Linky Friday #172: Boom

Britain:

LeftLondon.jpg.CROP_.original-original[B1] Boom.

[B2] Britain has its own north-south divide when it comes to violent crime.

[B3] With land being scarce, London is building down. Germany, meanwhile, is burying the Autobahn.

[B4] A Japanese view of 19th century England, from someone who’s never been.

[B5] The decline of Rural England.

[B6] Murdered in Britain and outlawed the US s the apostrophe in danger? Matt Malady supports the genocide.

[B7] BBC looks at the courtship of US and British intelligence, which started in the 1940’s and is still going strong.

Europe:

frenchrevolutionarchive14[Eu1] Russian prisons are terrible. Here’s how you can get out. Well, how people other than you might, so you (like myself) would likely be hosed.

[Eu2] The Institute of Family Studies looks at a report from Germany on how depressing parenthood is for Germans. {maybe not.

[Eu3] What is it about fascism (and totalitarianism in general) that makes it so that they are really good at iconography?

[Eu4] I can’t sufficiently recommend this Kevin Simler piece on national borders explained, as he put it, as “agency in a hostile ecosystem.”

[Eu5] David Bell looks at some myths about the French Revolution. Some are more interesting than others, but #2 was the most interesting to me. Also interesting is the degree to which contraband smuggling might have been a cause of the French Revolution. And about 14,000 images of the French Revolution make me wish I was fluent in French.

Education:

EducationPostcard[Ed1] Boom.

[Ed2] While the University of Texas at Austin seeks diversity through affirmative action, Texas A&M went another route.

[Ed3] It turns out, giving away condoms may not be the best way to reduce teen births. At least, not without counseling.

[Ed4] Third grade? I didn’t learn cursive until the fifth, and that was back when it was a relevant skill.

[Ed5] Japan Times looks at the Japanese custom of having kids clean up the classroom. Note, however, that contrary to rumor they do actually employ custodians.

[Ed6] Here’s a helpful chart showing what people are majoring in. Increasingly, it’s not Comparative Folk Dancing.

[Ed7] Here are the eight strictest states when it comes to homeschooling. North Dakota, I’m disappointed in you. Also, a timeline of legislation.

Health:

barber[H1] Opioid control is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, addiction. On the other… enforcement.

[H2] Vaping is not just for nicotine. I am increasingly envisioning a future wherein I will be assuring police officers that my vaporizer has marijuana in it and not nicotine so leave me alone.

[H3] Some people may veer away from certain kinds of meat because of something called Boar Taint Sensitivity.

[H4] I’m not quite this bad off, because I have a diminished rather than absent sense of smell, but I can sympathize.

[H5] Ian Leslie explains The Sugar Conspiracy, wherein scientists who were trying to raise the red flag about the dangers of sugar was ruined for it.

[H6] Coffee reorganizes the brain! Quick! Regulate it! I’ll bet the flavoring they put in it is just to addict children.

Film:

orchestra[F1] No, CT May is wrong. Ghostbusters really was a good film, and holds up pretty well.

[F2] When it comes to movies, businessmen are always the villains.

[F3] Orange and blue are the new black, at least when it comes to movie posters.

[F4] I’ve seen the first 45 minutes of Frost/Nixon five times (movie day substitute teaching), though I’ve not yet seen the second half. I wondered why @dick_nixon objected to it so since I thought the characterization of Nixon was on the whole kind of affectionate. Turns out, I needed to see the second half.

[F5] Ever wonder what the real-life location of dystopian film scenes looks like? Atlas Obscura has you covered. Also: The fire station from Ghostbusters.

[F6] Introducing Y’allywood.


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Will Truman is a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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86 thoughts on “Linky Friday #172: Boom

  1. Who knows what will happen over the next two years but I wonder how history books will look at Brexit. Western democracies are suffering from a crisis of legitimacy due to decades of serving the elites at the expense of everyone else. I’d be surprised if voters dont find more ways to send the establishment the middle finger here and in Europe in the near future. Maybe this is the first piece of good news Donald Trump has had in the last couple weeks.

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  2. It’s amazing the number of leftists today that are very concerned about capital markets, like some kind of modern day JP Morgans.

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    • This is because leftists today are not, contra what one sometimes hears, a bunch of Marixst-Leninists seeking to overthrow capitalism. The vast majority believe in a mixed system where the capital markets are subject to regulation in order to avoid the worst excesses such markets are prone to, when given free rein. It is perfectly sensible for such people to be concerned about the capital markets.

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    • I’m really curious which leftists you keep talking to. I think maybe you’re running into a fringe and not realizing it.

      At least here in America, most leftists aren’t exactly socialists. They’re quite keen on markets, even if they think some things aren’t really a good fit for one.

      And certainly pretty much all of them realize a massive economic upheaval in either the UK or the EU will stress the US economy — which is a thing they realize exists and also affects them.

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      • Take this post by Erik Loomis in his (very good) series This Day in Labor History.

        Silver was discovered in Leadville in the 1870s, eventually making it one of the nation’s leading mining towns. In its first years, Leadville mines were generally unconsolidated, owned by the people who staked the claim. This did not change until the early 1890s, when capitalists began investing in the silver mines.

        (em added)

        Now I would also call those people that initially staked the claim and owned the mines “capitalists” by any definition of capitalist I am familiar with, but a tenured professor of history apparently thinks differently.

        I would also say most of the stuff written by League alums Freddie DeBoer and Elias Isquith around the net has a distinct view of “capital” and “capitalism” – and they’re not for it, nor the people that manage it.

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        • Loomis’s use of “capitalists” seems unremarkable to me. Yes, the guy who owns the barbershop down on Main Street is a capitalist in a sense. He has capital invested in his business, and can potentially sell the business to a different investor. But what people mean when they talk about capitalists is the system of raising large amounts of capital for large commercial organizations. Absentee investors in a mine are something different from grizzled guys with beards working individual claims.

          Yes, there have been regimes that have taken opposition to capitalism down to the level of the barbershop owner: off to the gulag! But this is pretty much entirely unrelated to what anyone in the U.S. within a day’s drive of the mainstream has in mind.

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  3. Well could be problematic for Britain and the EU both but on the optimistic side this could be just the smack in the chops the EU needs to motivate it to reform.

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    • One can hope. There does seem to be an undercurrent of resentment towards Brussels that (IMHO) has been largely treated as sour grapes or otherwise casually dismissed.

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      • Which is easy to do when you get your job by being in an administration that reports up to an executive who’s appointed by a committee of administrators in turn appointed by a committee of elected leaders from around the continent. They have too much oomph vested too far from any mechanisms of popular oversight.

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      • Pfff, anyone who looks at the E fishing U and says that it’s a heavily neoliberal organization is smoking some remarkable ganja.
        The EU moved towards an economic and currency unions in the hopes that when that began to produce problems it would incent an eventual policy and political union. Instead the problems have been dealt with using short term stopgaps and can kicking while the administration, such as it is, in Brussels has become an unaccountable sprawling nightmare. The Europeans are going to have to decide what exactly they want; a closer union or just a slightly beefed up free trade pact. This grey zone in between hybrid they currently have is getting past its sell by date.

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        • Neoliberals really, really like free trade. It makes them rich, and everyone else can go to hell.

          Thanks for the clarification, I can sort of see what you’re saying.

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          • In that it prevents wars, fosters easy movement of people and goods and prevents trade barriers yes the EU is neoliberal. In basically every other way it’s simply bureaucratic, corporatist or distinctly regulatory liberal.

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            • If neoliberal means anything (which it generally doesn’t), it’s a view that favors centralized, bureaucratic, managerial capitalism – and centralized, bureaucratic, managerial capitalism is *necessarily* corporatist, because those are the only organizations that can successfully navigate private ownership of capital goods with centralized, bureaucratic management.

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              • Neoliberal is a pretty squishy term, I grant, but your description appears backwards to my understanding of it.
                As I understand it neoliberalism is about letting markets do their thing in areas where markets work best, instituting government interventions in areas where government intervention works best and working very hard to be able to tell the difference. I doubt many neoliberals consider the administrative sprawl in Brussels to be anywhere approaching a good thing.
                Neoliberals are especially prone to being captured by corporatists, I agree, that’s one of the great weaknesses of their philosophical pragmatism.

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                • I’m using a different definition, for what it’s worth.
                  Neoliberals are the segment of the Powers that Be who profit off of free trade. It’s a loose coalition of pretty rich people who are the power and money behind a lot of people, media and politicians alike.

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    • Given it’s primary reform needs to be the equivalent of block grants to states so that it can make a unified fiscal policy work over a large geographic area, I doubt that’s going to happen.

      US fiscal policy occasionally screws one region over due to problems in another, but federal funds soothe the burn a great deal.

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  4. B1: What is interesting is that this was a truly split vote. Scotland, London, Northern Ireland, and some other cities voted to remain. Many die-hard Labour and Tory constituencies voted to leave. Despite the arguments of a few, many people seem to think the Nation State is the largest government entity that should be recognized.

    Eu2: I thought the study was that American parents were more depressed than parents in other countries because we can’t enact family-friendly policies like parental leave because businesses won’t like that.

    Ed6: Link doesn’t work. Can we stop with the basket weaving and comparative folk dancing jokes. Those are not real majors but you can study comparative folk dancing as part of anthropology which is a serious academic subject. I guess you are saying that it is Marketing Studies Uber Alles, long live the practical, who needs Shakespeare.

    F2: Is there a group that is more butt-hurt than rich business dudes or libertarians when people suggest that business and capitalism does not always help everyone or make the right decisions? Business people especially those in high positions and finance can make decisions that wreck havoc on everyone else. They seem ultra-jumpy and are so relentlessly focused on growth that stocks can tank in value when an earnings report said we made 800 million dollars in profit instead of 800.2 million dollars. And they can force decisions that are bad for people:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2016/05/12/3777607/darden-restaurants-payroll-cards/

    I would like to see the Economist make a movie about why the Olive Garden, Investors, and banks are the good guys in this situation. Same with the thousands of people who lost their jobs and homes because of Lehman Brothers and why AIG executives deserved their big bonus money.

    Yet you still have clueless people who demand nothing but adoration and an attitude that Capitalism can do no wrong. Laid-off factory workers should be happy about their situation because it is what the market wanted!!!

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  5. [H5]: I remember reading this when it came out. My two immediate reactions were:

    1. While Ludkin was right, it doesn’t mean that people like Adkins, Lustig and Taubes are correct. People touting low-carb diets have challenges of their own to overcome. Anecdotally, I can speak to my own experiences there.

    2. Everything I ever learned about nutrition I learned from bodybuilders and people that have trained them in that style, and given the results I’ve achieved, I don’t think I have to worry about the field of nutrition science to guide me. Hell, not a single one of you should. It’s not rocket science.

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    • I’m pretty sure that the nutritional needs of bodybuilders is not, in fact, all that relevant to the nutritional needs of non-bodybuilders.

      I mean you have an entirely self-selected sample, partially based on genetic quirks (I’d imagine most people that stick with bodybuilding are, in fact, people with the right bodies and genetics to do bodybuilding) who have a very particular and unusual exercise style, which includes a great deal more muscle mass than most people carry.

      How does that transfer to, oh, nutritional advice for a 40 year old teacher with PCOS and a regular anemia?

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      • Morat20:
        I’m pretty sure that the nutritional needs of bodybuilders is not, in fact, all that relevant to the nutritional needs of non-bodybuilders.

        I like this comment if only because it shows how people that don’t run in the same circles I do view bodybuilding. It’s all good and I have no issue with what you’re saying.

        If you define bodybuilders as the top-level competitors, then you’re absolutely right. In fact, it’s pretty well known that the last thing anyone that pursues this form of training as a means for fitness wants to do is take diet and nutrition advice from the pros. The genetics aside, the pros are taking ungodly amounts of drugs including steroids and insulin and both of those things dictate how much more they can train without their bodies breaking down and how they can eat like complete crap and still grow like weeds.

        When I say bodybuilders, I mean the number of people that are out there that write programs for the recreational/serious types like me that aren’t aspiring to compete and want to learn this style of training in order to advance goals. Those people can help just about anyone because there are some pretty well-established guidelines for different goals, with many being tried and true for decades, like a minimal level of protein intake. Where people end up on the fat vs. carbs spectrum will depend on the level of exercise. On training days, I tend to eat almost 200 g of carbs a day and 230 g of protein but recognize that someone that doesn’t train as intensely won’t need that much of either.

        Personally, I can’t comment on the nutritional piece that’s necessary for people to deal with medical issues, but assuming those things are accounted for, there are certainly some pointers I can give assuming someone wants to get physically active. That can apply to weightlifting as much as it does to HIIT and/or simply cardio. It’s just a matter of how things shake out.

        I hope that’s a good first pass at a response. It’s getting a bit late and I need to hit the gym. Always fun discussing this stuff with you.

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        • I’m interested in this topic because my goals are almost perpendicular, but equally removed from the concerns of most people. Like Jaromir Jagr, Kazuyoshi Miura, Ichiro Suzuki, and soon Tom Brady, I’m trying to stay competitive in my chosen sport through my fourth decade – admittedly at a rec-league level, but the challenges are much the same, only pitched lower. A full 90 on the soccer field (people born in the Americas have no real reason to use the word “pitch”) takes significantly more out of me than it used to. Strength and resilience are primary, bulk is not necessarily a positive.

          I only have a couple more years left before my body isn’t capable of remaining competitive – one of these days I’m going to have to double down on seriousness.

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          • From what I know about the nutritional needs of endurance athletes, which isn’t all that much but enough to be dangerous, I would think that a high carb, low fat, low protein approach is best. Running up and down a field for 90 minutes in the way you do is going to burn a significant amount of calories. I used to run 8 miles at a 9:00 mile pace once a week and I estimated by burn rate at 150 calories/mile.

            If you need 4,000 plus calories on a day that you play, there’s no reason to have more than 10% protein. 400 calories of protein = 100 grams. Unless you’re over 200 lbs, that’s probably a good amount.

            I agree. Bulk does you no good, but a good strength training program that translates to sports-specific performance may be something that can help prolong your playing (I’m guessing here since I don’t know more about your situation). At the very least, it could also help prevent injuries. You may be doing this already.

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  6. Eu5:
    Misogynistic journalists depicted her as a murderous, hedonistic, sexually insatiable lesbian plotting to betray the country

    Also, she murdered Cardinal Richelieu and ran a private email server.

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  7. Jordan Weissmann at Slate has a good analysis of how the Euro crisis caused the Brexit:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/06/23/how_the_euro_crisis_helped_fuel_brexit_fever.html

    “But the eurozone’s struggles strengthened the leave campaign’s arguments in some important ways. If the entire continent were booming, the idea of bidding the EU goodbye would probably seem absurd (Britain’s own economy would likely be growing a bit faster, too, easing some of those anxieties about immigration). But instead, it’s stagnating, with countries like Spain, Greece, and Italy looking like nothing so much as oversized unemployment offices.”

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  8. On Brexit, Donald Trump, the glut of lawyers, and Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option:

    The nature of work is changing, again. And there is not a damn thing anyone involved in the world economy can do about it.

    Humanity brought mechanization to agriculture and boy was that a big change.
    Humanity brought mechanization to the production of goods and boy was that a big change.
    Humanity is bringing mechanization to the production of services and boy is this a big change. Lawyers, accountants, architects, doctors (very slowly) … essentially every service requiring a graduate degree … are experiencing a surge in productivity. And at the other end, McDs is looking at improving productivity in food service.

    Every politician breathing is talking about how their ideas will bring good high-paying jobs to their constituents. And, to be blunt, they are all lying. No one knows how this is going to work out; humanity is too complex to be modeled. (Layer on a rapidly changing climate and anyone predicting the future is guessing.)

    In an environment where no one’s job is safe, it’s really not all that surprising that people promising a return to better days have a powerful resonant message. Trump may be a blowhard, but the next candidate or the one after that won’t be. Whether he’s a Democrat or a Republican, our next nationalist candidate will find an ever-growing pool of voters — from poor to upper middle class — ready to hear an anti-elitist, anti-trade message.

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  9. North:
    You should write an in depth post about what you learned about nutrition from bodybuilders.

    ,

    I’ve spent the last six months doing old-school bodybuilding routines. Over the past 10 weeks or so, through the same person, I dialed in my nutrition to match the training.

    Right now, I’m doing a two-week peaking program that could make for interesting post for a number of different reasons.

    Several times, I’ve contemplated being the self-appointed fitness and nutrition blogger here.

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      • Kazzy:
        Regio

        I’d read the crap outa that (especially if you were able to “dumb down” the science).

        What constitutes an “old-school bodt building routine”.

        Currently, I have a 1,500 word post on high intensity interval training that I’m editing and trying to finish. It’s my first long-form post in months.

        As far as my training splits, what I mean by old school is body-part splits (although old school could also be full-body workouts as done by the pre-Arnold generation.

        My split routine, at least for the next couple of weeks, is this:

        Monday: Legs
        Tuesday Push (Chest/Shoulders)
        Wednesday Pull (Back)
        Thursday: Bike Sprints
        Friday Legs
        Saturday Arms (bi’s/tri’s)
        Sunday: Sprints

        The leg workout I do on Friday is more volume oriented than on Monday so I”m not throwing around as much weight and I’m using more isolation work.

        Obviously, the triceps will get work on the push day and the biceps on pull day. However, I devote a day to arms. It’s usually 12-14 working sets for each group, generally at higher reps and short (30 second) rest periods.

        It’s been a hell of a learning experience, and anything I write on the subject would be accessible to anyone. There’s a lot out there written by strength coaches that goes over my head but I know what I know and continue to learn.

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        • Interesting. I guess I’ve been doing that sorta work out for most of my time weight lifting (about 12-13 years now?). The workouts themselves have changed and depending on what else I had going on in my life and my schedule, I sometimes did “two-a-days” but I’ve almost exclusively done isolation work. This year, I worked with a trainer to move away from that and am doing more HIIT and Cross Fit-style (though NOT Cross Fit). I *really* enjoyed the intensity and total-body-workout approach… several times the trainer had me in the bathroom dry heaving and I’ve been super impressed by how my body has responded… both in terms of overall strength and endurance AND in physique. However, I find them hard to keep up with especially without a trainer barking orders or shaking his head in disappointment. So at this point, I blend the approaches… when I have the time and energy, I’ll do a full trainer-designed workout. If not, I’ll either do a more traditional workout or I’ll blend the two… I’ll iso my legs but use some of the elements of HIIT.

          One of the things I really like about the approach he taught me is that I spend a lot less time sitting around between sets. I recognize that the rest between sets is integral to the workout but when you only have 40 minutes to hit the gym (and that includes getting inside, getting changed, and getting back out the door), spending 15 of those minutes not moving didn’t feel like the best use of my time. When I’m up to it, I can go balls out for about 30-35 of those minutes and then recover on the train ride home.

          But, yea, I’m all ears man! Looking forward to it.

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  10. George Will quits the GOP over Trump, saying “This is not my party.”

    Here’s an interesting response from a commenter at TPM:

    So after the Bush Administration, Sarah Palin, racism, homophobia and sexism, irrational gun nuts, nihilism, dismissal of science, peddling of bogus economic theory, tantrum throwing, government shut downs, the Tea Party, extreme disrespect toward our sitting president, obstructionism, poor bashing, voter suppression, bathroom bills, conspiracy theories, rampant misinformation efforts, scandal-mongering, shameless Benghazi witch-hunts, general dip-shittery, those fake ass duck call guys and Ted Nugent…

    …Donald Trump is somehow just a bridge too far?

    Sorry Will but this is what your party has been for decades. Congratulations on finally seeing it for what it is, I guess.

    I’m not sure I agree entirely with the analysis but will refrain from quibbling over details.

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  11. {{Ooops. This is a response to Trumwill just above.}}

    We’ve talked tangentially about this stuff a bit before but never really addressed it head on.

    Here’s my take, as I’ve said many times previously: Trump is sorta* the logical conclusion of GOP rhetoric and actions over the last twenty four years with a particular emphasis placed on the last seven and a half. Palin was a game changer, in my view, as was the Tea Party. (I’m silent on the fake ass duck call guys or even Ted Nugent, tho I love the ever-rising level of hysteria expressed in that particular comment.)

    That’s not to say – and I hope it isn’t construed as – I’m celebrating the dysfunction of the current GOP. I’m not. I wasn’t celebrating it prior to Trump, in fact, wishing for a more incrementally oriented GOP rather than the Cleek’s Law version (and etc!) we’ve come to know so well.

    That card-putting-on-table outa the way, how would you characterize the Rise of Trump in relation to the recent practices, rhetoric and actions of the GOP**? Do you see a connection there?

    *Only sorta since there really are no strict logical entailments in politics, only highly probablistic ones.

    **Note too that I’m not impugning conservatism in general in the above critique. THere are strains of conservatism I’m actually quite amenable to.

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    • I think every organization has its angels and demons. It’s a tug-of-war and sometimes the demons win. The demons have been winning a lot lately in the GOP (going back significantly before ’16). Trump represents a near-complete victory. Six months ago I thought if this happened, I’d just become a Democrat. What I’ve learned in the meantime that as far as a lot of Democrats are concerned, we’re all actually demons. Trump is bad, but everyone is really just about as bad as Trump it’s just that Trump is more obvious about it.

      Now, they’re not saying this to me, personally. But they don’t have to. I fit the description of demonhood close enough.

      Tom Van Dyke is convinced that those of us who are sticking with #NeverTrump are preening before Democrats for approval. Which is wrong. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong because the response from a bulk of Democrats has been “Haha no fuck you, your objections are insincere.”

      Well, pretty much what you cite above.

      If I was looking for approval, I’d actually do what Tom is doing and go ahead and sign on. But I actually can’t because Trump is really horrible. And, like, in a way that demonstrably worse than Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan. And the party lining up behind him is singularly awful. Like, awful in a way that is demonstrably worse than wanting to defund Planned Parenthood.

      All of these failings being so interrelated, to the point that objecting to one but not the other is insincere or that they proper response is F*U… well, okay, that’s a point of view I guess. But it’s one that indicates some pretty brown grass.

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      • Tom Van Dyke is convinced that those of us who are sticking with #NeverTrump are preening before Democrats for approval.

        That’s a very revealing observation, given the explanatory power of Cleek’s Law and all. TVD really ought to spend more time thinking about what he favors or supports, and less time in what he opposes and hates. The world would be a better place if TVD did that. TVD would be in a better place too!

        But seriously, if Democrats have so much power over conservatives that they’ll willingly support a narcissistic sociopathic lunatic just to not appear to be “preening” in Democrats eyes, then conservatism is in a way worse place than even I thought it was.

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        • Yes and no. As Schilling alludes to below, it taps into a long-standing fear of conservatives “turning” for personal benefit, social or financial. It’s overwrought, but as a product of O’Sullivan’s Law and basic market forces, it’s not entirely without merit. There is bank to be made if you’re a conservative who turned against conservatives. Every Democrats’ Favorite Republican. The equivalent of Even The New Republic.

          It’s not always easy to tell when a conversion is sincere or cynical. I’ve seen both. I’ve also thought it was one and then later saw it to be revealed as (or turned into) the other.

          What I think a lot of people trying to apply that dynamic here are missing is that there is no real payoff. Even the most cynical who turns now won’t be able to sell a book off it. There are just too many of us. Which in one way makes it easier because we’re not alone, but on the other leaves both sides thinking that it’s an opportunistic or insincere play.

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      • Tom Van Dyke is convinced that those of us who are sticking with #NeverTrump are preening before Democrats for approval

        True believers saying that about anyone who they see as breaking ranks is nothing new: I’ve heard it about Andrew Sullivan, John Cole [1], Charles Johnson [2], etc. Even John Roberts. It’s all about being invited to the right Beltway cocktail parties.

        So how come you never write about all those cool parties you get invited to now?

        1. As if he would preen for anybody.
        2. The LGF one.

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      • I feel for you, Will, I really do. A lot of prominent, or at least loud, conservatives will tell everyone within earshot that I’m literally associating with demons because I’m not a theist. And depending on what poll you listen to, atheists might or might not have a higher disapproval rating than Muslims – the ones that a major party nominee for President wants to put into camps.

        I realize that just because they’re loud doesn’t mean they’re representative. Hell, just this week we had a glorious example of just what real people think of their “opinion leaders”.

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        • This was always my wife’s issue. Despite being, on the whole, as conservative or more conservative than I am (though in different ways, she’s Rand Paul to my John Kasich), she’s never identified as a Republican because of the God thing. More specifically, how the religious of the GOP treat the irreligious and irreligiosity. That’s less of an issue for me because I haven’t renounced God or religion, and because my drift into the GOP primarily came through a non-Christian avenue, which just changes the dynamics.

          But yeah, anyway, identiconservatism is a big problem in the GOP, and certainly has played a role in where the party is today.

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          • Far from me to try to sound aggressive or glib or anything negative. And let it be known that you, Will, continuously do what I say below no one does.

            My problem is that when Palin, Cruz, Walker, Boehner, McConnell, Trump say or do stupid/semi racist/ semi bigoted things no one raises their voice and says loudly “Who is “us” keemosabe? You ain’t speaking for me, dude, and that’s a crazy thing to say”

            99% of the time you get silence from the other Republicans, who, if pressed, will explain NOT that what keemosabe is wrong, but that you didn’t understand what keemosabe meant, or that keemosabe didn’t exactly say that, or that they don’t really agree with keemosabe about that, or that keemosabe doesn’t represent all the views of the party (but apparently no one represents the non-keemosabe views). The only thing they won’t say is that, in their view, keemosabe indeed said a semi racist/semi bigoted thing, and shame on him.

            Is not different than Dobson, Perkins and Lively saying batshit things in the name of Christianity with not a single voice raising up to complain, and then, when pushed, the Douthats and Drehers will argue that Dobson or Perkins or Lively do not speak for all Christians (but no one seems to speak up for those other Christians, either)

            It Is not the fault of the listeners if they hear keemosabe’s version on one side, nothing on the other, and they conclude that everybody supports, or at least is not bothered by, keemosabe.

            I understand the political issues. You have to go to war with the base you have, not the base you’d rather have. But great politicians are also opinion makers, not just opinion followers.

            In that vein, I’ve concluded Trump is a great politician, and he is making public opinion. No one said a great politician is a politician for the greater good.

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            • I understand that there is a little bit of the Erick Erickson dynamic going on. Which is to say, among my circle of NeverTrump, there is an uncertainty in how to deal with him. He’s out there as one of #NeverTrump’s loudest voices. He has, since earlier this year at any rate, been among the loudest in his denunciations. When it comes to trying to take back the party, he is a naturally ally.

              The problem for us is that we look at him and we see someone within close proximity to the problem. We see somebody that has been throwing gasoline on the fire for years. Someone who, in 2015, explained that he could totally vote for Trump. This makes Erickson as one of our “leaders” a pretty big pill to swallow.

              Not the least of which because he still views this as trying to save the party from us as much as Trump. Because in his mind, it was the Will Trumans of the party that caused this, just as in my mind it is the Erick Ericksons.

              So I get that it’s complicated. I’m not going to throw Erick Erickson a parade for finally finding Secular Jesus here. Everybody has made mistakes, but he’s made more than most, and with more impact. At the same time, he’s on the right side here. And I genuinely believe that whatever role he played, this wasn’t what he wanted. When the chips are down, he is not where I would have expected him to be.

              Which is not nothing, and which put me on the same side as EE when the chips were down late in the primary. And this November I will be voting with the Democrats. But the apparent differences mean that we’re not substantively on the same team in any meaningful sense. I oppose Trump because I view him as a manifestation of dark and evil tendencies apart from policy position checkboxes, and not because he is insufficiently conservative or just another Republican.

              So, while I thought that his nomination might result in my jumping the fence, I’m mostly pretty stuck with folks on each side saying I might as well be a Democrat or might as well go ahead and vote for Trump since there are no important distinctions to be made.

              My father was a Dissident Democrat for almost twenty years, before returning to the fold. Things are subject to change, if the Republican Party gets substantially better or worse in the near-to-middle term, but that looks like my path at the moment.

              (Regarding Trump’s political acumen, I’m not sure either way. I’ve heard convincing arguments that he just stumbled into the right place at the right time in a vacuum created by Fox News, and I’ve heard convincing arguments that he actually impressively built a coalition by seeing where the gaps were. In the first scenario, if Trump wouldn’t have done it someone else would have. In the second, Trump made the coalition. I think there are some elements of both. But I am actually becoming increasingly convinced that he mostly managed to latch on to an existing faction and grew it: John McCain’s. Which kind of sucks, because if there was a faction of the party with which I could most be identified, it was probably his.)

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              • Do you think Erickson has principled objections to Trump, or he mostly jealous that a different bomb-throwing asshole is getting all the attention?

                There’s a hostility toward me by the judge, tremendous hostility, beyond belief.

                is actually restrained compared to “goat-fucking child molester”.

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                • Uncharitably, I think there was a plan that the walls of the establishment be torn down, and the army of Erickson takes over the castle. If some norms of decency had to be destroyed in the process, so be it. The ends justify the means and all that.

                  I think he’s mostly pissed because after years of tearing down the walls, an interloper with a bigger army just walked on in and took over. And that wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

                  Slightly less uncharitably, Erickson has some serious ideological problems with Trump and that’s the source of his ire. The means were only acceptable towards his own ends. Trump is just destroying shit.

                  And that’s about as charitable as I can get towards my erstwhile ally.

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      • I don’t know if I entirely agree. My take on Trump is that for the last 25 years (okay, 36, but I would start the clock with Newt Gingrich), the Republican party has played cultural resentments as an entree to the electorate, but that their actual policy agenda is almost exclusively to implement the desires of their donor class. The chosen policies (and policy emphases) of the party were very far from that of their their actual electorate.

        Then comes Trump who is much more aligned with what the median Republican voter (who is not a movement conservative, and not a one-percenter), and speaks to what actually concerns them. That is what is so terrifying to the Republican Party. Trump has said that he wants to preserve and enhance Social Security and Medicare, to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes, who could clearly give a rat’s ass about gay marriage, and that regularly speaks of the corruption in our political process that speaks to the frustration and dissatisfaction of the voter that has been ignored and taken for granted by their party except in election years.

        So rather than being the logical conclusion of GOP rhetoric, he is the beginning of a refutation of it. Look through our history and you’ll see that conservatives have always been uncomfortable with large-scale immigration, and secularization,and rapid social change. The GOP didn't create these sentiments, it merely exploited them in pursuit of a completely different core agenda.

        What Trump has done has been to play to these sentiments and mean it. For better or worse, he is a much closer representative of the median Republican voter than any other on offer. It is no wonder that the party elites and movement Republicans are horrified. He is demonstrating that the party’s mostly unspoken agendas can be discarded, and that they are not the masters of the universe that they have believed themselves to be.

        It’s unfortunate that this lesson to the party comes bundled in a loud, vulgar, orange package. But it’s overdue, and may well be the necessary lever to start wresting the Republican party from the ideologues and oligarchs.

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        • I agree with you almost completely. Trump has connected with the median Republican, and he does mean it most of the time. He won’t dissemble Medicare or fight against SSM.

          My concern is that he is doing this to further, not the preferred policies of the median Republican (which he will probably further, the good and the bad ones), but the interests of Donald Trump, both his financial interests AND his ego interests.

          With respect to the financial interests, it will be Berlusconi again, fixing the problems of his companies. Which, though bad, is not the worse part.

          The ego interests are the ones that scare me. He will not take lightly any perceived rebuff in the political scene. The damage he can create to the USA by fighting petty battles with the resources in his hands is tremendous.

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          • I would add on that if Trump is elected it will be with Repub majorities in both houses. It won’t be just what Trumpy wants that will happen. It will be major parts of the R agenda. Trumpy can bluster but he would be making deals with the R congress and they would get plenty of things that they want. Medicare might go block grant ( which would be terrible imho) and there would immense pressure for aggressive military postures/attacks and dismantling, however clunky it would be, the ACA.

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            • I disagree with the last part. I don’t see him doing things that would be seen as doing the Republican elites bidding that his base is opposed to, like any fudging of Medicare that could reduce benefits in any way. It would be tarnishing his brand.

              The ACA is strange because his base hates ACA but loves most of its components. They will not go for Repeal and Return to 2007. It might get replaced by Trumpcare, that would superficially look similar, but without the nasty bits, like the mandate, and probably with some Federal money guarantee to make up for shortfalls.

              Military posturing, you are totally right, but that’s his ego. That’s the scarier part

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              • I don’t see much of any reason to be confident about what Trump’s policy directions would be at all. That fortunately includes the stuff I don’t like, but includes pretty much everything. I could absolutely see him going after Medicare. I could absolutely see him embracing Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I could see him going to war. I could see him sitting out the next World War.

                I see him going wherever his inconsistent instincts take him, and wherever he sees higher ground. I could see this resulting in him doing a lot of things I actually like.

                But really, the policies he would try to push through congress, and the legislation he would sign and veto, is mostly beside the point. Those aren’t the troubling and dangerous things about him.

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  12. Ed5: This hardly seems unique to Japan. Or absent in America. Maybe there is a difference in degree, but growing up I know we were often tasked with things like cleaning the tops of our desks and wiping down the blackboard and taking erasers outside to clap out the dust. Was this just a Catholic School thing? I don’t remember doing it when I transferred to public school in 5th grade, but if you believe (as I do) that such tasks are under the umbrella of social-emotional learning (SEL) and observe (as I do) that SEL drops further and further out of focus as students get older, then its absence in middle school after being fairly present in elementary school wouldn’t surprise.

    I emphasize this with my students pretty strongly for a number of reasons.

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