Morning Ed: World {2016.10.12.W}

Will Truman

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

Related Post Roulette

106 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    Love Motel: Stripper pole! Woot

    Palestinian rescuer: Just another day in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Suburbs and Tech: Ugh, I dislike most of the examples he provides: “As driverless vehicles evolve to accommodate work and leisure uses of the automobile space, pleasure will replace commuting stress. ” Pff.. I like driving, expect for when the deer are out and in the roads. I have to slow down to the speed limit!

    “Wouldn’t it be nice to just talk to your stove/computer/3-D printer/robot and say, “Make me some pureed squash”? ” Nope, rather make it my self. Maybe for harried families, but not for a single guy who likes to cook.

    “Now think about virtual reality. Its advocates claim that it will be used for sex, to simulate travel and to watch sporting events and concerts with an intense 3-D accompaniment.” I want my sex not with VR but with a hot sexbot like “Liu botReport

    • DensityDuck in reply to Damon says:

      Driving, like horseback riding and shooting guns, will become a leisure hobbyist activity conducted using specialist hardware and confined to specific areas (autocross). There will be emergency situations where driving is necessary, but it will be performed by officially-sanctioned and -trained personnel using clearly-marked equipment.Report

  2. notme says:

    Terence Crutcher, 40, had “acute phencyclidine intoxication” when shot in the chest by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby.

    That’s PCP by the way. That explains a lot.

    • dragonfrog in reply to notme says:

      It explains why he needed help, not why he got death instead.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to notme says:

      Remember when information related to police shootings had to be sat on for days or weeks at a time and was only reluctantly released under public pressure and/or court order so as not to jeopardize the investigation or compromise a potential jury pool? Glad that time has passed!Report

  3. J_A says:

    I love that, in Panama, love motels are called “push buttons” (in English – a relic of the times where the thousands of military personnel in the several Canal bases were the core customers)Report

  4. J_A says:

    I’m surprised at seeing the Rio Grande valley in the mortgage ratio map. I guess it means that incomes are abnormally low, because I doubt it is a matter of expensive housingReport

    • Michael Cain in reply to J_A says:

      Yeah, there are clearly multiple effects going on. In Colorado, the red is in the mountains, the San Luis Valley, and the Western Slope. The Front Range counties, where the population and housing prices have exploded, is white and light green shades.Report

    • Damon in reply to notme says:

      Damn, I want me some of them. Let’s combine it with google car’s sw for autonomous drones and add a frickin’ lazer beam!Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to notme says:

      Drones have been exploding since the very first ones (the V-1).

      If anything, the idea of non-exploding drones is the outlier.Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

      I expected this to happen much earlier. I assumed that a major reason why we were so keen on developing those high powered laser weapons was to deal with the threat of a low-budget enemy using cheapo drones/RC aircraft that can’t easily be downed with traditional anti-aircraft measures.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

      As if there was anyone who didn’t predict this.

      When the Pentagon was all gaga over the idea of guys slouched in armchairs piloting drones on the other side of the world like a videogame, wasn’t it obvious that it was only a matter of time until those guys were Chinese or Pakistani and the car in the crosshairs was on Interstate 95?Report

      • Just another reason to stay the hell off of I-95. As if I needed more.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        The main thing about drones so far is they’ve been almost exclusively used in permissive air warfare environments. Intensive use against someone that can both detect them and do something about it is a concept that really hasn’t been tested yet.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to Kolohe says:

          I’m doing some contracting on a commercial drone project right now with some old colleagues from previous government jobs and we’ve been scratching our heads about how to defend against this type of thing for a while.

          The remotely operated stuff is one thing. You can jam those, especially if it’s hobbyist hardware. But for an extra couple hundred bucks, you can plop an open source autopilot onto the device. If your budget is really limited, expendable autonomous drones eat up resources pretty quickly, but if you have even a moderate budget in the tens of thousands of dollars, you can send a *lot* of expendable drones at your enemy. That’s a much nastier puzzle to solve. It wouldn’t work well against a something hardened with an anti-missile/mortar system, but soft targets would be a pain to defend.

          It’s certainly an interesting problem. I really don’t know what direction this will take.Report

  5. J_A says:


    NPR had a story some months ago of deaf children in a school that developed, independently, their own sign language, and passed it through generations of students. It explains a lot about how language is developed in the brain. Worth saving for your gym podcast.

    Of course, most sign languages do reflect the grammar and sounds of your native language, because you are hopefully also be using that (lip reading, verbalization). The fact that many people don’t realize this speaks more of the provincialism of most people than anything else (there’s a famous open in Spanish about a Portuguese gentleman surprised that toddlers in France are able to speak French, a feat most Portuguese adults can’t master)Report

  6. Michael Cain says:

    Cowen’s wrong about the motivation for self-driving cars in the suburbs. The big factor will be keeping aging Boomers, who can no longer drive for vision or other reasons, in their homes.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    I knew the Japanese had love hotels but it is not surprising that other nations have them as well and for similar reasons. Multi-generational living in close quarters makes for tough sexy time. Though Americans seem capable of having sexy time in apartments shared with lots of roommates.

    Cowen and suburbs: I guess but two hours in a car is still two hours in a car.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    I keep thinking “okay, I won’t post a story about pot” AND THEN I SEE A STORY LIKE THIS.

    Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year, a new study has found, even as social attitudes toward the drug have changed and a number of cities and states have legalized its use or decriminalized small quantities.

    A little too much editorializing in that opener for my taste. I would have left it here:

    A new study has found that arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year.

    Maybe then added a sentence with something about how this is even with some states legalizing it.

    I find it boggling how many other dominoes fall over because we keep nudging marijuana dominoes.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

      A tangential bit on the general subject.


      • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

        At a random guess:

        1973: Boomers without kids or kids so young that “pot” isn’t a worry.
        1990: Boomers with high school kids, in which “my kid’s smoking dope and screwing up his grades/life” is an issue. (Also, peak of the crime wave).
        Today: Eh, they’re grownups. Not like it ever did me any harm.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’m doing this math in my head so please correct me if I’m making an error but that seems to correlate to “when I’m in college”, “when my kids are in college”, and “when my grandkids are in college”?Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          My thoughts as well.

          Anecdotally, my in-laws followed that path — I think it was the combination of the rising crime levels from the 80s into the 90s (which tracked their kids growing into the age where they could get ahold of drugs), and then the corresponding fall of crime rates coupled with the results of the drug war.

          Mind you, they’re not for legalizing heroin — but they’d push for a more treatment based approach. And my father-in-law, who used to be staunchly anti-drug, has been known to shout at the TV to “just legalize dope, for God’s sake, WHO CARES”.

          But that low point — that really was the peak of the Drug War propaganda with the crime rates to make that stuff stick. It came up a bit in the primaries (due to the Clinton being President then) but it’s hard for a lot of the sub-40 crowd to really remember what it was like. And the sub-30 crowd has no idea.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

            I was thinking about this the other day and how much of this has to do with the number of military/ex-military people up at the top of the food chain.

            What’s the average age of a one-star? Somewhere in their 50’s?
            That would put them at right about the correct age to remember watching the Vietnam War protests on television (but too young to go to them themselves).

            Pot was tied into the whole hippie counter-culture movement and so most of the generals out there have kept that mental connection… and, along the way to becoming a general, have mentored a number of (now) colonels and (now) lt. colonels along the way (even as they were mentored by people who not only remember the war protests but were career military during Vietnam).

            So that’s why we’re not going to see medicinal weed incorporated into any veteran PTSD treatments anytime soon.

            Or politicians who have trusted military/ex-military advisors on their team push for anything involving loosening pot restrictions.Report

  9. veronica d says:

    Off topic, starting later today I’ll be in Los Angeles for a week. If anyone wants to do lunch or something, hit me up.Report

  10. Dand says:

    Jonathan Chait is outraged the people care more about the well being coal miners rather than the Hollywood and Wall Street types that own million dollar beach homes.

    First climate change question and it's about saving jobs for the fossil fuel industry.— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 10, 2016

    When do we break out the guillotines?Report

    • notme in reply to Dand says:

      It’s later than you think.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

      Or ya’ know, millions of Third World citizens who will become refugees due to climate change.Report

      • Dand in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        They aren’t Americans, the job of the American government is to look after the best interests of Americans.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to Dand says:

          Do Americans’ best interests include living in a world not destabilized by global famine and millions of refugees dying of dysentery, paying human smugglers for dangerous and traumatizing underground journeys to the US, and occasionally being recruited by next generation’s disjointed terrorist entity?

          Or would all that be sufficiently offset by the benefits of getting rid of New York, Miami, New Orleans, Boston, and Tampa?Report

          • Dand in reply to dragonfrog says:

            If you really think climate change is that severe and you don’t care about the beach homes of Wall Street and Hollywood would you support a 100% property tax on all homes within 3 miles of the ocean worth more than a million dollars and using the proceeds of that tax to make shore that no coal miner suffers any reduction in their income.Report

          • Dand in reply to dragonfrog says:

            My general position on climate change is that seeing Lloyd Blankfein and George Clooney’s beach houses getting destroyed is the only realistic I’ll ever see rich people get what they deserve, and I’m certainly not going to ruin the livelihoods of much poorer people to protect them.Report

          • Dand in reply to dragonfrog says:

            And another thing if the government wants to stop coal from being used in power plants there are two ways of doing it; one is what the Obama administration is doing, passing regulations the in effect make it illegal for power plants to use coal, the other is to make it uneconomical for power plants to use coal by driving up the price by purchasing coal on the market then burring it. The later will not affect the livelihood of coal miners in any way but for some reason the elites have chosen the former.Report

            • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

              Should we have never created the EPA or passed the Clean Water Act? After all, I’m sure people lost their jobs as a result of those acts as well.Report

            • dragonfrog in reply to Dand says:

              Perhaps the “elites” have not chosen to buy coal (with money source from TBD) only to bury it, because it’s an incredibly stupid idea?Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

              the other is to make it uneconomical for power plants to use coal by driving up the price by purchasing coal on the market then burring it. The later will not affect the livelihood of coal miners in any way but for some reason the elites have chosen the former.

              “for some reason…” I think the reason is obvious, no?

              “uneconomical for power plants to use coal…”

              That was actually a market based result. Irrespective of ObamaRegs. Natural gas gets to market cheaper than coal, as I understand it. Eg.,

              The recent decline in the generation share of coal, and the concurrent rise in the share of natural gas, was mainly a market-driven response to lower natural gas prices that have made natural gas generation more economically attractive.Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                “for some reason…” I think the reason is obvious, no?

                Wall Street types don’t like paying taxes.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                So the War on Coal is motivated by Wallstreeters not wanting to pay taxes?

                You gotta fill in the missing pieces for me, Dand. I’m not seeing it.

                {{And I actually spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out and sometimes even understanding the motivations for conspiracy theories.}}Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                Providing assistance to coal miners would cost money that would need to be funded, Wall Street opposes paying the taxes needed to provide coal miners with the assistance they need.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                Is that the determining condition? I have a hard time believing that, actually. Natural gas is cheaper; global warming is an issue everyone in the world but USConservatives accepts as a fact; coal miners – and coal mining regions – need some help thru economic changes that are magnified because of a lack of economic diversity.Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                Ok why do you think we aren’t providing the assistance that’s needed to coal mining communities?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                You mean more assistance than anyone else who’s lost their job receives?

                Look, as a (conventionally defined) liberal, I’m all in favor of helping those folks. What do you suggest? Hillary wants incentives for those folks to learn a new trade. Trump wants to Make Coal Great Again.

                I put more faith in Hillary’s plan than Trump’s, to be honest.Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                You mean more assistance than anyone else who’s lost their job receives?

                We bailed out Wall Street, Hollywood would not be able to turn a profit without government granted IP rights, colleges would be nowhere near as large as they are without government assistance. The elites are living off government largess but when coals are forced out of work by government policy they’re on their own.

                I’m all in favor of helping those folks. What do you suggest?

                A Tennessee Valley Authority level infrastructure project for Appalachia and one for the Mississippi delta as well.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                You mean, Fixing America’s Infrastructure?

                Hillary got there first. Are you voting for her?Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                No mean a program the targets economic struggling parts of the country.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                Like Detroit. Or Chicago’s South Side.

                I hear ya.Report

              • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

                Those are locally struggling areas inside of metropolitan regions that are doing OK I’m talking more about region areas that are struggling. Chicago could spend more more to help the south side but Rahm Emanuel spends it on bicycle riding hipsters instead..Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Dand says:

                If you have a proposal, I’m interested. I’m all for useful infrastructure projects, and I think that whenever the government changes the rules in a way that seriously affects an industry, it’s good policy to offset that hit wherever possible.

                So what do you have, and are there any political candidates suggesting something along those lines? Because rejiggering the system to ensure that our flying cars and robot servants will still be burning coal doesn’t seem like the best plan.Report

              • J_A in reply to Dand says:


                I don’t think we are helping the mining communities enough. However….you might have heard there an election going

                I know of one candidate’s platform that includes helping coal mining communities with retraining and other programs. Perhaps not the best programs, but, there are programs.

                I know of one candidate’s platform that does not include any such programs.

                And the coal mining communities are going to vote for the latter, because the former looks at them over the shoulder. It’s been reported that the former candidate might even eat arugula, though such moral failure has yet to be confirmed.

                So between a program to assist their community, and the opportunity to show their rejection of something something culture, the mining communities’ selection is obvious.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to Dand says:

              Cheaper to simply provide them with a comfortable pension, regardless of age, as the mines shut down. There’s only ~80,000 coal miners in the US, a number that has been declining steadily separately from any declines in demand for the usual reasons (eg, ~7,000 miners in NW Wyoming produce ~40% of all US coal). Same salary and benefits cost, but without the enormous expense of burning most of a billion tons of coal each year.Report

              • Dand in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Sure I’d be fine with that but for some reason the Jonathon Chait is outraged that the well being of coal is even being talked about; he wants too screw them over.Report

              • Pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                I don’t think I’ve seen Chait say that. Do you have a link?Report

              • Dand in reply to Pillsy says:

                See the tweet I posted at the top of this subthread.Report

              • Pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                I’m still not seeing it. You seem to be excluding an awful lot of middle there.Report

              • Dand in reply to Pillsy says:

                Here is question that Chait objected to

                What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers

                What is objectionable about that question, Chait seems to think the well being of people who work in resource extraction shouldn’t even be a consideration.Report

              • Pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                Or he doesn’t think it should rise to the same level of importance as climate change, which–I’d point out–isn’t even explicitly mentioned in the question. Neither are coal miners, for that matter.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Dand says:

                What is objectionable about that question, Chait seems to think the well being of people who work in resource extraction shouldn’t even be a consideration.

                I thought the phrase “power plant workers” included resource extractors, myself.

                That point aside, I think the problem with the question is that it’s a logically impossible one to satisfy. It’s what’s known in the business as an inconsistent triad (unless we understand the word “minimize” as on a sliding scale including “0” at its outer limit.)Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

                “What is objectionable about that question, Chait seems to think the well being of people who work in resource extraction shouldn’t even be a consideration.”

                I mean in the long run, the continued well being of the human race in the sense we have a stable climate system is far more important than a few thousand coal miners and power plant workers, most of whom are edging toward retirement anyway.Report

            • J_A in reply to Dand says:

              There’s an easier way:

              Make natural gas as cheap as coal on a per BTU basis, and burn it in plants that cost as half to build, 25% to maintain, and are 30% more efficient.

              There’s no conspiracy against coal. Coal is dying the way the horse buggy died. The day there’s no more gas, coal will come back from the dead, just like the horse buggy will, the day we run out of oil.Report

        • rmass in reply to Dand says:

          If only to make sure America wins when the world ends right?Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Dand says:

          Something buggy whips something creative destruction something.Report

  11. Dand says:

    The Trump Effect: How Trump controls his opponents’ views

    • Will Truman in reply to Dand says:

      This is definitely a thing.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

        It’s sorta a thing. I don’t think he controls people’s views. He phrases certain states of affairs in a way that resonates on a deeper level than merely (for example) appealing to statistical data or “the evidence” or wonkishly motivated pragmatic/ideological accounts and rationales.

        People are pissed off. Hell, I’m pissed off too. When he talks about throwing not only the BUMS out, but the whole institutional apparatus that caused my anger, he has all my attention.

        And then he disappoints. Abysmally. Except in one area: he’s giving expression to voters’ repudiation of the status quo.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Dand says:

      Donald Trump has an uncanny power to change people’s minds.

      It’s not that he’s a master of persuasion. Quite the opposite. Simply by taking a position, Trump can send most of the Left and half of the U.S. media sprinting to the opposite position.

      Substitute “Obama” for “Trump” and make the analogous changes elsewhere, and it remains true.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

      Have you not been around for the 8 years, where John McCain’s climate change plan, Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan, and George W. Bush’s immigration policy has become liberal extremism?Report

    • trizzlor in reply to Dand says:

      I get what this guy is trying to say: in arguing against Trump’s proposed solution some people will argue against even the existence of a problem. But boy are those examples weak. There’s not actually any contradiction in arguing that gun violence is at unacceptable levels and simultaneously arguing that there a crime wave is not sweeping the nation. Not only are these two different statistics, they are different moments of those statistics – average gun violence in specific places vs. change in crime nationally. And I’m not going to defend Max Boot, but there’s also no contradiction in being really concerned about terrorism in the Middle East while simultaneously arguing that we should not claim every event is terrorism. It’s just really lazy to claim that these positions are contradictory. What’s especially peculiar is that the author leads off with a really good position – whitewashing the issues facing the working class – but then doesn’t actually provide any examples.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to trizzlor says:

        whitewashing the issues facing the working class

        This would be a clever turn of phrase it it actually was intended to describe couching issues for the working class in terms of issues of concern to white people, as being representative of all those in the working class.Report

      • J_A in reply to trizzlor says:

        “in arguing against Trump’s proposed solution some people will argue against even the existence of a problem”

        Assumes facts not in evidence. Please point us to any Trump proposed solution different than “I will do it right this time”Report

        • trizzlor in reply to J_A says:

          Protect the country from crime by imposing national stop & frisk.
          Protect the country from terrorism by banning or severely scrutinizing Muslims.
          Protect the country from illegal immigrants by beefing up border security.

          [*] obligatory note that each of these positions was also argued by at least one mainstream GOPer in the primaryReport

  12. Will Truman says:

    Following up on a previous thread with @stillwater and @autolukos , two of the four who called on Trump to step down but did not say they wouldn’t vote for him have announced that they’re going to vote for him:

    Fischer in particular is a piece of work. Before she turned on him (before she un-turned), she advocated punishing politicians who didn’t fully back Trump.Report

    • Autolukos in reply to Will Truman says:

      I’m shocked, shocked!Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

      Heh. I guess this is what the rapid destruction of a political party looks like: pure madness.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

      What are they going to do? Stick with Trump, anger 1/3 of their base. Denounce him, anger 2/3rds.

      It’s not like they can, in general, even afford a 10% drop in base support.

      Except in Utah, where I think “support Trump because he’s Team Red” is polling pretty poorly.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

        I just found it noteworthy that two of the ones who switched were calling on him to drop out rather than saying they weren’t voting for them. Autolukas and I were saying that was probably a hedge so that they could do what they’re doing right now. So far, those that said they wouldn’t vote for him haven’t switched back (though Ayotte is trying to have it both ways).Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

          It is noteworthy. And actually very interesting.

          For my part, I wasn’t arguing that “electorally motivated cynicism” (I’m sure there’s a better term for the concept) isn’t ever true in political decisionmaking, just that it’s not always true. Ie., as I said earlier, reducing calls for Trump to resign the nomination can’t be accounted for merely by that theory.* That one or two people have hedged isn’t surprising. To me anyway. So I stand by my earlier view: that calling on Trump to resign signals something more interesting and potentially devastating for the GOP Party than a particular politician’s desire to merely (ie., shortsightedly, narrowly, cynically) get re-elected.

          *Which I argued on the other thread.Report

    • scott the mediocre in reply to Will Truman says:

      Seems consistent enough, if not very well thought through. Taking Fischer, since I remember her stuff at the time:

      Axiom 1: Not-Hillary is (for Fischer, and all Right Thinkers) the Prime Directive. All else is secondary if not indeed tertiary*. Reasonable to assume that this has been fully assimilated into Fischer’s amygdalae.

      Her stronger than usual advocacy for punishing defectors probably needs to be read at least partly in the context of the junior Senator (from Nebraska, i.e. Sasse).

      (following premises to be evaluated according to data available to Fischer as of last weekend)

      Premise 1 (faulty, but not necessarily grossly implausible): Based on the tape and early responses thereto, there was a possibility of a run on the Bank of Trump.

      Premise 2: As widely observed, the closeted nonTrumpers have a severe collective action problem.

      Premise 3 (in my opinion not that plausible, but Fischer’s priors are presumably quite different): asymmetric risk/reward: if the run on the BoT materialized, expected value to Fischer of being relatively out front on the run (like being early in most bank runs) higher than minor reputational hit on reverting back to #Always_allied_with_Eastasia_Trump. Her gender probably gives her some extra cover for a reversible defection (in the eventuality of the bank run not coalescing) that an otherwise similarly situated male would lack. The temporary defection could be easily defended with respect to axiom 1 by ignoring the extreme improbability of actually successfully replacing the Orange One (as the person for whom R electors would cast ballots, I mean: clearly His Trumposity is irreplaceable in many respects).

      I suspect that Autolukos is right, however, and this should be interpreted more as signaling/positioning for the aftermath. Again, I suspect Sasse is a significant variable in this equation, but I don’t follow Nebraska inside baseball politics to know for sure.

      *Fischer is up for reelection in 2018. I doubt possible marginal effects of her actions now on the probability of a successful primary challenge to her in 2018 entered into her calculations.Report