Linky Friday #138: Pan-Nordica

Will Truman

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

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153 Responses

  1. Kolohe says:

    S5 – Morad is nearly an anagram for Omar.Report

  2. Chris says:

    S4: The shaming conversation would probably go a lot like the mocking conversation we had a while back, though I suspect at least some would switch sides. My position would be close to the same: Shaming, like mocking, serves an important social function, but its use in the service of that function constitutes a tiny fraction of its use generally, with the rest being almost exclusively and unethically destructive. Like mocking, it should only be used as a last resort, when other forms of intellectual and social pressure fail. But like mocking, it requires very little thought or effort to use, so it is often the first and only resort of the lazy, cruel, and unthinking.Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    F4: Relatedly, sometimes vegans and vegetarians have debates on the whether synthetic meats is a good way to get humans to stop killing animals for meat. The pragmatic answer is that humans like meat and will continue to kill animals for meat until a substitute that tastes exactly like meat exists. Others seem to think that synthetic meats might be within in the letter of vegetarianism and veganism but they are not within the spirit of it.

    N4: My guess is that rhinos aren’t really used as mascots because they aren’t really a good fit for merchandizing. Most mascot animals are fit subjects to be turned into a cartoon form of some kind and lots of products. Rhinos might be big and powerful beasts but they aren’t the most charismatic of them. They don’t have the mythological status of other mascot animals. You can’t make them into cute dolls as easily as you can lion or tiger or something else.

    R1: Considering Greenland’s arctic climate, mining should win for cost effectiveness.

    R3: Recycling might be less effective than we think but I haven’t seen any good study showing that stopping recycling will not really harm the environment that much.

    R4: No, please don’t go Antarctica for oil. Lets actually develop alternatives to fossil fuels before we destroy an entire continent and one of the polar caps.

    L3: Raising the minimum wage has high bipartisan support throughout the United States but not enough to get people to stop voting for Republicans who oppose raising the minimum wage. The GOP should be fine.

    R2: There are seemingly lots of people who are struggling with the entire relationship thing. Modern dating might be more egalitarian and just than past models but it favors the most attractive, social and extroverted of people. Past systems did to but there were enough formal rules for people that needed them. My theory is that many people are struggling because changes in dating to not correlate to a necessary change in people’s social skills. The Internet might actually make things worse because it allows introverts or people with poor social skills to get some form of socialization without going outside.Report

    • veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

      [R2] The thing is, I know a ton of weird, introverted nerdlings who have successfully used online dating to hookup.

      Which actually, this doesn’t include me, but I really think that’s the trans thing. Like, there are sites for women like me, but the men who go to those sites are — well, they are not the most savory of men. But as contrast, my ex-wife is an introverted nerdy kinda-fat girl, and she’s met partners (of all genders) on OkC, and the crowd she’s in is absolutely not the gorgeous, hawt, outgoing crowd. Those people meet in clubs or that “just look at the picture and swipe” app (I forget the name, since the chance anyone is going to swipe-in-the-correct-direction for my tranny ass is basically zero).

      In any case, I think these dating articles are inevitable, in that people want to read this stuff, and in our new Buzzfeed age there is no actually need for insight (as if there ever was). The point is, it’s nervous preening for the cognitively insecure. I read all such articles the same way I read those about how cellphones are ruining our lives.


      And on a personal note, I’m all-of-a-sudden single again, and strangely interested in dating a man (for short term stuff). Anywho, I’m thinking of re-upping my OkC profile. Of course, this usually ends up to be a pit of shame and depression. So whatever.

      I wish tranny-chasers weren’t so fucking gross.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        There are also many weird and introverted people nerd or not that have attempted to use online dating and failed misery. Another guess is that the recent surge of romantically struggling people could simply be economic. The developed world is wealthy enough that the number of people who need to be in a relationship for economic reasons simply declined because of the increased ability of people to live on their own. A lot of traits that were looked over in the past because somebody might have been a good catch for other reasons are now focused on.Report

        • veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Right. Economics plays a role. Actually, as a feminist I consider this a plus, since who is able to earn money was pretty one-sided historically. So the point is, this has liberated women to search for partners as equals, which is obviously better on the whole, even if not everyone wins at the new game.

          In any case, I’m pretty skeptical of the claim that we have more lonely people now than we did in the past. Moreover, I am very skeptical of the claim that we have more romantically unhappy people than in the past, since being stuck in a dysfunctional relationship can be hell.

          (I just got out of such a relationship, and it’s profoundly difficult and traumatic. Put it this way, advice columns seem banal until you need that kind of advice. “Just leave them” seems easy until you actually need to leave someone. Then it’s literally awful.)

          It’s obvious that we hear from more unhappy people now. But now we have Internet forums, where people can share their pain. Furthermore, they can often do this anonymously. This is going to change completely the window we have onto this issue.

          To make any claims on this, you’ll need some very careful social science. Until then, we cannot know for sure.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

            If we have more people than we did in the past than we have more lonely people than we do in the past even if the percentage of lonely people remains constant or even slightly decreases.

            It might be a matter of perception though. The Internet makes it easier for lonely people to broadcast to the world. In the past, it would be kept more private.Report

        • El Muneco in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Exactly. In a lot of objective senses of the term, I’m a “good catch” – relatively smart, relatively clean, scrupulously honest, and make decent coin. My big problem in dating is that basically everything I find attractive in a woman has a strong positive correlation with being both able to live an independent life and even find it a reasonable, if not superior, alternative to a relationship. Which is natural, of course, since that’s my feeling too.

          I can easily (I’ve written fiction – I have a good imagination for hypotheticals) see myself married to a few of the women I’ve met online. Except for one case – the only LDR in the bunch – while they wouldn’t have been disasters, they would have been old-school mergers rather than “to blaive”.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      This guy, who normally guards the programming languages section of my bookshelf, is offended by your remark about rhinos and cuteness.Report

    • Dave in reply to LeeEsq says:


      Others seem to think that synthetic meats might be within in the letter of vegetarianism and veganism but they are not within the spirit of it.

      The spirit being a plant-based whole foods diet? I’d probably agree with that.

      I wouldn’t have a problem with synthetic meat. It couldn’t be any worse than the synthetic foods prevalent in the American diet.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Dave says:

        I think the spirit is more about the unethicalness of treating animals as a source of food. Under this line of thought, synthetic meat is close enough to the actual thing in order to cause ethical problems.Report

        • El Muneco in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I can’t even. I can see the argument for vat-grown protein a la Bujold’s Beta Colony, but a purely synthetic alternative that was never even sentient? Sometimes a distinction that makes a difference really is a difference.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Dave says:

        There’s a number of companies trying to make a vegetable based ‘meat’ that is as close to indistinguishable from beef as possible. To even smelling like it when grilled.

        Of course, I get the impression that’s a lot of chemistry — it’s not a faux meat created by mixing soy and beans and whatnot, so much as it is processing and cracking open veggies for fats, proteins, etc, and reassembling them.

        Which may or may not be ethical (or even any more healthy), but frankly if they can come up with something that can replace a fast food beef patty without customers noticing, they’ll be pretty golden. All things considered, it takes a LOT of vegetable mass (and a great deal of time) to make a pound of beef the normal way. Cows aren’t particular efficient in that respect.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Dave says:

        Do we differentiate between synthetic meat/plant based meat substitutes, and vat-grown meat?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


      I’m unclear on how internet dating is making things harder for people. Wouldn’t more options and more avenues for meeting people improve — though not necessarily guarantee — outcomes?Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        Right, it’s easier for shy and introverted people to meet other people now than perhaps at any point since the advent of modern dating sometime early last century. It might not be easier to develop relationships, since everyone has a ton of choices, but it’s definitely easier to date.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

        @kazzy — Well, since a lot of dating has moved online, that means that many of the locations where people meet have fared poorly. This is particularly evident for my little subculture. There used to be a thriving little underworld of trans women and the men who like us, and there were bars where such would congregate.

        These bars still exist, along with a party circuit. However, everyone involved is kind of old and weird. It’s become a ghost of its former self with very little new blood. Folks have taken it to the Internet.

        Which fine, you might say, then go on the Internet.

        However, here’s the thing, deciding to meet a strange man is not exactly an easy decision. So much comes down to chemistry, and the websites that focus on my subculture are so fucking gross — not that the bar scene isn’t gross. But it’s a different kind of gross. And it was nice knowing that you’re meeting that man right there, face to face, with your friends around, where it’s harder for him to hide his creep-vibe. Now he can mask his creep-vibe behind a carefully crafted profile on website run by people who hate me.

        And look, the nice mainstream dating sites are really-really-really different from the trans-focused sites. Like, it’s night and day.

        Do I really want to sign up on a site titled “Find shemales in your area”? (The answer is, no, I do not.)

        Anyway, I wish we still had that old scene around.Report

        • Kim in reply to veronica d says:

          Why not make your own website? Buying a server isn’t that hard…
          And something tasteful and not terribly crazy can’t be all that hard to get.

          It’s not like you are furries. People are actively out to get the furries.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Kim says:

            I mean, not to be confrontational, but this is a hard problem, and answers such as yours that try to pretend it is not a hard problem are actually offensive. And yes, people are actively “out to get us.” There are entire websites set up to doxx us and expose us. There are people who literally make a hobby of tracking down trans women online and harassing us. We get “reported” as fakers and stalkers literally all the time on OkC and Facebook and so on. There are people who spend their time identifying trans women on Facebook and then trying to get us kicked off according to their “real names” policy. Likewise on OkC for being “fakes.” They find out who our employers are and “out” us. They send nasty letters to our doctors and explain that we are insane fakers and should have our hormones cut off. They make up lies in the media about trans girls and doxx them on the Fox News website.

            In other words, you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

            Plus there is the thing where a cis guy will hookup with a trans women, fuck her, and then beat her near to death because of shame. Like, this is rare, but not so rare we don’t worry about it.

            Anyway, blah blah blah. I don’t want to try to run a dating site. I can write the software, but that’s the easy part. Getting all the social stuff right is the challenge. Plus the business aspects. On and on. It is non-trivial.

            I would be great if it existed, but that does not mean that I’m the one to do it. Acting like I could throw it together on the weekend is stupid.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Kim says:

            Why not make your own website?

            Yes, veronica, why don’t *you* start your own dating site? That can’t possibly be hard. It’s not like you need a lot of money to attract people there, or that the value of a dating site is directly related to how many people are already there. Man, too bad Geocities isn’t around anymore.

            And it’s not like there already *aren’t* dating sites that trans people are supposed to be able to sign up for (At least, there’s nothing stopping them), and the actual problem is worries that presenting themselves for dating might result in anger on the part of transphobic people.

            It’s not like you are furries. People are actively out to get the furries.

            …are you serious?

            No one is running around exposing furries. No one even *cares* about furries. At most, they get some general mocking about them.

            Moreover, furries can, uh, stop being furries in public pretty easily. In fact, they generally *aren’t* furries in public.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to veronica d says:

          And look, the nice mainstream dating sites are really-really-really different from the trans-focused sites.

          Never having used an online dating site…is there no option to indicate trans? Where that could be filtered out if wanted?

          Or is that not something trans people want to do?

          I mean, I know there is this whole bullshit anger thing about how trans women ‘trick’ men, and having such an indicator on a dating site seem to play along with that.

          Except, well, I’m not sure the problem with men being ‘tricked’ isn’t so much ‘I was about to have sex with her and it turned out she was really a man!’ as it is ‘I objectified her despite not knowing anything about her and it turned out she was really a man!’ I.e., the problem is men thinking every women exists for their sexual attraction, and thus women should be required to ‘warn’ men if that attraction will cause teh gay.

          In reality, of course, people do not have the right to know the status of everyone’s genitalia. If they find themselves outraged because they were fantasizing about someone with the ‘wrong’ set, perhaps they shouldn’t be doing that to every woman they see! And at the very least, should not blame the woman, who didn’t ask for any of that.

          But (and having never dated a trans woman I have no idea), at some point in the relationship, presumable *before* the bedroom, there is probably a talk. People sorta *do* have the ‘right to know’ (or, more specifically, it’s nonsensical to try to keep it a secret) when they’re going to end up in bed with said genitalia.

          And I don’t think it would be unreasonable to get that upfront on the dating site. Not only does it waste less people’s time, but putting it *there* actually reduces the possibility of violent overreaction.

          …although I’m not sure how much this applies to trans people who people don’t notice anything different about even when naked.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Kazzy says:

        I think the issue is too many fish in the sea option.

        As far as I can tell from my experience and others, a lot of on-line dating ends with “I thought you were really nice and fun but I wasn’t feeling any chemistry. Goodbye.”

        My girlfriend said she felt like this after our first date and it took her a while before she decided she was romantically interested in me. I have no idea why she decided to keep on giving me dates when other women were more willing to just cut things off but I will take what she said at face value.

        I’ve also seen a lot of articles and talk about how men and women have different expectations for a first date from someone they met on-line. To be a standup comedian, guys seem to think “Hey that didn’t go so bad” and that is a low bar.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Yeah, the jokes write themselves from there.

          Are they really true? Yes and no — women looking for men often socially assume the role of disposer and men looking for women often socially assume the role of initiator. But we all know that’s not universally true.

          What we do know to be true is that someone has to initiate something, or we all wind up spending our Friday nights at home on the internet. And what we also know is that real people are complex and learning to accept someone else’s complexities is a hallmark of personal maturity.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

            I’ve had dates where the woman was both the initiator and the disposer. She sent the first message online, we communicated, met up, and than decided that there was no chemistry. Its possible to be both.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

        Internet makes it easier to meet new people but not necessarily get into a relationship because it puts more people at your disposal. Before Internet dating, people were generally limited to dating people they new in real life, were referred to by friends, or chance meetings in real life. Since most people don’t know scores of people, chances of a fast and immediate rejection after the first date were lower. If a potential other date is always around the corner than your going to be more picky.Report

  4. veronica d says:

    [S4] I don’t think we’ll get to a place where jobs and other personal stuff is entirely off-limits. I hope that we get better about this stuff, and companies develop more wisdom. Certainly I have a few coworkers with controversial web profiles, and while they often offend me, their existence gives me confidence that I won’t be outright fired for some minor error I make.

    On the other hand, I once encountered a blog by some anonymous person who claimed to work for my employer, and basically the things they said about people like me were kinda beyond merely offensive. Like, if I knew who this person was I could not work with them, at least not without an apology, and one that I believed.

    I think the odds that person could deliver a genuine apology is somewhere between none and what-the-fuck.

    Of course he didn’t limit his hate to people like me. He pretty much hated everyone who wasn’t a white tech-nerd, or a pretty woman who would mindlessly obey the petty lusts of soulless men such as himself.

    Anyway, fuck that guy. The point is, it can be hard to draw the line, but that doesn’t mean the problem goes away. You can’t just say, “Wow, this problem is hard so let’s create a dumb and simple rule that won’t work.”

    Myself, I think that “donglegate guy” should not have been fired. Nor should Richards have been fired. Precisely zero people should have lost their job because of that one dumb tweet. In the same way, offensive, misguided jokes are just cause for a stern talking to by management, but unless the employee is recalcitrant or petty, let it go. I make dumb jokes. Sometimes I make jokes far more crass than “fork the repository” or “dongle.” Heck, I’m a tranny. We throw down some of the best castration humor anywhere outside of a sheep farm.

    Which whatever. The point is, zero tolerance doesn’t work. No one really wants a hair trigger.

    Eich was correct to step down. Whatever pressure he was under to do so was legitimate pressure. As far as I’m concerned, he gets to complain when we have a world where LGBT people never unfairly lose their jobs because of homophobic jerks.

    People who openly suggest that minorities are less intelligent than whites will have to be limited in their employment prospects. Sorry. But fuck off you racist shits. You cannot expect minorities to work happily among those who believe them intellectually inferior. It’s dehumanizing. The same goes for those who think women are inferior. If you believe that shit, go hide in a fucking cave you troglodyte.

    But there is a big difference between “HBD blogger” and some guy who made a silly joke about women’s butts. (Which, on the topic, yay butts.) Management needs to be able to distinguish the two.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to veronica d says:

      I dunno about Eich. It seems to me that Eich did his best to keep his political opinions to himself, but was outed. I guess if you think he was like that guy from your company, ranting about it anonymously on the internet, that would make you feel more hostile toward him. Was he doing that?

      The thing about Richards is that connecting to and promoting the company among geeks was her job. Which she seriously messed up, in my opinion. I’m not all that wound up about “forking the repository” either, and good lord, I came up in the church.

      That said, I don’t like the piece much. He doesn’t distinguish between complaint and contempt, and that’s an important piece to me. He also lumps in Chick-Fil-A with The Dixie Chicks, Orson Scott Card, Matisyahu, and Scott Eckern.

      I think it’s fair to boycott someone’s work because you don’t like their views, especially when you think that buying that work, you may end up supporting those views financially. That goes for Card, the Dixie Chicks and Chick-Fil-A (Dixie-Chicks-Fil-A?).

      But there’s a question of who owns the work. When it’s a company, you have a problem. There are very few companies out there that don’t have someone working for them with a view that some might consider a problem. The worker is not the company. If the company donates to causes that’s a different matter.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        The point with Eich is that CEO is a different position from any other. No one objected when he was CTO.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        He also lumps in Chick-Fil-A with The Dixie Chicks, Orson Scott Card, Matisyahu, and Scott Eckern.

        Yeah, that was rather obviously dumb. A boycott against a company is not actually the same thing as getting someone fired.

        And it’s amazing how many people seem to misunderstand what happened with the Dixie Chicks, and have just basically *imagined* outrage from the left about that. Guys, we thought it was stupid, and *exceptionally* hypocritical of the right considering how often they attack Democratic presidents. (How’s Ted Nugent doing, by the way?) But that was it. No one has ever argued that people didn’t have the right to not buy their music, or not go to their concerts. No one’s running around saying ‘This shall not stand!’

        Equally stupid: The link to the article about the ‘blacklisting’ of Card. Hey, look, a guy who isn’t willing to *create art* with Card. Hey, let’s go ask Card if he’ll write dialog to go along with *my* art, which is going to just be gay people making out. Oh, wait, he won’t? Well, then he’s clearly depriving *me* of the right to make a living.

        Comic writers and artists have fought long and hard for actual rights, but even the bad old days they weren’t *forced* to work with people they didn’t like.

        Now, whether DC should have dropped Card after that…that’s another matter. But, uh, this is *publishing*, and the number 1 question in publishing is ‘How many copies will this sell?’.

        People outside the comics community *vastly* underestimate how much specific writers are important, and often seem to think of this as ‘Card was hired to write Superman, and fired’. No. That is not how anyone who reads comics would think about it. What was going to happen was that DC was going to, essentially, publish a short series of ‘Card’s Superman’. Yes, they were the Superman books, but it would be called, among comic readers, ‘Card’s run on Superman’, and be judged and purchased as an entity. Non-comic readers tend to think of the writer is not some anonymous entity, and the important thing is the name of the book…but that’s exactly wrong. Comic readers often follow writers (and artists) from book to book, or company to company.

        Card’s name on Superman would be exactly as important as his name on a book he wrote.

        And it became ‘clear’ that ‘Card’ would not sell(1), so they dropped the idea.

        If Card wanted some sort of general staff position at DC, like a copy-editor or something, that would be something else…and no one would have cared. Probably. I dunno, perhaps people *would* have cared, and gotten him fired, and that would have been wrong.

        But there’s a difference between ‘You, J. Random Employee, took a political position that was unpopular, and now people are demanding we fire you’, and ‘You, man who we were planning on publishing the artistic work of, are apparently very unpopular with our readers and will not sell well, so we are not going to do that’.

        1) Of course, comic book companies are *epically bad* at understanding what will sell and what won’t, and seem to have almost no understand of their market at all, so it’s possible to criticize their position on the grounds it was factually wrong. It probably was! I actually think Card could have been really interesting on Superman. But that’s stupidity, not malice.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

      People who openly suggest that minorities are less intelligent than whites will have to be limited in their employment prospects. Sorry. But fuck off you racist shits. You cannot expect minorities to work happily among those who believe them intellectually inferior.

      This is a perfect example of why this sort of thing is problematic. It’s fairly clear from this paragraph that you don’t understand this issue, but you’re so sure of yourself that you’re chomping at the bit to ruin people’s lives over this.

      First, there’s a large, robust, and well-documented gap in scores on any sort of highly g-loaded test. This includes tests like the Ravens Progressive Matrices, a test of pure visual pattern recognition ability, which disproves the myth that the test gap is due to questions about yacht racing.

      So, yes, all available evidence points to black people, on average, being less intelligent than white people. There’s not a lot of legitimate controversy about this, though why this gap exists remains an open question.

      Here’s the thing: You can accept this and not be a racist. If your reasons for not being a racist depend on denying well-documented facts, you’re pretty bad at not being a racist.

      The first thing you have to understand is that the black and white IQ distributions, while not identical, have a large area of overlap. As an analogy, there’s a well-documented difference in average height between men and women. But if you randomly paired off men and women, the taller person in many of those pairs would be a woman. Likewise, if the black and white IQ distributions differ by a standard deviation, there are 7 million black people in the US who have IQs higher than the average white person, and about 40 million white people who have IQs lower than the average black person.

      Second, in any situation where the extent of another person’s cognitive ability is something you need to know, you will almost certainly have much better ways to gauge it than relying on race. For example, at a job interview, you can assess the candidate’s skills directly, but all race tells you is that there’s a 95% chance that the candidate’s IQ is within a certain 60-point range.

      It’s actually kind of funny how racists and SJWs commit exactly the same fallacy when looking at the racial IQ gap. Racists see it as an excuse to be racist and embrace it, SJWs dogmatically deny it for the same reason. That’s the way the horseshoe curves, I guess.

      Third, many (most?) of us spend large portions of our lives in groups segregated by cognitive class. When you go to college, most of your classmates will be fairly close to you in terms of cognitive ability. Those who are much smarter probably went to better schools, and those who are much less intelligent probably couldn’t get in. Likewise at many jobs. As little as the test score gap tells you about a random person on the street, it tells you even less about your classmates and coworkers.

      Really, knowledge of the racial IQ gap is pretty useless when it comes to evaluating individuals. All it’s really good for is as a tool for explaining aggregate group outcomes, e.g., it provides evidence against the proposition that the underrepresentation of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs is due to (strangely selective, given the huge overrepresentation of other minorities in many of these jobs) racial discrimination by employers, and suggests instead that it occurs somewhere earlier in the pipeline.

      And, of course, one can always try not being bigoted against people with lower IQs. A while back, a regular commenter here referred to The Bell Curve as a book about how black people are subhuman. Putting aside that it wasn’t really a book about race at all, the jump from “mean IQ of 85” to “subhuman” is one that commenter made all on his own, and one which reveals much more about him than about Charles Murray.Report

      • Kim in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Quite frankly, you haven’t done half the research you pretend to, and it is fucking impossible to do it stateside, due to selection pressures on who we imported. Imagine that German Burghers are smarter than your average German, and that African Slaves are less smart than African Slaveowners. You’re not looking at good population studies, if you pull SMART people from one population and AVERAGE from a different one.

        I know people who do research on this subject. Better research than you’ve got access to, because they’re using cellphones, which are rather ubiquitous.

        But I’ll simply suggest that you read Carrier’s research.

        And I should have some fun and explain to you why straight people have lower IQs than gay people. (You can thank the military for that research).Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        There’s not a lot of legitimate controversy about this, though why this gap exists remains an open question.

        If your reasons for not being a racist depend on denying well-documented facts, you’re pretty bad at not being a racist.


        A better reason to not be racist is that we have no actual ability to determine how much of what genetics someone has by looking at them. Skin color (and hence what ‘race’ someone identifies as) actually correlates very poorly with specific percentage of genetic heritage.

        Someone with darker skin probably has *some* African background somewhere, but, uh, so do a good number of people with white skin. Anyone remember the ‘one white twin, one black twin’ from a while back?

        Which means, mysteriously, that people’s IQ is somehow related to *how dark their skin is*. Not what percentage of genes from where, just actual literal skin color.

        This seems akin to discovering, via speeding tickets issued, that red cars are faster than white cars. I’m…pretty sure that’s not correct, and there’s some sort of bias in there. There are parts of the car that can make it faster, and there probably are genes that make people dumber…but they have no relation to the paint color of the car, or the genes that make melamine.

        So it seems pretty clear the gap is not *genetic* in origin.

        I keep hoping that someone will do a study of this. Let’s grab a bunch of ‘white people’ from the same economic strata, do an *genetic heritage* comparison to IQ. And then grab a bunch of ‘black people’ and do the same. I’m suspecting there’s no correlation at all of how smart someone is with how much ‘white vs. black’ ancestry they have with other people that present as the same ‘race’.Report

        • Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

          Read Carrier’s research on IQ. It’s fascinating.

          According to insurance companies, red cars are indicative of a propensity to get into accidents. (has to do with who buys them).

          Brandon can’t seem to understand that using America as a sample is beyond idiotic, and that we can survey the world if we want to.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

          Not only do we not have a good handle on what “Black” and White” are, we don’t have a good handle on what “intelligence” means.

          Or I should say, “intelligence” is used to mean different things to different people.

          IQ tests are really only meant to measure a limited set of cognitive abilities, the sort of things familiar to Machine Age people- measuring, quantifying, converting specific things to abstract things. The sort of skills that we find useful in our lives.

          Its the laypeople who convert IQ into a measurement of human worth and ability, a summary judgment of the person.

          It becomes a bit circular, also in that we measure “success” as being able to excel in endeavors that involve those skills, then note that high IQs have a correlation with the people who are “successful”, then proclaim that IQ correlates with success, again as a summary judgment of the person.Report

          • Francis in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            This, and one further point–

            Why does collective intelligence matter? And why is collective intelligence only measured against skin tone?

            Why don’t we talk about the intelligence of groups sorted by height? Or hair color? Or eye color? Or weight? Or BMI?

            I have my suspicions.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Francis says:

              When my son was born in 1990, the pediatrician was talking about something called an APGAR score, which apparently is some snapshot measurement of how healthy a baby is, right after its born.
              But, she stressed, its a snapshot which becomes meaningless a few months afterwards. But she went on to say that some preschools use it as a variable in acceptance.

              Which is for me another data point in how there is this desperate search for a summary quotient of human value, a way by which we can create a hierarchy to explain ourselves and our society. Preschools didn’t just want to use a lottery, so they grabbed at whatever tool could be used to craft a halfway plausible rationale for selection.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                My understanding was Apgar scores were developed to assess the effect on the child of anesthesia given to the mother during childbirth, and what measures might need to be provided for the next little while, should the baby prove to be heavily affected by the anesthesia. The kind of thing that is eliminated by the liver over a span of tens of minutes.

                Using that score for a decision 24 hours later would be pointless – I can’t even imagine what went into the conclusion that using them years later was a good idea.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to Francis says:

              We do talk about the correlation between intelligence and height. This appears to be part of the reason for the correlation between height and income. There’s also a known correlation between obesity and IQ. And IQ and life expectancy.

              However, the racial IQ gap is larger, and the main reason it’s important is that there’s a huge industry built around shaming and legal harassment of industries that don’t hire enough (of the right kind of) minorities to do cognitively demanding jobs. And it’s not their fault—blacks and Hispanics really are underrepresented in the pool of qualified candidates.

              Not only are these people harassing employers for no good reason, but they’re diverting attention from the real problem.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                We do talk about the correlation between intelligence and height. This appears to be part of the reason for the correlation between height and income. There’s also a known correlation between obesity and IQ. And IQ and life expectancy.

                Yes, all those things are mysteriously correlated.

                If only there was some common cause for all those. Something like, I dunno, childhood nutrition and childhood toxin exposure, which is known to influence every single one of those things, and is rather obviously a likely result of childhood poverty.

                However, the racial IQ gap is larger

                Yes. Bad childhood nutrition reduces IQ, and various prejudices in education based on skin color *also* reduces IQ. Black kids often get both.

                and the main reason it’s important is that there’s a huge industry built around shaming and legal harassment of industries that don’t hire enough (of the right kind of) minorities to do cognitively demanding jobs. And it’s not their fault—blacks and Hispanics really are underrepresented in the pool of qualified candidates.

                It’s easy to claim it’s ‘not their fault’, because a lot of the discrimination happens at the ‘job interview’ level, and that’s really hard to prove.

                Sadly for your point, there so *so much* discrimination that there have been multiple studies that demonstrated that merely have an racial-indicator type name like Jamal, or adding an activity (Leading a church’s gospel choir) or a degree (Like a minor in African-American studies.) or an address in a known-black part of town to a resume will result in less employer response to otherwise identical resumes. Obviously white names get up to 50% more calls for interviews than obviously black names.(1)

                This is *before* the black person is actually even *seen*, so God knows how biased the *completely subjective* job interviews really are.

                The identical resumes thing, however, is impossible to explain with anything but ‘Corporate American is still racist as fuck’.

                1) The least racist entities seemed to be the Federal government and really large corporations.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to DavidTC says:

          There was a study a while back that I unfortunately cannot link to right now, that found that, within the study’s scope, there was a significant gap between black and white children’s test scores – but when the very same kind of exercises were framed as “brain teasers” or “logic puzzles” the gap practically vanished (black students’ results improved, white students’ results didn’t change much one way or the other). Suggesting that, among the children studied, test anxiety was a much bigger difference between the students than intelligence or ability.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to dragonfrog says:

            As you may have heard, there’s a crisis of replicability in psychology. Actually, in science generally. I find it entirely plausible that this happened in one or more small studies, but how many more studies tried something similar, got nothing, and got their papers rejected or never bothered submitting in the first place? This isn’t just me spreading FUD—publication bias is a real problem that calls the credibility of a lot of research into question*.

            By the way, without actually seeing the study I can’t be sure, but I strongly suspect that this experiment actually split the children into two groups. That is, it’s not that the black children’s scores improved after being given a different description of the puzzles, but rather that the black children who were told that they were puzzles performed better than the black children in the control group. If the study was small, it’s plausible that this happened by chance.

            *”Ah ha!” you say. “That includes the research showing the IQ gap.” This seems unlikely, given that closing the IQ gap is the holy grail of psychometrics. Publication bias would almost certainly run in the other direction. Also, the gap is consistently supported by real-world test scores (SAT, AFQT, state learning assessment tests) administered to millions of students. To the best of my knowledge, priming has never been used to close the gap outside of the laboratory. Really, if that’s all it takes, why isn’t it being used in the real world?Report

      • Damon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        “Here’s the thing: You can accept this and not be a racist. ”

        But that doesn’t mean that you still won’t be branded as one, social media shamed, and have to endure an interweb campaign designed to get you fired and punished for your views.Report

  5. veronica d says:

    Oh, and it appears we have two sets of Rs.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    F3: I imagine his big observation holds true for adults as well. We don’t make it easier for pretty much everyone to work out and/or eat right instead of what is fast.

    G1: I am not really a fan of the quasi-government nature of HOA’s and Co-Op boards. In other Californian news, there have been HOAs suing homeowners who let their lawns go brown to save water during the drought. Sometimes people are really myopic.

    L3: I thought that raising the minimum wage had broad support but R leadership is not responsive to their base on the issue.

    S1: Oscar Gordon bias source alert. I am not going to trust the Free Beacon on the storm trooper one.

    R1: When I did on-line dating, quite a few women complimented me for using full paragraphs and sentences. A lot of guys seem to use a more “You look cute. Let’s get a drink.” style of communication. Or they use really horrible net speak and dick pics (I never understood how anyone could think sending dick pics was possibly a good idea.)Report

    • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      [cw: obscenity]

      Well, dickpics do screen for a very narrow range of women. But what women is such a man looking for?

      I’ve read feminist analysis that suggest that the men who send dickpics are well aware that they offend many women, but for a wretched misogynist, this will actually be a plus. In other words, they are intended to be invasive and offensive. They are intended to humiliate.

      Think, “Check out my meat you silly cunt. You wanna suck it, don’t’cha?”

      Most women do not. But it was never about genuine intimacy. If she comes over and sucks it, the yay, some filthy cum dumpster sucked his meat. If she is offended, then yay, some stuck up cunt was offended by his meat.

      So yeah, men like that are as common as dirt, sad to say.

      (Of course, men and women who want this sort of thing can get it consensually in a BDSM context. To do it to strangers is a kind of sexual assault. Such men should be arrested and jailed.)

      My point is, if you are the sort of man who doesn’t understand dicpicks, then yay! It means you are not terrible in the way those men are terrible.Report

      • Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        I’d prefer to think that most guys sending out dickpics are some sort of fucked up idiot whose brain is actually malfunctional.

        There are some people who cannot write a woman to save their fucking life, and it’s because they dislike women, and haven’t ever come to feel them as human beings. [see authors of Grimm, for one.]. Those guys are gay, and I can kinda understand what their major mental malfunction is (no, it’s not being gay. for one thing, this isn’t all gay guys).

        Some guys are pretty infantile in their perusal of the opposite sex, and tend to judge women just by their looks. In a purely reflective sense, it would make a lot of sense that someone like that would think women do the same. In which case, it makes sense to send anatomically correct pictures in a “U Interested?” sort of way. Yes, this is puerile and more than a touch idiotic — but if you don’t actually explain what they’re doing wrong, some guys and gals don’t get it.

        And because there are people in this world who walk around holding signs, “Looking for a Boyfriend-Free Girl”, I venture to say I’m at least halfway right.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Kim says:

          Well, there are two pieces of evidence you can look at. One is the kind of porn these guys like.

          I mean, I’m not saying I know for sure what porn videos the average dickpic guy watches, but someone is watching the “suck root bitch” porn, and I don’t think it’s women. (Okay, well, I’ve watched that stuff. But still.)

          Second you can look at how these men respond when women push back. Seldom will you get an “aw shucks” response, which I’d expect from men who didn’t mean to offend. Instead, you get this.

          Okay, so again that doesn’t show specifically dickpics, but I’ve seen many such screenshots that do. (Which I could Google around for a while and find some, but that was the first hit when I searched and it is sufficiently representative. I don’t think dickpic guys are a wildly different population from those guys.)

          On the other hand we have this:

          Note that item #3 and #4 match my point well, although obviously some men feel otherwise. Also note that this article conflates unsolicited dickpics from those that were requested, which kinda misses the point. It’s obviously okay to send dickpics to someone who has expressed a desire to see them. (Whether it is wise to send them is, however, another question.) I’m focused on those men who send them out to random women.

          Note also that the conclusion of the article is unjustified. They say that you have a 50/50 shot when sending them. However, if you read the responses, only one person actually like unsolicited dicpicks, and that was a (presumably gay) man.Report

          • Kim in reply to veronica d says:

            I actually prefer to think that they’re simply sadists (and not in the S&M sense, in the troll sense), rather than that they’re mysogynists. Yes, I may be off in my happy place… In my happy place, people don’t put cats on children’s heads and then posts the results on the internet. (knowing someone who takes over the worst job in google when the current contractor Needs Therapy gives me quite colorful things to keep the hell out of my happy place).Report

      • Doctor Jay in reply to veronica d says:

        Well, on a very different thread, I read a very beautiful piece where a sex-positive woman sang the praises of solicited dick pics. The issue is the unsolicitied part, right?Report

        • veronica d in reply to Doctor Jay says:

          Right. The problem is men who approach online meeting as zero-to-crass in zero seconds. Dickpics are just the most obvious manifestation of that, but it can be crass language as well, along with shitty behavior when the women ignores him. Those guys suck.

          All that said, once people establish a rapport, then yeah, let them enjoy each other however they together choose. Dickpics can be lovely (depending on the dick).Report

          • DavidTC in reply to veronica d says:

            The problem is men who approach online meeting as zero-to-crass in zero seconds.

            Yes. A female friend of mine who did online dating used to post screengrabs from her phone of exactly this sort of thing.

            And some of it was…wow. Who would *say* that?

            I mean, okay, plenty of people in relationships can be ‘crass’ with each other, if they’re that kind of couple. I know couples who say things like that. I know couples that joke about sending each other unsolicited nude pics, too. (I don’t know if they actually do.)

            But to someone you literally *haven’t* met yet? Someone you are negotiating a date with?

            Is this some sort of ‘playing the percentages’? Like, maybe 1% of women *do* respond to that?

            I think even if I was the sort of person (And a woman) who was willing to make those sort of comments to people, and accept them from people, joking around…I *still* wouldn’t want to date someone who just *started off* like that without any hint from me. For all I know, he’s going to do it in *all* contexts, and he’ll start talking about it in front of my mother or priest or something.

            OTOH, frankly, better *that* sort of public behavior than being an asshole *in secret*, I guess.Report

    • Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      re: r1
      I never understand why guys think taking dickpics is a good idea.
      This is the internet, all things are hackable, and some man is probably going to see it.
      There are still more images of Asian Boy Bands online than dickpicks, somehow or another…. (and surprisingly few wedding photos).Report

  7. Autolukos says:

    S5: I’m not surprised to see the cop complaining about the sentence, but 7 years in prison plus a few years of probation seems reasonable. One shudders to think of what a defendant with fewer resources would have received.Report

  8. Autolukos says:

    N4: Most animal mascots are either a distinctive local animal (Florida Gators, Texas Longhorns, etc) or one of a few charismatic predators (Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my!). Rhinos don’t live in the US and are herbivores (if quite badass herbivores).Report

  9. Some Hungarians want you to know that they are sorry about their Prime Minister.

    The Baranya Chicks?Report

  10. Kolohe says:

    L3- interesting, yes, but I’m not sure about ‘scary’. The question asked about an increase to 10 bucks, not the usual living wage argument level of 15, and got a bare majority at 53. There’s still a quarter that went on record as supporting the status quo, and an eighth that supports the not-gonna-to-happen elimination of the minimum wage altogether. I suspect that the support for raising the min wage among self-identified Republicans is a weakly held belief, and is easily swayed an aggressive marketing campaign. Alternatively, it’s not really an issue if the elected officials follow the cues from their more passionate supporters – and esp their major donors – and fight against minimum wage increases.

    the more interesting scary numbers were the nominal gun control question, with background checks coming in 78%. Though, again, this is a weaker form, possibly the weakest form of the ‘anti-gun’ argument, that much acquiescence on the issue makes me believe that trying to drive a wedge into HRC’s portion of presidential vote next year with the spectre of gun control is a non-starter. Thus likely preempting one possible path, albeit already on the fringe, for any GOP nominee to get to 270.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Kolohe says:

      The question asked about an increase to 10 bucks, not the usual living wage argument level of 15, and got a bare majority at 53.

      I’ve never understood the $15 campaign. That’s a really stupid way to do a thing that is supposed to be nation-wide. What they *should* have done is created a standard formula based on cost of living. Or, hell, just based on *housing*.

      There are a lot of people in my neck of the woods that say ‘$15 is insane’, and, in a way, they’re sorta right. I mean, *I* don’t think it’s too high, but it’s certainly getting close to too high in my area. (In NYC, it’s probably too *low*.)

      And I can explain to these people ‘$15 is not that much in New York’, and they’ll go ‘Yeah, you’re right, they probably do need $15 an hour there’…but, of course, they still don’t support raising it to $15 *here*, because that’s too high here, or at least high enough they think it is too high.

      The campaign should have been ‘Min wage, right now, if they work 40 hours a week, is $15,000. Housing in [your area] is $x a year. That leaves [number usually less than $20] a day to live on, which includes food, transportation, clothing, etc. Don’t you think it should be raised to [some number calculated off cost of living], which would leave people $y more a day?’

      I think the effort to raise min wage to in cities $15 is hurting efforts to raise min wage to $10 in rural areas.Report

  11. Jaybird says:

    G1: If you can’t pee in your back yard, it’s not your back yard.Report

  12. Tod Kelly says:

    [S1] This is not entirely true, so much as it is true that it mostly happened in fringe or oddball groups.

    Charles Johnson actually ranted about black stormtroopers a bit, calling it a part of “white genocide.” It’s also been a pretty big thing with MRM leaders (because of course it has), who are also upset that the trailer seems to make a woman one of the two possible heroes is part of “male genocide” (because of course they do).Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      It was really hard to tell if Chuck was deliberately trolling with a poor sense of how to construct ‘satire’ or if he was trying to actually make a point. Either way, he’s such a ridiculous figure at this point that pointing to him as an example of a philosophy (any philosophy) is like pointing to Time Cube Guy as an example of scientific consensus skepticism.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Well, there was that whole #boytcottstarwarsvii thing…Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Bunch’s piece was written during the window right after the Black Stormtrooper was unmasked. And he was right, for the most part, there were tons of articles tut-tutting people objecting and people actually objecting were hard to find. Like, really hard to find. Tut-tutters didn’t even seem to bother, which is what Bunch was pointing out.

      In the sports article, the Tut-tutters found people, but mischaracterized what they said or elevated nobodies to make their point.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

        But just because someone is a “nobody” doesn’t mean their opinion doesn’t matter. If a segment of the population is expressing opinion, does it not matter if none of the people expressing it are famous? That is a pretty troubling notion, to be perfectly honest.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

          it matters if one cares about attacking the motte or attacking the bailey.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

          If you’re elevating GoCoogsFan84 into someone worth responding to, I am kind of left to wonder why. If they are expressing a view broadly held that needs to be confronted, you ought to be able to find a better example than going Poe-hunting. If it’s not a common view, then it needs to be pretty outrageous in order for you to figure it worth a reader’s time to care what GoCougsFan84 said.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Huh? This is a thing? About Star Wars? Really?

      You make me want to apply for an extension to my sabbatical.Report

    • I don’t know if this is relevant (I haven’t even read the links) but for a long time, thought the storm troopers were robots.Report

  13. Chip Daniels says:

    This is one of those articles that bites off more than it can chew.

    The headline and premise is implies that recycling is bad and we shouldn’t do it.

    But he doesn’t actually say that, or defend that.

    What he says is that recycling efforts are not cost effective, that its cheaper to use resources then bury the waste.

    Which is not just true, but trivially true, and eternally true.

    If it was more cost effective to recycle, the market would have discovered this. But it never is, and never will be.

    What he is missing is the entire purpose of what recycling is meant to do.

    The point of recycling isn’t to find a cheap way to consume resources, its meant to be part of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, that is, to slow our consumption of resources and balance the damage of resource extraction and pollution.Report

  14. Damon says:

    F2 Meh, the EMM isn’t that good anyway. I make a better fixing at home for less.
    F3 Hey Nick, just say “no” to snacks. Man up and be a parent.
    F4 When this become popular, I’ll go back to hunting deer.
    R3 This is old news. Once the commodities prices for aluminum and other material drop several years ago, recycling became a lot less profitable. There were some cases where recycling was pick up and trucked to the land fill since it wasn’t viable to process it. Yeah, I’ll recycle when you write me a check for my labor. I bill out at 200 dollars an hour.
    G1 “but I’m not a very good libertarian.” No, no you’re not.
    G3 Oh, you thought you’d get out of pay gas taxes? Maybe, but when the gov’t looses net tax revenue, someone’s gonna get gored. Just like what Oregon did.
    R1 I see this in a lot of women’s profiles. I don’t it in mine, but I do use it. If you can’t spell, can’t use an apostrophe correctly, and confuse there, their, etc., you give off an unmistakable air of ignorance. To overcome that impression, you have to be really, really hotter than average.Report

    • Gabriel Conroy in reply to Damon says:

      F2 Meh, the EMM isn’t that good anyway. I make a better fixing at home for less

      I’ve never liked the Egg McMuffin. Also, at least in Big City, at the McDonalds here, there’s no sausage biscuit, which is what I actually like.Report

      • Damon in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        My actual fixing is as follows: Toasted English Muffin, 1-2 thin slices of Canadian bacon, thin cheddar cheese, and an over easy egg on top of the cheese, all on one half of the muffin. Eat as open face sammach, allowing the yolk to run into the muffin. The other half of the muffinis eaten with jam or butterReport

  15. Chip Daniels says:

    G2 is an interesting one. I don’t have any sympathies for either side, but along with Burt Likko’s pieces on water rights, it goes to the heart of the question of property.

    What is property, how is it handled, how do we decide that?

    We speak so often about property and property rights as if it was all a naturally occurring phenomenon and self-evident, yet it actually is a construction that we all agree to, or not.Report

    • Three sides. The Red River Boundary Compact adopted by Congress in 2000 sets the boundary between the two states as the vegetation line on the south bank of the river. With a couple of exceptions, the boundary moves when the river moves. One of the exceptions is at Lake Texoma, where the boundary is fixed by survey. The other exception is lands that fall under the sovereignty of federally recognized Indian tribes on either side of the river remain under Indian (hence BLM) control whether the river moves or not. I believe that BLM’s interpretation of the law is that those Indian boundaries that were fixed by survey never moved with the river. So when the river moved north over a few decades, land that had previously been “in” Oklahoma but controlled by the tribes was now “in” Texas but still controlled by the tribes, and that Texas deeds to that land were improperly issued.Report

    • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Surveys typically define the area of property. Survey markers or monuments are typically used in defining the physical (on the ground) location of the property and boundaries.

      Surveys are more often than not produced by private survey companies. They may have licensing by the state, but aren’t actually state.(This is why I didn’t understand your minarchist position—‘Here is what constitutes property’ part of what state does! It more often than not is defined by private agents. You still got dibs on Central Park though, just gotta be able to defend your position.)

      Deeds typically describes rights, ownership and easements.
      They are typically stored at some local facility, usually the county ‘whatever’ building. After seeing a few of these facilities, someone would have to make a strong case that private industry couldn’t do a better job of digitizing and storing these things.

      If the property was defined by monuments, this thing could turn into a kettle of fish pretty quick, because from my experience monument markers hold significant staying power.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Joe Sal says:

        The courts are usually reluctant to change anything where there’s a long-standing mark. The Four Corners physical marker where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah come together is generally agreed now to be about 1,800 feet off from where statute specified, which would translate into a fair number of square miles being in the wrong states. The SCOTUS ruled that the marker is correct for border purposes. Georgia and Tennessee are fighting again over their boundary. Georgia cites the original statute, contemporary measurements, and writing by the surveyor back in the day that says “I measured it wrong.” The correction would give Georgia some border in the right place along the Tennessee River that would allow them to divert a billion gallons of water per day from there to Atlanta. So far the courts haven’t bought it.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Joe Sal says:

        Well yeah. I’m pretty familiar with how we handle property.

        My point was a bit more broad, in that the decision to divide physical land into parcels, and assign exclusive rights to each parcel, subject to a lot of rules and norms which cover how property is handled and transferred…these are all socially constructed things. God didn’t assign parcel 100-A-000 to Mr. Jones on Day 8 of Genesis.

        Socially constructed doesn’t mean meaningless, just constructed by social agreement. We collectively decide that the power of the state will defend this claim but not that one, or this one under these circumstances, but not under those circumstances.

        Which is why I found this case interesting. Do the current claimants to the land make a claim based on narrow legality- that the original deed was in fact in conformance with the law?
        Or do they make a sort of Lockean claim, that they have been working the land and are entitled to it, regardless of the original deed’s validity?
        How would we as outsiders evaluate which one our state power should enforce?

        This cuts to the heart of the conservative/ liberal divide. Conservatives, generally speaking, hold a great value on the sanctity of property rights- everything from taxes to the Castle Doctrine, from public transportation to discrimination laws.

        The idea is that there is this sharp divide between what happens inside the boundary, and what happens outside. The wealth generated inside should rightfully belong to the holder of the claim; the decisions among those residing inside the boundary are rightfully made by the holder of the claim- the landlord, employer, father for example.

        My assertion, unsurprisingly, is that the boundary is created, maintained, and defended by those outside of it and we can rightfully reach across it to claim [some portion of] the wealth, decisions, and power of the claimant.Report

        • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I would challenge you to go assert your authority on other peoples property and test who actually defends it outright.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Joe Sal says:

            I do it every day. I assert my authority to travel on public property, invoking the power of the state against any who claim otherwise.

            I make contracts, every single one of which invokes the power of the state to seize property should things go bad.

            I vote for taxes and bonds and legislators who craft regulation that determines what you can or can’t do on your land claim.
            I am one tiny part of a large collective body that decides how much you pay your employees.

            This is my point- your land is your land only because the we, collectively known as the state, define it and defend it. And in return, we have a moral lien on it.Report

            • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Ahmer gawd the moral lien of the collective!

              What makes you think that a collective faction should have any more moral weight than an individual?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Do you mean, why should the decision of the collective that they will defend your wallet, have more moral weight than my claim to it?

                Seriously, if we don’t assign a greater moral weight to the collective agreement, how do we get past every man deciding by brute force what claims are valid?Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Except in this case, is it really the collective acting here, or is it a handful of individuals using the power of the collective will to force their desires onto others?

                Sure, we want the “we” to have the power & ability to do what is best for the collective/community, but it is also perfectly valid to make the claim that, in this case, our agents are* being colossal dicks to a bunch of people who were playing by the rules, and to what end? What is the greater good being served by being dickish?

                *This is assuming the story we have is not missing one or more critical pieces of information that would alter the narrative we are working from.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Yep, its entirely possible that BLM is in the wrong here. I won’t throw my weight behind their claim until I hear more.Report

            • Things get rather confused when the state consists of multiple parts at different levels. The collective we in the form of the State of Texas defined and defended a property right. Now the collective we in the form of the BLM asserts that the Texas-we lacked the authority to make that decision. I won’t predict how it will shake out eventually, but will say that there is a body of case law going as high as the SCOTUS that says the federal-we can assert property rights for itself that overrule the property rights that have been defined by the state-we decades after the state-we acted.

              A considerable part of the ongoing animosity of western states (at least among the political class) toward the federal government is because of such late-to-the-party assertions of property rights. Backed up by, as I recall one state legislator saying, “they have nukes and we don’t.”Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Imagine if the BLM made such a claim along the urban parts of Hudson or the Potomac (granted, the course of those waterways is pretty carefully controlled through public works, but still…)Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                This is actually a long standing issue with the Potomac. Since the orginal boundary back in colonial days gave the river itself to Maryland, and then there was the cession for the District of Columbia and then retrocesion, parts of the Alexandria, Virginia waterfront (most of which is infill – the water at the city’s founding was about three blocks inland rom the where the water is now) have been under decades long court battles on who owns what, between private and public, and whether federal or state rules apply to some projects.

                There was also a minor thing a couple of years ago when an old rail yard was developed. The orignal rail yard spread across the city limits into the county of Arlington. The boundary between the city and county was 4 mile run creek, but was set with the a creek course that had since changed due to a 1960s flood control project. So a developer on the Arlington side found a slice of their property under Alexandria rules.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Do the current claimants to the land make a claim based on narrow legality- that the original deed was in fact in conformance with the law?
          Or do they make a sort of Lockean claim, that they have been working the land and are entitled to it, regardless of the original deed’s validity?
          How would we as outsiders evaluate which one our state power should enforce?

          There is a legal concept known as Adverse Possession, which allows for a private party to claim rights to land that party has been working/maintaining/paying taxes on for a given amount of time. Now I believe there is an exception with regard to state owned land, in that you can’t claim adverse possession of, say, a chunk of National Wilderness just because you raised a shack there & have a garden, but this BLM case seems more complicated, in that not only were these land owners working the land, they were paying taxes on it, so for the BLM to claim the deeds invalid decades after the fact…

          Seems to violate the letter & spirit of our social constructed compact regarding property rights.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            The BLM case is in fact very complicated for all the reasons you and Michael Cain list.

            The adverse possession one is also interesting, in that it has a parallel in Marxist thought, where peasant workers who work the land accrue an interest in it instead of the landlord.

            I don’t necessarily hold to this thought in toto, but it arises out of honest ground, so to speak.

            In Locke’s day, a nobleman might inherit a vast tract of land with peasant farmers. It was easy to make a case that the land and resulting wealth belonged rightly to the peasants who added their labor, instead of the nobleman who did nothing more than pass through the birth canal of the duchess.

            I am coming to a belief that there is a maximum limit on just claims of wealth.

            If we assert that mixing labor with land gives rise to a just claim to the resulting wealth, then it follows that there is a finite ceiling on the claim. A person can perform only a finite amount of labor beyond which he has to hire contract labor, and draw upon the structures of society- physical infrastructure, legal infrastructure, social institutions.
            The larger the enterprise grows, the less his personal labor adds to the wealth, and the more the wealth is created through outside forces, and therefore the legitimacy of the claim to the resulting wealth weakens to some point where I assert it reaches virtually zero.

            For example, we consider Steve Jobs to be the rightful owner of the Iphone, its creator.
            But what did he actually do? He didn’t come up with the idea- the Iphone is actually a collection of brilliant ideas by many people; He didn’t write the software, he didn’t design the hardware, he didn’t assemble it, he didn’t market it. What exactly did he do, to claim the wealth of the millions of Iphones sold?

            What he did, was hold the title to Apple and anything it produced. So we consider his claim to be valid and only ask that he pay the hirelings who performed the actual labor.

            But how different is this really, than the Duke of Hoopty-Hoopty, asserting that by ancestral right, all wheat produced in his duchy to be rightfully his even though he never so much as touched a plow? So long as he pays the hirelings who till the soil and gather the wheat, the wealth was considered his.

            All of us are essentially the inheritors of ancestral claims- every square inch of the New World was a land grant from a European king to some nobleman or another, and these land grants still form the backbone of all land claims, including the ones along the Red River.Report

            • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              “But how different is this really, than the Duke of Hoopty-Hoopty, asserting that by ancestral right, all wheat produced in his duchy to be rightfully his even though he never so much as touched a plow? So long as he pays the hirelings who till the soil and gather the wheat, the wealth was considered his.”

              It sounds like your heading in the direction of opposing:
              ‘Absentee Ownership of production upheld with force.’

              I might unpack some thoughts on that at a later date.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Joe Sal says:

                No its much broader than that.

                What I am asserting is that there is no perfectly objective and unassailably legitimate claim on wealth.

                Like justice, morality, or even reality, it’s the constructed product of intuition and revelation, negotiation and compromise, and rough consensus.

                So we can adjust the boundaries of wealth claims when need be.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Like justice, morality, or even reality, it’s the constructed product of intuition and revelation, negotiation and compromise, and rough consensus.

                Out of curiosity, is there anything that does *NOT* follow from this premise?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I don’t know, frankly.
                What do you think?

                Is there some objective reality independent of our acknowledging it?

                The Old Testament tells us that Moses, Abraham, Lot and Noah conversed with and interrogated the God of the universe, implying that Truth itself needs the assent and concurrence of humans to take on effect.

                Where I’m at right now is to ask how it could be otherwise?
                Moral laws aren’t like laws of physics,detached from humanity.
                Water boils at the same temperature and pressure always and everywhere even when humans don’t exist.
                But justice? Justice is created specifically for us, about us. We are it’s purpose and subject.

                If the purpose of moral laws is to cause the human spirit to flourish, the only possible metric by which that can be measured has to include our testimony, our intuitions and dialogue and negotiation.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Not quite my argument.

                I thought about the various conclusions that I could reach when I started from the premise and there weren’t any that I couldn’t. Watch this:

                Like justice, morality, or even reality, it’s the constructed product of intuition and revelation, negotiation and compromise, and rough consensus.

                So we can expand the list of crimes that the death penalty applies to if needs be.

                I tried seeing if we could institute a one-child policy using that very same premise and, whammo, I could.

                When I started throwing everything but the kitchen sink to see what we were limited from doing using that premise, I found that it not only allowed us to limit X, it allowed us to expand X.

                Reading that premise, should I put more emphasis on the individual or on the society that supports the individual? Should I care more about today or should I care more about the future? Either. Both. Neither.

                It’s exactly as useful as using “God is dead and we are free to do whatever we want” as a starting point.

                Everything follows from that.

                Nothing does, too.Report

              • Chip Daniels FKA LWA in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yes exactly, it allows or prohibits everything and anything.

                My point was not to craft a universal methodology for achieving justice, only to push back against the fundamentalist notion that the Truth exists independent of us, and we merely discover and follow it.

                So everything is reached via dialogue and consensus.

                So for instance we can collectively decide to hold all property in common, or as individuals.

                This isn’t a new thought by any means. Its the age old question people have been asking since the Enlightenment- and the usual objection is that without a fixed truth, we can never know if we have achieved justice or merely deceived ourselves into injustice.

                Which is where our intuitions come into play- I believe that there is a universal set of intuitions that can’t be defined precisely, but guide all humans towards similar conclusions.
                So the combination of this intuition and dialogue and compromise gives us the most reliable chance of reaching justice.

                To bring it back to the original point, whether that land belongs to the ranchers or BLM can be determined by a combination of law and tradition, our intuitive sense of fairness, and compromise.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “What I am asserting is that there is no perfectly objective and unassailably legitimate claim on wealth.”

                There is a bright line in that area. If you lay claim to wealth created by worker/s in direct interface with their work/property, you are forcibly taking the fruits of ones own direct labor. In most peoples book that equates to theft.

                That has a direct affect in how the individual* subjectively values the ‘socialist construct’ you have created and are calling legitimate. Every -ism may drift towards socialism, but the cost of that drift is often the destruction of the destination.

                *there is no rough consensus of individual subjective value as there is no negotiating, it is what it is.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Joe Sal says:

                “In direct interface with THEIR work/property…”

                But that’s circular, based on the idea that we have already agreed that their ownership claim is legitimate to begin with.

                The European colonists didn’t see the land claims of the native people’s as being legitimate, and so didn’t think of themselves as thieves.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Whats your point there?Report

              • Alan Scott in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Joe Sal: There is a bright line in that area. If you lay claim to wealth created by worker/s in direct interface with their work/property, you are forcibly taking the fruits of ones own direct labor. In most peoples book that equates to theft.

                Well, no. In most people’s book that could be anything from unconscionable theft to entirely appropriate depending on context. It’s only particularly strident forms of libertarianism or conservatism that actually see that as a bright dividing line. Most people don’t hold to the idea that taxation is theft, and it’s silly to pretend otherwise.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Alan Scott says:

                In most people’s book that could be anything from unconscionable theft to entirely appropriate depending on context.

                I sorta find the idea that he’s arguing that taking the direct results of a worker’s labor is always considered theft, and a slow slide toward socialism…

                …when in the capitalistic world we live, someone makes a ‘claim to wealth created by worker/s in direct interface with their work/property’ most of the time.

                This person is called their *employer*. People are *hired*, paid a flat wage, then what they make is *taken away* and that thing’s ownership is of the company they work for. ‘Hey, look, I just made a hamburger with my own two hands…what do you mean I don’t own it?!’

                What’s the difference between the government doing it and providing services and your employer doing it and providing wages? Well, a few things are different…you can make the case that employers are easier to change, except that’s a bit theoretical for most people, and you can make the point that governments operate with our consent and do our wishes, except *that’s* a bit theoretical too, etc, etc.

                What is clear is that there is not actually any sort of ‘bright line’ that @joe-sal wishes.

                …well, unless he’s hilariously arguing for workers to own the means of production (and thus the results of that production) so we don’t get socialism.

                Most people don’t hold to the idea that taxation is theft, and it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

                If libertarians say it often enough, people will believe it! Well, no, they won’t, but it let libertarians pretend they do.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to DavidTC says:

                There was a pretty hard backlash from the ‘you didn’t build that’ fiasco. I guess that is where the line took a particular glow in the folks I observed.

                The financialization shift and the drifting of capitalism away from capitalism1 has undermined the value of capitalism as a whole. As capitalism continues to become bastardized, the barrel of subjective value will be rotated 180 degrees and capitalism3 will/has been found wanting.Report

  16. Oscar Gordon says:

    First off, two R categories.

    G2 –

    the BLM always assumes that it’s avulsive when it works to their advantage, and that it’s erosion when it works to their advantage.

    Well duh! Human nature. This is why laws and regulations should be carefully constructed & regularly reviewed.

    One thing I’m not seeing mentioned – is the BLM offing just compensation, or just declaring that the original deeds were null & void & taking the land without paying current owners a penny?Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I thought this quote was interesting:

      Governor Abbott sent a letter to the BLM on Friday afternoon in which he called the Bureau’s actions “an illegal taking”

      Not that the current laws are wrong and outdated, not that fuzziness in the way boundaries are determined needs to be tightened up, not that new legislation needs to be passed to correct these types of problems, but that it’s an “illegal taking.”Report

      • If I were to guess — and I have learned that guessing on BLM matters is largely a waste of time — I would guess that the case will come down to something like “Under the Texas theory, over the years the area of Texas has increased by 90,000 acres and the area of certain Indian lands guaranteed by the federal government has decreased by 90,000 acres. Despite any other agreements Texas may have reached with Oklahoma, neither Texas nor Oklahoma have authority to claim 90,000 acres of federal territory.”

        If BLM, Indian Affairs, and the tribes decide to use the land to create wilderness areas along the river that require certain minimum flows to preserve, the Red River Compact dividing up the water between four states also gets major changes.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain says:

          But of course, someone with more attitude than I would ask why the Indian tribes are not speaking up about their claims, which BLM took.Report

          • To quote from Wikipedia:

            In preparation for Oklahoma’s admission to the union on an “Equal footing with the original States” [3] by 1907, through a series of acts, including the Oklahoma Organic Act and the Oklahoma Enabling Act, Congress unilaterally dissolved all sovereign tribal governments within the state of Oklahoma, transferred all tribal lands by Land patent (or first-title deed) to either individual tribal members, sold to non-tribal members on a first-come basis (typically by Land run), or was held in trust by the Federal government for the benefit of the members of the tribes.

            If your land is held in trust by the feds, there’s little you can do except wait for BIA or BLM to act. You probably have a better chance of getting them to act today than you’ve had for 50 years.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Oh, and I forgot the reason I responded to you, Oscar.

      One thing I’m not seeing mentioned – is the BLM offing just compensation, or just declaring that the original deeds were null & void & taking the land without paying current owners a penny?

      There’s a bill working its way thru Congress that will allow adversely effected individuals to purchase land to which they hold a legitimate claim for $1.25 an acre, and requires the BLM to sell off their remaining holdings along the Red River at fair market value. Not a definitive answer, but it may point the way.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater says:

        Being distrustful of politicians, I am hesitant to ascribe too much value to Abbots choice of words in a letter. He may be using “illegal takings” as mere hyperbole, red meat for the politically faithful. But, perhaps his legal team has looked at it and he isn’t being hyperbolic, and he thinks he could actually float that argument past a judge & not get laughed out of court.

        As to the bill, that does seem to strike me as “BLM is trying to do this on the cheap”.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          But, perhaps his legal team has looked at it and he isn’t being hyperbolic, and he thinks he could actually float that argument past a judge & not get laughed out of court.

          Hahaha. Heeeeheeee! That is funny.

          (Oh wait, you’re being serious. 🙂Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater says:

            Well, he might be serious. I tend to default to the position that politicians are rarely serious. Un-serious is more likely.

            Downright silly is not uncommon…Report

  17. Michael Cain says:

    G2: I have been told that one of the common refrains heard at the Western Governors Association meetings is “Do you know what those d*ckheads at the BLM have done now?” Having spent time in the state government of a western state, I have to be careful these days because Black Lives Matter is never what springs to my mind when I see BLM in print. 90,000 acres is a relatively modest amount — the US Army’s efforts to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Area in Colorado was after 6.9 million acres.Report

    • Joe Sal in reply to Michael Cain says:

      That Pinon Canyon attempt…. just holy damnashion.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Joe Sal says:

        When I wear my western secession hat — which I do, from time to time — I say that if the Army needs to take another big chunk of land to ruin with live-fire tank exercises, then it’s long past time for the states east of the Mississippi to pony up. Ditto for any “spent” nuclear fuel repositories, as the vast majority of the commercial reactors are east of the Mississippi and those have never delivered watt one to a western state.

        If it takes a more incendiary comment to attract rebuttals, let me know :^)Report

    • North in reply to Dand says:

      Upper class everybody doesn’t want their kids to association with underclass anything. It’s part of upper classishness. It’s part of underclassishness too but the underclasses don’t have the dough to make their preferences reality.Report

  18. DavidTC says:

    R3 – Recycling has been a lot of insane nonsense for a very long time.

    Recycling glass makes very little sense. We can’t run out of easily accessible sand. Yes, it’s *slightly* cheaper to recycle than to melt down new sand…but no one appears to have done the math from ‘an empty bottle in my hand to glass’ vs ‘sand to glass’. You have to transport it multiple times, at least once while it’s still ‘bottle shaped’, you have to strip off paper and glue, you have to filter out tinted glass, etc, etc.

    Recycling paper is equally nonsense, compounded by the fact that we get a reduction in quality each time. Plus, now there’s more bleaching. (And that is always accompanied by ‘save the trees’ nonsense, which makes about as much sense as refusing to eat vegetables to save them. Paper comes from trees planted to supply paper.)Report

    • Francis in reply to DavidTC says:

      Recycling is nonsense if you assume that the cost paid to landfill reflects the true cost to society and the environment. And that the cost of extracting replacement materials is also the true cost.

      And, surprise!, not so much on either point. Among other things not paid for, landfills can generate greenhouse and other noxious gases, disease vectors, and serious groundwater contamination. And mining is well-known to leave significant unmitigated impacts on their local communities.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Francis says:

        Among other things not paid for, landfills can generate greenhouse and other noxious gases, disease vectors, and serious groundwater contamination.

        Well, it sure is a good thing we’ve removed all that toxic paper and glass from landfills now, and only fill them with perfectly safe prescription drugs and batteries and smoke detectors and CFLs.

        No, wait. Strike that, reverse it. And change ‘good’ to ‘horribly stupid’.

        And it sure is a bad thing that we bury paper, let it rot, and grown more trees for more paper.

        No, wait, that’s literally called carbon sequestering. Growing trees, chopping them down, burying them (As paper or otherwise), and growing more trees in their place *reduces* the amount of CO2 in the air, vs. just growing trees, chopping them down, and then we’re done and don’t grow more trees. (Unless your theory is that paper companies would keep growing, chopping down, and burying trees for fun.)

        Well, at least you’re right that the food and other organic stuff get put in the ground, and that decays and releases greenhouse gases. Instead we should…compost? Wait, no, that’s no better. What *exactly* are you saying we should do with waste food? Refrigerate it forever? Burn it?

        And…wait, disease vectors? What the heck are you talking about? Open air landfills in poor countries can cause disease, but here in the US the problem is groundwater contamination.

        All your objections are either nonsense, *or* apply to exactly the stuff recycling *isn’t* keeping out of landfills.

        I’ve actually said this before here: Instead of spending all this time and effort collecting recycling to keep *completely harmless* things out of landfills, we should have spent as much time and effort collecting *stuff we don’t want in landfills*.

        Don’t teach kids to separate out a damn piece of paper. Teach them to separate out batteries.

        If landfills weren’t full of toxic crap, if they contained only paper and glass and rotting food, we could put them anywhere downwind of people and not worry about contamination of anything, and save a hell of a lot of gas shipping trash everywhere too.

        But instead we became very determined to keep stuff out of landfills that wasn’t harming *anything* and doesn’t *really* help anything.

        And mining is well-known to leave significant unmitigated impacts on their local communities.

        Yeah, I grew up near some paper mines.

        I mean, uh, sand mines.

        And while we’re at it, let’s pretend the problems are sand mining for *glass*, instead of the much bigger problem of sand mining for hydraulic fracking.Report

      • James K in reply to Francis says:


        Aside from DavidTC’s points, if there are negative externalities from landfills, the solution is to tax either landfills or dumping rubbish in landfills. At that point the price mechanism will work everything out.Report

        • Francis in reply to James K says:

          Well, I agree and disagree. As to David’s point, there is such a thing as building public acceptance for new taxes / regulations / regulatory requirements.

          While I’m not an expert on this issue, it seems to me that diverting paper out of the waste stream was probably the easiest bar to clear. And now that paper recycling is very common, activists and governments are talking about going to the next step and requiring additional products kept out of the waste stream.

          As to James’s point, there is such a thing as first-best and second-best solutions. Many Americans are so tax-adverse that governments impose weird alternative structures that end up being more expensive at the end of the day but appear to impose a lower tax burden.

          And, while I personally don’t hold this view, many activists on waste issues believe that landfills are essentially immoral. When we create waste, we should manage that waste. Burying it is avoiding our responsibilities.

          Without getting into the morality of landfills, I think that at some level, people who hold this view have a point. No one is going to relocate New York City (for example). So if New Yorkers continue to generate large volumes of waste, that waste is going to need to be shipped ever farther away. Does this ever end? Why not instead run the waste through Materials Reuse Facilities (MRFs) and burn the paper / compost the food / melt down the metals instead?Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Francis says:

            So if New Yorkers continue to generate large volumes of waste, that waste is going to need to be shipped ever farther away.

            …if the waste is something that causes injury, yes.

            If the waste is entirely safe…who cares? Dig a big hole and put it in there.

            Why not instead run the waste through Materials Reuse Facilities (MRFs) and burn the paper / compost the food / melt down the metals instead?

            …why do you think burying waste food is worse than composting it? Burying it *is* composting it. It’s the same thing. Granted, if we have some sort of system existing to use the *result* of that composting, like a methane recovery system, sure, we can do it above ground, but don’t worry about it too much.

            Meanwhile, burning paper, in a universe with climate change, is a very bad idea. Why do that? Put it anywhere. Yes, it will eventually rot and release greenhouses gasses, but, well, all wood eventually does that anyway. In fact, it might be clever to not even put it underground. Food, basically, will rot, but keep paper dryish, just pile it up somewhere, and we can keep big chunks of carbon just sitting there instead of in the atmosphere. (I mean, that essentially is what we do with all that wood we use in houses.)

            But as long as we keep pulling roughly the same amount of carbon back *out* of the air via tree harvesting for paper, I’m not sure we should worry about it.

            Without getting into the morality of landfills, I think that at some level, people who hold this view have a point.

            Landfills are immoral because they poison groundwater (Which is, incidentally, a sin so old and so grave that poisoning wells is one of the original war crimes.), not because they have glass/paper/aluminum cans in them.

            Yet the *only* thing we’ve decided to keep *out* of landfills, the thing we dedicate all our resources to, are said glass/paper/aluminum cans. I mean, I have no problem with recycling if it actually saves energy, or it’s for something we could actually run out of…but it doesn’t really, at least not enough to set up this entire system we have for it. You’ll notice there’s no such thing as copper ‘recycling’…because copper is valuable enough that scrap companies will *actually buy it* from people.(1)

            Meanwhile, we have no easy-to-use process for getting rid of CFL bulbs, cellphone batteries, and unused medication, except to bury them underground where they get into the groundwater…because we, as a nation, are completely fucking stupid and a bunch of hippies convinced us that the most important thing was that we not bury *paper* underground, to ‘save the trees’. (Hint: Trees are *supposed* to end up underground.)

            1) And I’m hardly a ‘the free market will work it out’ guy, but, uh, the free market will work it out. If something is valuable enough to recycle, a system will be set up to let us *sell it* when we’re done with it. And I’m all for imposing negative externalities costs, but the problem is, putting *that* stuff in landfills isn’t what’s causing the negative externalities…it’s the other crap we put in landfillsReport

  19. Dand says:

    What race does the Government think you are

    My results

    White 71.46%
    Hispanic 21.94%
    Asian/Pacific Islander 5.06%
    Multiracial 1.55%
    American Indian/Alaskan Native 0%
    Black 0%

    At my parents place:

    White 98.78%
    Asian/Pacific Islander 0.54%
    Multiracial 0.35%
    Hispanic 0.33%
    American Indian/Alaskan Native 0%
    Black 0%Report

    • Murali in reply to Dand says:

      I wonder why they put Asian and pacific islander as one category?Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Murali says:

        The US government has done that a long as I can remember, unless they get really detailed an ask for individual countries. Why they do it like that? Probably partly ‘they’ve always done it like that, partly that the portion of the US population that is neither ‘black’ nor ‘white’ nor Native American has always been comparatively small, and the parts where it is substantial (ie Hawaii) historical factors have led to a melting pot of people with mixed Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Native Hawaiian ancestry. Plus South Asians have only started coming to the US in sizable numbers since about the 1970s.Report

      • James K in reply to Murali says:


        Different countries aggregate differently based on how many people tend to fall into each group. For example, in New Zealand Asian and Pacific Islander (or “Pacific Peoples”, as it tends to be called here) are separate categories, but we have a group called MELAA, which stands for “Middle-Eastern, Latin American or African”, and there’s no way those would be bundled together in the US.Report

  20. Burt Likko says:

    [N2] is quite possibly one of the very best ledes ever.Report

  21. Murali says:

    Regarding [N4]

    Rhino mascots are in fact fairly common.

    Even Singapore has <a href="

  22. LeeEsq says:

    Pan-Nordica sounds like a great name for an airline.Report

    • greginak in reply to notme says:

      If only there was evidence of that except for the complaints of some cops who fear getting in trouble if they use deadly force wrongly. Because that is the concern in using deadly force, they might get in trouble if they screw it up.Report

      • notme in reply to greginak says:

        The recent spike in murder rates in many large cities seems to back this up.Report

        • greginak in reply to notme says:

          Not if you know much about stats. It takes more than a short time spike to prove that effect. The spike may go away, there needs to be analysis of possible other factors and also what about cities that haven’t seen spikes or even drops in murder rates.

          Even just stating something like the FE begs a lot of question. I was snarky above but the cops argument is that they feel like THEY might get in trouble and get to much static when they use deadly force. Even their own argument puts their own butts over their responsibility to uphold justice and only use force when absolutely needed. They aren’t showing themselves as professionals, but as people who don’t want to be questioned.Report

  23. notme says:

    Sure, its just coincidence that all these cities just happened to spike all at the same time.Report

  24. Oscar Gordon says:

    How exactly is a spike in murder related to police facing heightened scrutiny for use of force?Report

    • greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      The argument is that cops are feeling unfairly targeted by all the attention given to case of possible or real abuse/killings by them. They are either afraid of getting in trouble or don’t want to risk the negative attention that comes with use of force so they are being passive leading to more murders. Unless you completely by that, it is a harsh assessment the cops are making of themselves; killing people is part of the job but if they get to much flack they won’t do it.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to greginak says:

        So the conservative argument is that murders are up because cops are nervous about shooting the killers whom the police are always minutes away from when the killer is actually killing? And killers know this and are somehow emboldened?Report

        • greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Well it doesn’t make much sense to me, but yeah cops are claiming stuff like this:

          “Cops are saying, ‘If we’re going to get in trouble for well-intentioned mistakes, then [forget] it, I’m not working.’ ”


          “While those with agendas continue to disregard evidence, rules of law, and fact, in lieu of the self serving, emotional and fictitious claims, the Ferguson Effect continues to grow,” Steve Loomis, union head for the Cleveland Police Department, which has been the subject of civil rights probes by the US Justice Department and has dealt with two controversial police shootings recently, said in a statement. “The unfortunate and unintended result has been that those that need us the most will be made to suffer from increasing lawlessness of an emboldened criminal element.”


          Noted that Tamir Rice, a 12 year old, was shot be a cleavland cop.Report

        • notme in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Who is talking about cops shooting folks? Cops arent willing to police the minor things or be as aggressive is their policing and that is leading to more murders. It seems like human nature to me, if you are going to be second guessed more often then play it safe and dont do anything that could be second guessed even it it means not enforcing the law.Report

          • greginak in reply to notme says:

            So they aren’t what….they aren’t willing to give out speeding tickets or respond to a fender bender or just answer radio calls because they might have to shoot someone and get in to much trouble? I know that is the argument but believers in it can’t see how bad it sounds in all sorts of ways.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to notme says:

            Somehow members of the military are able to do their damn jobs AND maintain fire discipline, in combat zones, even though the JAG offices are more than willing to go after trigger happy soldiers. Perhaps the police just need some more military style discipline.

            I mean seriously, what kind of whiny, pansy ass shit are they pulling? These are supposed to be the brave men & women in blue, and they are making noise of some kind of “Blue Malaise” because people want them to actually practice trigger discipline?Report