’t address the major issue, when you only have two parties that are pretty equally split among the electorate, you can not rationally damn all who align with X because you’d be damning half the country.

          That is madness.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            I think there’s a good argument to be made that for your member of Congress, you vote the party. The individuals may make different speeches and be more or less likely to be involved in specific scandals, but when it comes down to important votes, party discipline generally rules and you’re going to get a very predictable voting pattern.

            Nobody says of the Electoral College that you should vote for the Elector based on his or her principles and standing. You vote for the thing you want and the Elector generally behaves as predicted. The idea that the individual opinions and character of the Elector matter at all is silly. Congress isn’t that extreme, but it’s pretty far down that line. It may feel good to elect somebody who symbolically votes his conscience when it’s not a deciding vote, but it doesn’t change a whole lot of legislation.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        “This assumes that a person who aligns with a political party/figure is majorly or completely in agreement with said party/figure, and I’m betting that is rarely the case.”

        Yeah, but I get how it can be hard to see that these days.

        In my real-boy life, I know a whole lot of conservatives and Republicans. I don’t know a one that gives a crap about Benghazi™, or ever wondered if the President was a Kenyan, or wants to privatize public schools, or is anti-contraception. And if you have enough conservatives and Republicans in your circle of friends, I suspect this will be the case as well — or at least mostly so. Kind of like how I don’t actually know any liberals or Democrats in my real life who care about George Soros, or want to give all kids an “A” in school regardless of performance because of self-esteem, or want to legislate away talk radio.

        But if you choose to connect with only people who are on your side of the stripe, I can see why you’d believe any or all of these things these days. It’s the way the Other side is portrayed in the media we choose to consume, and because those that choose to glom on to that media try to be the next Andrew Brietbert (or whatever other mini-internet celebs) and those that hang out on their sites, not surprisingly, share those viewpoints. It really does look from a liberal inter-tuberer POV like All Conservatives Think X, when in fact it’s usually a percentage (often very, very small) of them who do.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:


          How many of the GOP voters do you know can be described as “country-club Republicans?”Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Honestly that is what I expected. One problem with the American big-tent system (and I think it plays out largely on the Right) is that there are a lot of uneasy tensions but also exploitations. The Country Club set is fairly liberal or at least moderate. Yet they were perfectly willing to use the hardcore social conservatives to get elected. Now they find themselves largely cast out of the party as RINOs.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                They’re not the only ones I know, though.

                One of the things that bothers me about the outrage issue from Erik’s article is that I think that more and more, on both sides, these are the people who are driving the debates in the country. And I don’t think they’re more representative of the everyone, I think they just make for better headlines and clickbait. As I said in a recent post, I think the fact that Ted Cruz is someone we all take seriously as a political player is a direct result of this.Report

              • Chris in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                these are the people who are driving the debates in the country

                Interesting. I see very little of that influence on the candidates Democrats field, though perhaps they’re just behind in terms of developing such candidates, as the Republicans have been at this for the better part of two decades.

                I’d be very happy of the Democrats were to field candidates far to the left of their current roster, where the “left” of the party is the center-center-left of the political spectrum for the most part. This is why Elizabeth Warren can sound like an actual liberal and be considered so far to the left that her very leftness is newsworthy.Report

              • North in reply to Chris says:

                The center of gravity (demographically and culturally) in the Democratic Party is on the right side of it. Likewise with the GOP. That basically explains the dynamic. Also the Dems of the left are enormously fragmented in a way I don’t think the right wing of the GOP is.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                I’d argue that Democratic pols are more honest with their left than Republican pols are with their right, in terms of expectations.Report

              • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, this is mostly true, though it was definitely not true in the 2008 presidential primaries. People, smart people who were as politically cynical as I, were convinced that Obama was deeply progressive, perhaps even as far to the left as his equally deluded opponents continue to say he is. Obama and his campaign team well knew that this was the case, because it was progressives who were running his grass roots-esque campaign in many of the most important areas, so they let them think that Obama was one of them.

                Then after he was elected he announced Rahm as his COS, and the illusion was shattered even before he’d taken office.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

                Yeah, but that was by mostly being vague, from what I recall, whereas a Republican equivalent would be talking about single payer or NHS with lower taxes on the poor and everybody in the mortgage banking industry in jail.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Chris says:

                I thought that Obama was very honest about what he hoped to achieve and what he believed during the 2008 primary. The great hope for healthcare was single-payer and Obama openly said that single-payer would be a good idea if we were starting from scratch rather than from a dog’s breakfast of a healthcare system. He was also honest about his policies regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.

                A lot of the disillusionment about Obama has to do with people projecting a lot onto him. It was 2008, President Bush was deeply unpopular, Obama was the first African-American with a chance at winning the Presidency, and progressives thought that it was their turn even though politics does not work like this. This led to a lot of people assuming things about Obama that Obama did not say.Report

              • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Obama was, to be fair, very careful to allow people to project what they wanted. I was always skeptical that he believed in his hope’n change shtick but if he didn’t believe in it then he sure sacrificed a lot on its altar during the first few years of his Presidency so I think he either at least partially believed in it or felt so trapped by it that he couldn’t bring himself to toss it overboard.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

                There is also an interesting thought-exercise that one can do if GOP opposition to Obama did not go full on massive resistance.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                There are a lot of mainstream Democrats who are quite open about the art of the possible, true. The issue is that the far-left never really tried to join onto the Democratic Party like the farther-right tried to join unto the Republican Party.

                I think a lot of liberals are excited about Bernie Sanders, not because they think he could win but at least he is getting some seriously liberal ideas out there.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                I’d agree Will; in fairness though Democratic pols also know that if their left wingers get pissed off it’s just going to be a lot of smoke in the media and a lot of quiet middle road voters will think better of them. GOP pols fear, justifiably, that if they piss off their right wingers then a winger cowboy poll is going to ride in on their right and take their job before the middle of the road voters even get to weigh in.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:


                There is also a much longer history of the left just opting out the Democratic Party.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Haven’t there always been demagogues? What makes Cruz different than Joe McCarthy or Huey Long or Father McClaughlin or a Senator Bilbo? Nixon always baited his political opponents and it only failed him twice. Claude Pepper lost his Senate seat to George Smathers through such lovely utterances as Pepper’s sister was a “known thespian”.

                I don’t think Cruz has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the nomination. But there were and will always be people like Cruz at other levels of government including high offices like Governor and Senator.

                Now Scott Walker on the other hand….

                I also don’t know why it is so surprising that politics is driven by those who are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore. North points out that the early pioneers of the LGBT movement were willing to get beat to a bloody pulp for the cause. So were the early trade unionists and civil rights supporters. They knew that getting beaten for a cause was the only way forward.Report

    • Murali in reply to Saul Degraw says:


      There is nothing intrinsically urban about rudeness/crassness. That just happens to be an accident of history masquerading as an intrinsic property. The urban places in Singapore are not necessarily more rude/crass than the sub-urban and backwoods places in Singapore. The main red light district in Singapore is not at the city centre. And while you do see a sex shop or two in the city centre, you can also find them in up-scale sub-urban neighbourhoods where white expats are more likely to stay.Report

  8. Chris says:

    This part is I think what most of us (and by us, I mean white folk) miss when it comes to people like Suey Park:

    If we place Suey Park at the center of a field, the gaze upon her typically comes from the population of people who processed #CancelColbert as a political statement, or even a prank. It comes, in short, from white people who are trying to understand why Suey Park was so mean to an obvious ally like Steven Colbert. What all this ignores, however, is the visceral emotions felt by everyone on the far side of Suey Park, namely, the women and people of color who see Park and other online raconteur and agitators as an imperfect, yet ultimately redeemable iterations of what we wish we could say.

    In the weeks after publishing my article on Suey Park, I had dozens of conversations with fellow Asians from across the political spectrum who all had a similar reaction. Namely: Fuck yes, someone actually said it. Most of these people wouldn’t be caught dead saying anything even mildly political on Twitter, and even more disagreed with Park’s methods, but all felt a sense of relief that a feeling that we had all been suppressing?—?that the left, when it needed to make a racist joke, would always pick on A sians— was out in the open. Lengthy conversations about identity began taking place on Facebook and through emails and in person, all of which would align much more closely with the platonic ideal of civil discourse. None of this would have happened without #CancelColbert.

    I’m on record no this very blog, in front page posts, saying that I agree with many of you about the internet outrage machine and internet mobs, but at some point, I’d suggest taking a step back and looking at who’s complaining with you. Do they all look very similar to each other? Why might that be? You may ultimately decide that, sure, it’s pretty much all white people, and especially (but not exclusively) white men, but we’re still right, but other things might come up as well, so it’s worth trying even if you think you’re going to end up mostly where you started.Report

    • Chris in reply to Chris says:

      By the way, I often agree with Freddie on these things, but no one better embodied the “Yeah, I’m white, but I’m on the left, so I can’t be racist/sexist” position better than he. It’s implied in every single thing he writes on the subject: “Look, I agree with you, which is why you should listen to me when I tell you that you non-white people are doing it all wrong.”Report

    • Chris in reply to Chris says:

      This should have [o4] in it somewhere.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

      That was the part that jumped out at me in the exchange. It also corresponds with some complaints I’ve heard over the years (that and how Asians are either white or non-white depending on what is to their disadvantage at any given moment). Don’t always agree, but when you hear it enough it does start to register.Report

      • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        It’s important to disentangle two components of this: the Suey Parks of the internet world and internet outrage culture. They are not mutually exclusive things, obviously, and there are ways in which the latter pushes the former in unfortunate directions (the whole “appropriations” thing is just silly and completely unreflective, e.g.), but the real issue with internet outrage culture is not previously marginalized voices, like Parks’, suddenly being heard, even if they’re sometimes intemperate in the content or tone of their speech. It’s the many, many, many people whose voices have never been marginalized (or at least not in the same way, or in the same context) jumping into the fray. Their voices are already loud, and now they’re screaming so everyone can see that they are screaming, and they drown out the very voices they want to be seen echoing.

        I will never mind a Parks. It’s all of the people who pile on after her without ever even thinking about why she says what she does who bug the shit out of me.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

          That’s something Freddie harps on a lot, though. Voices of privilege making the voices of the unprivileged their own. It’s a valid point, though doesn’t really apply to Park. And what’s noteworthy to me about the whole Park thing is what happened when one of those voices targeted someone the rest didn’t want to target.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Will Truman says:

            @will-truman — Well right, but as you point out, what does that have to do with Park?

            Which is to say, I find (as I scan my Twitter/Tumblr space), that in fact I mostly follow women and minorities and queers, and it is those voices I hear, both when they are angry and when they are not. Are a ton of privileged white cis-het dudes copying their voices?

            Maybe. I guess. I dunno. I’m not listening much to those guys.

            But Park is really asian and Kendall is really black and I’m in fact a big ol’ tranny. So there. We ain’t what Freddie is talking about.

            I guess. He seems inconsistent on this topic.

            On the other hand I’m white and hella privileged. So anyway.


            My take on this: we actually don’t have to agree on Colbert. (And other stuff, but I’ll use Colbert as an example.)

            That’s really it. We don’t have to agree. I can listen to Park, and I hope Colbert listens to Park, and then move on and do my thing. And if we come into the crosshairs of the Rage Machine!

            Well, Colbert is one kind of target, Ms. Random Nobody on Twitter is another. We need to diminish the pile-ons and the doxxing and the public intimidation and the writing their employers and the “sealioning” and so on.

            But that shit ain’t limited to “the left.”

            As if “the left” got those two old funeral home guys fired. Not to mention #gamergate.

            (Don’t mention #gamergage!)

            (Too late!)

            So anyhow…Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

          @chris Could you elaborate on this:

          (the whole “appropriations” thing is just silly and completely unreflective, e.g.)

          I mean, I think I might know what you’re talking about, but I want to make sure.Report

          • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

            It has become popular among the young folk to accuse anyone white who wears the clothing of another culture, to take one example, of cultural appropriation. “Appropriation” has also been the charge levied against Iggy Azalea.

            Now, I think there are times when complaints of appropriation are valid: when the appropriation is exclusive, mocking, or otherwise harmful, but in most cases where I see the term lobbed at someone these days, it’s more appreciation than appropriation; the sort of cultural borrowing that has been a part of fashion and art and culture more generally for as long as there have been different cultures.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

              @chris That’s what I thought you were referring to, but wanted to make sure. I agree with everything you wrote, both that there are circumstances where it is wrong but that it should not generally be considered wrong. In fact, absent something from the former set, to me it is a sign of cultural health and a prohibition a stultifier of any sort of multiculturalism.

              It is important to acknowledge that there are exceptions, of course. If a symbol takes on a very specific meaning and anyone else using it or wearing it is inherently mocking, or especially if someone is mocking intentionally, or what have you. But a case kind of needs to be made, some particular circumstance described. Instead, I have seen it declared ipso facto wrong, which seems to me (among other things) culturally unhealthy.Report

    • zic in reply to Chris says:

      This Kang sentence may be the best sentence on blogging ever:

      I also know from years of online content creation that sometimes these sorts of posts are more so that your audience can chum around in the comment section.Report

    • j r in reply to Chris says:


      You are touching on some of the things that bother me about outrage culture and the social justice scene as a whole. On the one hand, you can see lots of very obvious reactionary counter-arguments that are rather explicitly about keeping certain folks in their place, but it’s also not particularly difficult to see lots of examples of the social justice crowd doing their own version of that very thing. I agree that it is difficult for me to get too worked up about the Parks or the Bad Dominicanas of the world.

      That said, the problem with the idea of white (or male or straight or cis or whatever) allies is the idea that you can be allied to the interests of non-whites (or women or gays or trans folks), which implies that there is some agreed-upon set of preferences that all those folks share. Certainly, there is some set of things, opposition to overt prejudice and persecution for example, for which this is true. Once you pick the low-hanging fruit , however (and yes, lots of it still hangs); the idea that all members of a particular group want the same thing is itself marginalizing.

      In many ways, this story is an old story. The internet is just a new wrinkle. You can read Invisible Man or Baldwin’s “Everybody’s Protest Novel” or the countless stories of women being marginalized within radical movements. The fact that it’s old, however, does not mean that it stops being an issue.

      Perhaps the one significant thing that the internet brings is an escalation in how fast group dynamics can change. The in-group can become the out-group with a change in venue or the passing of a few days. Maybe this is no longer about circular firing squads, but about dynamic 360 degree free-fire ranges.Report

      • Chris in reply to j r says:

        In this movie, everybody dies.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

        This is a really insightful comment. I’d be on the side of emphasizing just how much low-hanging fruit still remains, of course, but your points are all well-taken.Report

        • Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          The low-hanging fruit part is definitely important. First, it’s what kids, even the non-white ones, are going to be most likely to go after sitting in their dorm rooms on the Macbooks their parents bought for them. Deeper issues are not only more difficult to see, but in many cases less salient for a lot of these kids, because they are economically privileged. Second, the white people who pile on with them are much less likely to notice the deeper issues because they don’t affect them at all in most cases. Third, low-hanging fruit usually involves easily identifiable targets, like a single person who said something stupid, making it much easier to pile on than if we were dealing with, say, the nationwide issue of cop violence.

          A great contrast is the #blacklivesmatter movement, which began offline, quickly went online and grew there, and continues to move itself offline when needed (e.g., in Baltimore). It’s not dealing with low hanging fruit, and has avoided the sorts of tactics that the “SJWs” going after low hanging fruit employ almost entirely: no gotchas, no Twitter mobs, just well-thought out and increasingly well organized combinations of old school and new school activism. It’s been wonderful to observe, though they have yet to win any major victories.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

            That’s not what I meant (or thought jr meant) by “low-hanging fruit”. I meant clear injustices where the privilege level of the observer is irrelevant, and #blacklivesmatters is an example of that. Once things get as muddy (and, trivial) as the correct view of Colbert’s parody of racism, I honestly stop giving a fish.Report

          • j r in reply to Chris says:

            @chris and @mike-schilling

            What I mean by low-hanging fruit are those things that we all ought to be able to agree are immoral and unethical instances of prejudice and discrimination, at least we all who ascribe to the beliefs of small ‘l’ liberalism. I mean stopping things like women being sexually assaulted, black men being killed by police, gays being denied equal treatment under the law.

            The TNR piece that @saul-degraw linked to below is the perfect example of what I am talking about. Here is the relevant passage:

            While libertarianism is rarely explicitly sexist, it is hostile to collective efforts to challenge sexism: anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action, paid leave, and the broader net of social services that are particularly necessary to those who have historically been tasked with care-giving jobs within the family. No wonder women as a whole find little in libertarianism that appeals to them.

            In order for that passage to have any internal consistency, you have to accept that women, as a group, are committed to sort of collective, explicitly progressive politics described and to be opposed to those progressive politics is to be, to some extent against the interests of women.

            The problem with this way of thinking is that it often represents a bait and switch, where the focus goes from being a broad defense of the small ‘l’ liberal values to an insistence on a particular left-leaning conception of social justice that invariably gets co-opted by the folks who came in as allies and not the folks to whom they had initially declared their allegiance.Report

            • Chris in reply to j r says:

              In order for that passage to have any internal consistency, you have to accept that women, as a group, are committed to sort of collective, explicitly progressive politics described and to be opposed to those progressive politics is to be, to some extent against the interests of women.

              I don’t think that’s true. I think you have to accept something that’s actually true, and that he states explicitly in the article, in the form of a quote from a female libertarian no less:

              I think that for a variety of reasons (whether innately psychological, culturally driven, or shaped by life experience), women are less likely to be drawn to political philosophies that emphasize self-reliance and risk. Women are also more likely to rely on government services, both as clients and as employees.


              • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

                You’re both missing the relevant graf:

                Walker’s colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward offers a parallel explanation, noting, “Libertarianism has historically been a fringe movement. And fringes tend to be populated by men. There are exceptions, of course, but in general if you investigate the long tails of any bell curve you’re going to discover a sausage fest, and libertarianism is no exception.”


              • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

                But you know, that’s not quite true. There are fringe groups that are overwhelmingly women, but they’re fringe groups that focus on women’s issues. Which makes me wonder, what are the fringe groups that don’t have many women in them focusing on?Report

              • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

                what are the fringe groups that don’t have many women in them focusing on?

                If my youthful experience is any indication, “How do we find some women?”Report

              • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

                Joining groups full of guys is the wrong way to go about it!

                When I was an undergrad, I joined a certain university political group, one that might have gotten me in trouble in the early 1950s, because I knew some really attractive women who were in it. Of course, I didn’t end up dating them either, so maybe my way was wrong as well.Report

              • j r in reply to Glyph says:


                I had a part in that comment where I wrote that libertarians are outliers and looking just at outliers does not often tell you a whole lot about the larger population. I deleted that, because I did not intend the comment to be about Heet’s article, but only the part that I quoted.

                That said, I agree with @chris. Fringe groups vary by what drives people to them. And you can tell a good deal about those groups by looking at what drives some people to those groups and what keeps others away. I just don’t think that the same level of insight works in reverse.

                In this context, sure, libertarianism trends male, but that does not mean that the female population as a whole is explicitly progressive. Lots of women are conservatives. Lots of women are apolitical. As above, you can say something meaningful about a movement by whether it is overwhelmingly composed of women or avoided by women, but you cannot necessarily say something meaningful about women as a whole based on that movement.Report

              • zic in reply to Chris says:

                Meh. I think you all sort of miss it; women, to survive, have to take care of each other (child birth until very recently was dangerous,) and women have to take care of children. These things work better in groups; so women are more likely, in my humble opinion, to seek consensus and to not view consensus seeking as a big gummint meanie.Report

              • j r in reply to Chris says:

                Overall, I don’t have a huge problem with that article. Heer at least bothers to talk to libertarians, which is miles better than most pieces about this topic that I see. My comment was not really about libertarianism or Heer’s larger argument. I am willing to start from the position that for any number of reasons, some biological, some historical, etc., libertarianism will tend to have greater appeal to men and in some ways be tone deaf to certain things that many women find important. Just like I am willing to concede that any number of marginalized groups have perfectly good reasons to align themselves with generally left-of-center political movements.

                My comment is about the tendency of some on the left to use these issues as a means of aggregating support for the larger progressive coalition, while simultaneously reducing the individuals in those groups to the role of extras. And none of this is to say that the right is any better. It’s just not as much of an issue, because the pretense of social justice is not there in the first place.

                Bringing it back to the original topic, the internet outrage machine is powered to a large extent on the if you’re not explicitly in agreement with my particular conception of social justice, then you’re basically a misogynist/racist/homophobe/etc. And that way of thinking is antithetical to the idea that the members of these groups are actual individual people with an array thoughts and beliefs on social and political topics.Report

              • Chris in reply to j r says:

                I agree with you for the most part on this. Of course, libertarians themselves are not immune to this, as one can easily see from the reflexive reaction to the word “feminist” common among many libertarians.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

                Plenty of outrage from free-speech absolutists at the suggestion that the Charlie Hebdo massacre could be viewed as anything other than an attack on free speech. (As murders, for example.)Report

              • j r in reply to Chris says:

                I do not disagree at all. Libertarians are often tone-deaf on issues that effect women and minorities. Of course, that leads to a further discussion about the difference between taking your issues seriously and seriously addressing your issues. Politics is full of lip service, across the spectrum.

                If you give me the choice of associating between one group of people who are openly hostile to me, but seem to have the right ideas about how to get where I want to get and another group of people who are accommodating and friendly towards me, but want to take me somewhere that I have no interest in going, I am going to choose neither. Or maybe I am going to selectively engage with each group in ways that I feel further my interests.

                Also, by way of anectdoote, I will say that I am vaguely libertarian and have some reflexive reactions to the word feminist. And that is mostly, because I mostly see the word being used in a manner that is decidedly progressive. In any objective sense, I am feminist, but, by the terms of the conversations that I tend to find myself in, it just becomes easier to forego the term and try to focus on the underlying issues instead of the meta conversation about ideology.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Chris says:

      @chris : “I’m on record no this very blog, in front page posts, saying that I agree with many of you about the internet outrage machine and internet mobs, but at some point, I’d suggest taking a step back and looking at who’s complaining with you. Do they all look very similar to each other? Why might that be? You may ultimately decide that, sure, it’s pretty much all white people, and especially (but not exclusively) white men, but we’re still right, but other things might come up as well, so it’s worth trying even if you think you’re going to end up mostly where you started.”

      This comment seems weird to me because it seems to start from the to assumption that all Internet outrage comes via minorities/marginalized people.

      You and I obviously visit very different Internets.Report

      • Chris in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I certainly don’t mean to imply that. The story that Will mentions from Erik’s post is, in fact, about a bunch of (mostly) white folk getting outraged.

        See, e.g., my other comment, in which I try to disentangle the minority voice and the outrage machine parts of what I’m talking about.Report

        • Tod Kelly in reply to Chris says:

          I tend to think of it similarly, though somewhat differently.

          I tend to think it’s important to separate those that look to foster empathy (including seeing things from a different point of view that might show yours is deeply flawed, which as a particularly privileged white dude feels pretty important have people do to me) from those that seek to have control over others.

          This is not always so easy to do, obviously, and it’s not even as if they never overlap.Report

  9. veronica d says:

    [O4] — I’ll say, that Jay-Freddie dialog is one of the best things I’ve read on the topic of online social justice activism in a long time. Go read it.Report

  10. zic says:

    O1 — I have a subversive plan to combat outrage culture. Every time you witness an outrage-in-the-making, don’t share it. Control yourself, and instead, go out and find a of goodness and kindness and accomplishment and effort, and share those. If you, in your weakness, do reshare an outrage story (stuff happens, after all,) do penance and reshare two uplifting stories. And use a tag, something like #outrageantidote.

    On the funeral story; yes, this seems awful and silly and I don’t want to defend it. But context does matter, too. Fallen veterans receive an honor guard; best spread into the public mind via the Kevin Bacon movie, Taking Chance. The sensibility portrayed here is what offended. It does seem likely that the drivers might have been unaware of the traditions of military honor, it goes a step beyond the normal rituals surrounding death and burial.

    And that’s the real problem here — our outrage outbursts are often devoid of context.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to zic says:

      Every time you witness an outrage-in-the-making, don’t share it.

      One of the rules of thumb I’ve encountered is “if you have heard of it, it’s too late for you to give a meaningful opinion on it.”

      This isn’t true for everybody (and it’s probably not true for a chunk of us here), but it’s sure as hell true for me.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to zic says:


      Why not go the other way? Share things that will make folks happy.

      Wait… did I just describe Upworthy? Ugh… Upworthy fills me with outrage.Report

      • zic in reply to Kazzy says:

        Well, happy is nice. But I made my name as a writer, at first, seeking out people who were doing interesting things and dealing with challenges that make most of us give up; they weren’t necessarily ‘happy’ stories, so much as stories about people who were deeply engaged in doing something. (This was in my local paper and in the early days of business writing, fwiw.)

        First, when I had to write about controversy in my local paper, people got dismayed; not because the issue I wrote about wasn’t important, but because they looked forward to my weekly story to learn about the people who live here, and instead, it was just more of news-as-usual. They really liked learning about the old dude, who after retiring, taught himself how to build wood-strip canoes and made one a year to sell. They adored finding out about the woman who dowsed for water for a living. They were thrilled to learn about the Finnish immigrant, a widow with five children from ages 5 to 16, who brought them here to the US as indentured servants to escape Russian conscription for here eldest sons; they didn’t know that part of her story, only that she sold blackberry wine during prohibition, and so is honored by our most infamous road name (and most-stolen street sign), The Alcohol Mary Rd.

        So I don’t think upworthy cringiness is what I’m suggestion; but we often mistake goodness for happiness, and they are not the same thing.

        I’m sure you watch children struggle through confusion to understanding nearly every day; it’s the best part of being a teacher, and the very best teachers I’ve known and witnessed teaching had an amazing ability to help children embrace that confusion instead of letting it frustrate them into giving up. That’s a story with telling, one we don’t hear often enough about schools and education; we instead want to presume talent and smart and proper upbringing are the roots of learning. Just for an example for your own potential subversiveness in countering outrage culture.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

        The weird thing is how upworthy makes one feel unpleasant emotions but joining internet mobs makes one feel pleasant ones.Report

        • zic in reply to Jaybird says:

          Bruno Bettelheim wrote about the importance of story in helping us learn to overcome bad stuff. When we read about Hansel and Gretel lost in the woods and overcoming the witch after being attracted to the house of candy, we learn how to cope with being lost in the world and attracted to people who mean us harm. Teaches us how to respond for our own safety. I very much appreciate this insight into story, and am ceaselessly amazed by how we keep finding new stories to help us learn how to cope with life.

          The outrage cycle, seems part of that to me. Perhaps we retell (share) based on similar mechanisms that draw us to Hansel and Gretel; but about real people, not storybook characters. So there are consequences, and these then become part of the story we need to tell to equip ourselves to deal with bad stuff that happens.

          Inversely, the good stuff making us feel unpleasant is often because it makes us feel bad about ourselves in comparison. Yoga-paint wearing moms make other moms feel guilty because they might feed their kids a box of mac-and-cheese for dinner. The long-distance runner’s constant FB posts about their today’s six-mile run makes us feel fat and lazy.

          Which goes to your point; the pleasant emotion of learning to survive bad stuff vs. the good stuff that makes us feel unpleasant because we’re not that good.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to zic says:


            You’ve read Bruno? I’ve read a bit of his work and studied him and his influence. Fascinating dude. How widely known is he?Report

            • zic in reply to Kazzy says:

              I did storytelling from childhood; a was always volunteering to tell stories in libraries and at the small, local festivals that happen in Maine throughout the summer. After reading The Uses of Enchantment, it made me thing about what I was doing — not just telling stories, but equipping people to withstand life’s emotional trials and tribulations; and that helped me be a much better storyteller. I think a lot of that passed on into my journalism, too.

              Other than his suicide, I don’t know that much about him. But I very much enjoyed reading a few of his books, and they definitely helped shape the ways I understand the world of human behavior and need.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

              I’ve heard of him, and I always think Piaget was the lady in Upstairs, Downstairs, so pretty widely.Report

            • zic in reply to Kazzy says:

              I just read his wikipedia page, and much as I enjoyed some of his work on story and enchantment, his whole frozen-mother autism thing is pretty repellent; and I was aware of that theory, but hadn’t connected it to Bettelheim.

              I can see the line of reasoning that might lead from the treasuring of play, and the wonder of imagination to cold mothers being responsible for inability to interact in playful and imaginative ways.

              But I’m not sure that the illogic at arriving there on autism devalue how he understand the importance imagined story experience to surviving real experiences emotionally; either. People are complicated.

              His suicide saddened me at the time.Report

    • Hoosegow Flask in reply to zic says:

      I think society as a whole needs to recalibrate its outrage meter. Social media, and Twitter in particular, have made it absolutely trivial for tens of thousands of people to be critical of events in real-time. A lot of people saying “this thing is bad” does not necessarily constitute outrage.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to zic says:


      I agree. People need to just walk away but this goes against the classic observation that “Someone is wrong on the Internet”

      There are 320 million people in the States and 7 Billion people in the world. So the idea that we can all agree on all issues is silly.

      The phrase I most often hear associated with outrage is “I can’t even…” I can’t even whatever seems to mean “I can’t believe that people believe in this stuff or have this opinion.” So I think people launch into the attacks to make sure that dissent is known and to label the person offensive and so are there ideas.Report

      • zic in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        But even here, most of us are discussing what other people should do instead of what they do; which is kinda sortof the point.

        I didn’t suggest upworthy as an alternative news source; but personally combating that little rush of feel-good we get from joining the mob when we rebroadcast public shaming.
        A Hail Mary penance that introduces something new as an alternative to the shame-O-sphere. Shunning the shame-O-sphere.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to zic says:

      zic: It does seem likely that the drivers might have been unaware of the traditions of military honor, it goes a step beyond the normal rituals surrounding death and burial.

      Or, perhaps, they are elderly, they had been up early, they had a long drive ahead of them, and they had low blood sugar & caffeine levels.Report

      • zic in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        @oscar-gordon I know; and I pretty much doubt that most people who served would give a fig, particularly people who served in combat who knew to take their rest where they could get it.

        But there’s this other group of thought, closely tied in with cultural respect and heritage, that takes these codes of honor very seriously. One of the things conservatives (big stereotype recognition) that always troubles me as the stress on the appearance that things seems to matter more than the actual state of things. Don’t do what I do, do what I say thinking. And the appearance of the honor guard for soldier on his last journey to his grave is really high up on the list of the-appearances-of-things-that-matter; it’s like spending the night before your anointed a knight in prayer and meditation.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to zic says:


          Oh, I know who you are talking about, and honestly they can go pound sand.

          The full attention of a Military honor guard is for the final leg of the journey, or when the casket is being carried, not during transport. Do these people think that, while those caskets are in the belly of a C-130 on their way over, that any honor guard that might be on board is not using the head, eating some food, or grabbing a cat nap?Report

  11. Kazzy says:


    For reals? Look… I can see choosing not to patronize businesses for… well, whatever reason you might not want to. I don’t think the ethical, moral, or legal obligations we might impose on businesses are equally held by consumers. If you don’t want someone who opposes same-sex marriage tainting your rings, don’t shop there.

    But it seems ridiculous to shop there and then claim after the fact that you want to back out of the deal. I mean, if you don’t want to wear the rings, don’t wear them. But unless the return is a simple one and one the store owner is willing to make, I don’t see these folks as having much of a leg to stand on.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Kazzy says:

      See my post below on the topic.

      IMO they may not have been within their rights in absolutely demanding a refund, but it’s not unreasonable for them to request one. And indeed, the store owner, through whatever combination of personal second thought and getting publicly slammed for being an A-hole to their customers, has decided to provide the refund.Report

  12. Pyre says:

    In a related note to O1, Snoop Dogg has been the target of SJWs for a recent tweet where he derided the media fascination with “science project” Caitlyn Jenner while ignoring Akon’s African solar power initiative.

    While the comment may have been inappropriate, SJWs are missing the larger picture of the Tweets.

    1) The superficial nature of the news where a former Olympian swapping gender is far more important to the news cycle than bringing energy to the poorest continent on the planet.

    2) The tendency for the news to downplay any non-rioting story about the black community or members thereof. It probably didn’t help that Africa falls under the category of “faraway brown people” with the average American.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Pyre says:

      True. I think the issue is that there is not much to say about the Solar Power story except “Isn’t this cool”. The Jenner story plays into the desire to be on the correct-side of history on a social issue and being read as being correct by the history books is something that people can deeply about. For the super-religious the stakes are more dire because they think they are risking the wrath of God by supporting LGBT-rights. I think they are completely wrong on this but that will not convince the religious. Why should they listen to a secular, Jewish guy from New York?Report

      • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @saul-degraw — Right. I find it hard to believe anyone could miss this issue. Like, I want to ask @pyre what planet he is on.

        First, plenty of people, including me, are rightly annoyed at how Caitlin Jenner is dominating the headlines.

        It may surprise you, but as a trans woman I don’t want lives like mine to be the center of petty, tabloid attention, and it’s pretty nauseating to be sitting on the subway and having to listen to randoms offer shitty opinions about trans stuff. It’s all tawdry and petty and gross.


        But what Snoop Dogg said was hella offensive, and we are in our rights to be upset with him. Likewise I would hope that LGBT allies would find his comments out of line.

        I mean, he’s a black guy, so there’s like a super obvious analogy I can bring out, that is so obvious that I feel like I shouldn’t even have to, but like, how can anyone not see this?

        So, if I wanted to point out how some person of color was getting a lot of shallow media exposure, instead of “more important things” — well, that’s not really the fault of minorities in general, and when I discuss it I should avoid racist nonsense, yes? Like, if I want to make my point.

        Like, on any given day the media is full of tabloid nonsense instead of “more important things,” literally all the time. That’s what our media is now. It’s that way when it’s a trans woman getting the focus, and it’s the same when the “big story” is (for example) the romantic foibles a black hip hop star.

        But that does not mean I get to say shitty racist things when it is a black hip hop star, even if that star is a terrible human being. (Which, I’m not saying that about Snoop Dogg, but examples of terrible people in hip hop are not hard to find.)

        When you insult person X for factor Y, you insult not just person X, but all people with factor Y.

        So Snoop Dogg insulted me. So fuck him. He’s an ass.

        And her name is Caitlin. You can hate her. You can be a shitty bigot all you want, but that’s her name.

        And Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. is in no position to judge people who change their names.Report

      • Pyre in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        That doesn’t make it right nor does that mean that it should be dismissed as “well, there’s not much to say about it”. Certainly, the League finds more to say about Solar Power or other scientific/altruistic causes…..when they can use it against the Republicans. Certainly, the League finds more to say about racial equality and media bias …. when they want to be on “the right side of history” during riots.

        But, when it doesn’t fit into either? Well, it just isn’t really something that even deserves a two-minute segment on the news. It just isn’t something that anyone wants to hear about unless we can tie it to a moral outrage piece against a celebrity. Is that what you’re saying needs to happen for it to be news? Does Akon need to be at the center of a riot that is condemned by Ted Cruz before people have more to say about it than “Isn’t this cool?”

        Further, is it possible that this is something that helps to cause the internet outrage that Eric Kain bemoans? Could it be that people might be a little less inclined to go after a pair of donut-munching hearse drivers if there was a news cycle that didn’t just go with stories that confirm bias in the most superficial manner possible? If the purpose of a journalist was to inform as opposed to incite, would people be more inclined to give the facts a once-over before immediately leaping to judgement?Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Pyre says:

          Linky Friday has linked to multiple stuff involving Solar Energy. And nuclear and wind. Admittedly, fossils get more attention but that’s mostly because of LF’s coordinator’s professional background. But energy in general is of keen interest, so please email cool energy stories of any stripe!Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Pyre says:

          But what else is there to say other than “good for her, it’s her choice and her life, her transition doesn’t affect me in any tangible way, wow was she a great athlete back in the Olympics, she looks beautiful on that magazine cover, hopefully she’s a good role model for trans kids, but I still don’t care much about the extended Kardashian clan.”

          Aaaaand I’m out of things to say about her. Less than sixty seconds.

          Snoop Dogg said something dumb and rude. Yeah. He’s Snoop Dogg. His job is to be a clown. Not particularly a face-painted prat falling clown, but a person who elicits outbursts of emotion, hopefully laughter but maybe not always, through outrageous antics. If his antics fail to amuse, well, ignore him.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Burt Likko says:

            @burt-likko — About Snoop Dogg, I don’t think that works. Which, I don’t follow hip hop closely, but near as I can tell he is a major figure in hip hop, and maybe you personally can write him off as a “clown” —

            But look, this is a hard topic to talk about, especially since I’m a white girl, and it’s kinda terrible, but here we go…

            If you read about a random LGBT person being murdered — I mean truly an unbiased random sample — it was probably a black or latina trans woman, cuz they get murdered more than the rest of LGBT combined.

            And sad to say — and this is gonna sound awful, but I’m gonna say it anyway — chances are high their murderer was a black or latino man.

            And what community most respects Snoop Dogg?

            Look, I’m a white girl and there is only so much I can say about this without coming across really badly. But still, I’m not going to write Snoop Dogg off as a “clown.” In fact, what was he talking about when he said this shit?

            He was saying that African famine relief is more important that Caitlyn fucking Jenner.

            This does not sound like a topic for unserious clowns.

            And he was right. African famine relief is more important than the tawdry, tabloidesque nonsense about Caitlyn fucking Jenner, and her pretty fashion shoot and our boundless curiosity over her new genitals.

            Which of course the cis public is endlessly fascinated about, despite the fact it isn’t really important to anyone but Caitlyn, her doctors, and whoever she decides to sleep with.

            I wish her joy, and I hope the public finds a place in their heart for trans people — but not like this! Not from Kardashian-space. Uggggg!

            And Snoop Dogg — he’s a transphobic shit and people do listen to him, and he both reflects and supports a violent, hateful culture that is terrible for trans women, particularly minority trans women.

            I wish we had a black or latina trans woman on the forum, who could talk about this more effectively than I can — but I’ll say, being able to write off Snoop Dogg as a “clown” is a kind of white privilege. I have it. You have it. Many minority trans women do not.

            I think Snoop Dogg is probably kind of important. I wish he was not.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:


              A pronoun question, if you will: is it correct to use female pronouns when referring to Jenner’s life in its entirety? E.g., “She won a gold medal in the men’s decathalon.”

              I recognize this may vary person to person. I believe Jenner preferred male pronouns until the VF story. But is there a general “rule”?

              Today at the mechanic, a story came on about Jenner. I wasn’t paying attention, but one older woman (50+) remarked about the ridiculousness of her getting the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPYs… Like she ever cared about the ESPYs. An older dude (60+) went on a mini-rant about it being unnatural and men being men and women being women. It was terribly awkward. I was not engaged with either of them and off in the corner so I neglected to say anything. Another gal about my age who had been talking with the man suddenly clammed up. This after tolerating the old dude’s question about whether she “tried” to get pregnant with twins. Sigh…Report

              • veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

                @kazzy — Yeah, I really am afraid to spend time in public places right now, cuz if I get stuck next to a conversation like that, I might just go off.

                Seriously, this is a bad time for me. I spent most of the day at the Public Garden away from other people.

                (Then I of course went to that very gay bar I mentioned above, where I referenced “washed up old queens.” I had to meet someone. Anyway, today everyone was super nice to me on the topic, including a couple of lovely old queens. So yeah, that happened.)

                Regarding pronouns, from the Glaad Media Reference Guide:

                Avoid pronoun confusion when examining the stories and backgrounds of transgender people prior to their transition.

                Ideally a story will not use pronouns associated with a person’s birth sex when referring to the person’s life prior to transition. Try to write transgender people’s stories from the present day, instead of narrating them from some point in the past, thus avoiding confusion and potentially disrespectful use of incorrect pronouns.

                So I’m a “she.” I was always a “she,” and if you need to refer to what I was doing in high school, well my name is veronica and you call me “she” — even if back then no one called me veronica and everyone thought I was a boy.

                Regarding Jenner, I’d suggest that pattern, unless she indicates a different preference.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:


                Thanks. Right now, it feels a bit strange to write sentences like, “She won the men’s decathlon.” It feels anachronistic, even if only from a language standpoint. Hopefully, kids in the future will look back on that sentence and rather than see an anachronism, they’ll think, “Sports was divided up by men and women, based solely on sex assigned at birth? Weird.”

                I realize I enjoyed a certain privilege in simply not engaging. Then again, neither person struck me as particularly open to changing their minds (though that is obviously a huge assumption on my part) so pushback might have only made it worse.

                An interesting personal response to the VF cover…

                When I first saw the pic, I thought, “She’s pretty hot for an older gal.” Then I heard it was Caitlyn Jenner. “Bruce’s sister?” I thought. It was only a few days later I put it all together. I hadn’t seen “The Interview” so I didn’t realize the path she was planning to walk with regards to her transition. And if I may proudly pat my overly-privileged, heterosexual cis self on the back, I had zero qualms finding her attractive.Report

            • veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

              I perhaps should clarify the murder rates of black and latina trans women. According to this :

              The 2012 report found that 73.1% of all anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were people of color


              The report also found that 53.8% of all anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women.

              Combining those figures, it is probably not true that most anti-LGBT homicide victims were black or latina trans women, as I had stated.

              That said, it’s damn close to that. And keep in mind, we trans women are almost certainly less than 10% of the LGBT community. So if we’re more than half the murders, well that’s pretty awful. We definitely go around wearing targets.

              On the other hand, given her lifestyle, there is pretty much zero chance that Caitlyn Jenner will be murdered. (Which, good.)

              For me? I ride the subway every day. I go out into the city at night, all alone, or just me and a friend, taking the train to the club.

              I really don’t know what my chances are. A few months back my g/f got attacked by a guy with a knife — like, he tried to stab her and her roommate. They wrestled the knife away from him.

              He attacked them cuz they were trannies at the bus terminal, and they gave him a boner, and he didn’t like that.

              (No really. This happens. Guys see us, like us, approach us, and then attack us when they hear our voice. This seems to be why Islan Nettles got killed. It’s really a pretty common story.)

              I once got threatened by a guy with a knife, although he didn’t close on me. I’ve been chased off the train.

              I take Snoop Dogg seriously. You don’t have to.Report

  13. zic says:

    CT3: I think this is all muddled.

    First, despite there being some few adult-spaces (which is not much of a problem for me, if I’m shelling out a lot of money for a special night-out dinner, a child-free zones seem potentially appropriate, depending on my purpose.) But more importantly, while there were survey results saying children screeching in public places was annoying (it is,) all of the anecdotes were of positive responses to children. People interact to adults with children in public in ways they don’t talk to people without children. Interestingly, dogs cause the same phenomena.

    Housing costs and school quality are concerns that are so often discussed that I don’t need to address them here. Also, declining births through recession matter; our social responses to children are very much dictated by the numbers of children around; and this is a big deal through lots of layers of planning on so many levels of things that it’s easy to forget; that this spills over into general social responses in public spaces seems kind-of expected to me. The whole ‘helicopter parent’ thing started during the baby boomlet that preceeded the recession; and it’s a thing because so many people with the disposable income required to helicopter parent got attention. That lack-of-children is now visible during a few years when people didn’t have so many children seems a rather normal thing, too.

    The park without a playground thing, also, is endemic of a couple of things. First, and probably most important, is the lack of citizen engagement in the planning and design of public spaces. City planning is often driven by the needs of traffic, not people; and generally, the same people who do traffic planning design parks. I helped develop a model (while a board member for a greenspace alliance in metroBoston,) of having a citizen on the design committee for public-planning projects being built or rehabbed, and that was a really good change in how the city I lived in did it’s business; the model spread, and is commonly used in a lot of surrounding communities. This is more than just holding pubic hearings, it’s having a community member with ‘voting privileges’ on the development committee, and fully engaged with the entire process of design and build and (importantly,) evaluate real use vs. expected use.

    But my other point on parks is a reverse thing here; just because a park doesn’t have a playground doesn’t suggest that children are welcome. And I’ve seen instances where the presence of a playground does sort of suggest children aren’t welcome in other parts of a park; they’ve got their space over there. Do not get me wrong, playgrounds are awesome. But kids don’t need a playground to be out in a park, either. A field, some trees, a fountain to splash in, some dirt around shrubs where they can look for rollypollies is pretty awesome.Report

  14. Kolohe says:

    Ct1 – I’m skeptical, to say the least.

    It wouldn’t be an easy conversion to make—cleaning toxic waste off tankers can cost as much as $1 million in current recycling processes, depending on the size of the ship. “The dismantling and cleaning of parts which will not used in the ship anymore would be the biggest part during construction,” says Collaris.

    But that’s a process that would have to happen anyway to recycle the steel, and the designers argue that reuse is a more sustainable choice. “A re-used tanker can be functional again for another 50 or more years,” Collaris says. “It won’t go on the big rough seas. And why not stay close to the first initial purpose or structure where the steel has been used for in the first place. Recycling by reuse in the same object is much more environmentally friendly than recycling the steel for new structures.”

    This is Seasteading Lite. Large metal objects in on near salt water require a dang lot of work to keep their structural integrity. And most ships can’t support their own weight in a semi-beached state like the artist’s conception has. I’m also of the opinion their handwaving away the difference in cost between remediation for an object that you are basically trying to keep together, vs one you are able to completely dismantle.

    Recycling metal is the lowest hanging fruit of the waste stream. It easily melts down and can be recast into whatever you want with a net energy savings (over mining and refining) that far exceeds any other type of material that’s looking at end of life disposal.

    US companies are able to buy old Navy ships for a penny and make a profit on the scrap even under US environmental laws. In contrast, converting them to museum ships cost millions of dollars in ongoing expenses that people eventually get tired of payingReport

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:


      When I sent it to Will for linky, it was meant as a conversation piece, not a promotion of the idea. At the risk summoning LWA, I sometimes wonder what the hell architects & designers are thinking with their ideas, since often they handwave a lot of practical concerns away (the common criticism the civil engineers I used to work with had of architects & designers).

      That said, a ship could be beached & used like this safely if a foundation was laid for it. You obviously could not just beach it and hope for the best, the sand would shift as currents do & it will pitch or list within a few years. And yes, maintenance would be a bear.

      However, with regard to recycling costs, what is the economic incentive for companies to abandon hulls off the coast of Africa or India to rot? Is the cost of towing them to the breakers so high that recycling companies won’t do it?Report

      • LWA in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Too late- I read the article this morning and had exactly the thoughts Kolohe did.

        The concept is possible, just not likely feasible, for all the reasons stated. I did find it amusing that the citizens of the oil plutocracies would find a condo project in an oil tanker thrilling. Instead of you know, using their billions to hire start designers to create their Gilded Age skyscrapers.

        P.S. I use the phrase “I swear to God, I hate architects!” more often than you might think.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

          LWA: a condo project in an oil tanker thrilling.

          I think there is something very romantic to a lot of people about living on the water (as evidenced by the inflation of waterfront land prices despite the threat of flooding & storms), so living in a beached ship could have an appeal that a gilded skyscraper lacks, even if it is on the shoreline.

          But ask any sailor & they’ll tell you that living on the water is a lot of work, even more than living on the shoreline.

          LWA: I use the phrase “I swear to God, I hate architects!” more often than you might think.

          LOL! There may be hope for you yet!Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        However, with regard to recycling costs, what is the economic incentive for companies to abandon hulls off the coast of Africa or India to rot?

        I suppose it depends on the world commodity market prices and the quality and size of the vessels. But even the article says that the normal disposal route isn’t dumping, it’s taking them to a cheap labor country (with coastline) and using that to make it economically efficient.

        Which is the article’s other flabbergasting myopia. It talks about casualties in the hundreds for workers in the shop recycling biz in India, but the solution to that is – large scale construction projects in the Middle East? Really?Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:

          Kolohe: I suppose it depends on the world commodity market prices and the quality and size of the vessels.

          Or, if I want to put on my evil hat, the owners need to get rid of the ship & don’t want any “official” eyes seeing it.Report

  15. dragonfrog says:

    [O5] Surprise! A National Review repost and bloviation-without-fact-check of an American Conservative piece about a thing that didn’t even happen in the US turns out to have missed some rather important aspects of the issue. Who woulda thunk it!

    In fact, they did not find out by coincidence about the store owner’s privately held opinions – the store owner accepted their down payment on the rings, then put up a sign in the store, for them to see on returning to pick up the rings, that read “The Sanctity of Marriage IS UNDER ATTACK.” So not exactly thought policing here – the store accepted a deposit, and then posted a sign that was a deliberate F U to their customers, so they’d be humiliated while paying the balance of the cost of the rings.

    • I also like the way the NR piece puts things in quote marks that no one ever said. That’s always the hallmark of a well-reasoned argument.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

      The sign was in the article that linked to. Didn’t particularly change how I see the situation when I first read it.

      When we demand that everybody serve everybody, this is what is going to happen. Might be worth it or might not be worth it, and I don’t blame people for boycotting, but I’ve been saying for a while “Do you really want people who disapprove to be a part of your wedding?” and the answer was more of less in the affirmative.

      Objecting to the sign is merely asking them to keep quiet about it. The underlying issues are still there and the registering of protest inevitable. The sign allows future gay couples and those who sympathize not to do business with them in the future.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’m not sure I agree, and I’m not actually sure this case study is best served by making it about SSM.

        For example: If the engaged couple had been Evangelical Christians, and upon their return found the jeweler has posted a sign that, for example, mocked the beliefs of Evangelicals, I don’t actually think it’s so outrageous for that couple to ask to get out of the contract and choose another vendor. (And I guarantee you that Dreher’s stated “values”[1] on the issue would suddenly reverse themselves.) I don’t even think this is a Constitutional or civil rights question.

        Most of my career involved sales, either directly or indirectly. And one of the biggest things you learn in sales is that you probably shouldn’t make your work meetings with customers and prospects a place to talk about your political and cultural litmus test positions (which for a retailer absolutely includes how you choose to decorate your store). And if it *is* so important to you that you feel compelled to do it anyway, you need to be prepared to accept the fact that there will be people who would have wanted to do business with you otherwise that aren’t going to want to do business with you now — which, if you’re fine with, by all means go ahead. But then it’s on you, not on your customers and prospects.

        This doesn’t have anything to do with SSM. It has to do with some pretty basic Biz 101 lessons.

        [1] Sorry, Mike Schilling!Report

        • Scare quotes aren;t the same thing.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          I’m shrugging off the lost sales. It seems reasonable not to involve people who disapprove of your wedding. More reasonable, in fact, than demanding that they do. But we demand it, and so this is the result.

          It’s only Biz 101 if you’re worried about losing the sale.Report

          • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

            “But we demand it, and so this is the result.”

            We do?Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Require that wedding vendors accept the business of gay and lesbian couples? Increasingly so. I assume that Canada is further along than us on this, or that people desire it to be.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think you are confusing demanding that people be fully allowed to be part of the marketplace with demanding that people approve of other people.

                I know the race comparison is flawed, but we don’t actually demand that everyone approve of black people, or that all people approve of mixed race marriage. We do tell them they can’t have a “No Blacks” or “No Mixed Couples” business policy, even if they don’t approve.

                It’s kind of like when I was talking to Saul yesterday about how even though you can probably find conservatives out there that disprove of the Koch Bros giving money to NY arts, I don’t actually know a single one in real life that would care (except perhaps that they would approve). Similarly, even though I know you can find some SJWs on twitter that would say otherwise, I don’t actually know a liberal/progressive that demands that business owners approve of SSM if they’re willing to let them part of the marketplace with straight people.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Poor wording on my part, which I will attribute to having typed on my phone waiting for my coffee. The “do” was referencing involvement in the wedding and not approval. This is what I was trying to say:

                I’m shrugging off the lost sales. It seems reasonable not to involve people who disapprove of your wedding. More reasonable, in fact, than demanding their involvement. But we demand their willingness to do so, and so the result is vendors may have customers whose business they are actually indifferent to (at best).Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

                I agree with that.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Now you listen here, Tod, I… oh.Report

              • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

                There used to be a privately owned “pool” (a watering hole with diving board and other poolside accoutrement, including a locker room and a kitchen and such) in my hometown, one that I remember hearing everyone over a certain age talking about very fondly, as though it had been a fundamental part of growing up there.

                Recently in a Facebook group about growing up there, a thread about the pool started up, and I learned why it closed. Apparently when the city finally started enforcing desegregation, the owner just shut it down. There’s something to be said for having the courage of one’s convictions, I suppose.

                (I thought about writing a post about this, but I’m afraid people are gonna start thinking I hate home or worse, that it’s an awful place.)Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I think you are confusing demanding that people be fully allowed to be part of the marketplace….

                I find it really hard to believe that that’s actually the issue here. The outrage over people refusing to provide goods and services for gay weddings (or even expressing an aversion to catering a hypothetical gay wedding) does not in any way appear to be contingent on a lack of available alternatives.

                People aren’t concerned that gay couples are going to be unable to find people to service their weddings—they’re simply outraged at the possibility that anyone, anywhere, might refuse to provide services for a gay wedding and be allowed to continue working in that line of business.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                @brandon-berg “I find it really hard to believe that that’s actually the issue here. The outrage over people refusing to provide goods and services for gay weddings (or even expressing an aversion to catering a hypothetical gay wedding) does not in any way appear to be contingent on a lack of available alternatives.”

                That’s a terrible argument, akin to saying that if we can find a place not many Jews live right now it should really be okay to pass a No Jews city ordinance. Because, you know, there are plenty of other places they could go live, and why would they care if they couldn’t live next to people that didn’t want them there?

                I’ve written about this a bunch, but the reason, say, a bank can’t say can’t say “No Business Loans to Blacks” isn’t because some moron bank manger in the middle of Watts might make an idiotic PR decision. It’s for the places where, if anyone could do it, most (or everyone) would. How much of an inconvenience it is to be discriminated against in the market place depends upon where you are, and it also depends upon how necessary the good or service is. The problem is that if you do it the places where there’s no real inconvenience, you have to also allow it in the places where it’s a downright hardship. If you tell the baker in Portland that they can deny gays, then you have to tell the baker in Mobile that she can too. And if you tell the baker, you have to tell the hospital or the real estate agent that they can. And if no (or very few) other hospitals or real estate agents are willing to serve the minority in question in that town, then you get to a pretty ugly and regular practice that we’ve actually spent more time in this country doing with all kinds of minorities than we’ve spent not doing.

                Now, I suppose you could go down the rabbit hole of having voters or legislators (or SCOTUS!) making “OK to discriminate in the marketplace” and Not OK to discriminate in the marketplace” buckets for different industries, states, townships, neighborhoods, etc, so that we could allow someone to refuse a minority service in one industry or geographical location but not another, which I’m guessing is your answer to this conundrum based on your argument above.

                But that seems like a pretty major clusterfish waiting to happen.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                If you tell the baker in Portland that they can deny gays, then you have to tell the baker in Mobile that she can too. And if you tell the baker, you have to tell the hospital or the real estate agent that they can.

                This isn’t true. Portland can have one set of laws and Mobile another. A anti-discrimination law can apply to some industries and services not others.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:


                A baker in Portland can have a We Sell to Blacks and a baker in Mobile can have a We Don’t?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                It’s a matter of fact that a bakery in Mobile can refuse to sell cakes to gay couples, and a bakery in Portland can’t. So you can indeed have different laws in different places. It’s just that, unfortunately, the places that are most likely to need the laws don’t, and the places least likely do.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think you are doing a very good job at proving the liberal case for strong Federal anti-discrimination laws 🙂

                More seriously, I suspect that there was a time in the not too distant past when Portland was just as unfriendly to LGBT people as Mobile. For a variety of reasons, Portland attracted enough LGBT people and social liberals to get a law on the books banning LGBT discrimination.Report

              • I actually agree. I tend to think of basic civil rights issues, such as the ability to participate in society, as things that can’t be left to federalism. The tricky part is determining what qualifies as “basic civil rights issues.” I think some anti-discrimination law certainly falls into that category, though. But whether good or bad, it’s what is (when it comes to a lot of things).Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                In my mind it is about participation in economic and civil life. You should not be turned away from a restaurant or other business based on your sexuality, gender, gender non-conformity, race, ethnicity, religion. Politics is a bit more tricky especially because of trolling.

                The same with jobs.

                A person can be turned away from a business if they want to check into the Four Seasons but for Motel 6 rates. Or if they are rude or can’t pay, etc.Report

              • Agree on restaurants, agree on hotels, but “other business” covers a whole lot of ground and I may not agree with that.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Oops, I misread your comment, which gets down to the nub of it:

                Should it be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in the marketplace?

                That’s really all this question is about. Everything else is just window dressing to make it sound like you’re not saying you want to be able to discriminate against gays in the marketplace.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                To me, the answer is, “it depends.”

                I know this is supposed to be either the height of inconsistency or some super-secret way of saying that I don’t care if a gay person is dying at the foot of a hospital while bigoted doctors look on, but… it depends.Report

              • RTod in reply to Will Truman says:

                To be clear, I’m not trying to ask trick or gotcha question. My conversation with you here doesn’t come from a place of me thinking that you’re a bigot. It really doesn’t.

                I think it’s more a question that I don’t understand the reasoning. Or, I don’t unless I am apply The Augustine national rule. Which I think is a pretty human thing.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to RTod says:

                I apologize for my snarky tone. It’s… difficult to be on this end of the conversation. In part because, unlike a lot of people at the end of it, I really do care a great deal about the welfare of gays and lesbians.

                The thing is, most people (even liberals) do seem to agree on some limits. That there were things we could make that pastor in Idaho do, maybe, but things that we couldn’t even if he is a for-profit business. And I think most people (?) would agree that a prostitute in Las Vegas can choose to over have sex with the gender of their preference.

                On the other hand, without question I support anti-discrimination laws in two areas: the emergency and the essential. The “emergency” covers things like emergency rooms, but also mechanics and tow trucks and anything where it is unreasonable to accommodate even the slight delay of being declined by the first three people you call. The “essential” covers things everybody needs and people tend to need specific things: Jobs, housing, food (broadly defined, including prepared food and a place to eat the food). This is not a comprehensive list, but off the top of my head.

                But it gets a lot less important from there, except as a symbolic gesture. And it sets up needless conflict. North Dakota almost passed a law covering more-or-less the above, and I thought it was more important to get that passed than to get everything else. From there, wait-and-see. Not entirely coincidentally, though, the fate of the North Dakota law lost all its steam right when Memories Pizza.

                My reasoning isn’t entirely based on expedience, but because I recognize that there are actually divisions in the minds of people. And my own mind wonders about the necessity of making damn sure that cake gets baked. All these things are not all the same. They just aren’t. Which is why you can muster up support for employment and housing (as in Utah) while not everything else. Or I can draw the line where I do. And some people can draw the line in a place where discrimination is permissable by the Hitching Post and prostitutes but almost nobody else.

                I tend to support compromise within the wedding industry on both ideological and pragmatic grounds. I mean, I can actually empathize with someone who is uncomfortable with gays getting married having to go to these weddings and do their things. And if you’re a photographer who considers herself an artist, you should be able to direct your art to things that are worthwhile to do you and not to weddings that you find abhorrent (however much I wish you might reconsider). I’m less ideologically sympathetic to cake-bakers, but pragmatically I am far more interested in ratcheting up the consensus on marriage equality specifically and gay rights generally. There are some battles it’s not worth fighting, because fighting Memories Pizza is not actually fighting a hospital.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

                The problem with depends is that you need to determine when discrimination is fine and when it is not. Why is a restaurant or hotel bad discrimination but a baker permissible?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Hotels and restaurants both offer emergency and essential services. People need to eat, and they need a place to stay. The distinction between that, and those who provide services for special occasions, is no less artificial to me than the distinction between a public club and a private club. Or an LLC vs sole-proprietor (a distinction some around here propose).

                Unfortunately, there aren’t always bright lines. Ideologically, I am less sympathetic to cake-bakers than a lot of other wedding vendors. I’d give cake-bakers a pass only as part of a compromise. Excepting, perhaps, cake-makers that could demonstrate that they only do cakes on request and are particular about the jobs they take. In which case, they might be exempt anyway as not being a public accommodation?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:


                Doesn’t the legal concept of public accommodations address your worry? Or do you reject the concept’s applicability wrt discrimination?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                Ideologically, it does a lot of heavy lifting, though doesn’t take care of some of the personal services and speech issues. A wedding photographer can be considered public accommodation, but requiring them to attend a SSM ceremony is further than we need to go especially considering the “artist” angle. The same can apply to a cake-maker, though usually wouldn’t (I don’t think) and in my perfect world I would probably restrict what they can be expected to do rather (bake the cake, yes, inscribe “Yay gay marriage!” or “Jesus Christ is our Savior!” no) than deem them exempt. Getting it right, in my perfect world, would be a lot of work. I genuinely consider it to be a complicated situation.

                From a pragmatic standpoint, more exceptions are going to need to be made to get the Dakotas to sign on. I want the really important stuff far more than I care about the less important stuff even if in my perfect world anti-discrimination law would be in effect.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

                My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with the federal government making sure that business people treat everybody’s money as equal.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

                And then you’ll get jewelers with signs and lesbian couples who want their money back and large portions of the country resentful of the law that was thrust upon them.

                I think a North Dakota law passed by North Dakotans would do more good for gays in North Dakota, even applying to some sectors of the economy and not other sectors of the economy.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                Just because people are resentful of laws being thrust upon them doesn’t mean it is not right.

                The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were absolutely thrust upon the South but they weren’t going to end Jim Crow any other way. Why do you think North Dakota or Mobile would be any different when it comes to LGBT rights?Report

              • Some things are important enough to thrust national laws upon people. An employment discrimination law might just be that important. Jewelers and bakers are a different story. You have to keep a sense of “How important is this?” perspective.

                I think North Dakota might be different because they almost passed a law earlier this year. Utah did pass a law. To me, an imperfect local law is better than a perfect national one which is more likely to actually fail at the local level.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                That’s not quite how it worked. One of the most important cases upholding the Civil Rights Act was against a BBQ joint. A big part of the Civil Rights Act was ending discrimination in accommodations and restaurants:


                Also see Heart of Atlanta motel.

                Surely a BBQ is like a jeweler and a bakery. Imagine if we were arguing 50 years ago. Would you be saying BBQs are different than schools and jobs?Report

              • The degree of societal uprooting required to protect blacks then is not the same as for gays now. A BBQ joint then was indeed far more important than a jeweler now. The degree of importance is vastly different. We’re closer on gay rights. We don’t need as extreme measures.

                Edit to add: Also, for whatever it’s worth, I put hotels and restaurants in the highest category of importance. Distinct from wedding jewelers in that regard.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                Ahh. Just read your second comment. OK. So … are you interested in preserving a narrow reading of that term for anti-discrimination purposes?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                I believe that I favor a narrower reading than currently exists, but I feel like I’d need to go to law school to be more sure.Report

              • zic in reply to Will Truman says:

                if it’s any comfort, @will-truman it seems Patrick Stewart agrees with you; at least as the headline’s written. But nuance matters:

                “You’ve picked a deliciously difficult subject because, finally, I found myself on the side of the bakers,” Stewart explained. “It was not because this was a gay couple that they objected. It was not because they were going to be celebrating some kind of marriage or agreement between them. It was the actual words on the cake that they objected to.”

                And that sort of brings us back to Tod’s slipper slope.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, sorry for the confusion. I’ve been responding one comment back from what’s showing up here. Thanks for clarifying where ya’ll’s at on this. It’s a bit of a balancing act for sure. One thing, tho: I’m pretty sure I can’t go so far as @leeesq in saying that the gummint has the right to make sure all people’s money is treated as equal. The reason is because the equality of the money (do Christians think gay money doesn’t spend as well???) isn’t what’s at issue: it’s the freedom to engage (or not) in transactions with certain types of people. Which is where the definition of “public accommodation” becomes pretty relevant (if we grant the legitimacy of the concept).

                {And thinking about this some more, I’m actually not sure I disagree with leeesq at this point, since I don’t know what is entailed by his above comment. Lee, what do you see as the scope of an “equality of money” type of legislation?}Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater, it means that, in general, that if you can afford a particular product or service than it is generally yours and merchants can’t charge customers they would not want to deal with higher prices in order to be rid of them. Suppose that Evangelicals select a caterer for a purity ball that turns out to be liberal. This caterer should take their money and provide the catering at the same price that he or she would charge for events of similar volume. What I am calling for is a separation of commerce and beliefs.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

                Re: single-owner LLC versus sole proprietorship.

                Legally, it is a distinction that makes some sense in some contexts. Not everything is a public accommodation.

                Practically, it strikes me as pernicious, or at least potentially so, in an era which sees people willing to (or worse, inadvertently compelled to) stake their businesses and livelihoods on scoring points in the culture wars.

                Thing is, we have to work within the system we’ve got.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          Note this happened in Canada, so the US constitution isn’t a very useful tool for analysis.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

        If they’d said at the outset “we oppose same sex marriage but will accept your business,” particularly if the sign had been up already when the couple came in the first time, that would be one thing. If they’d never made an issue of it before, during, or after the transaction, that would be another thing.

        But they accepted the deposit without comment, the couple even apparently recommented the shop to their friends because of how gracious the initial service was, and then the owners put up the sign for the couple to see on returning to the shop. That’s just gross.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

          It’s not clear they specifically put up the sign to spite the gay couple. He says he puts up signs throughout the year, and this one was up for Mother’s Day. We can assign the worst possible motives to them if we are so inclined, but I’m not actually seeing it.Report

          • He says he puts up signs throughout the year, and this one was up for Mother’s Day

            Naturally, just like the God Hates Fags one goes up on Thanksgiving.Report

          • Francis in reply to Will Truman says:

            In the US legal system, people may be presumed to intend the natural and predictable consequences of their actions.

            Do you honestly believe that the store owner couldn’t figure out for himself that his customers would be outraged? I don’t particularly care what his private motivations were. Once we go down that road, everyone becomes a performance artist.

            A diner that has an influx of minority-race clientele puts a note on the menu “Whites Only”. “Oh, that’s about our omelets, not our customers”. Really? Look, you actually may be that stupid or you may think that I am, but as a matter of law we’re not going down that road.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Francis says:

              As a matter of law (US or Canadian), he did nothing wrong, did he?Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

                If he’d accepted the to make wedding rings for a mixed-race couple, and then between accepting the deposit and the couple paying the balance and picking up the rings, he’d put a sign behind the counter that said “Miscegenation is an abomination” – would you say the couple were being reasonable or unreasonable in wanting a refund of their deposit?

                If you think they’re still being unreasonable in that case, then, I guess, at least you’re consistent…Report

              • Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

                I don’t think I actually called the couple in question here unreasonable for wanting a refund. I am actually sympathetic to their desire not to have such people play a part – however small – in their wedding, and I’m glad that Jordan gave them their refund. That makes more sense to me than demanding their involvement against their beliefs.

                But I don’t consider the sign to be particularly fundamental to the story, except that it happened to be the mechanism by which the couple found out Jordan’s views. If they’d found out a different way, I still wouldn’t blame them for wanting to pull out. It’s genuinely preferable for gay couples to get the business of businesses that want to serve gay couples, especially when involving something as personal as a wedding.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

                OK, I had misunderstood you – pretty significantly at that! Thanks.

                I personally do think the sign is fairly central to the story, at least as reported (the angle in the article that they were singled out for their privately held opinions, rather than for the exact time and manner that they chose to express those opinions).Report

            • kenB in reply to Francis says:

              Here’s a different hypo: a conservative couple goes to a jeweler to buy a wedding ring, and while talking with him/her, talks about their opposition to gay marriage, their belief that homosexuality is depraved, etc. etc. The owner doesn’t say anything and completes the purchase, but when they come back to pick it up, they see that the owner has put a rainbow flag on the store window. They angrily demand a refund.

              Was the store owner being obnoxious in this case? Would you support the couple demanding a refund?Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to kenB says:

                There’s an important difference there – I’m guessing this is part of what you’re getting at?

                In the actual incident, the owner is plainly advertising that they believe that the customer shouldn’t be allowed to do what they’re doing.

                In your hypothetical, the owner is plainly advertising that they believe the customer should be allowed to do what they’re doing, but that so should other people who the customer believes shouldn’t be allowed.

                “I disagree with you on what your rights should be,” vs. “I disagree with you on what other people’s rights should be.”Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    Pete Ricketts seems hell-bent on keeping the Death Penalty in Nebraska despite losing in a legislature twice. A legislature dominated by his own party:


    This is why I dislike the voter referendum process. It seems to play into the hands of demagogues. What ever happened to Burekean conservatism and relying on the wisdom of those who are elected?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      What ever happened to Burekean conservatism and relying on the wisdom of those who are elected?


    • I’m not sure why you bring referendums into this — the legislature voted to abolish the death penalty (going forward), the governor vetoed it, the legislature overrode the veto, the governor is pissed off. Maybe there will be a referendum, maybe there won’t — the earliest it can make the ballot is 2016, and the governor can’t put it on the ballot himself, he has to collect signatures just like anyone else. My friends who live there and pay more attention than I do seem to think it’s a settled matter and that a referendum to overturn the new law will fail.

      What happened to trusting the elected officials? By the early years of the 20th century in the American West, eastern corporate interests had purchased control of state legislatures on a variety of issues (eg, East Coast mining companies could put enough money on enough desks to guarantee laws regulating mining in a particular state never came to a vote). The perception was that Eastern states had zero interest in reining in those corporations. As a result, by a variety of means, progressives (and often Progressives) got initiative and referendum processes into the state constitutions.

      State legislatures as bodies have long memories, especially if bad memories are reinforced from time to time. I write regularly that if you go down to your local statehouse in any of the 11 states from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, and listen in the right places and times, there is still an institutional distrust of the East. Recent reminders that have kept memories current include the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and eastern states slowly but steadily dismantling the Reagan DOE’s plan to build a large spent nuclear fuel repository in the East for the fuel from all those eastern reactors, and a quite small repository in the West for the few western reactors.Report

  17. Saul Degraw says:

    An examination into why mainly men heart Rand Paul and libertarianism:

    • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Heer’s article is good, I think, but what Heer does best is the Twitter essay. I know “Twitter essay” sounds like an absurd notion, but it’s a thing, and he is damn good at it.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Chris says:

        Well, the reason mostly white men heart Rand Paul and libertarianism is a convenient subject for a Twitter essay, because it fits nicely in 140 characters…Report

        • j r in reply to dragonfrog says:

          Care to elaborate?Report

          • dragonfrog in reply to j r says:

            Libertarianism favours those who already have the most privilege.

            65 characters, 64 if you use US spelling.Report

            • j r in reply to dragonfrog says:

              This is a good example of what I am talking about above.

              Implicit in this argument is the claim that everyone who is not white and not male and not privileged, in the way that you want to define the term, but who identifies with libertarianism is somehow inauthentic or suffering from some form of false consciousness.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to j r says:

                Implicit in your statement is the claim that everyone is just out for their own interests, and would only ever support a politics that tends to reduce their privilege by accident or deception. (Actually, that sounds kind of familiar, dunnit?).

                There are authentic and legitimate reasons to identify with a political philosophy that doesn’t most directly favour your own interests. There are authentic and legitimate reasons to identify with a political philosophy that favours some of your own interests, but disfavours others.

                I’m not saying that those (6%) non-white, or (32%) non-male libertarians are suffering false consciousness, but that they did have to get there past the fact that at least some of their own interests are disfavoured by libertarianism.Report

              • j r in reply to dragonfrog says:


                OK, so you have taken a group of individual human beings; reduced them to their demographic characteristics; decided what their interests are; and labeled them in opposition to those interests.

                You don’t see how that is patronizing?Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to j r says:

                Ask a demographic question, get a demographic answer.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to dragonfrog says:

              Pretty stupid way to go about it. It’d be easier to maintain your privilege by merely attacking other leftists for not being leftist enough while voting for establishment Democrats because “Republicans would be worse!”

              The best part is that doing so would inoculate yourself against accusations of hidden motives.

              Be a hell of a lot better than arguing for the end of the drug war, promoting same sex marriage, and yelling about the government spying on American Citizens without getting a warrant first.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to dragonfrog says:

              Libertarianism favours those who already have the most privilege.

              If you arbitrarily define “privilege” as the ability to succeed in a market economy, I guess so, although note that in the long-run, big government slows economic growth and makes everyone worse off; conversely limited government makes everyone better off in the long run.

              The aside, big government creates quite a bit of privilege. But in the Orwellian world of left-wing rhetoric, succeeding on your own merits is privilege and having things handed to you by the govenment is not.Report

              • Saul DeGraw in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                The liberal response to this is that succeeding in a market economy is not as purely meritocratic as many libertarians make it out to be. I am not sure I can ever convince you of this though. I am not sure if I can ever convince any libertarian of this. Nor will you be likely to convince liberals.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

                Of course it’s not purely meritocratic. But it’s

                1. More meritocratic than it’s made out to be by leftists, who frequently assert that the correlation between parental and child income is entirely due to advantages parents buy their children, while total ignoring the role of genetic heritability and cultural transmission of skills and values conducive to success, and

                2. Much, much more meritocratic than an economy in which government is calling the shots.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                Is the “cultural transmission of skills and values conducive to success” something that makes the situation more or less meritocratic? I’d argue less so.

                What about “genetic heritability”? Again, I’d say that that does not increase how meritocratic the system is.

                Which doesn’t mean the system is wrong. Or even that it is wrong to favor a meritocratic system (though I don’t think we should assume making everything a meritocracy — real or otherwise — is right). But my understanding of ‘privilege’ is that it includes any and everything the individual does not determine for herself. Genetics and cultural transmission are two such things.

                Because at the end of the day, there are few genetic manifestations and fewer still culturally specific values and skills that are universally, objectively ‘good’. This is one reason there is so much variability within humanity: many of the differences in physical traits based on genetics are because different groups of people grew up in different environmental contexts. Is it better to be light skinned or dark skinned? In 21st century America, there is really no objective benefit to having one skin tone or the other (that isn’t culturally defined, at least). But go back 50,000 years and being dark skinned was REALLY important if you were in sub-Saharan Africa and not so much if you were in Northern Europe. Which is why most folks in the former had very dark skin and most folks in the latter had very light skin.

                Even values and skills work this way. Right now, our society is pushing STEM. And folks who acquire STEM skills may have a leg up on their peers who do not. But arm a kid with all the STEM skills in the world and drop him in pre-agricultural times and how successful will he be? Much less so than the guy who is a highly skilled hunter.

                So I don’t think it is particularly useful to argue over which system is more meritocratic — especially since meritocracy is itself a cultural value and thus not objectively right (humanity achieved its heights in part because it eschewed some meritocracy and formed societies based in part on other values).Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                @kazzy Is the “cultural transmission of skills and values conducive to success” something that makes the situation more or less meritocratic? I’d argue less so.

                What would you say is meritocratic, then?

                To be clear, when I say the economy is meritocratic, I mean that people are generally paid roughly in proportion to their marginal contribution to the economy, as determined by what consumers are willing to pay for goods and services.

                “Merit” in this sense has nothing to do with personal virtue, or all-around awesomeness, or how much your friends and relatives like you, or how valuable your skills would have been a hundred years ago, or will be a hundred years from now, or are/were/will be in any real or hypothetical market in which you’re unable to participate for any reason.

                The value of this is that allowing people to keep their marginal product encourages them to take steps to maximize their marginal product, including acquiring skills that are valuable in the present or expected to be valuable in the near future.

                Now, if you want to say that it’s not fair that some people are smarter than others and receive better parenting than others, that’s a perfectly reasonable position to take, although I would argue that if you’re going down that road, the next logical step is that it’s not fair that hard work is more unpleasant to some than to others, which leads you to the conclusion that nobody deserves anything ever.

                And I’m not sure I disagree with that, either. But what do you do with it? Even if desert is a totally meaningless concept, people still respond to incentives.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                I want to focus on the ‘cultural transmission of values and skills’ thing for a moment, if you may. I’ll concede your definition of meritocracy for now, even though I have some qualms with it (though will stop short of saying you’re wrong).

                Let’s wade a bit into the equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity debate. Many would argue, “Well, what can be done about cultural transmission of values and skill? We want THE GOVERNMENT involved in that?!?!” Well, yes, I’d argue. Largely through the education system. How would you feel about schools offering courses in financial planning? How would you feel about them offering workshops about job interviews, resume writing, and job hunting?

                Many schools already offer these or other forms of “transmission of values and skills”. The problem is they tend to happen in the schools and communities where students are already receiving these values and skills. So what if we expanded this? What if we included financial literacy among the skills we require students to have before graduating? Or, to again focus on opportunity over outcome, require schools to offer these classes?

                I’d see that as a great opportunity to ‘level the playing field’ without putting our thumb on the scale in such a way that moves us away towards your definition of meritocracy?


              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


                And I realize this begs the question of the existence of a public education system, which I’ll confess to not knowing your general position on. So, if you oppose the mere existence of a public education system, we’d be looking at far more radical proposals. So, if you’ll indulge me on focusing on tweaks to the existing system rather than construction of a wholly new system…Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

                @kazzy the anarchs-capitalist faction of libertarians, that is the really extreme end of them, does oppose all public education just like the oppose public anything else. My position is that without a public education system we would be a lot less wealthy as society. A substantial percentage of children would go without or with rudimentary education because their parents would not or could not educate them for a variety of reasons. A greater percentage of people would end up receiving less education because their parents could not put them in school for as long as they could with public education. This would decrease the economic capacity of most people.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


                I agree. And I think @brandon-berg does too… but I didn’t want to assume on his behalf. If he feels that the public education system itself should not exist, arguing about what it should entail will either be fruitless OR will require him to make concessions which I don’t want to make for him.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

                This very argument is why I disavowed calling myself a libertarian. I still have a lot of the same impulses – the original liberals were after /helping/ the poor, after all – but modern US “libertarian” thought has lost that perspective.Report

              • LWA in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                This is also why I suspect the reason arguments between liberals and libertarians always go in circles.
                Because I don’t think we share the same overall goal or desired outcome.
                We want an outcome where there is widespread success, where freedom and rights are merely two of many tools to accomplish that.

                Libertarians champion rights and freedom themselves, and never seem to make much of an argument for success for everyone. The idea of a few superstars rising far above seems to excite them, not repel them.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

                So this goes back to equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity. Libertarians are pretty consistent about favoring opportunity over outcome*, but (generalizing here) liberals can’t seem to make up their mind.

                *while recognizing that opportunity may appear equal on the surface but suffer from deeper inequalities that are difficult to identify & address.Report

              • greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                ummm no. Liberals are not for everyone having the same outcome. How to make opportunity reasonable close to equal is a good and hard question.Report

              • LWA in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Equality of outcome is the caricature.

                Within the framework of ethics favored by liberals, which can be generally described as derived from the Abrahamic religious tradition, individual excellence isn’t proscribed; but the obligation to solidarity and shared communal fate are very important.

                Pope Leo defended individual property rights in Rerum Novarum for instance, but he located them within the context of sustenance. That is, individual property is important so each person can feed themselves, but once it surpasses that, the right becomes less important.The other goal of solidarity can rise in importance to outweigh the right to individual property. This is where the justification for progressive taxes comes in.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity.

                Liberals are closer to Stalinism than libertarians, so the political-economic gravitational forces which obliterate individuality and Freedom! in order to realize Collectivist Equality at the barrel of a gun are only a single slip on the political slope away from reality! Beware! Run away, even! (Just don’t shoot em, they’re only piano players.)Report

              • Chris in reply to Stillwater says:

                One person’s outcome is another person’s opportunity.

                The confusion is so common among libertarians that I honestly think it’s entirely perceptual. That is, they see many if not most attempts at equalizing opportunity as attempts to equalize outcomes, because they have different conceptions of those two things (and, we might say, an impoverished model of how opportunity works in a market system).Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

                Yeah, that was the direction I was initially gonna go in, but I slipped on the mischaracterization slope and decided to ride it all the way down to Stalinism. Fun!Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

                Let me rephrase Lea such that we can all have agreement here.

                We want an outcome where there is widespread success

                We want an outcome where there is widespread opportunity for success (for each individuals definition of success) .Report

              • Chris in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                An outcome with widespread success does not imply equality of outcome, it implies widespread success. You have to read equality of outcome into it, which is what do often happens when those of a libertarian bent see or hear it.

                Again, it is a matter of perception: one’s existing beliefs shape the way one reads a statement. The trick is not to protect that reading onto people who don’t share those beliefs.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

                Call me a communist, but unless everyone has the ability bring the global financial system to the brink of utter catastrophe, I don’t think anyone should.Report

              • LWA in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Yep, that was the purpose of the CRA, just like Bill Ayers intended.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chris says:

                Mea CulpaReport

  18. Rufus F. says:

    S1. That is unfortunate. It’s like rain on your wedding day.Report

  19. Oscar Gordon says:

    O1: Rant time!

    I’m a vet (US Navy). Everybody here knows this. I know there are a few other vets hereabouts, so if you’ve served, feel free to engage me on this.

    I am just about fed up with all the falling over themselves people have about honoring & respecting veterans. I mean, I appreciate the occasional Thank you I get when someone finds out I served. It’s still a bit off putting, but I accept it gracefully. While on my road trip through Oregon last week, I can’t tell you how many counties & towns I passed that had signs declaring that they honored veterans. Really? You have to put that on your sign? But what this jerk did to the hearse drivers is too much & demonstrates that most of my fellow citizens have no clue about the reasons people join up, or stay in, or get out. Very few people join for the glory or recognition, which is good, because very few service members ever achieve glory or recognition, and when they do something that would result in glory or recognition, the context of that event is generally a very bad time (horrific combat, or a disaster of some type, etc.) and not something for casual conversation.

    Thing is, unless Lt. Col. Coleman was the worst kind of officer & human being, I’m betting he would be just fine with the two elderly gentleman giving him his final ride taking a couple of minutes for a meal & some coffee. Hell, no decent soldier, sailor, or airman would EVER deny a fellow human a snack, coffee, or a cat nap when time allowed. That fact that Mr. Carpenter found it so offensive, that he decided his opinion on the matter was more important than Lt. Col. Coleman’s might be, or his families, that he had to destroy these two men over it…

    If that is what it means for civilians to be honoring veterans, I, for one, would like to not be honored anymore.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Years ago I read an article about the Village People. Apparently the Pentagon wanted to use “in the Navy” as a recruiting song. The article mentioned that a junior officer had to tell his superiors what the song was really about.Report

    • rexknobus in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Just a quick little add to your rant:

      Whenever I see a “Support Our Troops” sign, my immediate thought is that the displayer is probably also in favor of lowering taxes — and that paying taxes is the only way that the displayer actually “Supports the Troops.”

      /end grossovergeneralizationReport

  20. Stillwater says:

    Re: [O1] and the outrage culture…

    A few weeks ago my brother in law told me about a friend of his who believes that AGW is not only plain ole false, but there isn’t a shred of evidence supporting AGW, nor is there any evidence that our climate is changing. All this was said in the context of a talk about how decent, fun, interesting, engaged people can hold otherwise crazy beliefs. And with that in mind, I mentioned that his friend’s beliefs are batshit crazy not because he thinks AGW is a myth, but because believing what he does requires him to attribute a level of delusion and/or wickedness to 99% of scientists working in the field and (oh … lessay) 50% of the population, people he encounters every day of his life. And that’s effing crazy. I ended up by saying that on a functional level, given the day-to-day operations of this guy’s life, there’s absolutely nothing at stake to him personally regarding the truth or falsity of AGW. Nothing at stake at all.

    I know I’ve mentioned this idea before, but wrt a lot of the internet outrage, or the outrage culture in general, or etc-and-so-on (think Wide Scope here) it’s really difficult for me to understand what’s at stake for the person getting all outraged. Fact is, in lots of circumstances, there’s pretty clearly nothing at stake other than expressing the outrage itself. Which could, if I was more ambitious, lead me into a cultural critique wherein punition is valued as an end in itself, and by corollary, folks feel an attachment (principled or otherwise) to using whatever power they have to realize (or instantiate!) their emotional desires for punition. (That’s it. Hey, I said I was lazy.)Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      And if I was really ambitious, I’d account for that love of punition by referring to the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation.

      (Heh. I kid!)Report

      • Chris in reply to Stillwater says:

        I don’t know that you’d be too far off if you did, or at least you wouldn’t if you made reference to its continuing relatively high level of religiosity relative to much of the rest of the Western world.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

        I blame the South.

        I’m only partially kidding.Report

        • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

          You know, there was a bunch of research in the 90s showing that the South was more violent than the rest of the country, and the generally accepted explanation was that it was because contemporary southern culture was a descendant of the honor culture of the old South. I imagine that’s not irrelevant here.

          I dunno whatever happened to that research, as I only periodically payed attention after undergrad, but I’m tempted to do some digging now.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

            My own view is that southerners, more than any other people I have ever seen anywhere else, seem far and away more consumed with the fear that somebody, somewhere, is getting away with something that they oughtn’t. It’s nothing that is unique from the south, but the more I’ve traveled, the more I notice it. It’s human nature, but different aspects of human nature are not distributed equally among cultures, etc.

            It sounds maybe like I’m just saying “conservatives!” but really it’s across the spectrum. Disproportionately there I hear liberal arguments framed in exactly the same way. “Don’t you understand, without the mandate people will be GETTING AWAY WITH NOT PAYING THEIR SHARE!!!!!!” or what big business is getting away with. Somebody, somewhere, getting away with something.

            A while back there was an article about the National Parks Service wanting to restrict what kinds of pictures professional photographers could take on public lands. On the basis that they are profiting off public lands. I remember thinking at the time “I bet it was a southerner in DC who thought about it this way – the professional photographer getting away with something – and demanded the change.” (I think they backed off it, or “clarified” it, or something.)

            I had a whole post in my mind on the subject, though obviously it was never written. Partly due to my own caution about trashing the south. I don’t want outsiders using my thoughts to get away with blanket condemnation.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


              You sound like you are (possibly inadvertently) channeling the folkways school of thought as championed by David Hackett Fisher in Albion’s Seed (which came out in the 1980s!). He believes that Southern culture is dominated by the aristocratic Cavaliers who did see themselves deserving of special rights and privileges and the Scots-Irish who were fiercely honor-bound and willing to settle things with violence.Report

            • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

              Oh, that’s a fundamental part of my personality, I admit.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

              Southern culture seems to operate more on the idea of honor-shame morality and the idea of zero-sum, that for one person to have more of anything somebody else has to have less than other parts of the country. Like Saul noted, David Hackett Fisher had some ideas about this in Albion’s Seed. I guess part of it is because the people who settled the South during the Colonial era did so to get rich or avoid other people telling them what to do. I’m not a fan of these sorts of cultural explanations for American politics because it makes everything seem over determined.

              Incidentally, when I was more into counter-factual history a person on usenet group theorized that a lot of what is seen as African-American gangster culture in modern times can be traced back to the culture of the Planter class in the South. Particularly, the concepts of honor and conflict resolution seem the same to him.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

            The guy who wrote it got horsewhipped after he refused to fight a duel.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

          How so?Report

    • veronica d in reply to Stillwater says:

      @stillwater — Personally I like to very selectively deploy my “outrage,” and I dislike very much how it can land quite randomly on ordinary people. That said, do you really not understand that I have stakes in this? Like, this matters in my life in an immediate and material way?

      A major celebrity just described me as a “science experiment.”

      Of course, he actually described Caitlin Jenner as such, but is there any doubt that I’m also a target of that view, that his comments apply to all of us trans folks?

      I will almost certainly be harassed in the next few days by some jerk. Now, that jerk may or may not be a Snoop Dogg fan, nor do I think that one comment will be the single factor in decides the shape of transphobia in the years to come —

      But still, it’s one more little straw.

      But nothing is “at stake” in my outrage? Really?

      Maybe some outrage is okay but not others? Hmmmm.Report

    • And completely off topic, but good to see comments from you after last night’s weather.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Thanks Michael. I actually missed the worst of it. At about 6:00 the sirens started going off and the airwaves were full of tornado alerts and warnings, and everyone in my neighborhood … went outside to look at the spiraling clouds. I did too! At that point, we were right in the middle of a circularly moving system – and the clouds were a color I’ve never seen before. Like a really deep gun metal grey or something. A half hour later, tho, I was heading towards blue skies on my way Red Rocks to see Ryan Adams, driving a bit recklessly with my eyes only very occasionally on the road in my desperate attempt to see a real live twister. Missed em ell. At about 10:00 the storm (or another storm?) moved in to Morrison and created one of the best outdoor music experiences I’ve ever had. Big, layered black clouds, lots of lightning, weirdly twisting winds, a bit of rain, all to the soundtrack of Ryan Adams music (which was heavy on the early stuff, especially Gold). He went thru a weather-related mini-set, and the last song of the night before the Authorities shut im down, was Blue. Perfect!

        Anyway … thanks for the concern. I guess three tornados touched down in the area and something over a hundred lightning strikes. We’re all OK. Dogs too. And no property damage. Pretty amazing, given the weather. Pretty amazing weather, too.Report

        • For those wondering what the heck we’re concerned about, here’s a picture from a west Denver neighborhood a few miles from where I live this morning. That ain’t snow, it’s hail. After sitting and melting for about six hours.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:


            That photo’s unreal. I actually had no idea you guys got hit that hard. I thought ya’ll just had lots – and lots – of rain. Sorry for not asking earlier, but how was it down there? Obviously lots of hail. Twisters? Lightning strikes? All the usual suspects in our new normal? I hope you and your family made it thru ok.Report

            • Ah, it was the usual spotty stuff down here — move over a mile and the weather is quite different. I got a terrific show with cloud-to-cloud lightning and all the thunder, but only a half-inch of rain. As it turns out, our house is in a nearly dead zone because of where the triggering mountain peaks, canyon mouths, and the small ridge we’re on the side of are located. We catch the edge of lots of nasty things, but never seem to be in the heart of the storm.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Stillwater says:

      I ended up by saying that on a functional level, given the day-to-day operations of this guy’s life, there’s absolutely nothing at stake to him personally regarding the truth or falsity of AGW. Nothing at stake at all.

      Bryan Caplan calls this (just believing whatever makes you feel good because you pay no price for being wrong) “rational irrationality.” He wrote a book about it, called Myth of the Rational Voter.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Brandon Berg,

        From Wiki:

        Rational irrationality versus doublethink

        Rational irrationality is not doublethink — it does not state that the individual deliberately chooses to believe something he or she knows to be false. Rather, the theory is that, when the costs of having erroneous beliefs are low, people relax their intellectual standards and allow themselves to be more easily influenced by fallacious reasoning, cognitive biases, and emotional appeals. In other words, people do not deliberately seek to believe false things but rather stop putting in the intellectual effort to be open to evidence that may contradict their beliefs.

        Sources of preferences over beliefs

        For rational irrationality to exist, people must have preferences over beliefs, i.e., certain beliefs must be appealing to people for reasons other than their truth value. In an essay on irrationality in politic, Michael Huemer[3] identifies some possible sources of preferences over beliefs:

        Self-interested bias: People tend to hold beliefs that, if generally accepted, would benefit themselves or the group with whom they identify. Self-interested bias is complicated by the fact that people may identify with groups to which they do not belong, but feel good about assuming that identity.
        Beliefs as self-image constructors: People prefer to hold beliefs that best fit with the images of themselves that they want to adopt and to project.
        Beliefs as tools of social bonding: People prefer to hold the political beliefs of other people they like and with whom they want to associate.
        Coherence bias: People are biased towards beliefs that fit well with or reinforce their existing beliefs, regardless of those beliefs’ degree of coherence with reality.

        Interesting stuff. Not sure I agree with all of it, but it’s certainly a good start.Report

  21. LeeEsq says:

    For lawyers, the great thing about outrage culture is that it increases the number of tortfeasors.Report

  22. Dand says:

    Tod Kelly: I don’t actually know a liberal/progressive that demands that business owners approve of SSM if they’re willing to let them part of the marketplace with straight people.

    Does a Cick-FIl-A location in Chicago getting blocked count?Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Rent control is an excellent of example of the left fighting to preserve privilege. The chosen receive tens of thousands a year in discounted rent while rent control drives market rents up to ridiculous levels, drives wages down for the poorest workers who commute in (because rent control increases the supply of low-wage workers living in the city), and keeps some people out of the city entirely (because rent control makes living without roommates more feasible, leading to less efficient use of available housing stock).

      And on top of this, some of them have the audacity to oppose construction, because…wait…what was that acronym again? MYFIG? No, that’s not right.Report

  23. S2: My most vivid memory of that is the morning crew on the local right-wing radio station saying (in precisely these words) that sending him back to Cuba was like sending a Jew back to Nazi Germany.Report

  24. Dand says:

    Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother in High School

    This sotry keeps getting stranger, why didn’t anyone investigate this in the past 10 years?Report

  25. Pyre says:

    Huh. You don’t really hear too much talk given to Paternity Leave. Even the Navy, when they were in the news recently with increased Maternity Leave, still left the men with “business as usual”. In a world of dual income parents where the male is not necessarily the primary breadwinner, this is an encouraging step.

  26. Pyre says:

    I’ll try to make this the last link that I put up here.

    As some of you may have already heard, Christopher Lee is dead. In honor of Christopher Lee, I will share not a story of his career hunting Nazis or any of his movie roles such as Dracula, Saurman, or Dooku but this musical video. Even when he was in his late 80s, he would still take the time and effort to try new things and reinvent himself. How many people do that with their lives much less try to do it in their twilight years?