Linky Friday #124: Northern Invasion

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.

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111 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    The quixotic desire to bring the New York bagel to California:

    My favorite part of the story:

    “Late last year, Beckerman finally relented and agreed to make a bagel, much to the relief of Wise Sons’ fans. He continued, however, to worry about how those same customers would behave once they had an actual, not idealized, bagel in hand. Beckerman told me that his customers seem to feel entitled to express their disappointment, as if eating at Wise Sons were like eating at a family member’s home. About a year after the opening, a woman came in, ordered the matzo-ball soup, asked to speak to the chef and then proceeded to tell Beckerman that though his was O.K., it could be better. She returned a few days later with her own matzo-ball soup, as promised, as well as her specialty white-chocolate-and-cranberry mandelbrot. Beckerman sat down with her and ate.”

    And this is everything you need to know about the Tribe.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    A3: FDB had some sort of meltdown or fight over or with TNC this or last week. He seems to love being hated by his own side.

    A4: Trump certainly is the guy speaking to the Republican/Tea Party ID right now. The part of the party that says conservatism can’t fail, it can only be failed. The party that can go farther and farther right and still claim it is not conservative enough.

    A5: Also the land of indie rock, good beer, Portlandia, Powells, Voodoo Donuts.

    P1: I think the idea of a perfect policy-wonkcracy with optimal patreo-efficiancy is a myth. We all have desired end goals and then work backwards. My experience tells me that people can agree on the problems but not the fixes usually.

    P4: I believe I just wrote on this. I am largely with the non-Sanders crowd on this one but it depends on the issue.Report

    • rmass in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      We have voodoo donuts in denver now. Good donutsReport

      • Burt Likko in reply to rmass says:

        They are good. Are they great? They’re donuts. Cute donuts with cute names (I particularly enjoyed the “gay bar” with the rainbow-colored fruit loops). And IIRC they were among the first to dare putting bacon on a donut and that turns out to be a genius move. After you get through the hype and actually hold the pastry in hand … it’s a donut.

        So the first time I went to Portland, I made it a point to get me some Voodoo Donuts. But the next time I’m in Portland, unless the line is pretty short, I’m sure I’ll find other things to do with my time, money, and calorie intake budget.Report

        • Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

          just to be a killjoy … aren’t you restricting your carb intake these days anyway? For me, beer beats out donuts any day.Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to Francis says:

            Less now than I was three weeks ago. I’ve lost nearly twenty pounds over the past six weeks, but that’s about what I’m told is going to go quickly through inducing ketosis — your body squeezes out a lot of water and some MFM happens in the enzymes that sets you up for further dietary changes.

            So further induction past that point isn’t nearly as effective — or sustainable to your kidneys, which get much higher-than-usual amounts of uric acid during induction. Keep it up forever, and you’re practically begging to get a kidney stone. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Worst pain of my life; no other physical pain, including a fractured vertebrae, has forced tears out of my eyes.

            That means that I need to lose the next twenty pounds to hit my target weight pretty much the old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise. Now, it happens that carbs are calorie-dense. Keeping the carb intake under control is a technique that works well for overall calorie reduction. And periodic bursts of ketosis still do things to the body chemistry that encourage the reduction of weight, although at this point the science becomes MFM to me.

            The punchline: something like a donut or a beer is now a once-a-week kind of indulgence. Donuts or beer are no longer prohibited, they’re now special treats. Note also that I did not say “a donut and a beer,” I said “a donut or a beer.”

            As it happens, I had more than one social beer with my neighbor the other day, and noticed an effect on the scale the very next morning. So at the moment, I’m a ways out from my next indulgence. But I can look forward to there being a next indulgence.Report

            • Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

              CONGRATS on the weight loss! (It took me about a year to go from 205 to 185.)Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

              Congrats. I’m going the opposite way, and I can’t figure out why. Same diet, increased exercise. (3 miles in 45 minutes, 3x a week. Up from..nothing. Still I’ve gained almost 5%).

              Saw an endocronologist today. Family history of wonky thyroids that would explain several nagging little issues.Report

        • Dan Miller in reply to Burt Likko says:

          You should visit Voodoo Donuts 2, their location on the east side of the city. The line is minimal and the donuts just as good.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    A tree that can allegedly grow 40 kinds of fruit:

    If you click on the link, you will see that the formally staid National Geographic is using click bait copy.Report

    • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m not trying to rain on you but this kind of thing isn’t that new. Companies that sell fruit trees have sold multi graft trees for sometime now, though none on this scale.. I admit that I always wanted one.Report

      • aarondavid in reply to notme says:

        This is quite true. My father was a geneticist specializing in fruit trees (professor of Pomology) and he did a lot of work with multi varietal trees. The big issue with them is often one of the fruit types will take over the tree. In other words, you might start with a plum-cherry-peach, but it could end up being a straight plum after a few harvests.Report

        • notme in reply to aarondavid says:

          That’s quite interesting. I wonder how the they have worked out keeping the different varities seperate?Report

          • aarondavid in reply to notme says:

            I would have to ask dad, as it is not something I paid a whole lot of attention to. i would guess that most people don’t care, but that is just a guess. But, that said, a commercial orchard probably wouldn’t plant these types of trees, as the economies of scale would make it impractical. These trees tend to be used in homes, back yards and such and often as much for ornamental purposes as fruit bearing.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Neat, but notme is right, grafting like this is old hat, although 40 is a pretty impressive number.

      It’s a lot of work, however, to do all the grafts, so the utility is limited beyond the novelty of it.Report

  4. C1: Canada may be good at baseball, but it completely sucks at camera work.Report

    • Something I found really odd a few years ago when watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs was that the NBC feed was better. NBC’s shots were a little more zoomed-out, so when a team was in the offensive zone, you could see the entire zone as well as just a bit past the blue line. The CBC feed of the exact same game would focus in more on where the puck was, so when it was down by the net or in the corners, the camera would pan and zoom in a bit, so you couldn’t see the blue line.

      What I found most odd about this is that I would think CBC would craft the coverage for the more-informed hockey fan than would NBC (and this was clear from the announcing…which isn’t a criticism, just two different styles). I would think that the more you knew about hockey, the more you’d want to see the entire zone – see where the defenseman are lining up, see who’s cheating forward, watch if the defence gets out of place or if a back-door opportunity appears. Just following the puck around doesn’t give the viewer the whole story of what’s going on on the ice…but it might be handy for viewers who don’t watch a lot of hockey.

      I’m not even a big follower of hockey, but even I wanted to see the entire play unfold, so I wound up always watching the American feed when I could.Report

      • Because of my particular tech history, I wonder how much of this is that NBC has adapted better, or at least more fully, to new video formats. Hockey is one of the sports that benefits enormously from 16:9 aspect ratio and higher definition. Once you assume that the content is being delivered to high-def wide-screen TVs, you change the zoom depth, you change the pan style somewhat, and count on the higher definition to allow viewers to still see the puck and other details.

        I noticed when, sometime in the last few years, local coverage of the NBA team here made the jump. Watching the version with the edges trimmed off for a 4:3 aspect ratio suddenly became a lot less pleasant, as many passes were being thrown to players that you couldn’t see. They gave up on trimming after a while and went to top-and-bottom letterboxing to accommodate the 16:9 image, even though that cost them more resolution.Report

  5. Richard Hershberger says:

    C1: I assume this was included to troll me, but I simply smile serenely and note that the Stanley Cup was won by Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay!Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to Notm says:

      I think the key is “not newsworthy enough to jump the queue.” Everybody’s pet FOIA request is the most important one in the world and not getting it fulfilled before anybody else’s is certainly a mark of conspiracy.

      I’d be all for FOIA requests being fulfilled instantaneously, but we live in a world with resource constraints and rationing. I’m sure they’ll get their documents eventually, just like everybody else.Report

      • Notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        Im sure they’ll get the docs in a few years after they have to sue the government for them. This seems to be the hallmark of Obama’s push for transparency.Report

        • Francis in reply to Notme says:

          So you’re in favor of higher taxes so that federal agencies can be staffed at the level that allows them to fulfill their statutory missions?Report

          • rmass in reply to Francis says:

            No just in favor of conservative anti federal FOAI requests being first in line of courseReport

          • Notme in reply to Francis says:

            Why do you assume that higher taxes are necessary? Maybe less bonus money going to the folks at the va and irs would cover the expenses? Why do liberals usually go for higher taxes right off the bat?Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to Notme says:

              Just cross out the “waste, fraud and abuse” line item in every budget and we should be set. Why don’t they just do that?Report

              • Francis in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Back when I was doing public agency work, the first closed session meeting after an election was always a treat. I actually had one board member ask me where the waste, fraud and abuse line item was in the secret budget that he was convinced existed.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to Notme says:

          I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of FOIA requests don’t end up in court, and I think it’s a very good bet that these won’t either. They’ll get their documents and be selectively editing them and releasing out of context snippets before you know it.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Did Liberals and Progressives cause the SF Housing Crisis? No:;jsessionid=F427E34E40F4D09F58E1E2CE88E8942C?diaryId=15764Report

  7. Brandon Berg says:

    Warren Meyer on the problem with employment anti-discrimination law. TLDR: Due to the Dunning-Kruger effect, bad employees are apt to blame others for their own failures. Consequently, lawsuits from terminated employees who are members of protected classes are a frequent problem for his business. Although he’s never lost a case, it costs an average of $20,000 to defend one, plus he has to hold onto problem employees long enough to create a paper trail, while they continue to cause problems for the business and its customers.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      The horror of having to prove you fired somebody for non-discriminatory reasons.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        If it costs ~$20K a pop to prove you did not fire someone because of discrimination, you have a ~$20K incentive to not hire someone who falls into a protected class.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          @oscar-gordon @brandon-berg @jesse-ewiak

          Eh not so much. This is one of those areas where my experience in employment discrimination law makes me skeptical of a libertarian using Kunning-Duger for that more science feeling.

          There are still a lot of entitled douches out there who think that business can and should be run as a big white and heterosexual boys’ club. You still have businesses like
          Goldman that think it is appropriate to have team bonding exercises in strip clubs. You still have plenty of quid-pro-quo sexual harassment and managers who think they can call Black-American colleagues monkeys in e-mails and job evaluation forms.

          I think in general libertarians and conservatives are opposed to anti-discrimination law so this reads like very poor concern trolling.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Actually, Brandon said Dunning-Kruger, Meyer expressed it more plainly as:

            It is an unfortunate fact of life that the employees who do the worst job and/or break the rules the most frequently tend to be the same ones with the least self-awareness. As a result, no one wants to believe their termination is “fair”, no matter how well documented or justified…

            That, coupled with the ease with which a complaint can be filed or a suit brought can result in expensive headaches, especially if the local legal landscape is tilted toward the employee.

            You’re a lawyer, what are the incentives for & against filing a complaint or bringing suit? Make sure you check those incentives against potential litigants, not your own preferences.Report

            • LWA in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


              It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that every woman who has ever filed a restraining order against me has been projecting her own lack of self awareness on me.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

                Annnnd, that is not what he said at all. Way to take a clearly qualified statement and make it an absolute one.Report

              • LWA in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I have to wonder at the lack of self awareness of people who mysteriously end up on the wrong end of so many lawsuits that it becomes a pattern. What’s the common denominator again?

                Thus the humorous connection to men who somehow mysteriously end up with a string of psychotic girlfriends who file frivolous restraining orders.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to LWA says:

                I can guess at numerous patterns. One of them has to do with a penchant for firing based upon discrimination.

                Others include positions where the cost of extensive background checks to weed out problem employees isn’t worth it; or where the turnover is high enough that the likelihood of getting some bad apples is far enough above 0 to be a concern.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Right. He’s also mentioned that his seasonal employees often commit unemployment fraud by collecting unemployment without looking for work in the off-season.

                I’m sure that’s his fault, too, because he doesn’t keep paying for nothing them over the winter.

                Blaming the victim: Not just for rape apologists anymore.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


              The incentives for plaintiff employment discrimination lawyers is that they get paid on contingency. That means they front and possibly pay most of the costs. This can be very expensive if you pick cases with poor merits.

              The incentives for plaintiff’s is that they might be required to pay the opposition’s attorney fees if they lose especially if their case gets dismissed in a motion for summary judgment or motion for dismissal. This can be a lot of money.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                From my understanding, that is a really big ‘might’, as in it almost never happens.

                Also, it doesn’t address the cost of just filing a complaint with whatever body investigates such complaints.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Notice how litigation is only problematic when it is individuals doing against business owners.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Where exactly did I say that it wasn’t an issue going the other way?

                Don’t be putting out red herrings.Report

              • Francis in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                So you give people one week’s salary as severance conditioned on waiving their claims.

                And, most people don’t want to be bothered with filing a wrongful termination claim. If you’re really getting sued a lot, maybe you should speak to an employer-side labor lawyer about why.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Francis says:

                First – good advice about talking to a labor lawyer.

                Second – is the severance & waiving legally enforceable (would it hold up in CA or other states)?Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              There seem to be lots of white men who break all sorts of rules regarding sexual harassment that do not get filed for their job. Its also perfectly possible to be fired for a combination of legitimate and illegitimate reasons. An investment firm that needed to fire some people and had to choose between incompetent white men that fit into the culture of the firm and incompetent people of color who did not will probably choose the latter to fire. Just because there are some or even many legitimate reasons for a firing, does not mean that their wasn’t any discrimination in the firing either.Report

            • The incentive for not bringing a suit is that it costs money (either yours or the attorney’s), so a suit with no likelihood of winning probably won’t be brought. Everyone I’ve ever seen fired for cause has gone off muttering about how they’ll sue. I can’t recall one that actually did.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Oh, FFS. I said “Dunning-Kruger” because it’s two words for a phenomenon that would otherwise take a full sentence to describe.

            I think in general libertarians and conservatives are opposed to anti-discrimination law so this reads like very poor concern trolling.

            I’m not sure you know what concern trolling is. He’s talking about the costs to his own business.

            I swear, the lengths you guys will to go to deny that your favored policies have any costs at all.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        This comment is just so perfectly emblematic of everything I’ve come to expect from you, Jesse.Report

  8. Damon says:

    M1: My throw pillows rock. Blessbok and zebra pillows add a touch of wildness to my formal living room.
    “What on earth is a throw pillow for?” Duh. Decoration. Wish I could have gotten the a kudo one.

    A3 Yep. Close enough. But so are most of the mainstream republicans.Report

  9. Notme says:

    The autopsy results say suicide. I hope but seriously doubt that this will close the matter.

    • Glyph in reply to Notme says:

      To be fair, the only intel he ever got from us was twenty-nine equally worthless ME “Peace Plans”. Those and a fiver will get you a latte.Report

      • Notme in reply to Glyph says:

        Really and you have factual knowledge of the damage he did or is this some flippant quip to appear clever?Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Notme says:

          Releasing him clearly does more damage to US Security than he ever did, since by hypothesis no one knows how much damage he actually did.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Notme says:

          Nah, I was just being silly.

          A quick review of Pollard’s Wikipedia article indicates that we kinda had to let him out anyway by law, so IMO “Obama” is “giving” the Israelis a pretty low-value gift there.

          Of course, if I were to seriously present it as “Obama is ruining the country by going easy on spies!”, that wouldn’t even *appear* clever.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Notme says:

          No one knows how much damage he did: it’s classified!Report

          • Notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Pollard knows.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Notme says:

              Not entirely. One of the serious allegations is that stuff he gave the Israelis got sold to the Russians. He wouldn’t have first-hand information about thatReport

              • notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Pollard knows what he took, he may not know where it ended up or how it got there. There is a difference you know. Are you really going to suggest that Pollard doesn’t know what he took?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

                I thought we’re talking about how much damage Pollard did. I suspect that the same information caused much less damage in the hands of the Israelis than in the hands of the Soviet Union.Report

              • Notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I dont know if he knows anything about the damage. I simply dont know enough to opine pne way or the other.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Notme says:

                I dont know if he knows anything about the damage. I simply dont know enough to opine pne way or the other.

                Yet four comments up you did just that when you wrote a clear, two word, declarative sentence expressing that Pollard knows how much damage he did.

                I don’t say that to get into an argument with you, btw, since there’s nothing to argue about. You’ve contradicted yourself, as clearly as anyone ever has, whether you admit it or not.Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                It appears that way but it was inadvertent. When I responded to to Mike with my “Pollard knows” comment I was not directly addressing his comment about the severity of the damage, as I should have, but was more re-addressing gylph in frustration as I thought his comment that Pollard didn’t take anything of value was asinine. Hence Mike’s confusion as evidenced by his subsequent comment that, “I thought we’re talking about how much damage Pollard did….” Pollard actions shouldn’t be excused or mitigated based on any attempts to determine what the damage might be given that no one can truly know.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Notme says:

      From wikipedia:

      Pollard’s espionage came to light in 1985 when a coworker anonymously reported Pollard’s removal of classified material from the NIC…Although Pollard was authorized to transport documents and the coworker said the documents were properly wrapped, it appeared out of place that Pollard would be transporting documents on a Friday afternoon when many workers were focused more on the upcoming weekend rather than on intelligence work.

      Now *there’s* some classic government employee norms – if you work too hard on a Friday, people think you’re up to something.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kolohe says:

        Actually, I was perusing his wiki also to refresh myself on the details. The whole thing is pretty interesting, but to @notme ‘s “point”, there’s this:

        Laws in effect at the time of Pollard’s sentencing mandated parole after 30 years for federal life-sentence inmates in the absence of significant prison regulation violations or a “reasonable probability” of recidivism.[60] The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) projects his release date as November 21, 2015.

        Pollard was sentenced in 1987. Man, Obama looks pretty good for having held the Presidency for that long.

        (Also, that’s quite a “gift” we’re giving Israel there, if we kinda had to let Pollard out anyway come November, and would likely have shipped him to Israel then in any case).Report

        • Notme in reply to Glyph says:

          Sad that a “life sentace” is only 30 years. I could almost support abolishing the death penalty if “life” actually meant “life.”Report

          • greginak in reply to Notme says:

            Just another way Obama is hating on Israel. Geez releasing a spy, will he never stop trying to destroy the Israel.Report

          • Francis in reply to Notme says:

            Imprisoning the elderly is really really expensive. California has been in litigation for years over providing health care to its prisoners, especially old ones.

            I think 30 years actual time served is enough deterrent for most people.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        Jews aren’t allowed to carry classified documents in the Sabbath.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    Finally. An article that asks if you can have children and still be a good person.