Linky Friday #122: Lain Edition


20150710_110232[H1] Kindred Winecoff has some thoughts on Piketty’s comparison between the debt forgiveness that Germany received and what people are advocating for Greece, but Mainly Macro says that Greece is running a primary surplus.

[H2] The headline says it all: Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California.

[H3] Man, I did not need to see this so soon before our three-legged flight to Alaska.

[H4] A man in Texas says “Fuck that alligator,” gets eaten by alligator. The death was avenged, however.

[H5] I’m not saying this is okay, but I will say that people have died in fights over dumber things.

[H6] Meanwhile, in Toronto


20150704_093724[P1] Nancy Pelosi says that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party and she is, of course, quite right. In terms of non-presidential players, the party is more capably defined by… Nancy Pelosi.

[P2] Erica Grieder shares five takeaways after reading Ted Cruz’s book. Written by someone who has respect but not love for Cruz and what he represents, it’s quite interesting. Especially the thought of Ted Cruz’s natural place on The Court (in a different timeline).

[P3] Marco Rubio isn’t backing off his support for a pathway to citizenship. Ultimately, I think this is the wise course and even if he wanted to trying to reverse his position would do more harm than good.

[P4] Jon Rauch looks at predictions he made nine years ago about gay mariage and rights, and compares them to the current reality.


20150613_183531[T1] Hey! Look at some infamous, interesting, and scary roads.

[T2] In the future, between now and self-driving cars, will cars watch you drive?

[T3] Singapore seems to take the prize for being most enthusiastic about driverless cars.

[T4] Fender benders are almost a thing of the past.

[T5] Kevin Williamson argues that our current transportation systems are royalist. There are actually some good points in here, but they’re not all easy to notice amidst attempts are partisan point-scoring.


2012-10-25 16.17.27[R1] According to Alana Semuels, women are increasingly finding men they know to be sperm donors, instead of going the anonymous route.

[R2] Joe Carter gives nine things you should know about adoption.

[R3] Here’s a story from 2006: A woman was applying for aid and was denied because the maternity test said that she wasn’t her child’s mother.

[R4] When I created my abortion map a year or two ago, I was really surprised by Delaware’s astronomic abortion rate. It turns out, maybe it’s the product of a really high number of unexpected pregnancies.


20150626_194153[S1] This has been discussed somewhat recently here at Ordinary Times, but here’s an article on adults and coloring books.

[S2] Even critics of the Confederate Flag are rolling their eyes at the removing of Dukes of Hazzard from TV, but Tommy Christopher argues that – even though Dukes of Hazzard actually had more black characters than did Friends – it’s actually complicated. Made more so, in my view, that I’m not sure anything legitimized the use of the flag among my generation as much as that TV show did. I’m personally hoping that this spurs A&E to do a reboot with a couple good ole boy weed-couriers driving a car sporting a new design.

[S3] You may be familiar with a famous Mary Ellen Mark photograph of the smoking nine year old. NPR tracked her down, and her life turned out how you might expect. Interesting story.

[S4] At Hit Coffee, I commented on Allison Ng and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

[S5] The thing is, if smoking is to remain legal, smokers need to be able to smoke somewhere. We’re not going to effectively ban it in a giant game of process-of-elimination.

[S6] Gundam/Voltron is happening!


20150615_201906[E1] Western learning techniques are all the rage among the Chinese wealthy.

[E2] “The promise of the management class is that they could manage colleges better than faculty. They have wildly failed at this on every level.”-Garry Canavan

[E3] There’s not much particularly novel in this Glenn Reynolds piece on the cost of higher education, but I hadn’t heard this statistic before: Cal Poly-Pamona has one administrator for every two students.

[E4] Wall Street Journal looks at how colleges are struggling with Chinese student application fraud.

[E5] Meanwhile, Asian-Americans unsuccessfully attempted to lodge a complaint against Harvard and hiring consultants to tell them to downplay the whole ‘coming from Vietnam with $2 in a rickety boat and swimming away from sharks’ thing. (Perhaps swimming lessons are a mark of privilege…)

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143 thoughts on “Linky Friday #122: Lain Edition

  1. H4, H5: I never understood why humans do rash things like this but the Darwin Awards exist for a reason. Even as a teenage boy, I never had impulses like this.

    T5: I am glad that the National Review is advocating for public transportation rather than elitist cars.

    S2: The Dukes of Hazard made the entire Confederate thing just look like a good time.


  2. S3 — From the article:

    “When she came along and took those photos, I thought, ‘Well, hey, people will see me and this may get me the attention that I want; it may change things for me,’ ” Ellison says. She thought someone would see the images and come rescue her. “I had thought that that might have been the way out. But it wasn’t.”

    Jacobson, the New York photographer, says Mark was not the type to give her subjects false impressions. But he says, “In any photographic encounter, the one person that always benefits and always is in a more powerful position and always knows more is the photographer.”

    Earlier in the article:

    In 1990, Mark had been sent to rural North Carolina by Life magazine to cover a school for “problem children.” Ellison was one of those children. “She’s my favourite,” Mark told British Vogue in 1993. “She was so bad she was wonderful, she had a really vulgar mouth, she was brilliant.”

    Look, chances are this young woman was going to have a shitty life no matter what. And it might be the case that, as a second order effect, displays such as this help such children, perhaps by encouraging people to support good policies.

    But still, as a first order effect, exhibits such as this turn people in to objects of consumption. Yes, the photo is gripping. But still, there is something unsavory about the whole enterprise. There is something smug about looking at tragic situations and finding, first and foremost, their aesthetics.

    Suffering is beautiful, to those who do not suffer.


    • The thing is…..I’m pretty sure they are running colleges like a business. Which says a lot about business.

      It’s just the limits of incompetence are much higher for colleges because — as the author notes — colleges own their land and buildings, can borrow are really good rates, and have a built-in client base. (They also often get gifted large sums of money).

      Even new colleges start with a lot of boosts — they have a huge margin for incompetence before it becomes failure. They’re closer to a big, entrenched business with lots of lifetime contracts and little competition. (Yes, every university competes with every other one. But in the real world, most colleges and universities service their area — hence the built in client base. People do go to college elsewhere, of course, lots of them. But even more go to the one that’s ‘close’ or ‘convenient’. So they have a large, locked-in client base).

      Which means that over-management is easy — and an accelerating problem.


      • The author is cherry picking positive aspects of business culture in order to leverage criticism, but his larger point stands – the idea that a college/university should be run like a business has been demonstrated as a bad idea.

        That’s not to say business does not have concepts that can be used to improve the administration of a school, but why does it always have to be all or nothing with ideologues (I know, because that’s why they are ideologues).


        • I just get annoyed with the paeans to business culture. I’ve seen their failures, and they’re manifest. I’m not saying business or management is evil or bad, I’m just saying they’re FAR from perfect and “We need to run X like a business” seems to assume that automatically means X will be run super great.

          One of the GOP Presidential candidates is a living example of how wrong this is, yet she’s actually running on her business experience. Like it’s not just applicable to the Presidency but somehow her personal experience is a positive!

          Romney certainly did it — and his particular method of business was not particularly suited towards the Presidency, unless America was going to be taking over lightly defended countries, strip-mining them, and selling the pieces — while investing his returns in tax shelters. (Which hey, creative destruction can be good in the marketplace, but not sure it’s a great methodology for the Executive branch).


          • There are also myriad business cultures. Saying we should adopt a business culture is like saying we should adopt an Asian culture.

            Specificity is critical.


            • Yes, Let us adopt the sort of business culture that gives us guerilla advertising.
              That will be wonderful for America’s reputation.

              We can kidnap babies in order to sell guns to Russia!


            • Blame the guys running for President then? I’m pretty sure they have a specific meaning when they talk about CEO presidents and running the country like a business.

              I mean, I suppose we can safely assume “American Business Culture” which seems to have a big heaping spoonful of “I don’t consider costs past this quarter” and “If this isn’t a direct cost, I pretend it doesn’t exist”.

              Board hoping and stock options seem to bear a lot of the blame. Why make long-term moves if you’re gonna exercise your options and be gone in three or four years? Pump and dump over your tenure.

              And if you fail, you’ll probably fail upwards once you hit that level anyways.


              • The biggest problem I see with the “CEO President” concept is that the president is not the CEO of the federal government. The CEO of the executive branch, OK. But most of the stuff that really makes a difference involves other branches that don’t report to the CEO President. He can’t just fire the Speaker of the House because he’s “taking things in a new direction.”

                For the big tasks, it’s less like being a CEO and more like being a mid-level director somewhere trying to work on a project that requires cooperation with back stabbing managers in other departments. The success of your project is secondary to their own goals at best and directly in conflict with their own goals at worst. And they don’t report to you or to anybody who listens to you. Go ahead and “tell it like it is” and be “no nonsense” with them and see how that goes for you.


                • +10. The only people who claim that they can run the government like it’s a business and they’re the CEO are those with no experience. Lee Iacocca put it well in an interview after he had turned Chrysler around and was asked about Presidential aspirations. “I have no interest in being President. If an opening for Emperor comes along, get back to me.”


    • I think morat20 has a point. The whole boom in luxury amenities is exactly what a business person would see as attracting top students.

      I do wonder what is the average distance traveled by college students.

      My undergrad is considered elite. We had students from all 50 states and from abroad as well. Most students (like an overwhelming majority) were still from the suburban Northeast of NYC-Metro, Boston-Metro, and Philly-Metro.


      • Depends on the college. Flagships pull from all over the state, typically. National universities pull nationally. Most others pull locally, though I think the goal is to get the best and brightest local kids to stay local instead of going to a flagship.


        • Which isn’t going to happen with luxuries, because what attracts people to travel to college is branding and reputation and networks. And sadly sometimes football, which is another arms race that’s killing colleges.

          The way to grow enrollment would be with establishing a reputation for excellence, education, and for having your graduates sought after. But that’s a lot harder than adding a new building, and takes decades to do.


          • I think that the more elite a college is, the more they can get away with being spartan.

            The luxury arm-race seems to largely happen at second tier private schools which are trying to become first-tier. These are schools like NYU, GWU, Washington University in St. Louis. NYU sort of stands for kids who couldn’t get into Columbia. The joke is that GWU stands for “Georgetown Waitlist University”. Or it is happening at state universities that are not quite at the public ivy level. I haven’t heard about luxury stuff at Michigan, UVA, William and Mary, Cal, UCLA, etc.
            You heard about it at Arizona State.



    The hottest thing on Broadway now is called Hand to God. On July 2nd, the play’s opening was delayed because a schmuck decided to try and charge his cellphone on the realistic looking set. My theatre friends have been reacting with giving props to the set designer (pun intended) for a very realistic looking set and disparaging the lack of respect for the performance and theatre. The kid is everything you expect he would be.

    He is 19 years-old, he plays lacrosse, and his reason: “Girls were calling all day. What would you do?”

    Interestingly I feel very old and a bit angry at looking at the picture in the article and like I just don’t understand kids these days and I am only 34!


      • Lacrosse matters, because it has a whiff of old money WASP-iness. It is the perfect cover when wealthy, theater going types want to veil their criticism of gauche behavior from a 19-year old bridge-and-tunnel community college student as something other than it is.

        ps – none of this is to imply that this particular 19-year old bridge-and-tunnel community college student doesn’t deserve criticism in this case.


        • Lacrosse is a universal sport on Long Island and I am from Long Island. I even played it in 8th grade (I needed it for a gym credit and it was the only sport you could not get cut from).

          The kid was still being a moron and also a cartoon stereotype of a bro-dude.


            • The bro thing is very interesting to me, because, on the one hand, bros are often cartoonish and irritating, therefore, deserving of being laughed at and/or mocked. On the other hand, lots of bro criticisms are thinly veiled shots at working class norms masquerading as a critique of privilege.

              The thrust of the complaints in that Vice article is that the bro is constantly consuming things without any real appreciation of the process of consumption. According to the hipsters at Vice, the biggest complaint about the bro is that his life is insufficiently curated. And this is of course the opposite as the complaint against hipsters, which is that everything hipsters do is calibrated for maximum attention.


              • I don’t think of bros as being working-class. I think of them as being middle-class and upper-middle class suburban frat boys. Sometimes they grow up in cities. Why do you think of them as working class?

                Murray Hill and the Marina are not filled with people from working class backgrounds. Maybe some are but most are not.


                • I did not say that bros were working class. I said that lots of bro criticism is criticism of working class behavior: drinking domestic macrobrews and doing shots instead of artisanal IPAs and handcrafted cocktails; hanging out at clubs and Irish bars instead of speakeasies and “dive” bars; lifting weights and bodybuilding instead of running and road biking; etc.

                  Bros run the socio-economic gamut, just like hipsters do. However, when you’re complaining about Santa Con, you’re not complaining about Murray Hill. You’re complaining about the bridge-and-tunnel crowd; many more community/commuter college grads than top-tier universities and many more blue collar and lower-level service occupations than masters of high finance.


                  • It’s still about the specifically bro-ish behaviours though, in my experience – criticizing someone for being bro-ish at the bar isn’t about their having ordered a macrobrew or a jagerbomb, it’s about their being boasful, talking over the women at the table, leering at the waitress. Criticizing someone for being bro-ish at the gym isn’t about what kinds of exercise they’re doing, it’s about their condescending toward women or those they think are less athletic than themselves.


                      • Not those exactly. I wouldn’t assert that he was being a bro, just from that article.

                        Certainly figuring getting your phone charged is more important than other considerations, and the subsequent non-apology from the article is at least consistent with bro-ness…


                        • But can’t we just call it ignorant and self-centered? If this was a 45-year-old female knitter… Would we call her a bro dude? Probably not, right? So we’re letting a lot of unrelated factors (age, gender/sex, hobbies) influence our interpretation of events and the person involved. Given how little we know about the person and the fact we aren’t looking to these factors to understand but rather to ridicule… Why go that route?

                          I’d look at his age and wonder if this was his first ever play. I’d look at a complete lack of contextual awareness and wonder if he might have a social disorder of some kind.

                          Or, ya know, we can mock a kid for doing something supremely dumb. Yea, it was dumb but not everything needs to be squeezed into Broader Worldview (TM).


                          • Maybe we’re addressing different questions – I was responding only to ‘s observation that a lot of criticism of ‘bro-ish’ behaviour is actually aimed at working class norms. I’m just saying I haven’t observed that personally – in my experience, when I’ve heard people criticize bro-ishness, it’s mostly been about sexism, often with a component of loud self-centred boorishness.

                            In the case of the 45 year old female knitter, I wouldn’t call her a dude-bro, and I suppose that’s partly unrelated to the behaviour. But only partly – because there is a whole social structure that doesn’t call men on ignoring and underestimating women and condones their boorishness. The male asshole has a whole social structure dedicated to his support; the female asshole is going it alone.


              • @veronica-d

                Here is one thing I will say about bro-dudes as a compliment, they have an ungodly amount of confidence. There is an annual race in SF called Bay to Breakers. Part of the event is a serious footrace across San Francisco from the Bay to Ocean Beach. However, there is a trailing contingent of people who do it wacky costumes and with lots of alcohol.

                The event gets less and less hippie and more and more fratty every year as SF’s demographics change. So it has a Santacon/St. Patrick’s Day vibe. The big party/mess is in my neighborhood and there are always tons of bottles and litter around afterwards. This year I saw a lot of bros in their early 20s hanging out and flirting with girls while wearing footy pjs.

                Now I don’t know how this became a theme but I do have some respect for guys who have the confidence to go out in footie pjs. I certainly don’t.

                This might or might not be a family trait. When my mom was in college she couldn’t understand how all her sorority sisters fell for guys who would make big claims about how rich and successful they would be. She saw them as the 19-year olds they were. How would they know if they would be rich and successful? My variant of this is wondering at my law school classmates who were able to tell women that they were lawyers instead of law students.


                • — Well, one should never criticize a person for confidence, nor for lifting weights, nor for being attractive.

                  Which yeah, these are often bro traits. But these are not the problem.

                  It’s the other stuff.


                  • I am not criticizing them as much as I am in awe of them. Where did they get all this confidence from? I’m 34 and still working on developing confidences. I certainly did not have that level at 34.

                    It also seems to be a chicken and egg problem. Is it the confidence that allows them to make exaggerate claims or do they make exaggerated claims because they are confident?

                    There was a guy in my law school who got in trouble for claiming to be a working lawyer while being a student. He allegedly got on a lot of “Do Not Date” this guy sites. I doubt he feels any shame over it. I don’t even comprehend how someone could think to say “I’m a lawyer” when the reality is “I am a law student”. Same with anything else.


                    • — I mean, there is probably some amount of raw sociopathy going on here, although I hope that the frequency of true sociopaths is lower than the frequency of bros. But still, it’s a thing. Combine that with male pecking orders and a certain kind of masculine display — we are what we think others want us to be —

                      — well some of us are.

                      But yeah, the bro gets to rage historic on the fury road. It’s a dude-thing to the core, and when he can culturally dismiss those who would criticize him, from that comes the path to true indifference.

                      Really, you can learn to thrive on disdain.

                      I thrive on disdain.

                      How could I not? I’m a tranny.

                      But yeah. Funny thing, I can emulate that kind of confidence, and even sort of believe it as I do it. Read Impro.

                      Good posture. Walk with purpose. Chin up. Speak slowly with your head fixed. Don’t be afraid to meet people’s eyes.

                      But okay, don’t do the “I have to stare everyone down” thing, cuz that just comes across as try-hard. It doesn’t work.

                      Instead, meet their gaze and smile. Give a nod. Then look back at what you were doing.

                      Unless you were doing nothing and they keep facing you. Then say, “Hey, howya doing?”

                      Good posture, steady gaze, and a smile. It’s like, freaking magic.

                      Did I mention Impro? That book is secret sauce.


                    • I’m still trying to understand how you made the leap from “19-year-old lacrosse player pulls idiot move at theater” to “This guy is obviously a bro-dude who posses obscene confidence and would have no problem lying to women in order to sleep with them.”

                      You are quick to pigeon hole people. See me in a handful of settings (the gym, the bar, hanging out with my friends) and you’d conclude I was one of these bro-dude types. See me in a different handful of settings (at work, with my lady, with my sons) and you’d conclude I was anything but. You want to draw conclusions about this 19-year-old based on one action and a couple of facts we know about him. Why? Why so eager to shove people into boxes? And why so blase about the offense you may be causing?


              • — There is some “bridge and tunnel” stuff in the Vice article. But if you think that is the core of what they are criticizing, then you’re missing the point.

                He has existed for as long as there have been gluttonous men dedicating ceremonies to their own existence. Anyone who objects is either a slut or a hater or a minority, and you need to GET ON HIS LEVEL, SON. The only things that change are the miscellaneous wristbands he wears, and the brand of energy drink on the promotional T-shirt they gave him. He is a chest-pounding, chandelier-swinging, Godzilla-id mutant who does not need friends, just a hierarchy of other men around him who will simply acknowledge the noises he is making, his indignance, his fury. He doesn’t want relationships; he wants witnesses.

                Indeed, witness the bro.


                • This is simple where we disagree.

                  You see a bunch of peripheral critiques of consumption choices thrown into what is, at its core, a legitimate critique of bad behavior. I see a bunch of peripheral, and questionable, claims about behavior thrown in to justify what is, at its core, a critique of consumption choices.

                  Take the claim about not wanting relationships; that is the epitome of an unfalsifiable statement.

                  This might as well be Mods vs Rockers.


      • Lacrosse just makes me think of Sterling Archer.
        In fact, this whole story sounds like it was lifted from that show.

        “Girls were calling all day. What would you do?”

        Sorry, that does make me laugh, even if I was in the audience I would find it hilarious.


    • I’m teaching a summer school theater class starting Monday. A major theme of the class is to discover how theater can convey meaning through story, and I wanted to model that in my classroom lectures.

      I was having a hard time figuring out how to do that for my opening lecture on expected classroom behaviors. Then I heard about this guy, and immediately thought “problem solved”


  4. T5: The Williamson piece is interesting and offers a useful counter to the progressive view, and accordingly the progressive solutions to which those views lead. However, Williamson would be much more interesting if he did not have to position his analysis within the confines of the eternal culture war. Just another data point in the “politics makes us stupid” thesis. It is entirely possible that transportation policy can be both royalist and racist.

    S2: There is an old race relations cliche about the difference between the north and the south: in the north, whites don’t care how big a black person gets as long as he doesn’t get too close; conversely, in the south, whites don’t care how close a black person gets as long as he doesn’t get too big. There is a lot of truth in that statement and it partly explains these differences between The Dukes of Hazard and Friends. Beyond that, though, the case against dem dang Duke boys is somewhat akin to what Freddie DeBoer calls critique drift; perhaps more precisely, it’s critique overreach.


  5. H4, H5: Like Lee. These stories are above my comprehension. I guess Gumbo is serious business.

    H6: Is it an elaborate Guardians of the Galaxy reference?

    P1: She mainly seems to be defending the President which is part of her job. Though Harry Reid should be the one who keeps a junior Senator in line more. I wonder if Warren is the closest thing the Democrats have to Ted Cruz.

    T1: Nope. I would not want to drive on that Norewegian road.

    S4: The issue with Maggie is that the producer’s comments defied reality. The number of 55 year old men who can be glib and dismiss a 37-year old woman as being “too old” is exceedingly small. Like really small. The overwhelming majority of 55 year old men would get down on their knees and thank their lucky stars that a 37-year old woman was into them. A friend of mine is in her mid-40s. She was also a single mom (her kid is in college now). She said that when she was in her 30s, all these 50 and 60 year old guys she worked with would ask her out and she found it gross. These were professionals with 6 and maybe even 7 figure salaries too. So there is something about the Hollywood producer’s remarks which seem vainglorious and myopic.


        • Doesn’t follow.

          You said: “She said that when she was in her 30s, all these 50 and 60 year old guys she worked with would ask her out and she found it gross. These were professionals with 6 and maybe even 7 figure salaries too.”

          Is your argument that these men were more desirable because of their jobs/salaries? And your friend STILL found them creepy? Or is your argument that this behavior was even more outlandish because it was being displayed by the “professional class”?

          When you include details that shouldn’t really matter it gives the impression that they do matter, to you at least. You should be mindful of that.


          • I think it does matter. If the claim is, “It’s crazy to think that a 55 year old man would turn his nose up at a 37 year old woman for being too old,” the counter might be, “Maybe on the average, but what if he’s a high-status man who may have a lot of options?” The argument seems to be that in Saul’s experience, even the advantages that come with high social/professional status and wealth don’t usually overcome the “much older guy” problem.


            • But Saul is pointing out the opposite. He’s not seeing these men turned up their nose at a younger woman. He said they went after a younger woman. What a creepy move! ESPECIALLY FOR A PROFESSIONAL!

              At least, that is how I read his argument. He seems to think that such behavior is unexpected from professionals with big salaries. Others, yes. But not rich professionals!


              • I don’t think that’s it at all. His original point is that it would be really rare for men of that age to turn down a woman in her 30s for being “too old” because they’d be lucky to have a chance with such a woman in the first place. The idea of 55 year old men having that many younger women to choose among is just not realistic.

                The example just bears that out. Loads of men in that age range–presumably successful high-status desirable ones–being more than happy to hit on women in that age range and still getting shot down. That’s what reality is, and it’s nothing like a 37 year old being too old to portray a 55 year old’s love interest.


                • So we should be MORE surprised that wealthy professionals act this way? That is to say, them doing it is STRONGER evidence of his point? “Men… Even wealthy men!… would kill for a younger gal.”

                  It still correlates wealth/profession with behavior with zero evidence that a relationship exists or that that particular relationship exists. If anything, I’d be less surprised that the empowered act entitled. Why doesn’t label these guys “bro dudes” for all their bravado?


                  • No, the fact that they’re acting that way isn’t the evidence. I’m not sure why you’re reading it that way. The fact that they constantly fail despite their high status is the evidence. The much older man swimming in enough younger women that he picks and chooses among them is mostly a construct of the movies. There may be a few Most Interesting Men in the World, but the general case is very different.


                  • But wait! No one has presented evidence that wealthy, decent looking older men get “constantly shot down.” What was said was one particular woman found such come-ons unwelcome and turned the men down.

                    Which, fine. She’s allowed her own taste. But that tells us literally nothing about what other women want.

                    In fact, some women like older men. They want men who are successful and stable and classy, where age is not central. Others actually prefer older men.

                    You guys seem to think in two modes. Either a man is a total “playa,” who gets whoever he wants whenever he wants her, or he is a “chump,” who can never get anything at all ever. He just mopes around, a sadsack, a failure.

                    This is a very silly way to think about relationships. Yes, some people are more attractive in general, and they have an easier time. But still, people have different tastes and often people have tastes orthogonal to mainstream. But more, sometimes people have tastes that run at odds to the mainstream.

                    Those people are actually pretty common, I find.

                    Decent looking, rich older guys with good personalities — you can be pretty sure they do okay. They won’t get every woman they set eyes on, but who has time for that anyhow?


    • P1 – She may be defending the president, but the comment was true all the same I think.

      S4 – There are times when it is perfectly appropriate to suggest that an actress be significantly younger than her male counterpart. When the script calls for it. Of course, that opens up the question of why – if that’s the case – scripts call for it with such frequency.


      • I don’t see anything in the Maggie Gyllenhaal story that suggests the script called for a younger woman. I see a producer who decided that a really attractive 37 year old was still too young for a 55 year old. My bet is more on sexism and psychology than the producer being rigid in his script analysis.


          • is right here. Without knowing the movie (if it has been made already) or at least the script (to find out the plot) we are left with the economics of it, which might simply be that Maggie is not a big enough box office draw. There are lots of actors that I like that aren’t going to be summer blockbuster material, they just don’t bring in the money for certain types of movies. And without knowing any other info, that seems to be the most salient fact.


          • What else is there to do? The alternatives are worse. The sanest alternative is to admit there’s a big problem with EU monetary policy (it might not fit an individual member state’s needs at a given time) and official EU offset for it, which means welcome to old-school recessions because you’ve only got fiscal tools to offset it — and those are constrained by EU rules.

            That’s a fundamental flaw in the EU that should be addressed. But there’s only two solutions — both of them unpalatable. Abandon a central currency, or set up a federal system that shoves money around to offset counter-productive monetary policy. (You know, the way the US does).

            So yeah, kick the can.


            • Yeah I actually don’t view it as particularly bad. If they can make Greece suffer enough to keep the other periphery countries in lien but make the lenders suffer enough to make them smarten up about lending and forgive debt enough to keep Greece from going “fish you guys we’re leaving” then that would be no small accomplishment even if it is can kicking.


              • Greece is going to suffer regardless; the notion that it needs to be made to suffer “enough” is a the kind of thing that for some reason never gets discussed when, say, banks are bailed out. In fact, there was just a court decision finding that the miscreants at AIG weren’t treated gently enough,


  6. R3:
    This story strikingly highlights the general terribleness that exists in the impulse to strictly police benefits programs to weed out the undeserving poor.

    I mean, The state was going to take away her kids. I don’t see how that’s an appropriate remedy, even if every ridiculous accusation they threw at her was true. They were actually there when her youngest child emerged from her crotch, and they still had the gall to say that the kid wasn’t hers. And keep in mind, even if the kids weren’t a genetic match for the DNA they took from her, they still would have shown up on tests as a match for a close relative such as a parent or sibling.

    I hope to god this woman got a gigantic settlement check from Washington state.


    • There was an episode of CSI that actually discussed this condition with regard to a rape case (man rapes woman & recovered DNA does not match sampled DNA but does indicated sibling).


  7. S5 – I strongly agree. Smoking areas work in Japan and airports. They are ubiquitous enough that all but sociopathic smokers accept them, and they are generally well-filtered enough to satisfy non-smokers.


  8. Speaking of privilege, have you read the Washington Post piece yet?

    I’d never had a job, but I knew where I wanted to find one. I’d spent the first few years of my life in Adams Morgan, a funky, diverse neighborhood and, in my eyes, the antithesis of Friendship Heights, the leafy, gleaming enclave my family had moved to. A few weeks before graduation, I spent a Saturday morning pacing 18th Street, stopping at every establishment with a “help wanted” sign, gravitating toward the places that fulfilled my vision of the city’s seedy underbelly: the late-night spots, the greasy pizza joints, the hookah bars.

    Want to know what the first sentence in the next paragraph is?

    I’m hardly the first privileged young man to go looking for grit.

    Anyway, check it out. Those of you who have had jobs since Middle School will be kicking yourself that you didn’t get your essay about working at the mall printed.


  9. Just so everything’s clear: I agree that Greece *had* reached primary surplus last year, although it was very small and did not persist. Wren-Lewis’ link is 5 months old now and the situation has changed significantly.


    • Informed analysis.

      In short, it was a bureaucratic SNAFU that ran up against the time limit that was put in place to discourage foot dragging on the part of the FBI (and seriously, 5 business days should be enough time to get someone on the phone who can look up the relevant records; honestly the real issue here is the unwillingness of Congress to impose any kind of record keeping & reporting standards on state & local LEA, such that bureaucratic SNAFUs like this are the norm.)


        • According to anyone who’s ever worked with any set of systems that are not designed to share information.

          Submitting data to NICS is voluntary on the part of local PDs, and it is not automatic. The information generally has to be sent or inputted manually to the FBI. Said information can thus easily be late, contain errors, & is often riddled with local flavor that can cause confusion.

          Errors with NICS are common. If you ask an FFL, they’ll tell you that what they most commonly see are false positives (delays or denials for people who don’t have any restrictions). We hear about false negatives (prohibited person getting the all clear) far less often, but not because they don’t happen, but rather because it only comes to our attention when the firearm in question is recovered at a crime scene that makes the news long enough for the results of the trace to be newsworthy. Otherwise, police are not inclined to share that the NICS system failed, since it undermines trust in the system that might result in things like Congress demanding that local PDs adopt data & reporting standards that are costly and could expose issues in the PD that a given PD would rather not expose.


  10. In other news, liberals everywhere are upset at harper lee’s new the depicts atticus finch as a racist. The nyt has an article on the new book thats generated a number of whining liberal comments.


  11. Also not covered here, was the Pope’s denunciation of capitalism. I found it odd for any number of reasons but the top two for me are 1)western capitalist countries have traditionally been more friendly to the free practice of religion unlike those socialist paradises the pope seems so find of. 2)Catholics in capitalist countries have more money (devil dung) to give to the church. Oh well, he always been a socialist and always will be.


  12. So it turns out Sarah Palin has a bit of an army on Twitter. She came up in a twitversation about Scott Walker, and I’m being bombarded with “Walker droolz, Sarah roolz” tweets and retweets.

    There are, evidently, a lot of people expecting her to announce next month or the month after.


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