Linky Friday #159: Dolphins & Killer Whales

Will Truman

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

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171 Responses

  1. re C5 [Jared Fogle]:

    I agree with the author. I think. I really like his comparison to that Black Mirror episode, which is my favorite episode from what I’ve seen of the series.

    But he unfortunately reprises a trope that I think has only limited value:

    Humane justice often requires retribution in addition to (or even in exclusion of) rehabilitation. But justice properly understood—even retributive justice—emerges from and is ordered to the inherent and inalienable dignity of every human person. Simple turnabout is not justice; it is vengeance. Inflicting suffering for its own sake is not a response to evil, but its multiplication.

    I just don’t see the distinction between retribution and vengeance. I don’t see how retribution–e.g., by imprisonment–isn’t also vengeance in addition to whatever else it is.

    I do see a distinction between uncontrolled retribution or retribution without mercy and more controlled, more humane retribution. I also see a distinction between retribution after a deliberative process (a trial) and along the lines of preset rules (if you commit x crime, you might suffer up to and including y penalty) and retribution without such formal process or rules. Maybe the latter is what people mean by “vengeance” as distinguished from “retribution.” Still, “vengeance” defined in that way often follows its own rules, too. There can be an upper limit to what people accept as appropriate vengeance.

    I don’t want to be too hard on McGinley, the author of the peace. As I’ve just noted, there can be some basis for the distinction between retribution and vengeance. It’s just that my objection to what happened to Mr. Fogle and to others’ celebrating it just can’t rest comfortably for me in the supposed distinction. I’m not sure on what basis I can identify my objection except that there are certain punishments I class as “inhumane,” even for someone who did something as inhumane as Mr. Fogle did.Report

  2. Burt Likko says:

    C5: this is easy. Fogle’s punishment for his crimes is confinement in prison, not corporal attacks. I can condemn a prison system, and a populace that supports it, turning a blind eye on the violence and rape that happens there, without having the least doubt that Fogle belongs behind bars.

    Losing one’s liberty does not mean one should lose one’s safety.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Exactly. Any type of physical punishment is contrary to American theories of justice. A prisoner should not be at any more risk of physical or sexual assault from prisoners or guards as the ordinary person on the street. Another fact that few people bring up is that the inability to prevent such violence in American prisons reflects poorly on those that run them. We should expect that our prisons be well run places as citizens and tax payers.Report

      • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Exactly. Any type of physical punishment is contrary to American theories of justice.

        You need to visit Colonial Williamsburg. Whatever ‘theories’ the auxilliary faculty at your law school were spinning, judges at one time had no compunction about putting people in the pillory and stocks or having an officer of the court take a branding iron to their left hand. If I’m not mistaken, convicts were still birched in Britain as recently as a century ago. Some of these might be an improvement on the twee punishments courts impose today (and the social work exercises in lieu of punishment). Bring on the rattan canes (and be sure the Scandinavian tourist you collar for possession gets it).Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

          Isn’t the culture of Colonial Williamsburg exactly the sort that the Founders despised?Report

          • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            No. What gave you that idea?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

              The 8th Amendment for one thing.

              I mean, when you refer approvingly to what “judges at one time” would do, one could also note that these very same judges had no hesitation to invoking the divine right of kings to confiscate property as they wish, or force allegiance to the state church.

              I mean, the American Revolution was about much more than an unpopular tax, and they wanted to do more than just replicate the British aristocracy on new soil.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The 8th Amendment for one thing.

                No, the 8th Amendment did not give you that idea. Wm. Brennan’s gloss on the 8th Amendment might have given you that idea. The 8th Amendment has no content. That aside, it’s difficult to argue that corporal punishments were anyone’s idea of ‘cruel’ or ‘unusual’ when they were bog standard for decades after 1791. Societies without a whole lot of surplus over subsistence tend not to invest much in prisons. Now, that doesn’t mean one of the high-class shysters on some appellate court won’t rule that taking a rattan cane to vandals or petty drug dealers violates the Constitution.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Art Deco says:

                So it was just put in for decoration in your opinion? It makes us look nice and noble but doesn’t really mean anything.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

                No clue why it was put in. You’d have to read the Congressional Globe and the state journals on the ratification debates. I merely not it is without content, as is the 9th Amendment.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                very same judges had no hesitation to invoking the divine right of kings to confiscate property as they wish, or force allegiance to the state church.

                The Divine Right of Kings was an affection of James I. I doubt many colonial jurists subscribed to it in the last 18th century, but legal history is not my deal. Constraints on eminent domain are incorporated into the 5th Amendment because they did offend legislators’ idea of English liberties. State churches were imposed not by jurists but by legislators. You could be fined for recusancy in late colonial America, but you had contending denominations all over and in some colonies the Anglican establishment was titular rather than effective (Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to name two).Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip Daniels: I mean, the American Revolution was about much more than an unpopular tax, and they wanted to do more than just replicate the British aristocracy on new soil.

                The 8th Amendment was lifted straight out of the English Bill of Rights. There were more issues than taxes, sure, but that wasn’t one of them.Report

          • notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Not the culture, just the taxation without representation and the tyrant.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to notme says:

              George III might not have been the best King, he made some rash decisions but he was hardly a tyrant even by 18th century standards. He ruled with the consent of Parliament. Most of things that the British Americans hated were thought up by civil servants and Parliament not George III. He allowed the British Americans to have their own legislatures. This was unthinkable in the other New World colonies.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

                The original charters were issued at various points between 1603 and 1733, before the advent of George III. IIRC, a project of the government in Westminster was replacing the sort of charter which provided for locally elected governors with those providing for royal appointments. Cannot recall the precise time period.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Any type of physical punishment is contrary to American theories of justice.

        That’s not really true, and the idea that it is is a late 20th-century invention, but it’s beside the point. The issue here is not the use of physical punishment, but extra-judicial punishment not provided for in the relevant laws and administered at the discretion of violent criminals.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Very true. To make it blunt, the judicial system does not sentence people to being forcibly sodomized for their crimes.

          Regardless of what one thinks should (or should not) happen to prisoners, this is clearly a violent crime being committed, regularly, in prisons. (Although AFAIK, this seems to be a problem in SOME prisons, not all. State run prisons seem routinely worse run than Federal prisons in general. Money? Culture? Both?)Report

          • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

            Federal prisons are filled with drug dealers and fraudsters. State prisons are filled with the whole gamut of the criminal population, with a bias toward quite violent people. Suggest the population is more violent given the offenses in which they specialize.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to Burt Likko says:

      The federal charges against Fogle were humbug. A resident of an Indianapolis trading pornography with a resident of an Indianapolis exurb implicates interstate commerce only in the shyster world in which we’ve lived since 1937.

      In New York, by the way, prostitution is a class B misdemeanor. Adultery is also a class B misdemeanor. A 38 year old man candoodling with a 17 year old adolescent is…not actually a crime; if they engaged in sodomy, that’s a class B misdemeanor (but one the Court of Appeals insists you cannot prosecute). Fogle’s also been accused of soliciting someone to persuade an underage relation (age 16) to fornicate with him. In New York, that might be a class A misdemeanor or a submisdemeanor violation, depending on the menu of offenses to with Fogle;s solicitation was deemed anticipatory. I suppose the phone call from Indiana to whatever state this woman was living is an interstate transaction. I sometimes have some rude exchanges with a Virginia prosecutor whose a great promoter of capital sentencing. One thing he’s had to say is that the federal sentencing schedule will poleaxe you if you’ve read the Virginia schedules for similar crimes. No clue why this is the case, or why it should be the case.

      This commercial pitchman was a man of no importance, but he was on the radar screen of federal investigators for four years. A reporter volunteered to be an agent provacateur in nabbing him. The FBI is begging Congress to cut its budget: if you’ve got the time and money to employ inspector Javert, your regular agents don’t have enough work to do.

      You cannot have legal traffic in child pornography if you want a decent society, but the State of Indiana can employ prosecutors, judges, and jailers as well as the central government and it just might be possible to suppress the trade in pornography without remanding someone to prison for a minimum of 13 years for possessing it (and that’s consequent to a plea bargain). (If his accomplice was actually producing the material in addition to trading in it, that’s another matter).

      In a decent society, people are ashamed of certain things. The legal profession has been in the forefront of stripping away the decent drapery of life against the better judgment of every sector of society not employed in the manipulation of words and images. In a decent society, Jared Fogle would have gotten a good deal of instruction from the culture about where you dip your wick and where you don’t. In a decent society, abortion is unsafe, illegal, and rare; Planned Parenthood has been liquidated in a RICO prosecution; you have to have grounds for a divorce in front of the judge and in front of your peers; adulterers are treated badly by family court judges and coldly by people in their social circle; bastard children go up for adoption; the traffick in pornography is illegal; sexual deviants don’t talk about it at the office or to their mother and don’t troll public places and not expect to get at least a citation for it; college dormitories are not cesspits of decadence; public schools do not employ creepy people to have discussions with the young that should be the prerogative of mothers and fathers and physicians; and grumpy middle-aged men can turn on the television and not see advertisements for lubricants and contraceptives.

      We don’t live in a decent society. We live mired in grossness. Jared Fogle’s tastes and hobbies are gross. We’ve also allocated to the legal profession, the social work pseudoprofession, and the mental health trade a franchise to draw all sorts of jesuitical distinctions between celebrated perversions and the sort of thing that gets you 13 year prison sentences. It does not make a lick of sense, except to the self-aggrandizing members of those professions.

      Burt, I’d suggest you hope you die before the day comes when people get wise to this and some rough justice is meted out to the legal profession, starting with federal prosecutors and the appellate judiciary. An angry mob is not necessarily going to make too many distinctions between one rent-seeking fraud with “Esq.” after their name and another.Report

      • And any deviant who doesn’t share all of these beliefs is righteously bound to a wooden pole and cleansed by fire.Report

        • Actually, consensual sodomy was a class B misdemeanor in New York, just like prostitution. The last prosecution for it in New York (in regard to which the Court of Appeals substituted its judgment for that of the legislature) concerned a pair of dudes in a parked car. No, the penalty for a class B misdemeanor was not execution by burning.Report

      • notme in reply to Art Deco says:

        Wasn’t the trading done over the internet?Report

        • Art Deco in reply to notme says:

          One of them lived in Indianapolis and one of them in a town in the next county. IIRC, an excuse for the federal prosecution was that Russell Taylor’s digital camera was manufactured outside Indiana, but I wasn’t following the details of the case that closely.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

          Wasn’t the trading done over the internet?

          So we’d need to do a full trace to see of any if the packets involved crossed state lines. (If one did, but was rejected as stale because a retransmitted version that stayed within Indiana arrived sooner, it’s a gray area. And we have no Scalia to determine what the Framers thought about TCP/IP.)Report

      • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

        … so I take it you haven’t seen The Tribe?
        Seriously, if you want to live in a “decent society” I recommend you emigrate to the Ukraine — plenty of 13 year olds for you to fuck and not worry about the bastards there. As a bonus, the sharpshooters may decide to kill you, leaving my conscience free of guilt.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

          You manage with just about every utterance to be both non sequitur and belligerent at the same time. I’ve not quite figured out what the point is, or why the white knights here fancy you’re worth defending.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Art Deco says:

            I’m pretty sure Kim is a real person, but I’m half convinced a large percentage of her comments are actually produced by a bot that she’s written that is running on a CPU with a couple of bad instructions in the set.Report

      • Francis in reply to Art Deco says:

        bring it.

        I double-dog dare you to come down to my house and try to mete out rough justice, punk. If you want your perfect little Stepford Potemkin community, go move next to Rod Dreher and spend your days spilling pixels about the filth infesting America. Or try a white power community up in northern Idaho.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Francis says:

          I find it vaguely amusing that salient features of the world my grandparents built are conceived of in your mind as a ‘Stepford Potemkin community’. I guess advocates of decadence need their excuses and rhetorical games will do if nothing else is available. Red herrings (‘white power communities’) will do in a pinch as well. While I don’t doubt you’ve earned a bloody good hiding, I’m actually too old to give it to you (or to be called a ‘punk’ by a shyster).Report

          • Francis in reply to Art Deco says:

            The salient features of your grandparents’ communities, if you’re too old to beat on a 50-year old, include:

            Jim Crow
            the persistent subordination of women
            the deliberate vicious harassment of homosexuals;
            the exaltation of WASP men over every other class, culture and religion

            Sure the early 20th century was great if you were a member of the ruling class. for everyone else, not so much.

            and, just to be clear, attorney represent clients. you know, the people insisting that the words of the Constitution — like equal protection and due process and liberty — apply to them too. If our profession has succeeded in destroying your world, it is only because your trite vision of a squeaky-clean society didn’t actually have any arguments to support it other than force and tradition.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Francis says:

              No, those are the salient features to latter-day sectaries who play forensic games and who fancy you should evaluate the world (for purposes of argument) according to the status of their mascot groups.

              The thing is, anyone my age, much less my grandparents age, can recall a time when Quentin Crisp asked some gay liberation agitator, ‘from what do you want to be liberated’? It’s a small minority with their own problems who paid their money and took their choice with the options their social world offered them. If you talked to social reformers born prior to 1930 when they were in their prime, they’d have told you it was a boutique cause that wasn’t very important to them. My father died in 1979. He’d have been astonished at the amount of space the ‘plight’ of homosexuals is taking up in people’s head, most particularly given how aggressive their political/legal organizations are. While we’re at it, its never been about anyone’s liberty, certainly not after 1969. It’s been about considerations of status and control of public spaces and institutions. Anyone can see that, but the artifice that it’s something else is useful to people on occasion.

              The notion that women were ‘subordinated’ in 1948 is a bit of social fiction peddled by cretins like Gloria Steinem. The most salient civic distinction between men and women in 1948 was…military service. You had social mores and a domestic division of labor. You still do. Women were less assertive in domestic circumstances and in the labor market it remained the rule that professional women tended strongly to be celibates and were seldom found in line administration. In the intervening decades, the status of some sorts of women have improved and that of other sorts of women has declined. That really does not tell you what’s socially optimal as far as division of labor or domestic dynamics. Since we live in a world where 20% of the children conceived are killed off by perverted gynecologists and a majority of first-born children are born out of wedlock and 40% of 1st marriages will end in divorce, I’d say the contemporary regime falls somewhat short of optimality, but you’re all determined to break those eggs while making your ever-changing omlette,

              Of course, there isn’t much of an identifiable structural relationship between Jim Crow and a certain sort of family relations or public sensibilities, but your type fancies that that sort of free-association constitutes an argument. As it happens, none of my grandparents were from the Deep South, so Jim Crow wasn’t much of an issue for them. You can read George Schuyler’s reminiscences about life in Syracuse as he knew it in 1910 or Thomas Sowell’s about life in Harlem ca. 1945 or Ann Wortham’s about life in Tennessee ca. 1950 if you’re at all interested in a non-lurid portrayal of the world of those eras.

              Sure the early 20th century was great if you were a member of the ruling class. for everyone else, not so much.

              There’s a distinction between everyday life as people experienced it and the grotesques you offer up in your mind in your ongoing exercise in self-congratulation.

              If our profession has succeeded in destroying your world, it is only because your trite vision of a squeaky-clean society didn’t actually have any arguments to support it other than force and tradition


              And no, your profession ‘succeeded’ because they could. At the commanding heights, you’re all a fine mix of the flagitious and the pretentious. Other than the academy, no one comes close.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Francis says:

          Like honestly, why do you all even bother to engage with this guy? I just shake my head and scroll past. I mean, I think I’ve read maybe two of his posts. They were — not worth my time.

          Ignore him. Maybe he’ll go away. Maybe not. I dunno. Scrolling is cheap. Let him have all the finger exercise he wants.


          I used to hang out at that “bullshido” forum, which was this martial arts thing. They had a rule: you make the challenge, you make the flight. So like, if people had a spat they could actually meet up and throw down. It happened a few times. Anyway, I found it all pretty honest and admirable.

          That said, I don’t talk violence with anonymous trolls. It’s sullies the dignity of a good ol’ fashioned fist fight.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Art Deco says:

        Plenty of this stuff happened when society was decent. Its just that nobody every talked about it and hushing things up was considered the way to deal with scandal. Also, Ronald Reagan was on the fore front of no fault divorces.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

          This is an example of what I was referring to as a second hand nostalgia of a world none of us knew.

          In order to have an adult memory of the things Art mentions, one would have to have been born in the very earliest part of the 20th century.
          And even then, the moral norms and standards referenced were never applied to anyone except the lower classes or those who were on the margins.

          No person of means was without the handy services of an abortionist, no man of any substance lacked access birth control even when it was illegal and a 19th century Jared Fogel would have been completely free to indulge his pedophilia as the headmaster in any orphanage or parochial school without endangering his status as an upstanding member of society.

          Again, this past society that gets referenced as the Golden Age exists entirely in our imagination. It never existed, anywhere at any time.Report

          • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            In order to have an adult memory of the things Art mentions, one would have to have been born in the very earliest part of the 20th century.

            Actually, no. Most of these were features of life when my mother and father were at the midpoint of their lives, ca. 1962.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

              But you don’t.

              Unless you are a very old man, you have no adult memory of a world before the Pill, or Stonewall, Roe, or any of the things I listed above.

              You have no personal memory of any of the things you pine for, and that’s important.

              If you woke up tomorrow in 1962, it would be a jarring world, for you. It wouldn’t be anything like you imagine it was.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Unless you are a very old man, you have no adult memory of a world before the Pill, or Stonewall, Roe, or any of the things I listed above.

                So what? I have a youngster’s memory of the world in which the antecedent regime was in place and of the adults who lived their life in those worlds. They weren’t complaining about the world in which they grew up, and not because they were part of some ‘ruling class’.

                If you woke up tomorrow in 1962, it would be a jarring world, for you. It wouldn’t be anything like you imagine it was.

                You have a habit of condescending to people while recycling cliches that were deftly skewered by Christopher Lasch a generation ago. It’s quite a performance.Report

          • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            No person of means was without the handy services of an abortionist,

            No, that is a fiction people tell themselves about the early 20th century.

            My personal favorite was Gloria Steinem appearing at a college class reunion ca. 1975 and she and some other trolls coming up with a sign to carry in a procession that said something along the lines of the following: “The Class of ’56 remembers our classmates who died in illegal abortions”. You do? Now, it was pointed out by Everett Koop that the number of deaths attributable to illegal abortion in the postwar period did not exceed 400 in any given year. The female age cohorts of which Gloria Steinem was a part numbered just north of 1 million. Smith College classes were then about 500 in number and figure she’d have known women from 7 age cohorts. You might find one woman who’d died in an illegal abortion who attended Smith in that era. Then again, you might not.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Again, this past society that gets referenced as the Golden Age exists entirely in our imagination. It never existed, anywhere at any time.

            But…but…the unionization rates! And that low, low Gini index!Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              Yeah, that’s the thing.
              In 1956 for example, things were pretty good for a white union worker in Detroit.
              He had a union job, the price of gasoline, milk, and butter was set by the government, he went to college at the taxpayer’s expense on the GI Bill, the government gave him a VA loan and so on.
              But there weren’t any pollution controls, discrimination laws or any of the things we now take for granted.

              I forget who said it, but liberals and conservatives often long for the 1950s, just that liberals want to go to work there, and conservatives want to go home there.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, most people did not go to college in 1956, with or without GI Bill benefits. Nor did they think it strictly necessary. As late as 1990, about 20% of the working population had a BA degree or better. The median worker in terms of age cohorts that year was born in 1948.

                We can pull out the Statistical Abstract to get the precise numbers, but qualitatively, college educations were not the preserve of whites or males in 1956. Thomas Sowell had an amusing story about someone writing a letter to him asking about his pioneering as a student at Harvard ca. 1955. He wrote her back to tell her that Harvard’s pioneer black student had received his diploma in some sixty years before he, Sowell, had been born.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                the price of gasoline, milk, and butter was set by the government,

                No, price controls came off shortly after the war; there was an experiment with them in 1971-73 of which a residuum remained for many years after (in the petroleum sector). There were state administered cartels and production controls in the agricultural sector, but these tended to raise rather than lower prices.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            The moral standards were applied more strictly and universally than you imagine but your otherwise your right.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Plenty of this stuff happened when society was decent. Its just that nobody every talked about it and hushing things up was considered the way to deal with scandal. Also, Ronald Reagan was on the fore front of no fault divorces.

          Here we have another set of fictions and red herrings.

          What does it matter to me what piece of legislation Ronald Reagan signed? He was a politicians who had some successes and failures, good points and bad. He wasn’t some Thomas Aquinas like authority.

          You’ve managed to convince yourself that you’re liberty would be horribly constricted by a regime in law and mores that you fancy people were ignoring anyway. It makes sense to you, I suppose.

          On the sociological point, no, it wasn’t happening. I’ve seen estimates of the number of illegal abortions being performed ca. 1966 to the extent that that could be divined by public health data. The number was fewer than 100,000, or a small fraction of what was the case just 15 years later. When my mother was at the midpoint of her child-bearing years, about 3% of all children were born out of wedlock, and these went up for adoption or the mother married someone who took her and the child on within a few years. Marital attrition rates saw some wild flux between 1929 and 1948, then were fairly stable for the better part of a generation thereafter. You could divine that about 20% of all marriages would likely end in divorce, with a bias toward childless marriages.

          And you’ve confounded secrecy and discretion. The divorces of my parents’ contemporaries were not frantically concealed. They were simply not discussed except very concisely and in circumscribed settings. Lots of people born between 1914 and 1927 had war marriages that went under during the period running from 1944 to 1947. See the film The Best Years of Our Lives for a fictionalized portrayal of one such domestic disaster.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

        @art-deco clearly you were born decades too late.Report

  3. notme says:

    Members of Congress will also be stung by new overtime regs, how terrible. I’m sure they will find a way to exempt themselves. According to the article, “Some Democratic offices thought they could show solidarity by complying in advance with the new requirements. But the historically low salary levels and long and unpredictable hours many Congressional staffers work is making this much more difficult than anticipated.” I guess they should have thought that one out. It’s nice to see them suffer like the little people they routinely burden with their silly regulations.

  4. Chris says:

    S2: Related to MLS’ self-respect, ESPN released the results of its survey of MLS players, which is chock full o’ interesting stuff, but perhaps the most interesting tidbit (aside from the perennial promotion/relegation vs playoffs debate) is that 2/3 of MLS players think an MLS team could survive in the English Premier League (17% think one could finish between 5th and 9th!). Talk about self-respect!Report

    • notme in reply to Chris says:

      Self respect or self delusion?Report

    • El Muneco in reply to Chris says:

      You mean the EPL that is so in thrall to the big money, sponsorship deals, and predatory academies that Leicester City is currently five points clear at the top of the table with only seven games left?

      The last relegation place is Sunderland. Could LA, or Seattle, or Dallas field a more talented team than Sunderland or Norwich, or Crystal Palace – especially if somewhat freed from the draconian salary cap?

      You just need one point per match to survive in the EPL. I think there are MLS teams that could manage that.Report

      • Chris in reply to El Muneco says:

        The EPL’s season has been very odd at the top (not so much in the middle, except in Chelsea’s being there). Plus, with their TV deal, even the bottom EPL teams will be able to outspend pretty much every team in Europe other than the two Spanish giants and Munich by next season. The U.S. teams have players making $50 grand, and even the best of MLS can’t beat the top LigaMX teams, which would themselves struggle in any major European league.

        I think the best MLS teams would survive in The Championship, and might avoid relegation in the Spanish or French top tiers, where some of the teams are in towns with 30,000 people and have the budgets of a Single A baseball team in Ohio. But in the EPL, where everyone has money? Where the best American players, like Guzan and Yedlin now or Dempsey before, play on the worst teams (definitely-going-to-be-relegated Aston Villa, likely-to-be-relegated Sunderland, and since-relegated Fulham; I know Dempsey also played for Tottenham, but they weren’t this good then), or have failed English careers?Report

        • El Muneco in reply to Chris says:

          I don’t think we disagree all that much. Club America v. Sounders was pretty even given where they were in their respective seasons – I think a top MLS club would still challenge for a CCL place if transported to Liga MX (modulo cultural differences, just on talent alone).

          I just think that if you made a hex of:

          Red Bulls or Galaxy (one of the big superstars of MLS)
          Sounders or Dallas (one of the big underachievers of MLS)
          Watford or Norwich (only one yellow strip allowed with MLS away unis around)

          At least one of the MLS teams would get out. Leicester demonstrates that money is power, but not determinatively so, and the history of the EPL is littered with clubs with huge wage bills that didn’t even leave an oil slick on their way down to the Championship.Report

  5. Richard Hershberger says:

    F3: I take the discomfort with divorce to be a good thing. We should be unhappy with it. Divorce is a tragedy. Sometimes it is a tragic necessity, but it is a tragedy nonetheless.Report

  6. Richard Hershberger says:

    S2: Soccer in America, and MLS in particular, is in a peculiar and difficult position. US sports fans have two strong tendencies.

    (1) They, in general, only follow US teams. Individual sports, especially tennis and golf, are to some extent exceptions to this, but ordinarily we only care about other countries at the Olympics, and then only to the extent that they are in competition with the US athletes. (2) We, in general, only follow competition at the top level. This is why people will happily go to minor league baseball for an affordable family-friendly night out, but they don’t actually care which team wins. Again, there are exceptions. People care about NCAA football and basketball for interesting historical reasons, despite their not being at the top level. And strong local ties such as in high school sports can create interest. But the rule otherwise holds up pretty well.

    Enter MLS. On the one hand, it wins on the “American team” standard. (We are happy to overlook non-Americans on the team. That doesn’t matter.) But it loses badly on the “top level” standard. There is no hiding this. The result is that it has pretty good attendance at games, since most soccer fans can’t jump on a plane and fly to Spain to catch a Real Madrid match. If you live America and want to watch a soccer game live, MLS is your best option. But if you want to watch soccer on TV, you can see a Premier League game at least as easily as you can an MLS game, and see much higher quality of play. The result is that while MLS attendance is pretty good, its TV ratings are simply awful. Not “could be better”: awful. MLS advocates tend not to bring this up. If someone quotes the dollar value of its TV deal, remember that the rights to the US team in World Cup competition are bundled with rights to MLS games.

    This is a tough nut to crack. There is no historical precedent for something like MLS to muscle its way into full “major sport” status in the face of established sports already filling the desired seasonal slot. I am skeptical that MLS can pull this off, unless the much-predicted decline of the NFL due to concerns about head injuries actually occurs. It might, but I think this is a long-term proposition. Perhaps if MLS owners were willing to go all-in on recruiting–and paying for–genuine top world talent (as contrasted with paying for the semi-retirement of aging stars) this might do it, removing the “top level” problem. But maybe not, and it would be a giant sucking money pit in the meantime either way.Report

  7. notme says:

    Biden claims he made statement that became the “Biden Rule.” It’s really convenient that now his words don’t mean what they did back then

    “Once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over,” Biden said in that 1992 speech.

    • North in reply to notme says:

      Except the Dems never acted on opinion, never endorsed it, never blocked a GOP nominee based on it and it basically doesn’t exist as a “rule” except in the spin of the GOP.

      Which is fine I suppose. The Dems will run on this issue among others, we’ll see if it hurts the GOP in the Senate. If it does then I imagine that nominations in the future will proceed better. If it doesn’t then it’ll become a “rule” and I can just imagine the squeals of indignation from the right when it gets applied to one of their nominees in an election year.Report

      • Art Deco in reply to North says:

        The Senate is not morally obligated to assist Barack Obama with any object he has. Deal with it.Report

        • North in reply to Art Deco says:

          Legally? Certainly not. Morally? It’s not very conservative of them to upend the tradition of the Senate that way but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it immoral. I have no doubt, however, that conservatives will come to regret it. in the long term at some point or another the shoe will be on the other foot after all.
          In the short term Hillary is the most likely next President and I have no doubt her nominee will make the GOP wish they’d accepted Obama’s instead.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

          Not morally, no. I suspect it will turn out that they are politically obligated to do so, given the slow trickle of defections we’re seeing from Republican Senators who are actually up for re-election.

          Surely, though, if Garland is such a left-wing radical that it’s imperative that he not be seated on the Court, it should be easy for the Republicans to demonstrate this in hearings, and justify rejecting him via an up-and-down vote.Report

          • Art Deco in reply to pillsy says:

            I don’t think you’re going to motivate many voters on Capitol Hill inside baseball, and in this case, your net is likely to be close to nil either way.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

              We’ll see. My understanding is that the, “They aren’t doing their jobs!” line of attack has a history of being a reasonably effective among swingy constituencies, the Senate map for the GOP is already looking pretty ugly, and the counter-arguments just aren’t that good.

              Joe Biden[1] said something that maybe supports the GOP position 23 years ago. Yeah, OK, so?

              [1] Biden, of course, is known far and wide for never making an ill-considered remark.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to pillsy says:

                But it’s not ‘their job’ to confirm his appointments. If they wish to ignore him, that’s their prerogative. If the Supreme Court lacks the manpower to write as many opinions, they can take fewer cases. Judge Scalia wasn’t a bureau chief with 1,000 people working under him. He had four clerks and some secretaries.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Art Deco says:

                It’s their job to provide advice and consent. As that job has been construed by every single congress until this one, advice and consent includes being willing to confirm nominees of the opposing party.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Their advice to the president is that they won’t consent. They have good reasons not to do so.

                You want fewer fights of this nature, leave public policy to elected officials. In order to do that, you’d have to reconstitute the culture of the bar. Since you won’t consent to that (and it’s hard to make an artifact of a professional culture though you can certainly contrive ways to make life unhappy for them), you’re just going to have to live with these nuisances.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                Leave it to the people who actually pass around filthy, prejudicial jokes and pornography on public computers?

                Those fucking judges we voted in???

                (PA has elections for judges).Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

                I’ve actually participated in at least one judicial election campaign. They could not be more vacuous. There is utility in electing judges, because a different set of recruitment portals and pressures bear on the judge. However, it’s no real analogue to a legislative contest.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

                But it’s not ‘their job’ to confirm his appointments.

                No one has suggested otherwise.

                They are free to, for example, hold hearings and then vote to disconfirm. That would do a good job of supporting their contention that they have discharged their Constitutional responsibility with regards to Garland, and Obama could send them a new nominee, and we could move on from there.

                Or they could try selling the line that they can do whatever they want and because nobody can force them to do otherwise there’s no room to criticize them for not doing their jobs. This is exactly the sort of argument that voters just love to hear from incumbent Senators, and I can’t imagine why Mark Kirk and Jerry Moran are shying away from such a winning message.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                “When I said that the Constitution was open to interpretation, I meant for me.”Report

              • Art Deco in reply to pillsy says:

                You want an opportunity to replace Scalia with one of the usual roaches who populate the judiciary and the Republicans are standing in your way. Because that’s their prerogative. Deal with it.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

                Deal with it.

                You mean by making it politically uncomfortable for Republican caucus in the Senate, who are so profoundly committed to the righteousness of their actual position that they won’t even state it?

                ‘Cause that sounds like a good plan!Report

              • Art Deco in reply to pillsy says:

                I’ll call the whaambulance for you guys.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

                Thanks for conceding the point with such grace.Report

              • aaron david in reply to pillsy says:

                The question then is, @pillsy, is it uncomfortable for the repubs? As those who are in contested areas are holding the line on this, see Ayote, Kelly, then I would say that it is not. If there is differing evidence, I would love to see it.Report

              • pillsy in reply to aaron david says:

                Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) are not holding the line. Last I saw, Ayotte and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) were saying they’d meet personally with Garland, but didn’t support hearings. So it can’t be that comfortable for them.

                So far, I don’t think I’ve seen any Republicans in the Senate make an argument that even approximates the one Art Deco is putting forth. All of them are making a silly process-based argument about election years.Report

              • aaron david in reply to pillsy says:

                Indeed they are.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Art Deco says:

                It’s not their job to confirm. It is their job to consider.Report

        • Of course not. But there is a section of hell reserved for those who disguise naked self-interest with high-sounding principle (or attempt to, even if it fools no one.).Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            It’s called K Street, I read it in Dante.Report

          • Obama wants appointees who impose through judicial decrees the agenda of the har de har public interest bar. The Republicans want judges who will not do that (in good measure because it’s an affront to legal security and democracy). Obama needs the co-operation of the Senate to put his nominees on the court, which he’s not getting because Democratic presidents haven’t nominated anyone minimally decent since 1962. You’re operating under the delusion that your naked self interest is of a brand superior to that of Senate Republicans. That’s pretty obtuse, but those of us who are not partisan Democrats expect that from partisan Democrats.Report

            • North in reply to Art Deco says:

              Ah but that’s not what the Senate GOP is saying. They’re not saying “Liberals never appoint acceptable judges so we’re blocking them” they’re saying “It’s never been appropriate to appoint judges in the last year of a President’s term.” The former is an assertion of opinion followed by a fact, but the latter is nakedly imaginary.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to North says:

                You’re quite a princess with that pea of artifice (aside from what Biden had to say at one time).Report

              • North in reply to Art Deco says:

                Yeah because Bidens off the cuff comment from a decade or two ago that had zero real world bearing on how the Democrats ran the Senate are so salient now. I’m completely fine with the GOP obstructing, it’s been their MO for six years at the minimum. It’s the whole trying to invent a fiction that they’re actually not that’s so laughable.Report

              • notme in reply to North says:

                The fiction is that Biden’s remarks were some off the cuff throw away remarks that didn’t mean anything. He gave the 1992 speech on the Senate floor when he was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clearly Joe thought the concept was okay for the Dems to implement then.Report

              • North in reply to notme says:

                So, what on which years were a GOP president, or any President, unable to nominate and get a hearing for Supreme court justices because it was their eighth year in office and an election was going to happen within twelve months? By my off the cuff count I’m coming up with zero. You getting zero?

                Oh and if we’re giving so much weight to what Senators on the Judiciary committee say then maybe Orrin Hatch saying that there was no question Garland would be a consensus nominee is significant? No? That’s fine, the GOP doesn’t have to do anything on this nomination, just don’t pretend it’s anything but naked politics.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to North says:

                C’mon, North, it’s not as if the Democratic caucus never bottled up a Republican nominee and it’s not as if Ted Kennedy and Howard Metzenbaum never orchestrated a campaign of defamation against a Republican nominee either. Quit stomping your feet and kvetching. If you wanted senatorial courtesy, tough. It evaporated 30 years ago.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

                C’mon, North, it’s not as if the Democratic caucus never bottled up a Republican nominee and it’s not as if Ted Kennedy and Howard Metzenbaum never orchestrated a campaign of defamation against a Republican nominee either.

                You should have no difficulty naming a defenestree, then.Report

              • notme in reply to North says:

                What is sad is that you can’t admit that Joe said what he did and meant it. You want to turn it around into something about the what republicans did or didn’t get.

                Since when have the Dems had trouble with “naked politics?” Certainly not since Teddy and Joe got together to smear Bork. It seems a bit much for Dems to cry about naked politics now.

                As for Garland being a consensus nominee, wasn’t that about the appeals court not the supreme court, as if there is no difference between the two?Report

              • North in reply to notme says:

                Nope Hatch was talking about the Supreme court. Kagan’s eventual spot if I recall correctly.

                Art, if you’re okay with this new rule that Presidents don’t get to nominate judges in the last year of their 4 year stints then go ahead and say it. I’m not throwing any tizzy about it at all, I’m just amused in an eye rolling way at the GOP’s feeble attempts at camouflaging it as anything other than a rule change they’re demanding for no other reason than to oppose Obama filling this spot. I’m certainly not getting worked up about it; hell big picture wise it probably will work out better for liberalism if they block Obama’s choice. Hillary will undoubtedly nominate someone younger and more liberal.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to North says:

                I don’t care much about this ‘new rule’ one way or another. I care that the Senate do the right thing, and the right thing is to ignore BO’s bad ideas. If that upsets aspirant DNC press flacks, so be it.Report

              • North in reply to Art Deco says:

                If the Senate GOP were as forthright and honest as you were I think it’d clarify matters considerably since I think you’re clearly expressing the party’s true thoughts on the matter.Report

              • pillsy in reply to North says:

                It’s interesting that they aren’t being as forthright. It’s almost as if they have little faith that either defense Mr Deco has put forth–“Nuh-uh, can’t make me!” and, “Any Democratic nominee is a left-wing extremist!”–would play well with voters, who are all, apparently, aspiring DNC press flacks.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

              Obama needs the co-operation of the Senate to put his nominees on the court, which he’s not getting because Democratic presidents haven’t nominated anyone minimally decent since 1962.

              If the Senate Republicans are so certain of this, why are they reluctant to hold hearings for Garland? Surely they should be slavering at the chance to rip such a transparently egregious hack to shreds, and re-emphasize to the American people just what kind of black-robed tyrants Democratic Presidents want to inflict on the American people. It’s an election year after all!Report

              • Art Deco in reply to pillsy says:

                Maybe because they’ve got other things to do with their time than hold pro-forma hearings for a man they have no intention of confirming. Some people are busy.

                And Garland’s unlikely to tell the unvarnished truth in front of the committee anyway.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Art Deco says:

                Maybe because they’ve got other things to do with their time than hold pro-forma hearings for a man they have no intention of confirming.

                It’s obvious that nothing would appeal less to Republican Senators than an opportunity to sit at a big table and talk about how awful Obama is.

                Some people are busy.

                Uh huh. That must be it. They’re too busy to hold hearings, and too busy to even come up with a justification that passes the giggle test.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

              The Har de Har Public Interest Bar

              I would so go to a joint like this.Report

          • aaron david in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Washington D.C.?Report

            • From Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce

              The Foolish Woman

              A Married Woman, whose lover was about to reform by running away, procured a pistol and shot him dead.

              “Why did you do that, Madam?” inquired a Policeman, sauntering by.

              “Because,” replied the Married Woman, “he was a wicked man, and had purchased a ticket to Chicago.”

              “My sister,” said an adjacent Man of God, solemnly, “you cannot stop the wicked from going to Chicago by killing them.”


  8. Kolohe says:

    C1: “Varicose”?Report

  9. Richard Hershberger says:

    S3: I am curious why you think that public spending on sports might be a good idea? The linked study is nothing new. It is merely the latest in a long string of findings that it is a bad idea. I am a sports fan, and I am perfectly comfortable with the notion of public spending to stimulate the economy, but public spending on sports franchises simply does not follow.Report

  10. Oscar Gordon says:

    A link for the Asia section. A city in Indonesia is building 5 islands.Report

    • Kim in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      So, so fucking stupid.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kim says:

        Perhaps not. Tropical areas are under a lot of international pressure to not clear out more rain forest. Building 185 luxury acres of island not only saves 185 acres of forest from potentially being clear cut, but it also has the potential to be a tax boon to the area, and for a paltry $90M (a new sports stadium in the US can easily cost upwards of $500M), it’s a deal.

        Personally, I just like the animation of how an island is built.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Jerry World & the Santa Clara 49ers new crib are well over a billion. There are high schools in the DC suburbs that are being built for 80-100 million, (and rail stations for 2 to 3 times that) that’s why I’m amazed at the listed price tag.

          One interesting thing, they say they have “received all government permits and approvals” There’s a lot of yada yada in that statement.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      90 million to build 185 acres seems unbelievably inexpensive.Report

  11. veronica d says:

    [N4] Cue bad evo-psych discourse. That said, I think women should be as colorful as they want but learn to beat up boys.

    [C5] The state has an obvious responsibility to keep prisoners safe. It doesn’t do this. The broad culture seems to celebrate this fact. This is disgusting.

    America has this enormous difficultly with regard to approaching sex crimes rationally. Like, the way people respond with unchecked violent impulses toward pedo-types makes me suspect they hate something inside themselves — given how our broad culture sexualizes children in all these weird, barely-sublimated ways. It’s really pretty awful. We tolerate a low simmer and then bring the hammer down on some hapless dipshit, whose story we follow with unsavory fascination. This is not a healthy dynamic. Something really gross is going on.

    All this at the same time we seem quite eager to let every rapist go free. Unless they’re black.

    Blah. America, look in a fucking mirror.

    I blame the strains of puritanism that we never quite got rid of. Cut that shit out. Go out and fuck more or something — but like, people your own age, obviously. Cuz seriously. Let kids be kids. Yeesh.Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to veronica d says:

      The state has an obvious responsibility to keep prisoners safe. It doesn’t do this.

      What’s astonishing to me is not that we’re able to abdicate our moral responsibility to keep prisoners safe but that we don’t seem to see any connection between the world we’ve created in our prison system and the types of people who come back out of it. I wonder how much better off we’d be if prison was really a safe place. Imagine the psychological difference between people who had spent their time in a safe, ordered place where violence didn’t get anybody anywhere and people who did their time in a place where violence was just around the corner and the only way to avoid being a victim is to be even more violent than the other guys.

      We shake our heads at the “culture of violence” that so many of our offenders come from and then lock them in an adult version of Lord of the Flies where they have no power to avoid violence for a few years and we’re surprised when they don’t come back out as better people. It’s amazing.Report

  12. veronica d says:

    Oh nice. From [S4]:

    To liberals, it’s a place for social engineering, where it’s necessary to put people who don’t belong (even when the audience doesn’t want it) just to make a political point; or to allow a male posing as a woman to beat the life out of a female opponent in the name of tolerance.

    Seriously, Will Truman, do you even read the articles you link to? Maybe change the blurb to read, “Regressive transphobic troglodyte vomits on his keyboard.” Or something.

    Like seriously. Give me some kind of warning. If he had a little quip about minorities being apes, or something equally appalling and offensive, you might think twice about the link. You might warn. You might show a shred of judgment.

    Seriously, I’ve heard worse said about me and mine, but I like to be warned. I like to know when I’m about to read something by a fucking bigot. Then I can skip it and get on with my life.

    If you want a fucking echo chamber, then please continue. There is a reason I come here and not other sites.


    • Maribou in reply to veronica d says:

      The site “reporting” on the Fallon Fox story that S4 links to is even more aggressively transmisogynist, to the point where I felt threatened by it, even though I am not a trans woman. (I won’t give details cause I expect @veronica-d is already familiar and I don’t want to be splashing them on HERE, but oy.)

      I don’t think @will-truman does actually read all the articles (though he might), nor do I think he was trying to be an asshole. My first guess is that he thought the link was referring to some actual story involving someone who actually identifies as male, and not just a bullshit bigoted spin on a fairly complex issue.Report

      • Trumwill in reply to Maribou says:

        What sometimes happens is that I flag an article, and between doing so and posting it, I get it confused with a different article that I flagged. I have been trying to cut down on this, as it is very bad practice, but sometimes it doesn’t happen like it should. This is especially the case for older flags before I updated the process earlier this year (the article is from November).

        That’s no excuse, though, and for that, I apologize @veronica-dReport

        • veronica d in reply to Trumwill says:

          @trumwill — Thank you. It’s been a rough week, politically. My whole social circle is melting down and we’re all on a short fuze.

          Obviously you’re not an asshole and I should not have said that. I’m sorry.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Trumwill says:

          You shouldn’t let angry and histrionic people bully you like that. Her response to the article was unreasonable.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Art Deco says:

            Will acknowledged that the link was posted in error. Regardless of the tone of victoria’s objection, that fact does not change. Is it your position that Will should NOT have corrected an acknowledged error because of how it was pointed out to him?Report

            • notme in reply to Kazzy says:

              No, the point is, that as usual, liberals get to say almost anything they want, even if it violates the posting rules with minimal if any consequences.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to notme says:

                Or shoot their mouth off in the staff lounge, or clog up everyone’s Facebook timeline with dopey posters, slogans, and John Oliver clips. Thomas Sowell once offered that what we call ‘liberal’ is what advances the interests and passions of articulate people (or, one might say, garrulous people).Report

              • Love it: The party of Rush Limbaugh, accusing the other side of being garrulous.Report

              • Unlike the retired librarian who is the worst offender in and amongst our circle of friends, Rush Limbaugh is paid to talk on the radio, just like Rachel MadCow gets paid to chuffer on television. Your side keeps trying and failing to find someone that anyone will listen to on the radio, maybe because you’re mostly bores (viz Ronald Reagan’s n’er do well son) or maybe because Limbaugh is a refuge from the incessant ideological drumbeat of network programming and public television.

                I realize you folks are extremely irritated than anyone opposes you says anything at all without a mess of ingratiating blather attached, but you could work to conceal that.

                We joined Facebook because the next generation in our family, including those who are approaching middle age, just does not call or write or even e-mail much. Our Republican friends, our paulbot friends, and our nonpolitical friends manage to use the implement for mundane communication. So do most of our relatives, who had the same objects we did in joining Facebook. If I dumpster dive through the ten posts a day from said retired librarian (including the choice bit of wisdom about Timothy McVeigh as an exemplar of white Christian civilization she sent us the other day), I might be able to actually find the pictures of my grandniece.Report

              • Rachel MadCow

                I remain in awe of your biting wit.

                Limbaugh is a refuge from the incessant ideological drumbeat

                Yes, that’s why people listen to Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage, Levin, O’Reilly, etc. etc. Because they’re unique.

                Our Republican friends, our paulbot friends, and our nonpolitical friends manage to use the implement for mundane communication

                They don’t chain-post pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose, like every other right-winger on Facebook? You are blessed.Report

              • I’ve actually never seen a picture of Obama with a bone through his nose, on Facebook or anywhere else. I’ve seen a picture of him taken in his Choom Gang days. It wasn’t on Facebook, though.

                O’Reilly and Hannity appear on a commentary network which has some news broadcasting as well. Commentary is their business. They’re not difficult to avoid. Limbaugh, Savage, and Levin are on the radio, a medium which was at the peak of its influence around about 1938. They’re a niche product carried by networks who specialize in that.

                Again, you fancy that you’re inundated in something merely because there are examples of this. That’s not anyone’s problem but yours.

                Some of us might also get the idea that the public radio network and the public television network might have people on it or editing it whose assumptions about the world around them differed from the media norm but resembled that of half the country. The closest you get to that nowadays is a short segment allocated to … David Brooks.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                It is a pretty clear sign that there’s no discussion to be had, which is always useful.

                I’ve found that true whether it’s people who called “Microsoft” “M$” or people using “Hellary”.

                I mean what’s the point? They’re clearly arguing at about a third grade level. just shouting about who is a poopy head and who isn’t.

                Although the third grader might be slightly more open minded, I admit.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

              What’s the ‘error’? He posts a salad of stuff for your perusal. It’s not manifestly out of place. It happened to upset one emotionally disordered individual. If there was something else he meant to put there, he could substitute one for the other. He did not substitute anything, so that was not taking the place of something he did wish to post. He also ‘apologized’ to ‘anyone offended’. It was wrong of him to do that. The person offended does not benefit from an apology, nor does any poseur who takes his/her side. (And, while we’re at it, the article in question was quite unremarkable).Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Art Deco says:


                We can continue this conversation if you wish, but this “emotionally disordered individual” business needs to stop. The error was in linking something offensive that did not justify said offensiveness by making a good or novel point. Or more to the point, by linking an article that simply didn’t make especially good or novel points. While I regret that my error caused Veronica distress, it was an error whether she had clicked on the link or not. Her having done so, and commented on it, brought it to my attention.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Will Truman says:

                but this “emotionally disordered individual” business needs to stop.

                You’re working to demonstrate ‘notme’ s point, I see.

                The article is not ‘offensive’ in any serious way if you’re head isn’t set up to regard counterpoints to your worldview as outrageous. It’s just another set of opinions in an ocean of opinion journalism. If the few dissidents you’ve retained over the years conducted themselves like She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, your comment boxes would be unreadable because overrun with verbose, foul-mouthed, and self-referential rants. You wouldn’t want that, would you?Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Art Deco says:

            I have put up links with authors and publications that most people here find very objectionable. I don’t have a problem putting up potentially offensive things, provided that offer what I see as some value.

            This article didn’t. It was an anti-SJW whine. I can think of a couple of ways it slipped through the cracks, but both of them basically come from the flawed system I was using that I’ve been trying to fix since expanding link operations, as well as being at the end of what has been a really exhausting couple of weeks.

            And beyond that, when I do link to something questionable, I do actually try to provide some sort of warning. Links from Sailer, Khan, Taki, etc are marked as such so that people can choose to read them, or not, based on their preference. And when it’s a controversial point of view I try to add a bit more description than I did here, and explain either what it is I see in the article or what I think of it.

            None of that happened here. I’m not going to rake myself over the coals for it because mistakes do happen. But this was indeed one of them.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

              While I am not well positioned to determine the level of potential offense levied by that particular article (and never saw it as the correction was already made), I just want to extend my kudos to Will for being stand up about owning the error and accounting for it.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Will Truman says:

              Will, what she said was as follows:

              Look, I don’t object to this site linking to articles that offend me. After all, the purpose of this site is for people with different views to talk about complex things. But it really fucking hurts to open an article about sports and find some FUCKING ASSHOLE who hates me for no reason. It’s just — I don’t want that shit dropped in my lap. If I knew that was in there, I would not have read that article tonight. (I would not have read it at all, honestly. I don’t care about sport enough to wade through the non-thoughts of some transphobic jerk.)

              How this individual, ‘Veronica d’ got the idea into her head that Mark Judge is somehow obligated to subscribe to her self-concept (or his self-concept) or take it seriously is a mildly interesting question (and might be more interesting if you have to contend with ‘veronica d’ in a work or domestic situation). How ‘veronica d’ got the idea in her head (or his head, it’s not clear) that someone ‘hates’ her or is a ‘F****** A**HOLE’ for not subscribing to her (or his) self-concept is another interesting question. (I think the clinical term might be ‘narcissism’, but that’s not my trade).

              Of course, Mark Judge has almost certainly never given one moment of thought to ‘veronica d’ and, it’s a reasonable wager, would devote little space in his head to the ‘transgendered’ if people who fancy themselves their tribunes weren’t making so much noise about it of late. Neither would I. It’s highly unlikely that Mark Judge ‘hates’ the abstract category, anymore than someone might hate circus freaks.

              It’s not doing ‘veronica d’ any favors (or the rest of the world any favors) to be accommodating to her/him when he/she’s engaged in obnoxious and quite gratuitous emotional displays. (Of course, not being accommodating will likely have no salutary effect either because he/she’s just too far gone). You give people incentives for bad behavior, you get more of it.Report

            • You’ve linked to stuff written by Taki? Why not skip the middleman and go directly to Goebbels?Report

              • Not sure whether I have linked to his writing or not. I have linked to the site, though.Report

              • I have too, but only to point out how awful it is. That’s where Derb got himself fired from NR.Report

              • Taki Theodrogetdrunkfalldownchaseskirtscopolous is the equivalent of the Nazi propaganda minister in your head? And Steve Sailer is Joseph Mengele?Report

              • That was a bit of hyperbole. But here is Taki glorying in his anit-semitism.

                And it’s hard to picture Steve Sailer earning any kind of advanced degree. He’s more the Julius Streicher type.Report

              • You fancy he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity?

                FWIW, Steve Sailer has degrees from Rice (BA) and UCLA (MBA) and was once employed by McKinsey & Co. I’m not sure why he left the business world, other than it was co-incident in time with a bout of lymphatic cancer. Sailer’s particular brief is that sociology is reducible to anthropology and psychology which is reducible to biology. There are some ancillary lines of thought having to do with foreign affairs. A great deal of it is dubious or reflexive. Sailer’s thinking is more cautious and qualified than that of his combox crew and, unlike his employer, he does not trade in conspirazoid rubbish, even though he has (episodically) a conspirazoid cast of mind. He’s fairly non-partisan, so I fail to see how he is analogous to the editor of a party organ, and, given that he’s a peculiarly thick-skinned and amiable chap, how he is analogous to a notoriously vicious and vulgar creature like Streicher.Report

            • PD Shaw in reply to Will Truman says:

              Your reference to Khan was a trigger-warning? Wow, that was pretty much the opposite of my impression of what was intended. I have to assume your views of your followers are correct though.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

        (The link / bigoted phrase in S4, I mean. Bah, I am having a confusing and tiring day, so losing communicative abilities.)Report

      • veronica d in reply to Maribou says:

        I’m really upset tonight.

        Look, I don’t object to this site linking to articles that offend me. After all, the purpose of this site is for people with different views to talk about complex things. But it really fucking hurts to open an article about sports and find some FUCKING ASSHOLE who hates me for no reason. It’s just — I don’t want that shit dropped in my lap. If I knew that was in there, I would not have read that article tonight. (I would not have read it at all, honestly. I don’t care about sport enough to wade through the non-thoughts of some transphobic jerk.)

        Anyhow, I’ve talked to Fallon Fox. I mean, we’re not buddies, not face to face. This was online stuff. We’re Facebook friends. But I’m an MMA fan. I’m a fan of hers. I like her. I consider her a role model. They way she has been treated is disgusting.


        When this site links to an article, there is a sense that this is a thing worth reading. Fine. Maybe the thoughts of a transphobic jerk are worth reading. Probably not. Decide for yourself. But give me the information to decide.

        Bigotry is not like other things. It is irrational hate. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, class hatred, religious intolerance, on and on — these things are bigotry. We know what they look like. We can identify the smug assholes who sling this garbage.

        If you are going to link to something like that, make a note. Say [warning: casual transphobia]. Then I can decide.

        Or don’t link at all. If he had called someone a “filthy {racial slur},” you would not have linked. Show me the same respect.Report

        • Maribou in reply to veronica d says:

          Oh, I thought it was a terrible article and I was baffled that Will linked to it in that way. I hope that was clear?

          I was just saying that, given that I was pretty sure Will isn’t like that, he probably f’d up by accident, rather than being an asshole in some purposeful way. Which I think is clearly the case from his apology. And I meant to be agreeing with you that the linked article was obnoxious, and that you shouldn’t have been exposed to it in that way. It’s awful. And I’m sorry if my comment read as a dismissal of your frustration.

          Fallon Fox is the bomb, as far as I’m concerned (also an MMA fan, for casual levels of same with complex reasons behind them), and I’m vexed that when men break each other’s faces, people are all “oooooooo, he’s AWESOME,” and when Fallon Fox does it, people are all “[bigoted transphobic offensive bullshit frequently involving misgendering]”. It makes me angry, too. It makes me particularly angry that it doesn’t make enough people angry.Report

  13. Alan Scott says:

    F5: So, my opinion on this should be tempered by the fact that I’m a single man without kids.

    But there is something vaguely creepy about some of the people who are eager to describe stay-at-home parent as their job, instead of something they do instead of having a job. Like, you get the sense that if they could fire and replace their misbehaving children, they would.Report

  14. El Muneco says:

    [S1] Re: Madden… I think that the heyday of computer gridiron was circa 1996, about when the original Madden came out. Sierra’s “Front Page Sports Football” was the last game that allowed the player to design the plays in the playbook – since the players were 1996-era automatons. I can’t imagine a game – and I’ve spent a lot of late nights thinking about it before going to sleep – that could handle e.g. the read-option with (a) the kind of interface allowed to the end-user, and (b) scripted AI at the level we can have in a $29 PC game at this point in time.

    I thought seriously about signing on with Out Of The Park – the gold standard in career-mode baseball simulations at this time – in their attempt to make a gridiron game (the word “football” in this realm is forever taken by Football Manager, the successor to Championship Manager, which will soon hit its 20th version as the best Association Football management sim on the planet). But I realized that the technology doesn’t support what is necessary – you can’t, with what we have now, give the player an appropriate level of control, and have the players on the field have an appropriate level of intelligence – and be able to recoup the salaries of the people who made it possible given the income you get for a competitor to Madden.Report

  15. veronica d:
    …I think I’ve read maybe two of his posts. They were — not worth my time.

    It’s sometimes useful to look through into the window of an admitted conservative’s soul. Ressentiment is a hell of a motivator for people who have nothing to live for.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to David Parsons says:

      Ressentiment is a hell of a motivator for people who have nothing to live for.

      The ratio of your actual insight to your fancied insight couldn’t be much lower.Report

    • veronica d in reply to David Parsons says:

      @david-parsons — I mean, sure. But it’s also about levels of insight and depth. Which, there are many ways to straw man. One is to repeat flimsy versions of bad arguments. The other is to find the least capable of your opponents and give them all the oxygen.

      Which actually, I don’t mind doing that big picture. There is a reason we liberals loved to talk about the Westboro Baptist ninnies. They did our work for us. But here on this forum, I’m accustomed to better.

      I dunno. I guess, look how much noise without insight this guy generates. It’s like arguing with a flat earther. At first, sure, it’s fun. You might even learn some cool science. After a while though, you’re kinda wasting your time.

      Anyway, do as you will. I just scroll past.Report

  16. Some babies are just harder than others.

    Oh, yes. We thought the first one was difficult until the second one.Report

  17. dragonfrog says:

    [C1] Doesn’t really really touch on the size-of-haystack problem that always comes up when you want to use an authentication tool as an identification tool.

    It sort of does: There are limitations to this work, of course. (…) The second is that the likelihood of false positives and negatives has not been analyzed in detail. How likely is it that their algorithm misidentifies individuals?

    But, that doesn’t really hint at how enormous of a problem that is.

    Imagine you could get such a tool from the current “over 90 percent in some cases” up to, say, 99.95% on average, when tuned for the false positive – false negative equality (which no one has). Further assume there are 2,000 people among the 320,000 in the United States you want to catch with your identification technique.

    Your technique is going to flag about 2,000 * 0.9995 = 1,999 of the people you want, and 320,000,000 * .0005 = 160,000 people you don’t.

    So now what do you do? Send a cop because you’re only 99.8% sure the tourist who just flashed a V sign in front of a waterfall isn’t a wanted criminal?Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

      At 99.95% accuracy it could be a great authentication method – we’re pretty sure our undercover agent is onto the right person, let’s see if we can get them doing a V sign and sent the photo to the lab.

      But it’s a useless identification method.

      Think of passwords – reasonably useful for authentication, but you would never send cops to bust everyone who uses ‘letmein12345’ as their Yahoo password because your culprit does.

      This kind of thing apparently trips up judges and juries fairly regularly – you get an expert witness up talking about the accuracy of fingerprint or DNA identification, and you can easily overlook that what 99.9% accuracy alone means is not that the accused is 99.9% likely to be the one who left the fingerprints, but that they are one of the 650 people in Boston who could equally likely have done it, ceteris paribus.

      And it trips up the computer scientists it really really shouldn’t on an alarmingly regular basis.Report

  18. Vikram Bath says:


    Consumer surveys show that among all income quintiles, with total household expenditures ranging from about $31,000 to five times that ($155,000), the percentage allocated to transportation is fairly constant – around 15% (Chart 2).

    I’m not sure it follows that consumers are necessarily being smart about the whole thing. On an individual basis, there seems to be a lot of misinformation and self-deception around how to save money on transportation, and a 15% figure may be more about what people can get loans for than about people making trade-offs rationally.

    But it is interesting to think about.Report