Morning Ed: Politics {2016.04.19.T}

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Will Truman

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

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161 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Trump: The owner of the Observer is Trump’s son-in-law. Res Ipsa Loquitor. The problem is though that this destroys are credibility that the Observer had as a paper. Though the Observer is an odd beast. I think it has been a pet project for a certain kind of well to do Upper East Sider for as long as I have been alive.

    Soviet Jews: Do you know how I write endlessly about how most American Jews are still overwhelmingly Democratic? The exception is Jews who came from the Soviet Union in the late 1970s onwards. They tend to be overwhelmingly Republican. The slightest defense of the welfare state is too much for them. Somewhat OT but I remain convinced that there is a big gap in what we talk about when we talk about socialism. How do you talk about a system that covers everything from Venezuela to Israel to Sweden to parts of the UK/Canadian governmental systems. As far as I can tell, Sanders supporters do not want to enact Clause IV of the old UK Labour Party. They probably also don’t deny the profit motive. What they do want is a much more robust welfare state as opposed to the paltry nothing we have now. Yet you talk to any Republican around Paul Ryan’s age and older and any mention of socialism is equated with the second coming of Lenin including any defense of the welfare state. To be fair, I also get annoyed at internet memes that equate fire fighters and public parks with Socialism.

    Boycott’s are always going to generate complaints on fairness and responsibility. But as the author noted, corporations see the way the wind is blowing and are acting accordingly. Millennials are a large demographic and largely against the old-school social conservatism of North Carolina’s HB2. Boycotts can also work. Then again, Americans are great at wanting their cake and eating it too. LBGT rights is something that many people take very seriously and strongly. The Democratic Party has made it part of their platform and yet the people of North Carolina are dumbstruck when their actions have consequences that provoke ire. The NC law was sweeping enough that it tried to destroy the right to sue for discrimination totally.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      . Yet you talk to any Republican around Paul Ryan’s age and older and any mention of socialism is equated with the second coming of Lenin including any defense of the welfare state. To be fair, I also get annoyed at internet memes that equate fire fighters and public parks with Socialism

      The source of your conflict with these people is your fancy that the extensive (if haphazard and barnacle laden) mess of subsidies and transfers we have now is a ‘paltry nothing’.

      There are some important distinctions between the Democratic Party and the circles around it and their counterparts in continental Europe. In no particular order, they are as follows:

      1. Marxism has never had much purchase on the intelligentsia here, nor has highly systematized social theory of any kind. Our politicians got their politics from their fathers, not from reading Marx or Burke (or were wiling to tell the survey researcher just where they got them, rather than pretending they read Das Kapital). Sigmund Freud and John Dewey may have been the discrete thinkers most influential left-of-center, while The Federalist Papers and Burke animated the right of center (to the extent anyone was animated at all).

      2. State enterprise has been minimal over here, and not to be found at all in manufacturing or extractive industries.

      3. Public housing likely did not amount to more than 2% of all household dwellings at its crest, v. the 15% or 20% you might find in Britain or France or Germany. Only New York City ruined its housing market with rent control.

      4. Means-testing is unremarkable here, atypical there.

      5. America has been much more strict about public agency as a delivery vehicle for subsidized schooling. At the same time, there are chronic institutional and policy deficits over here that you do not see over there.

      6. Violent crime and its cognates (e.g. school disorder) are far more salient influences on the quality of life of the poor.

      4.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Vanderbilt and Carnegie read their Marx, and they took good notes.
        Then they fixed the problems he identified.
        Co-opting the poor into their “up from bootstraps” mythology was a good plan, and it worked really well for a really long time.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      The thing is, the corporations aren’t exactly following public opinion on these issues. Not entirely and maybe not even mostly. They’re moving things, and have been for some time.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Whose public opinion? North Carolina? Their largest market? Themselves? Conservatives are always so shocked when business people disagree with themReport

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          That’s kind of my point. The businesspeople aren’t entirely acting all shrewd-businesslike or in the face of overwhelming public opinion. I’d argue that they aren’t even really “reading the writing on the wall.” I would argue they are writing on the wall, and want to be writing on the wall, in accordance with their own social beliefs and preferences.

          They’re not reacting to change. They’re wanting to help make it happen. They’re taking sides.

          On balance, I’m glad that they are. Mostly because I am inclined towards agreement with them. But we shouldn’t confuse what’s happening here, and has been happening for quite some time.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            I’m not sure this is the case.

            Rather, I think the businesses who are taking stands are reading rather correctly their own market of customers. To date, all of the companies (and artists, for that matter) who have threatened to back out of NC (or have actually done so) are those that are trying to appeal to a certain demographic nationally.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              I do suspect that is what there is some degree to which they are telling themselves, one another, and investors that.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                And, to be fair, I do think there is some truth to it. But I think it’s more conclusion-first-rationale-second than the other way around. I don’t think if they’d found it similarly advantageous, they would have fallen in the other direction. It would have required it being a lot more advantageous.

                I think a lot of these conversations get reduced to believing that corporations are Perfect Capitalist Entities, rather than being subject to the viewpoints of their leaders. These viewpoints being informed by their own political views, the societies in which they personally run, and how they want to be viewed by people whose opinions they value.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                Oh, I don’t think they are Prefect Capitalist Entities.

                But neither do I think they were sitting around over the past decade not having any idea what their customer bases thought about LBGT issues, especially when one of the preferred method of dealing with the issue for many was to identify which corporations to boycott and make miserable. So when the NC story broke, and when it became a national news story, I don’t think they needed to pull something out of thin air.

                It’s telling, I think, that NC is getting the brunt of the boycotts and Mississippi is largely escaping unscathed.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I just don’t see PayPal looking at the North Carolina situation and saying “Moving to North Carolina would be bad for business, let’s decide not to do it.”

                Rather, I see them saying “This is awful. Is there anything we can do to prevent it from spreading?”

                SalesForce might be based out of San Francisco, and I suspect that did play a role, but they serve a lot of companies across the spectrum and from a strictly business perspective I think keeping their head down is probably the most obvious move. Instead, I believe they look at the situation and again say “This is terrible. What can we do?”

                As far as North Carolina vs Mississippi, I would say that Mississippi gets less for the same reason Malaysia does.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @will-truman — I think you’re only looking at one side of the cost-benefit here. For example, I work for my employer because they have a great track record on LGBT. I have confidence that they will have my back, as best they can, and that they won’t make business decisions that support a world that hates me. I suspect a fair number of my coworkers, even straight-cis coworkers, agree with this on the broad points.

                So “hard nosed business” — well one can’t always make a simple measure of goodwill, but the point is, it exists.

                Furthermore, I think it is a mistake the notion of short-term, easily measured “hard nosed business approaches” from a broad question such as “what sort of world do we want to do business in?”

                Were any of these companies considering Mississippi anyhow? How can you boycott what you had no interest in to begin with? The point is, North Carolina has the research triangle, and thus something to lose. Mississippi gets to ask if they ever want to rise above where they are? How do they expect to do that?

                #####

                Speaking for myself, watching this go down in North Carolina was extremely depressing, and in fact groups such as “Trans Lifeline,” which is a nationwide suicide hotline for transgender people, has seen calls skyrocketing since this began. Understand, this will kill people, particularly teens, who already struggle with deep hopelessness. Yes, “it gets better,” sometimes for some people in some ways, but it’s hard to see that when your entire state and much of the country is demonizing you.

                In other words, these laws are literally monstrous.

                We know what hate looks like. This is it.

                So the boycotts? They will save lives. Just reading some famous person, some musician, or some big corporate CEO, saying that hating me is utterly unacceptable, that defending me is more important than the “bottom line,” more important than “business as usual,” that they will take a loss to assert their absolute and unconstrained rejection of hate — hatred of me — it actually does help. It helps a lot. It makes a big difference, beyond the material.

                Plus the material matters. GA and FL just rejected such laws. Do you think the politicians perhaps noticed the boycotts and said, “Not worth it”?

                Maybe, probably.

                In a few weeks my employer is sending about 100 employees down to Orlando for a big corporate trip. We’re staying in one of the Disney resorts. We’re going to a bunch of theme parks and restaurants. Three days. It will be fun.

                They’re paying. Had Florida passed that law — I could not go. If I could not go, I would complain loudly that my team was excluding me from the fun. Would we still go? Maybe not. Even if, would some of my coworkers say, “Nope, if veronica can’t go, we’ll stay home also.” Some would. How much money does that entail?

                My employer has a very public commitment to diversity — as they should. Hate is hate. Reject the haters, fully and entirely. Label them what they are, unambiguously.

                Where should we spend money, when given a choice?

                We have some assets in NC right now. We won’t close them, not right away. That would be foolish. We’re a global company. We have assets in many unsavory places. But diversity matters, and aggressive pro-diversity strategies are part of how we operate. As we should.

                If I lived in NC, or really anywhere in the “bible belt,” I would be seeking transfer now (and I’d likely get it). We will always have some employees there. But as a focus of expansion? Heck no. There are better places that match our commitment to justice and decency.

                I strongly suggest that the voters in states such as NC reject hate.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I get what you’re saying, and it’s possible that there was indeed some economic benefit to the companies. But I maintain that even if no such economic benefit existed, they would nonetheless have done it because they believe it is the right thing to do. And if it had been to their economic benefit to stand by North Carolina and voice support for the law… they likely would have been much more reluctant to support the law. I don’t think these were dollars and cents decisions. Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Right. I don’t know what PayPal or Springsteen will lose by making this choice. I suspect that it’s a complex question. But all the same, they are doing the right thing. Which, I don’t expect an universal boycott to succeed, but much happens on the margins. No PayPal jobs means less opportunity for software engineers, which means a slightly constrained environment for the Research Triangle tech sector, which means a slightly diminished startup culture, etc. Which, Silicon Valley is what it is cuz network effects, as is Cambridge MA. For example, if I get tired of my current job, there are many big-name companies here hiring, who would snatch me up, if I didn’t chose to play the startup game. Lotsa choices with a diverse array of companies doing very different things. And every year we have a new graduating class of overzealous (and frankly overrated) MIT nerds coming out ready to play. But they don’t have to stay here. There are other choices. Do they like it here, in our fair city of Boston?

                Many do. So it goes for the Research Triangle. Who will come? Who will stay? Who will leave when they get the change.

                This matters. It should matter. Culture matters. PayPal is taking the long view.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                PayPal is taking the long view.

                If that’s true then why do they still do business in countries that really are homophobic?Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Maybe because there is real money in those countries and this action in NC is a good PR move?Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Obviously rejecting bigotry is a good PR move. Likewise global strategy requires compromise. What is your point?

                #####

                I know some of the internal decisions my own employer has taken with regard to global diversity. I won’t share details. It’s private-internal stuff. But it’s not “merely” PR. On the other hand, we set up data centers where we need them, based on internet topology and energy costs and hardware shipping costs and staffing issues. We prefer diversity, and we when we can we demand diversity from our subcontractors. But it’s complicated. Compromises get made.

                It’s an ugly world. We work to diminish that ugliness. I often suspect that you two (Damon and notme) work (in your own petty and ineffectual ways) to increase the ugliness. You should stop doing that.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                It’s an ugly world. We work to diminish that ugliness. I often suspect that you two (Damon and notme) work (in your own petty and ineffectual ways) to increase the ugliness. You should stop doing that.

                Are the personal attacks really necessary? Burt seems so concerned about them, maybe he can address this.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                There is a difference between criticism of, on the one hand, a sustained pattern of petty behavior and, on the other hand, shallow name-calling. I feel quite safe in describing you as hostile to diversity, hostile to LGBT people, and so on. If you feel “attacked” by this, I wonder if you have courage of your convictions. Speak openly and take the hits. When you try to slip into the debate with passive-aggressive nonsense, people figure you out.

                Burt is free to weigh in.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Burt is free to weigh in.”

                He hasn’t yet, despite All Those Awful Horrible Things that the people you’re name-checking have done, and maybe that ought to tell you something.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Scroll down DD. Burt has clearly stated his thoughts and the rules.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                The conversation below is what I was looking for. It seems reminiscent of the argument going on RE South African apartheid back in the day. Invest/stay in SA and do you condone apartheid or is your presence a force for change/moderation?

                Please don’t accuse me of actions I do or do not take IRL based upon commentary on an internet site, especially when those comments can come from more likely origins than bias, like snark, pessimism, etc. If you search my posts you’ll find, generally, my political affiliation and mind set. It is not hostile to gay/trans/etc. At worst it’s indifferent.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Uh — I am going to judge you according to what you say here, on its entirety. Over time it has become clear what sort of person you are.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Do tell. Please do me a favor a quote my specific comments when you do.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                In the US vs. Not in the US: compare and contrastReport

              • Avatar notme says:

                In the US (PR stunt as no money is lost) vs. not in the US (money lost): compare and contrast.

                Yes I can see why they put their morality on display.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                In the US: our country, our citizens, our norms, our neighbors relatives friends, etc.

                Not in the US: not all the above things.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Which is more of PR stunt: pushing for change somewhere where it might actually happen or pushing for change in a place where it surely won’t make a difference? I agree with the NC maneuver costs them less than it would to shut down operations in Malaysia, but it also might achieve something.

                Compare with shutting down operations in Malaysia. It would achieve nothing and cost a bunch of money. But somehow you’re saying that very publicly flushing a bunch of money down the toilet with no actual results somehow wouldn’t be a PR stunt. I’m not getting it.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                I have no idea the scale of operations that PayPal has in Malaysia. That said, here are their job ads: http://paypalcareers.jobs/mys/jobs/

                It seems like mostly support people, and not a major dev center. I don’t see any software engineer jobs. In fact, judging by this, they have less footprint there than my employer. But then, we have maybe 3-4 times as many employees and 4-5 times the capital. So anyway. What’s the point? They have an office there?

                But consider, Malaysia is a big country. I would expect that some kind of local presence is necessary to even serve customers in Malaysia. Certainly you need local people who understand the specific regulations. You’ll need some kind of local footprint to interface with their banking sector, their public sector, etc.

                The point is, does PayPal want to give up serving Malaysia, for both residents and those who want to do business with them?

                Which, perhaps. I certainly don’t approve of oppressive regimes and homophobic hellholes. But all the same, it’s a big, complex world.

                Can PayPal continue to serve customers in North Carolina, and those who want to do business with them, without opening a big dev office there?

                Obviously yes.

                This is a dumb comparison. Stop making dumb comparisons.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Compare with shutting down operations in Malaysia. It would achieve nothing and cost a bunch of money.”

                We will make any sacrifice for peace and equality, so long as it’s merely a minor inconvenience to our business activity!Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                Considering that maintaining shareholder value is considered by many to be the sole responsibility of a corporation, shouldn’t we be giving them credit for finding a way to be minimally socially conscious while not severely impacting the bottom line?

                That said, IMO they should just play the “sincerely held beliefs” card, drop the mic, and watch their critics scuttle away.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                My employer has sales and marketing offices all over the world, in many unsavory countries. Of course we do. We are a global company. Regarding our engineering offices, where we put major resources, we tend to favor countries with better track records.

                For example, we have an office in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve never been there, but a quick glance at the job openings there show all sales and marketing. On the other hand, we have extensive engineering resources in the US, CA, and EU, along with (for example) Japan.

                It’s not perfect, but running a global business is very non-trivial.

                I don’t know the specific details of how PayPal makes its strategic decisions. What I know is, in this case they are getting it right, even if they have gotten it wrong in the past, elsewhere. That said, they are a global finance operation. I would expect them to have some kind of footprint spread fairly evenly in most countries. But where should they focus their engineering talent?

                Are you suggesting they could do even better? I bet they could. Let us together encourage them to work even harder for diversity.Report

              • Malaysia is lovely. Just ask PJ O’Rourke. (Or, as he sometimes calls himself, Ben Domenech.)Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Springsteen will lose people singing along to Born in the U.S.A. without really understanding it. Its really more of a win-win for him.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                I think Tod has a point. Sales force is located in SF and they are reflecting the views of themselves, their employees, and what they want.

                I agree with you that the unnecessary travel bans are kind of silly but symbolism is important to all people.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Its a combination of A and B. Most of the companies and artists boycotting North Carolina have spent decades building up a certain image for themselves as modern and enlightened. A good part of this is because this is what the owners and managers really believe. They cosmopolitan, secular people comfortable with all sorts of people. Another part is self-interest. They think that this sort of image will make them money. Apple’s cool bohemian image reflected how Steve Jobs saw himself and the best way they could distinguish them from the competition.Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              Biogen, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Bayer, and the NCAA have all expressed objections. Granted not all have threatened to pull out of the state, but you’d have to use mighty broad strokes to define the common demographic of their clientele.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      LBGT rights is something that many people take very seriously and strongly.

      The franchise to be left in peace and not be bothered by the predation of obstreperous sexual deviants and their lawyers is something many people take very seriously and strongly.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        You keep telling yourself that.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Sexual Degeberate is the kind of attack that crosses the line here. You don’t have to agree. Unlike not me, you have things to say that are worth chewing on if sourly said but an attack like this is unacceptableReport

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        This comment was just called to my attention; I overlooked it previously.

        I hope that @art-deco is not equating LBGT people with “obstreperous sexual deviants” (in violation of the commenting policy) and would like to offer @art-deco the opportunity to make that clarification explicit.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            Republicans are not obstreperous.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              And “deviant” doesn’t necessarily mean a slur.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Yeah, but don’t be a flim-flam person. If you mean to insult, insult boldly. If you call someone a “deviant,” and then turn around and say, “I didn’t mean an insult” — well you’re just full of shit.

                When I insult someone, I do it outright, without ambiguity. It’s a matter of honesty, of character. When I hold someone in contempt, I express clear contempt, and invite others to share my contempt.

                Anyway, this “art deco” person can explain what he means, should he chose to. Or not. The point is, either he has something to say, words he’ll stand behind, or he doesn’t.

                Gay liberation has come so far, won so much, because our enemies are deeply ugly people, and we are not. Let them speak up. Let us see them in bright lights.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                “Yeah, but don’t be a flim-flam person. If you mean to insult, insult boldly. ” I agree completely.

                But here’s why I posted what I did. I can read his post two ways, one an insult, and one not. It’s similar to “illegal” in “illegal alien”. If he was referring to non hetero folks, well, that’s pretty much the description of the word he used. I’ve had too many conversations with people who “heard” one thing vs what was “said”.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                because our enemies are deeply ugly people, and we are not.

                I wouldn’t award you any points for self-understanding, veronica.Report

              • It’s like rain on your wedding day.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                In this context? Yes, it does.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          I take it it’s Burt’s contention that someone who launches a court suit against a small merchant or landlord over the dimensions of their custom (given the transactions costs that incorporates) when there’s likely another merchant one mall over who will take the order is to be described as something other than ‘obstreperous’. It is true that someone who allows himself to be used as a straw plaintiff in these circumstances is not necessarily ‘obstreperous’. He could be just a mark. (See McCorvey, Norma). In that case, the lawyer is obstreperous (in addition to all the other disagreeable descriptors you could lard on him).

          Or is it Burt’s contention that sodomy and a persistent (in some cases, quite compulsive) taste for sodomy is not aberrant. Which is to say that Burt’s approach to historical or sociological inquiry regarding human relations is something along the lines of ‘I say it’s spinach’ (and all my friends in the LA bar say it’s spinach too). Burt, why do think homosexual men troll public bathrooms looking for entertainment? Transgression is part of the thrill, no matter what your commenting policy is. (See the biography of Mapplethorpe, Robert).Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            Well Burt, there’s your answer.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            Bad move. My concern was principally with the use of the word “deviant,” although your inclusion of the adjective “obstreperous” most certainly failed to add luster to the slur against homosexuals. For a slur is what your remark was, as is the broad-brush double-down on homosexual men trolling for sex public bathrooms in the comment above. (Maybe there are some who do. I don’t know, and I don’t care.)

            Homosexuality is not deviant behavior and will not be identified as such on these pages. “Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness,” said Sigmund Freud in the 1930’s, and whatever else people think about Freud, he was very clearly right about that much. The American Psychological Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1952 based on a moral panic about reports of some (not all) homosexual men engaged in the sort of “cruising” you reference in one of the Kinsey reports. This was reversed in 1973 as utterly ineffective forms of “therapy” which often crossed the line into torture failed to “cure” even a single person suffering from this purported “disorder.” The APA found:

            For a mental or psychiatric condition to be considered a psychiatric disorder, it must either regularly cause subjective distress, or regularly be associated with some generalized impairment in social effectiveness or functioning. With the exception of homosexuality (and perhaps some of the other sexual deviations when in mild form, such as voyeurism), all of the other mental disorders in DSM-1 fulfill either of these two criteria. (While one may argue that the personality disorders are an exception, on reflection it is clear that it is inappropriate to make a diagnosis of a personality disorder merely because of the presence of certain typical personality traits which cause no subjective distress or impairment in social functioning. Clearly homosexuality, per se, does not meet the requirements for a psychiatric disorder since, as noted above, many homosexuals are quite satisfied with their sexual orientation and demonstrate no generalized impairment in social effectiveness or functioning.

            The only way that homosexuality could therefore be considered a psychiatric disorder would be the criteria of failure to function heterosexually, which is considered optimal in our society and by many members of our profession. However, if failure to function optimally in some important area of life as judged by either society or the profession is sufficient to indicate the presence of a psychiatric disorder, then we will have to add to our nomenclature the following conditions: celibacy (failure to function optimally sexually), revolutionary behavior (irrational defiance of social norms), religious fanaticism (dogmatic and rigid adherence to religious doctrine), racism (irrational hatred of certain groups), vegetarianism (unnatural avoidance of carnivorous behavior), and male chauvinism (irrational belief in the inferiority of women).

            I’ve enjoyed a sharp exchange in a different thread with you about national heroes and imagery. Which is a pity, because falling back on outright slurs is a problem whether any of the above changes your mind or not. This makes me particularly reluctant to suspend your commenting privileges at this point in time.

            All of the above is the “why.” Below is the “what.”

            You’re on probation for the next two weeks, @art-deco . I’ll be reading every comment from you between now and May 3. If I see or hear of any uses of slurs or other denigrating generalizations then there will be an immediate suspension. By all means disagree with substantive points anyone makes, including me. By all means express your opinions. But you must do so respectfully.

            If you cannot find a way to express your opinions respectfully, or if you have opinions which in your estimation are inherently disrespectful and therefore cannot be phrased in a respectful fashion, then you should take those expressions of opinion elsewhere.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              Bad move.

              I’m not playing chess with you. I’m telling you what I think.

              If you cannot find a way to express your opinions respectfully,

              Your difficulty is not with how I express anything. Your complaint is that I look upon your preferred mascot group with a degree of asperity and hold to a notion that human sexuality has both uses and abuses and that these are to be understood through avenues which don’t pay any attention to contemporary fashion in and among the professional-managerial bourgeoisie. C’mon, buddy, dropping some pretenses isn’t going to hurt your that much.

              You’ve subcontracted the function of thinking about how human beings ought to behave to…the American Psychological Association. Why not tell us what the Bar Association fancies as well (or, more precisely, the sort of people who want to use the machinery of the Bar Association to advance their social agenda)? Anthropologists, Pediatricians, Librarians, Sociologists, &c have all seen the machinery of their ‘professional associations’ put to work for extraneous purposes. It’s part of the corruption of the age.

              Psychologists aren’t adepts at normative questions. They apply practice protocols or study a mess of things about mind and brain. They’re seldom liberally educated, and, even when you are, education and wisdom are not the same thing. They’re weakly correlated. Got any social workers, psychologists, or psychiatrists in your family? A good look at the mind that makes the sausage might cure you of the impulse to take them particularly seriously. A dose of Thomas Szasz or Fuller Torrey or Paul McHugh on their colleagues might help you, if you were of a mind to be helped.

              Now, if you wish to make yourself stupid by talking your cues from the mental health trade in our time (as opposed to, say, the mental health trade of 1955), that’s your problem. It’s pretty rich, though, to suggest that I or anyone else is morally obligated to imbibe this silliness ourselves. It is equally silly to behave as if normative questions are factual questions. There is no accurate way to assess Veronica d or Donald McCloskey or the fellow who posts under the pseudonym “Russell Saunders” or Dennis Hastert or Marcus Bachmann, or anyone else.

              A generation ago, a newspaper columnist offered this observation: society gets a drizzle of dumb little laws when it neglects the big, wise laws of life. Your dumb little law is that nothing may be uttered which irritates those in a subculture with which you have an exchange of ego satisfactions. That’s dandy for seriously disorienting people in that subculture, but it serves no other purpose (except as a hook for you to be a pointless scold).

              Your side of the argument raises this issue. You raise it repeatedly. You raise it in legislative bodies, in court, in intramural committee meetings. You insist on it being incorporated into school curricula. You raise it where it has no proper place. Now you’re in a state of high dudgeon when somebody answers you back. “Homosexuality is not deviant behavior and will not be identified as such on these pages.” . The pathos of Burt Likko is that Burt Likko has no conception of how puerile the stance adopted by Burt Likko really is.Report

              • Avatar Francis says:

                Dear AD:

                In this, law-based, society, you are not morally obligated to do anything. Your morals are a question for you to resolve with yourself, your community and your god, if any.

                But legally, you can be obligated to do quite a bit. Pay taxes, for one. Go to prison if convicted of a crime. And, if you run a business, you can be obligated to do even more. Open your doors to everyone who meets objective non-discriminatory standards. Hire and fire people without consideration of certain characteristics, like race, color and religion among others.

                It appears to me from your earlier communications that you prefer the caste system that was in place during the Jim Crow years. Matters were more ‘civil’ then, at least for some. To the great benefit of millions of Americans, that viewpoint is slowly being rejected, and people of color, people who are gay and people who are trans are moving out of the shadows of American society.

                Now, no one can force you to change your mind. But on the reverse of that coin, you have no right — none whatsoever — to determine what is and is not the “proper place” for the raising of issues of historic discrimination. You, sir, are not the gatekeeper of American society. Veronica D and Russell Sanders get to determine for themselves what is the proper place for them to speak up.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                But legally, you can be obligated to do quite a bit. Pay taxes, for one. Go to prison if convicted of a crime. And, if you run a business, you can be obligated to do even more.

                Somewhere along the line it had occurred to me that law was being put to uses it should not be. Maybe it was reading Gottfried Dietze…

                Open your doors to everyone who meets objective non-discriminatory standards.

                Are you using ‘objective’ as some sort of lawyer’s term of art or are you trolling me?

                Hire and fire people without consideration of certain characteristics, like race, color and religion among others.

                Yeah, I read what Hubert Humphrey had to say back in 1964. Pretty amusing in retrospect.

                It appears to me from your earlier communications that you prefer the caste system that was in place during the Jim Crow years. Matters were more ‘civil’ then, at least for some.

                I’m not giving you any points for reading comprehension or insight.

                To the great benefit of millions of Americans, that viewpoint is slowly being rejected, and people of color, people who are gay and people who are trans are moving out of the shadows of American society.

                You fancy that blacks lived in ‘shadows’ in 1960?

                As for the remainder, someone benefits and someone is injured when you have changes in the distribution of recognition and changes in manners. The question at hand is what sort of society you encourage by it. I would not look at social dynamics at this time and say that either manners or standards are optimal (and, in fact, there has been considerable deterioration in quality in 60 years).Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                to determine what is and is not the “proper place” for the raising of issues of historic discrimination. You, sir, are not the gatekeeper of American society. Veronica D and Russell Sanders get to determine for themselves what is the proper place for them to speak up.

                In any jurisdiction, there is generally one legal regime. In any subculture, one set of manners.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                C’mon, buddy, dropping some pretenses isn’t going to hurt your that much.

                How about the pretense of thinking that you are saying something meaningful, brave or germane when you’re really just a bigot? Personally, I’m fine with people being bigots. And I’m quite happy for them to express it, cause it lets me know exactly who I’m dealing with. But there is nothing deeper going on here.

                If you want to talk about pathos, take a look at yourself. Human sexuality has uses? That’s a logical argument? You’re proporting to be bravely standing up to identity politics and yet, your arguments are about nothing but identity.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                How about the pretense of thinking that you are saying something meaningful, brave or germane when you’re really just a bigot?

                If it was meaningless or non sequitur, it would have fuddled you all, not bothered the moderator or anyone else.

                Of course it isn’t ‘brave’ (unless it be your contention that I ought to find his rebukes anxiety provoking).

                And ‘bigot’, in these discussions, is almost invariably a nonsense term, as it is here.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                You think I’m fuddled, because it flatters your conception of yourself and your role in these comment threads.

                Really, I just find you annoying and often wrong.

                PS – I sometimes find your comments quite enlightening and refreshing, but your On-base Percentage is quite low.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                If you want to talk about pathos, take a look at yourself. Human sexuality has uses? That’s a logical argument? You’re proporting to be bravely standing up to identity politics and yet, your arguments are about nothing but identity.

                That remark actually is non sequitur. Happy trails.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                The pathos of Burt Likko is that Burt Likko has no conception of how puerile the stance adopted by Burt Likko really is.

                I think Burt’s stance on this is that you can say what you like so long as those expressions are respectful of other folks.

                Sure ’nuff, I was right! Here’s the quote: By all means disagree with substantive points anyone makes, including me. By all means express your opinions. But you must do so respectfully.

                So I have a question for you: how, in your view, is acting respectfully towards others a puerile stance?Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                And while we’re at it, how is calling people blind to their own puerility a respectful expression of opinion?Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Y’all are all pissing up a rope. Better to let him go do so.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                And while we’re at it, how is calling people blind to their own puerility a respectful expression of opinion?

                It’s hard for me to get too upset by this considering some of the things people have said to me without any notice by the mods.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                Acting respectfully means whatever the moderator fancies it means when he makes the utterance. So, we have a substantive complaint dressed up as a formal or procedural complaint (a sort of slight of hand so pervasive you’re surprised when it is not attempted).

                As it happens, the subject is topical. People want all sorts of recognition and privilege written into local ordinances, corporate policy, educational curricula, ad inifinitum. People like me did not raise this matter, people like me are not inclined to inject a discussion of homosexuality into much of anything, and people like me well remember when the subject did not have much rent free space in anyone’s head. To take one example, for Dan Savage to (a) be invited to deliver the keynote address to a collection of high school newspaper and yearbook editors and (b) to exploit the occasion to berate any evangelical students in attendance strike people like me as discordant and bizarre. It is, alas, perfectly banal.

                So, various people’s liberties are at stake (due to the operations of the courts), a redistribution of recognition is being effected (by haut bourgeois whose motives are rather murky and appear to be utterly fashion driven), and people are continually being pestered in various sorts of venues by various sorts of parties and up pops Burt Likko to tell the world that they cannot respond in any way here because it’s not respectful (while pretending something other than the substance of the issue is the problem).

                Now, you’ll notice his link to ‘comments policy’ refers to ‘slurs’. The term which has his knickers in a twist is ‘deviant’, which is not a colloquialism nor is it applied to any discrete social sector to the exclusion of any other sector. (The connotation is vaguely clinical, which may explain why he launched into a marginally relevant discussion of APA manuals and the like). It does presume a behavioral norm ascertained sociologically or in some other way and it does carry an implicit evaluation of those outside the norm. Is it your contention that Burt Likko and the rest of the moderators never evaluate anyone? (‘Cuz Dan Savage sure does).

                Now, the issue under discussion as it has played out in public fora does tell us, in a murky sort of way, how professional people (especially lawyers) look upon the surrounding society and the societies of previous era. It does tell us something about how inhabitants of a particular subculture look upon themselves and others and what they fancy they are due from those others (which appears to be an emergent property dependent on how people respond at various stages). It does, in a very murky sort of way, tell us something about the interaction of these two subcultures – i.e what one gets from the other.

                So, now you’re irritated that I refer to the stance in question as ‘puerile’. Maybe that would be a more appropriate term for crybully bakery customers. What works better? “Bogus” perhaps?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                “Not much free rent space in people’s heads”
                … so, um, you’re over five hundred years old?
                People have been talking about monks having a paradise where they can shtup each other for at least that long. (we have written records, dude!)Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Dan Savage sure is showing up in this comment a lot all the sudden, despite literally no one mentioning him before. Weird.

                Everyone else:
                I sorta figured out Art Deco wasn’t who I was assuming he was(1), a sort of ‘philosophical classic liberal that trusts neither side, and sometimes veers into anarchy’, a short time ago.

                For me, it was when he decided to support voter suppression in the form of voter ID, which either indicated he was either extremely unserious as a political thinker and buying the Republican party line (Which was completely at odds with his previous dislike of the GOP, which he thought almost as poorly of as the left.), or…well…he thought certain types of people shouldn’t be able to vote.

                At the time, I assumed it was the first thing, that he had stupidly fallen for some internet meme or something and just hadn’t done any research. All that meant was he wasn’t as clever and above politics as he pretended. (A sin shared by almost everyone, including me.)

                …but his open dislike of homosexuals makes me look back at his ‘voter ID’ position a…bit more harshly. He’s sorta entered my ‘warning, might be a bigot’ list when reading his comments.

                This is not to say that he shouldn’t be allowed to *be* here (Well, as long as he doesn’t use slurs and stuff.), but it’s going to result in me, and people like me, not really taking him seriously when he veers into certain areas.

                1) I originally typed ‘who he said he was’, but, honestly, he probably didn’t describe himself that way, and even if he did, people are usually pretty bad at describing themselves politically.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I see I’ve got some more rent-free space.

                My viewpoints are plainly stated and have no esoteric aspect at all. Still, if it helps you feel better, go for it. No skin off my nose.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I see I’ve got some more rent-free space.

                Some of us actually contribute cash money to keep the doors open to this site, Art. Not that that effects the principled point you’re making…Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Art,
            Can you tell me why heterosexual men use public restrooms for sexual relations?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Yes, Art, it is.
        But the best way to get the trannies to shut their yaps is to give them what they want.
        Then they’ll just . go . away.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          Then they’ll just . go . away.

          Been tried. Doesn’t work.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          @kim — Well, there are a lot of different “trannies” — by the way, that’s a slur you know. I say it here and there, the same way a black person might say the n-word. But all the same, choose carefully. What you say reflects on who you are.

          Anyway, blah.

          There are a lot of us. Some of us are like super gender warriors who want to smash capitalism by freaking the gender binary. Imagine the people who think Judith Butler is insufficiently radical. They use “queer” as a verb.

          They won’t shut up. Even if you gave them what they want, whatever that might be, they won’t shut up. They’re young and crazy and queering radicalism TO THE MAX!

          But on the other hand, no one really listens to them much. They have little power. You won’t hear from them if you don’t want to.

          Unless you work at a university, I guess. But even then, this shit gets blown out of proportion. It seems mostly misreporting by idiotic right-wingers who want fuel for their persecution complex.

          The point is, though, gender radicals are not trans people in general. These laws we are talking about, they target all trans folks, regardless of our politics or social attitudes. For example, I’m a moderate liberal who believes in a mixed economy approach. I’m hardly a “radical.” I’m certainly nothing like a “cultural Marxist” or whatever. People who say I am are not ready for the grown-up table.

          But all the same, I pee sometimes. In fact, sometimes it happens when I’m in a public place. For example, I bopped around Manhattan this weekend, a friend and I — cuz we deserve to travel just as every American can travel. So we went to museums, restaurants, bars, and so on. I used the women’s room.

          Which, duh.

          All this panic about trans folks is garbage spread by idiots and bigots. They’re just clueless ninnies. We should see them as such. We should mock them until they feel sufficiently embarrassed and then go hide.

          But then, now everyone is up in arms and tons of gap-toothed rednecks are putting out videos on YouTube and Facebook threatening to murder us. It’s kinda disgusting and scary and awful and totally fucking unnecessary the right-wing created this mess with their paranoia and hate.

          I’m supposed to travel to Central Florida in a couple weeks. I might skip the trip. (At least it wasn’t North Carolina.)

          Blah.

          Anyway, this happened.

          The “politics” of Stonewall were really simple: the gays wanted to drink and dance and meet and fuck without dealing with the mob or cops or payoffs or police raids. They wanted the NY state liquor board to approve gay dancing establishments, which it did not, which was why Stonewall was run by the mob, which required payoffs to the cops, which led to the occasional raids, which led to the gays being abused and arrested and assaulted and (sometimes) raped.

          They were also kinda sick of the blackmail rings, and wanted the cops to have their backs, which the cops did not.

          Did “giving them what they wanted” shut them up?

          Well no, cuz AIDS came and they also didn’t want to die in massive numbers while Ronald-fucking-Reagan (spit when you say his name) ignored them.

          And then employment rights and military service and marriage and full civil life.

          Cuz what the poor-faggot-queens at Stonewall could imagine was so much less than what full dignity calls for. That took decades to reach.

          At the time the Mattachine Society was active. They of course could not stand the Stonewall flamers. Instead, they were “respectable gays” who kept their heads down and mouths shut.

          The point is, the riots at Stonewall were fucking justified, cuz no one listened to the simpering Mattachine wimps.

          So what should we do if the ignorant gap-toothed fuckers in North Carolina come for us? Cuz the “gender outlaws” are politically naive and kinda silly — BUT THEY ARE MY FUCKING SISTERS, and in this we are all together.

          And that is that. The fact is, the people who hate us are monsters, true bigots, awful people. This is not “reasonable disagreement”. It is about human dignity and our right to participate in America.

          Like, I’m a fucking citizen assholes. Get that.

          Cuz I’ll fight for it.

          It seems as if a lot of people are on our side, which is gratifying. Things have changed much. They will change more.

          They will change because we are correct. Our stories are compelling and true. But mostly, we will win cuz over time hate reveals itself. It’s so ugly.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    NC: “extent to which Corporate America has become a friend to the left” Of course they have. Corporatism benefits them. It’s not about the politics, it’s about the power, the regulatory capture, and the nature result of less competition, ie more profit. That’s the sole driver.

    Star Trek: Wow. Just wow!Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I’m sure corporations appreciate GOP support with regulatory issues, but why they would assume that would translate to support for GOP social issues escapes me.

    Business has to keep their employees, customers, and investors happy. The % of those three populations who would seriously be unhappy with the stance against such moves is, for most businesses, pretty small.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      but why they would assume that would translate to support for GOP social issues escapes me.

      We might suggest that business groups abstain from intervention.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        Why would businesses weigh in on regulatory issues that they think are good/bad for business but not weigh in on social issues that they think are good/bad for business?Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          More importantly, what are their sincerely held religious beliefs?Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          Somehow I don’t think productivity and efficient allocation are enhanced by laws which subject you to court suits (i.e. supervision by verbose and argumentative legal professionals) for exercising your discretion in hiring, promotion, firing, fixing your custom, or contracting for supplies.

          While we’re at it, I tend to doubt either are advanced by eliminating public men’s rooms and public ladies rooms.Report

          • Avatar Francis says:

            Oddly enough, voters in this country have decided that there’s more to being a business than productivity and efficient allocation of resources.

            I’m not sure where such a libertopia may be found. Peter Thiel talks about sea-steading, but liberty and boats seem a poor mix to me.Report

          • Same-sex marriage simplifies things for them: no more decisions about how ton handle domestic partner benefits. You get the same spousal benefits as opposite-sex couples, or, if you’re not married, you get nothing at all. That’s the simples, though hardly the only, case of “The government has decides this so we don’t have to”. And a single anti-discrimination regime is simpler for a large company than many state and local ones, just as a single set of anti-pollution regulations is.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              Same-sex marriage simplifies things for them: no more decisions about how ton handle domestic partner benefits.

              Up until about 1996, no one had any decisions to make about ‘domestic partner’ benefits. You mean we need a social innovation to clean up the mess left by your lot’s last social innovation?Report

          • Avatar Mo says:

            You don’t think the social environment has an effect on hiring firing and promotion? Employees take into account where they may be asked to work. If an employer said, “We’ll hire you and pay you $X (where $X is more than I asked for), but you have to work in KSA,” I would respond, “Thanks, but no thanks.”Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              You mean we need to muck about with customary practice (and associated local ordinances) regarding public bathrooms because someone would rather not work in a curious and inhospitable Arab country?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I can kind of see how and why social conservatives can be flabbergasted by business people and corporations not supporting social conservatism. For most of American history, business people have been some of the leading advocates of social conservatism in addition to full throttled capitalism. Ford was a passionate advocate of small town American values. The early Hollywood moguls explicitly advocated small-c small town conservatism in many of their movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age. They kind of went along with segregation and sexism with very few companies getting behind Civil Rights and feminism the way they are getting behind LGBT rights. Its really only recently that business people adopted a more socially liberal worldview.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        For most of American history, business people have been some of the leading advocates of social conservatism in addition to full throttled capitalism

        The reason that the Progressive Era got its political feet underneath it with the ability to change things is because middle class people thought that Capitalism was causing too much of a drift from good old fashioned Christian values.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          That was a century ago. Let’s talk about living memory. For most of my life, business has been largely controlled by social conservatives or seen to be controlled. Many older businesses are. It seems that newer industries like tech are more willing to be for parental leave than say businesses controlled by the Koch brothers.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            Oh, we’re talking living memory. I thought you said “most of American history”? Unless you’re a lot older than I thought you were.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            For most of my life, business has been largely controlled by social conservatives or seen to be controlled.

            Exactly how many people do you know who “control” businesses? That “seen to be” is doing an awful lot of work in that sentence.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            That was a century ago. Let’s talk about living memory. For most of my life, business has been largely controlled by social conservatives or seen to be controlled. Many older businesses are. It seems that newer industries like tech are more willing to be for parental leave than say businesses controlled by the Koch brothers.

            …no. Just, really, no.

            First of all, being for or against parental leave isn’t exactly the same as being for or against parental leave *laws*. There have been companies that refuses to offer such leave, thinking it would leave them at a competitive disadvantage, but would be fine with a *law*, because if everyone had to do it, it would be fine. Likewise, there are companies that offer it, but don’t push for a law about it, as they see it as an advantage that they provide that and their competitors don’t.

            Perhaps more to the point, when did ‘parental leave’ became non *social* conservative? Parental leave is one of those issues where the *social conservative* arm of ‘conservatives’, which should be *in favor* of it, have been overriden by the *economic* conservative side.

            Business owners often are conservative…*economic* conservative. They want less regulation of their industry, less worker rights, whatever. They don’t give a damn about social issues. (And this is an huge generalization that is quite possibly not even true…but at least it’s a *believed* generalization, vs. them being ‘socially conservative’.)

            Businesses *themselves* are often cesspools of old boys club, but it’s less ‘social conservativism’ and more ‘good old fashion racism, sexism, and sexual harassment’ at the top. And *presumably* such individuals are socially conservative…except that I have actually been describing the 80s, and now such people take care to make sure that isn’t done in the open or they will be *fired* if it comes to the attention of the higher-ups, and almost all corporations are taking great care to *present* themselves as non-discriminatory even if it’s a complete lie internally.

            What you have apparently run across is some sort of observational bias. There have been some *very loud* conservative business owners during the ACA…although, again, that was generally *economic* conservative stuff. (Remember the owner of Papa John’s warning how pizza prices would go up 14 cents with the ACA?)

            Even the Koch brothers don’t seem to be doing anything *as owners of their business*, as opposed to doing it as generic rich people…and the Koch brothers are not socially conservative anyway. (Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t that socially liberal, either. Let’s call them socially centrist.) And the Chik-Fil-A owner might actually be socially conservative, but I don’t seem to recall *Chik-Fil-A* lobbying for anything.

            The sole ‘business itself being used to argue for a socially conservative position’ I can think of would be Hobby Lobby owners. (Oh, and a bunch of completely microscopic wedding-related businesses.)Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              Koch brothers are so socially conservative that you’d have a hard time finding Republicans to defend their social conservatism.

              I don’t hate them for their politics.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Do you have any evidence of that?

                David Koch has repeatedly supported gay marriage and LGBT rights. Charles has, as far as I can tell, remained silent.

                Now, there is a rather large disconnect between what they say their beliefs are, and what is going on in their huge web of money. There are plenty of very socially conservative organizations that they help fund.

                So, basically, the Koch brothers don’t care. They think the opposition is pointless and sorta stupid and a war that is over (The same beliefs as a lot of younger Republicans.), but have no objection to their pro-Republican entities using it to get Republicans elected, so they can get lower taxes.

                This does not make them good people…in fact, it quite possibly makes them *worse* people, as they’re funding bigotry *to get people elected*, instead actually believing it. At least those who *believe* it have some excuse.

                But my point was not that they were good people, it’s that ‘business owners’ do not tend to be socially conservative as some sort of general statement, and in fact that’s rather odd assumption, vs assuming they tend to be *economically* conservative…which is probably not true, it’s observer bias based on a few very loudmouth people. But it at least makes sense as an assumption.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Yes, but I’m not about to share it online.
                And I wasn’t talking “culture war” social conservatism, as you might have guessed from how I put it above.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          That seems like a revisionist take. While a certain set of Protestant values animated some Progressives and some aspects of the Progressive movement, it didn’t animate all or even most of it. A lot of middle class people were just as concerned as too much corporate control over areas that did not relate at all to Christian/Protestant values like mines, railroads, electricity, oil, etc. While consumer culture, mass entertainment, and modern social habits like dating were starting and causing a moral panic, the moral panic took until after the Progressive Era ended to reach fever pitch and the new media driving it did not become really big until well into the Progressive Era.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        For most of American history, business people have been some of the leading advocates of social conservatism in addition to full throttled capitalism.

        Who? And in comparison to what other occupational sector?Report

      • The early Hollywood moguls explicitly advocated small-c small town conservatism in many of their movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

        That was protective coloration, to disguise the fact that so many of them were Jews from big cities. (It went hand in hand with making anyone with an even slightly ethnic name take a WASP-sounding one.) And also what they thought their customers wanted to see.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Which is part of the irony I have noticed, that the most ardent promoters of historical myths are the ones who didn’t really partake of hem.

          The Muslims longing for a Caliphate, western conservatives longing for a restoration of the Golden Age- most of these people never really experienced life as they wish it were.

          The people who created the mythical Golden Age of Americana- people like Hollywood moguls, Walt Disney, Frank Capra, and Ronald Reagan didn’t really live it either. Most of them lived lives that would not have fit in with the Golden Age.

          Their America was more a reflection of their own aspirations and dreams, rather than a reflection of what was.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco says:

            western conservatives longing for a restoration of the Golden Age-

            You’d benefit from learning the distinction between people’s actual objects and your own caricatures of those objects.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      @oscar-gordon

      I imagine that for a long time, the GOP was just used to business people who either only cared about regulatory issues and taxes and/or were also socially conservative. The GOP does not seem to know how to deal with companies like Salesforce, Netflix, etc that think the welfare state and parental leave are in their self-interest or who care about climate changeReport

  4. Avatar notme says:

    UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, will cut its participation in public health insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen for this year.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITEDHEALTH_ACA_EXCHANGES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-04-19-09-14-34Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The first two Star Trek television series were both rooted in some form of liberalism like the article pointed out. The Original Series was based on Cold War liberalism in its insistence on clear moral distinction and scientific utopianism. The Next Generation on Post-Vietnam liberalism because it sees things as mucky and complicated and is more skeptical of science and technology. Abram’s problem is that he is trying to capture the spirit of Star Trek but make it apolitical to gain the biggest audience in these partisan times. You really can’t do that. Star Trek has always been one of the more openly political franchises. Trying to depoliticize Star Trek does not work because politics is its foundation. The Federation is the United Nation on a galactic level.

    Since Star Trek’s politics always leaned liberal, the politics of modern franchise would probably be something like the Next Generation because most current liberalism is skeptical of intervention to varying degrees. There would be some problem threatening the Federation that people are more scarred of than they should be. This threat would be violent but would also have some real grievance against the Federation. The role of the Enterprise would be to stop the threat to the extent necessary but not go all out gung-ho in destroying it. Some members of the Enterprise would take this threat more seriously than others while some would say it is our fault and take blame.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      No, if we wanted to do modern liberalism we would have sleeper agents in the Federation who rise to positions of power (remind you of anyone in particular?)Report

  6. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    “The biggest problem with #NeverTrump remains Ted Cruz. The biggest problem with #LoseWithCruz remains Donald Trump.”

    Well put. As much as the set consisting of liberals plus those right-leaning but afraid Trump will keep some of his promises (which would be unprecedented for a politician) would prefer Trump not win the nomination, the alternative is Ted Cruz, a man who is to the right of even the vast majority of Republican primary voters, whose greatest accomplishment in life is actively and aggressively failing to govern (His orchestrated government shut-down has personally affected me, my family, and several colleagues in ways that no one should ever be affected by petty party politics, and all just to childishly make a point. Shame on him.), and worst – someone not a Texan in any way pretending to be a Texan. In the words of my forebear: If I owed Texas and hell, I’d rent out Texas and live in hell.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      whose greatest accomplishment in life

      He’s 45 years old, married, with children, and married to a woman who certainly had other options. He managed to build a career in electoral politics for himself in Texas at age 42 on a platform of having been a 2d echelon official in the Attorney-General’s department. He did that by traveling all over the state speaking to small groups. He did that in defiance of Gov. Perry. No one gave any opponents divorce records to the newspapers. He gave up a lucrative law partnership to enter politics. He’s argued before the federal Supreme Court umpteen times. He was a clerk to the Chief Justice. He slogged through Princeton and Harvard Law School, worked on the side, was a busy participant in competitive forensics, made the law review, and graduated with honors. He cut enough of a figure that Robert George and Alan Dershowitz remember him decades after the fact, and remember him for his intellect.

      The occupational profile is much more suggestive of a Democratic pol than a Republican one, which is curious.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      “…whose greatest accomplishment in life…”

      Compared to a woman whose main achievement has been riding coat tails until failing a party nomination, who then is given the plumbest cabinet position and a chance to shine, but fails miserably(Russian reset, Lybia) and is being seriously challenged by a Socialist for the same nomination this year, to which was supposed to be an inauguration.

      Real crop of winners this year, no?Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Re: Star Trek, where the piece discusses transition from TOS to movies.

    You can make the case (and DS9 hand waved at this in its own Tribble episode) that the Klingon Empire was under control of a different political faction during the TOS years (whose ruling class did weird things like cosmetic surgery to make them look more human). Basically the difference between Nazis and Germans.

    I also always thought the ‘racist’ comments made by the Klingons were a bit arch and 4th wall breaking wink at the audience. I had no idea Roddenberry objected. (when as even the article points out, the franchise had been going in that direction under his leadership with first seasons of TNG)

    Insurrection is just terrible on every front, and directly contradicts what everyone did in a TNG episode with the same setup. And I have no idea what the article is talking about with a second JJ Abrams Star Trek movie? They let him make a Star Trek movie as a warm up for Star Wars, then he moved on to Force Awakens, right? (I wonder though if Lucas will let Abrahms make any movies that take place before A New Hope. It’s a mystery why Lucas never made any himself while he was still in charge)Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      I think the author misses the point of the theme of the rapprochement with the K’s. I don’t think they were saying the K’s are now cool dudes but that if you want peace you need to leave behind hatreds. If the future is going to be better the pains of the past need to be left behind. That doesn’t’ mean those pains may not have been valid or that the new friends are all sparkly and good. It’s not relativism, its how people work and live.

      TNG was plenty content with criticizing the K’s and the way they lived. But TNG also took the PD seriously as a thing to be believed and that means letting people live the way they wish even if it seems unwise in many ways. This is the Insurrection deal he talks about and misses the point. But Insurrection was terrible indeed in many ways so its hard to draw to much from it.

      And of course Roddendbery had many faults as a writer and creator. Left solely to him ST would never have been successful.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Yeah Insurrection was hideously terrible.Report

  8. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Does anyone here know anything about this lawsuit? It looks like a very last minute suit alleging that many Democrats in New York have been fraudulently un-registered ahead of the primaries.Report

  9. Avatar greginak says:

    RE: the use of bathrooms by transgender folks. New court ruling. More grist for the mill and related to the discussion upthread.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/04/19/sex_discrimination_is_trans_discrimination_4th_circuit_holds_in_bathroom.htmlReport

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      So what does this mean? Do any of our legal experts want to weigh in?

      (I don’t trust Slate to tell me what it means.)

      At the heart of the 4th Circuit’s ruling is a single provision of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. Title IX bars sex discrimination, which the agency interprets to encompass gender identity discrimination. Federal courts must defer to “reasonable” agency interpretations of the law. So the 4th Circuit explored the concept of “sex,” noting that “a hard-and-fast binary division on the basis of reproductive organs” is “not universally descriptive.” Rather, dictionaries in use when Congress passed Title IX defined sex as “the sum of the morphological, physiological, and behavioral peculiarities of living beings … that is typically manifested as maleness and femaleness.” The complexity of sex, combined with this qualifier (“typically”), indicates that “sex” encompasses the gap between the binary, and the broader concept of gender identity.

      We’ve been saying this for a while, but the reality is that sex/gender is complicated, and people want to think simple thoughts. I’m glad the courts agree, but this all feels so precarious.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        It’s statutory interpretation. The 4th Circuit needed to determine what sex means. Courts have a wide variety of tools to do this including how to determine Congressional Intent as to what sex means. The court found a bunch of dictionaries from when Title IX was passed and found that the dictionaries had a wide-variety of definitions for sex. Hence, Congressional Intent must be for more than birth sexual organsReport

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          @saul-degraw — Yeah, I got that. My question is more procedural. How binding is this? The whole US? Just a few states? What higher courts need to review this? How does that work? Does NC have to comply? When? How? Can they just give up federal funding? Does it have any implications outside of schools? Etc.?

          I mean, I don’t expect a big-huge book-size civics lesson, but a summary would be nice.

          As I said, this all feels tenuous. Our enemies won’t take this lying down. So what should I expect?

          If someone wants to take the time, of course. 🙂Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            Currently the ruling applies to states in the 4th Circuit. If the case goes to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court upholds this decision, it will apply to the entire United States.

            Your state is in the 1st District. What should be noticed us the 4th Dustrict is or was more conservative than average.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              So according to the wikipedia, the 4th is both Virginias, both Carolinas, and Maryland. Okay, so this means that the North Carolina will get challenged on those parts of HB2. However, if I’m reading this correctly, this ruling only allows the student in Virginia to sue under title IX. It does not mean that he will win his suit, although the Obama administration has backed the notion that title IX’s gender protections indeed should extend to transgender people.

              So I guess this is a small shot in a big fight.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Also this says nothing about adults in public buildings. I still cannot use a NC airport, for example. (Since my chance of passing through an airport without needing to pee is basically zero.)

                I wonder to what degree airports are governed by federal law?

                (I should know this, being that I basically work on airline software.)

                Anyhow, that said, their accepted definition of sex/gender is profoundly important. Hopefully this will set a sound and thoughtful precedent.

                Gender and sex are complicated, people. That shit you learned in tenth-grade biology, that’s all true, but only a small part of the picture.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              It also becomes persuasive authority in other jurisdictions.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          It also seems to me at first glance that a different presidential administration could lead to a different interpretation and the courts would defer to that, too.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            Which is precisely why it’s such an awful decision. The head of OCR is a fanatic with a number of questionable ideas. The fact that this particular instance of her extreme interpretations of Title IX appear to work in favor of the trans community doesn’t make it good law. Wait until these agencies are run by conservatives (which they inevitably will be again one day) with their own wild interpretations of the law. Suddenly the deference here won’t seem so enlightened.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              Is the agency interpertation coming out of Justice or the Dept of Ed? I thought it would be the latter

              Edit nevermind, I didn’t realize that DOEd had an OCR too.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                It does and historically it’s been a pretty obscure institution. The reason it’s gotten more attention lately is because of the threats to sanction public universities who don’t enact the extreme measures it recommends related to sexual violence on campus. Litigation has started to bubble up on that issue as well.

                These are important decisions that shouldn’t be left to the whims of unelected bureaucrats. I see this holding as a dereliction of duty by the 4th Circuit.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            Well, obviously I’d rather have a federal law that unambiguously supported trans people. However, we don’t have that now. Nor was that a live possibility back when Title IX passed (to say the least). So what should we do? Certainly we make progress in some states, while getting our dignity undermined in others. It’s all rubbish and hogwash and terrible hate. Forty (or so) years ago, many of these same states passed laws basically supportive of us, given the standards of the day, before the right-wing got a taste of the culture wars — this was all pre-Reagan, even pre-“southern strategy.” So anyway, it took time for people to learn to hate us.

            All the same, I’m not only transgender. I’m also bisexual. So yeah, they would find some way to hate me regardless.

            (It’s interesting to read about Lou Sullivan. He was a transgender man — meaning FTM — who sought medical transition, but was denied care on account of the fact that he liked men. In other words, the doctors would give him the medical support, but only if he landed in a place where he loved women. That he loved men meant, in the eyes of the doctors, that they would be “creating a homosexual.” They refused.

            No really. This happened. In the 1970’s. It’s bizarre. He transitioned anyhow, cuz it turns out you can take testosterone even if a doctor does not approve. He went on to contract AIDS in the early 80’s, like many in the gay community. One of his final comments, “They wouldn’t let me live as a gay man, but now I get to die as one.”)

            So Title IX — the thing exists. It clearly intends to give a fair shake to people in education, despite their gender. Should it protect trans folks now? Is the Obama administration correct to make this interpretation?

            If you were a defense attorney in Iran, and you found a really weird interpretation of Iranian/Islamic law that might save a gay person’s life, even if you found that legal interpretation kinda wonky, would you try to make the case?

            I would.

            But yeah, Title IX has always been a bit of a clusterfuck. On the whole I approve of its intentions. But gender and sexism and cultural shit is hard, and laws to attempt to govern this stuff will always run up against weird social bullshit. All I can say is, this stuff is hard because it is hard. Saying “this law is gross” assumes that society was ever perfectible.

            The absence of the law was also gross. That said, there is always room for improvement in this kind of stuff.

            But then, there are many who want to scuttle these laws and return to full-on-horrid-sexism and call this thing “improvement.” Let us see that for what it is.

            My point, if you want to improve Title IX, then suggest improvements. Be specific. If those “improvements” sound like, “hey let’s just return to all the sexist bullshit of the past,” then you might find your ideas criticized on those terms.

            All the same, the idea that Title IX applies to trans folks is a stretch. Sure. Yeah. Obviously.

            I’ll take it. We’re good people who deserve good lives. We suffer enough cuz bullshit, and hate, and bigotry, and garbage, and small-mindedness, on and on. It’s awful. Stop it, by any means.

            But yeah, once we stop the bleeding, sure, let us work for better laws. Let us clarify. Let us ensure. Let us set up a system where even if the haters take power they cannot hurt us.

            Let us work together for that. I totally agree.

            I assume that is what you meant.Report

        • The 4th Circuit needed to determine what sex means.

          Geez, lawyers can take the fun out of anything.Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        @veronica-d Holy crap. This could be bigger (more nationally explosive, anyway) than Obergefell v. Hodges … right?

        (calling @burt-likko, resident Supreme Court expert… )Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          Less than you might think, and I doubt that it will be bigger than Obergefell. It isn’t really about the Constitution, is why.

          The case is styled G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board. It looks to me like it turns on something analagous to Chevron deference: the Department of Education has adopted an interpretation of the term “sex” as used in Title IX that embraces identified gender rather than biological sexual organs for determination of an individual’s “sex” and thus access to facilities within and appurtenant to schools. (It’s not actually Chevron deference, which applies to Federal Courts, it’s deference to Federal statutory interpretation as applied to state agencies under Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997), but the mechanism is identical: so long as the Federal agency has adopted a reasonable interpretation of a term not at odds with the overall statute or some other clear expression of Congressional intent, that interpretation is binding).

          So G.G., a transgender boy, gets to use the boy’s room (as he prefers) rather than is required to use the girl’s room (as the district would have ordered pursuant to a state law). But note that this is the case so long as the Department of Education continues to use the current interpretation of the word “sex”: a new President will appoint a new Secretary of Education, who could offer a different interpretation of the phrase.

          It’s difficult for me to understand all the consternation about where people go to whiz these days. But toilets are the new political football, I guess — that’s just the small-fingered state of contemporary politics.Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            Oh, I see. I get confused about the scope of Title IX since I didn’t grow up here and was astounded to discover how wide its scope is in a college setting.

            Still, if it went to the Supreme Court, it could possibly get not just the “who gets to decide” but also “what the definition is” into wider law? Or would they be incredibly unlikely to reach that far out?Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              I doubt it — there are other doctrines that (if the Court follows them) require it to decide a case on the narrowest grounds needed to resolve the issue. So if statutory interpretation (“Title IX” is a short informal name for a statute that actually has a much longer name than that) is sufficient to completely dispose of a matter, then SCOTUS ought not to offer an interpretation of the Constitution at all. Doesn’t mean that’s what they’ll do, necessarily, and the Nine have surprised me before, but I don’t foresee this case having the same sort of legs that it looks like you’re hoping for. Sorry to disappoint but that’s how I read it.

              What you can be optimistic about is that the wider, more fluid definition of “sex” currently in use appears to be one that the Courts are comfortable with adopting, one that seems to be getting nestled into the culture (with more discomfort in some quarters than others but that’s in the nature of these things) and that’s a very effective way that rulings like Obergefell and before it, Lawrence, get pre-integrated into the politics and law of the land with minimal political discomfort.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              “It’s difficult for me to understand all the consternation about where people go to whiz these days.”

              That’s because you’re a man, and therefore much less likely to be a victim of sexual assault in public.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @densityduck Assuming you didn’t intend to address me as I am neither a man nor the author of that quote. But since you did address me, nonetheless, I will write you back.

                As a woman who has experienced sexual assault, I get the fear factor, but aiming it at trans women or people pretending to be trans women in public is misplaced. (A list of my own misplaced fears, aka triggers, is nigh endless, so I don’t blame women for having this fear, to be clear.) there are zero documented cases of people pretending to be trans, or being trans, and attacking women in bathrooms – and meanwhile trans women have been physically assaulted for using the “wrong” bathroom. The case I am thinking of, the woman in question was not bigger than her attackers, either.

                My perspective on this is also colored by having been aggressively taken to task for being in the “wrong” bathroom when I was in the women’s (the one NC would want me in, and the one I am inclined to use). Multiple times in my life. Once so vigorously that I felt like showing off my junk was the only thing that would have satisfied the person. I don’t want to be at risk of being strip-searched or subjected to other indignities just because I need to use a public bathroom, and I don’t want my trans friends to go through it. I feel for rape survivors who have pain around this issue. I really wish there were more single-stall bathrooms with doors near public service desks, that everyone would probably be happier using anyway. But legislating against people using the bathroom they feel safest in, so other people can feel safer, is not the way to go.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                As I’ve said elsewhere, I agree that the best solution for all of it is single-user bathrooms.

                But it’s a bit thick to pretend like transphobic bigotry is the only possible reason someone might not want a biological male to be present in a women’s restroom. And it’s a bit weird to hear “oh woman, stop being such a silly freftul woman, whatever issues you have are yours and you just gotta Deal With It” coming from someone who isn’t a Horrible Republican Antiwoman Bigot.

                “there are zero documented cases of people pretending to be trans, or being trans, and attacking women in bathrooms ”

                I will happily give you a Google fight over that claim but maybe you can just accept that voyeurs sneaking into women’s restrooms is a thing that actually happens?Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                I distinguish between voyeurs (as horrible as they are, as upsetting as it is to deal with them), who are constantly sneaking in all over the place and having to be dealt with on a case by case basis… and physical sexual assault.

                Likewise, I wasn’t telling women to stop being silly or “fretful”, I was asking them to be realistic about their fears, and declaring that *as a woman and as someone who has experienced sexual assault*, I have found that being able to sort realistic from unrealistic fears is more useful than not. (As an example, it is far more likely that I would be assaulted on a metro – has happened – or a bus – has happened – than in a women’s or gender-inclusive restroom – where the only (not yet physical) attacks I have experienced were on suspicion of being trans. And yet, I still manage to use metros and buses and restrooms without panicking.)

                FWIW, I have found that HRABs really have no interest in telling me not to be afraid of things, or not to take my fears seriously – they are far more invested in taking women’s fears and amplifying them as much as possible to serve their own agendas.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Likewise, I wasn’t telling women to stop being silly or “fretful”, I was asking them to be realistic about their fears”

                You know, if someone proposed a scenario where one of us was saying “there’s an issue of personal safety and privacy for women here” and the other was saying “they should just be realistic about their fears, it’s on them to get over it”, I kind of wouldn’t expect you and me to be coming down on the sides we’re on.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                I don’t think “it’s on them to get over it” is a fair characterization of what I’m saying. I’ve been saying “passing a harmful law is not the way to help people who are in that unfortunate situation”. (Protip, if you want to slap a label on me, social anarchist or economically socialist/socially libertarian are going to be a lot more accurate than whatever one you were slapping on there before. My opinions don’t necessarily lie where you think they do.)

                Not to mention, I’m ALSO saying there are (more realistic) fears for women to have in bathrooms than that of being raped in them. For example the fear of being humiliated and verbally attacked – or even physically attacked – for not conforming to someone else’s idea of what a woman looks like. Which, again, is something THAT HAPPENS to cis women, trans women, trans men in women’s bathrooms, and just about anyone else subject to the over-inflated, media-hyped mass panic about the idea. (Incidentally this panic dates back to the 90s, it’s not some new backlash to recent forays into gender-inclusive bathrooms.)

                I do think the voyeur thing is a problem, but I also note that the case you mentioned is one where the guy was caught very quickly. Most voyeurs are either a lot more efficient / careful than he is (which is why they don’t get caught) OR being caught is part of the thrill. Anyone of any appearance who is acting bizarrely in a restroom (eg hanging out shoving their shopping bag into other people’s stalls) should be treated the same way, ie according to security protocols.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                I guess I’m not sure how to reconcile your two apparent theses:

                *If a woman encounters a man in the men’s restroom, there is a risk that he will attempt to rape her.
                *If a woman encounters a man in the women’s restroom, there is not a risk that he will attempt to rape her.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                “If a woman encounters a man in the men’s restroom, there is a risk that he will attempt to rape her.”

                Dude, I never said that. When did I say that?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Did I misread you when you wrote that “trans women have been physically assaulted for using the “wrong” bathroom”?Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                Yes. They have been physically assaulted (not raped) by WOMEN for using the purportedly wrong bathroom, ie the women’s bathroom.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Good grief people. First off, if you’re a man who routinely dismisses the concern of women regarding sexual assault in every other case, you don’t get to clutch pearls regarding trans women.

                Let’s be blunt here. Plenty of you guys are outright rape apologists in any other context, consistently taking the side of the accused man over any accusations by women. Except on this issue.

                This is fucking transparent, you bigoted rape-apologetic fucks. Cut it out. We see through you.

                Let me repeat. Unless you have consistently taken a pro-woman stance, in other politically complicated issue regarding sexual assault, then shut the fuck up about this.

                #####

                I don’t want to share a restroom with a man either.

                Let me repeat for those of you in the (intellectual) back. I don’t like have men in the restroom either. It’s weird.

                It happens, of course. It has happened to me, some dude wanders in the women’s room, like whatever. Blah. Creepy fucks.

                I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m pretty sure draconian legal solutions are not going to help.

                #####

                These anti-trans laws are deeply stupid. First, they would require that this person use a men’s room. Does that seem sensible to you?

                No just answer that fucking question. No dissembling. No dodging. Cuz that’s what the laws say.

                Will she be safe in a men’s room?

                Likewise this person would be in the women’s room. Nice.

                I don’t want to share the women’s room with that person. In fact, I consider that guy a complete douchepimple. (He’s really an asshole, it turns out.)

                (On the other hand, I’d love to meet Zinnia Jones, since she is literally the cutest person on the planet. Plus she once, long ago, convinced me to transition. No, true story. I sent her a long, rambling, oh-boo-hoo email about my gender shit, and she explain that I really could do this and should see a doctor about hormones. So I did. Yay Zinnia Jones!)

                Now granted, Zinnia Jones and Buck Angel are not “typical” or whatever. But so what? A woman is a woman. A man is a man.

                This is a more typical trans woman. Should she use the men’s room? (Note that picture was taken in a women’s room, so don’t panic if you are faint of heart. No one was hurt, I assure you.)

                Not every trans woman looks the same. Some have just recently begun transition, and thus don’t pass for shit. Others, due to the vagaries of genetics, will never pass for shit. On the other hand, some cis women have conditions like PCOS and get read as trans from time to time. The fact that someone doesn’t “pass” is just the way things are. We need to be grown-ups and decent people when dealing with this reality.

                #####

                In the past few months some male right-wing activists have stormed into women’s rooms trying to make a point — although to me that point is mostly that male right-wing activists are garbage. (I know of one recent case in Seattle, although there have been grumblings lately on Facebook, from the usual toxic suspects. I’m sure this will happen more.)

                What can we do about that? I suggest filming them and spreading their image around and letting their wives, families, friends, and bosses know they are creepy-mc-creepers invading women’s privacy.

                And the chips, let them fall.

                Likewise, from time to time a “big story” will hit the right-wing press about some “man in a women’s room” or an “aggressive transgender ‘man’ harassing a woman.” Except the story rarely pans out. It turns out to be an anti-trans activist making up bullshit. Be skeptical. Look for credible news sources.

                On the other hand, yeah, sooner or later something will happen. We are a nation of 300 million people, which means roughly 1.5 million trans people. Someone somewhere will do something bad eventually.

                Will any cisgendered white guys do something bad in the meanwhile? Should we ban you creepy fucks from — well — all of society?

                So we recently had one right-wing congressmen (or state senator or whatever) banned from a state congress building cuz he was sexually assaulting women, and then another big right-wing fuck in DC got caught being a fucking pedophile —

                — I mean, taking the odds, you’re safer around the average trans gal than around a male republican politician.

                (Does this surprise anyone?)

                Anyway, we’ve had laws protecting trans folks in MA and CA. Largely they cause no problems. But yeah, with all the attention, I expect that creepy cis bros will try some ugly stuff.

                Why should I pay for the behavior of terrible men?

                Film them. Spread the word. Let the world know how creepy that creepy men can be. Blah.

                But don’t blame that shit on me.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                This is fucking transparent, you bigoted rape-apologetic fucks. Cut it out. We see through you.

                I guess these aren’t slurs, so it’s all good (or respectful).Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Most men present in womens’ restrooms who aren’t cleaning them, are engaged in having sex, which may or may not be consensual.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Last time I encountered a man in a women’s room, he was loudly blowing his nose.

                No really. I was at the mirror doing makeup. Beside me, some cis women was doing her makeup. Some dude-in-a-suit, evidently cis, came in, grabbed a stack of paper towels, and began loudly blowing his nose. We glanced at him through the mirror. He continued. I gave the other woman a look. She shrugged. I continued with my makeup. She did likewise. He blew his nose more. Then he left.

                So I said to the other woman, “Well that was weird.” She agreed.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Rather randomly, a male relative of mine wandered into the wrong bathroom at a hospital. As he was leaving, a woman walked in and you could hear the “Oh!” and then said relative say “This is the wrong bathroom isn’t it” and then walk out.

                Everyone was mildly embarrassed, said relative was very apologetic, life moved on. (He wasn’t at the hospital to visit anyone, but for testing, and it showed. A two year old could have taken him, is all I’m saying).

                In the end, it’s moot. The purpose of this law has absolutely nothing to do with the sanctity of bathrooms anymore than DOMA had anything to do with the protection of married heterosexuals — or even the sanctity of marriage. It’s the law as a cudgel to bash the transgendered, because scaring conservatives to the polls about the evil gays just doesn’t work as well anymore.

                Unfortunately, it looks like the attempt to make transgendered the new gay in terms of “scaring the straights” is backfiring right out of the gate.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I suspect the purpose of the law is to short-circuit attempts by disagreeable lobbies to lay down their markers on public space and public patience.Report

  10. Avatar Autolukos says:

    All that momentum from the last few weeks is really helping Cruz and Sanders right now.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The fact that we’re having the bathroom debate so near the refugee debate allows for them to get all muddled.

    The problem isn’t the legitimate people. The problem is the bad actor pretending to be a legit person. Arguing against legitimate people in order to prevent the occasional bad actor is a dumb policy.

    Until, of course, something truly, truly awful happens.

    At which point everyone’s brains forgets stuff like cost/benefit analysis with attendant sub-discussions of risk, uncertainty, etc and immediately flies to risk aversion where the prevention and avoidance klaxons keep going off.Report