Morning Ed: Law & Order {2016.11.14.M}

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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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66 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali says:

    The one with the rape apologist son disgusts me. Its close to the worst kind of emotional manipulation. So, when logic and rational argument are insufficient to the task we are supposed to emotionally blackmail our loved ones into agreeing with us? And notice how she manages to make her point by denying the lived experience of people who are accused of rape. So, ultimately this is the problem with lived experience being a thing that your are not supposed to deny. That’s not possible. When my lived experience contradicts yours, the mere affirmation of my own experience denies yours.

    The principle that no one is a fair judge in their own case is relevant here and is the principle that is precisely ignored with all this talk about people being true to their own lived experience.

    It doesn’t matter that your position is right, once you consciously realise that you are going to go beyond rational argument and use emotional blackmail in order make a person not critically examine your claims, you can’t actually claim to have the better reasoned position.

    When I was quite a bit younger my position on abortion changed quite radically. And there was pretty much only one thing that me flip: what my mother believed about it – whenever she changed he mind so did I. Now, I don’t even bother asking what she thinks about it because the temptation to change my views is too strong. I don’t agree with my mother on all things (or even most things) but where she makes something her personal project or cause, it is difficult, as a son to gainsay her on this. So, since my mom fights strongly for restrictions on organ trade, Even though as a consistent libertarian I should be in favour of it, I can’t bring myself to be so. There is a reason why I don’t ever talk about organ trade around here or even academically. My mother may not realise that she is influencing my views like this, but the author of the article has to realise this when she explicitly realised that rational argument was not working and chose to reveal her past and thus make it uncomfortable for her son to ever bring up that topic again. Perhaps her power was used for good this time, but this is a power that is no respecter of truth. There is a reason why, if we care about truth, we should stick to the academic arguments however ineffective they are. The reason is that academic arguments are sensitive to the evidence in a way the kind of emotional manipulation that the author consciously used against her own son is not.Report

    • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Murali says:

      I wouldn’t go as far as that, but one thing in particular took me aback: she was so outraged at the phrase “He was innocent until proven guilty” that it was the only quote from her son that she italicized.

      Don’t let anyone ever tell you that carceral feminism doesn’t exist.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

        Fun story (and the “fun” is sarcastic).

        A close relative of mine was drugged and brutally sexually assaulted just a few weeks back. She’s not yet 20. The guy that did it had been a friend of hers since childhood. The people that joined him in assaulting her (yes, it was fun for the whole gang), she’d known them all for years.

        It’s amazing how incredibly unhelpful the police were. She’s been told, despite being able to name one of her attackers and the rather ugly litany of tears, bruises, abrasions, and the like found when the rape kit was run, that nothing can be done until it comes back.

        And even then, it was suggested, it was unlikely anything would come of it.Report

        • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Morat20 says:

          Is that an argument against the concept that people are innocent until proven guilty?Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

            No. It was a generalized statement that, bluntly, rape victims are often treated as liars and attention seekers.

            Guilty until proven innocent.Report

            • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Morat20 says:

              It does not follow that if those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty that those making accusations of crimes are guilty until proven innocent because of the existence of a burden of proof.

              It is true that rape accusations are often not taken seriously. It is true that rape kits sit untested and that law enforcement often believes negative stereotypes about victims. I reject the notion that improving this requires rejecting a linchpin of the entire justice system for just one type of crime.

              Were this an article about the application and use of death penalty and someone left a comment with nothing but a grizzly description of a murder for which someone was executed, it would be treated as a non sequitur at best and manipulative misdirection at worst. The same ought to be true here.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

                You’re rejecting a notion I never offered, so good for you I guess?

                I just told a personal, immediate story: A rape victim who is getting zero cooperation from the police.

                Honestly, the only fact worth highlighting is this: She knew her attacker. Despite the fact that her situation is, in fact, the most common (knowing the attacker) it’s strangely the least thought of.

                We spend a lot of time thinking about men with knives lurking in bushes or outside bedrooms, but very little about the man you’ve known for years who fixed you a Cosby special.

                Honestly, I got the distinct impression that the cops were so…disinclined to help…entirely because she DID know the guy. It seemed they wrote it off as “drunk night she regretted” pretty much immediately.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                You offered the notion that the traditional burden of proof means that victims are “Guilty until proven innocent.” That’s either hyperbole, basic misunderstanding of who must meet the burden of proof or a combination of the two.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

                If you can’t see the issue with police deciding, prior to any investigation whatsoever, that a victim is probably lying or requiring a victim first PROVE they were the victim of a crime, I’m not sure what I can say to sway you.

                Especially as you seem intent on finding words I have not written.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                The story ended with the cops telling your friend that no action would be taken until the rape kit came back, not that they weren’t going to do anything.

                I don’t know whether this is one of the jurisdictions where they just let kits sit on a shelf for years (which I agree is a travesty) or if you just ended the story where it was most convenient.

                Doesn’t it seem a little scary that the alternative is to immediate pick someone up on one person’s say-so?Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to LTL FTC says:

                Let me amend my phrasing on the final sentence. People get picked up on someone’s say-so all the time. Usually in crimes where there is additional evidence, like a dead body, or missing property. But the point still stands – flipping the burden of proof is dangerous, especially to the most vulnerable populations.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

                A guy I know was once picked up and questioned over an assault. The evidence was a handful of bruises and a complaint, naming him.

                This rape victim? Bruises and tearing, and a complaint, naming him. Yet no one has been questioned.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LTL FTC says:

                I ended the story where it currently sits. When I say recent, I mean recent. Like “in the last two weeks”.

                As to picking someone up on one person’s say-so — don’t they do that with suspects all the time? Go talk to them? Ask them where they were? I mean that’s right there in the name “suspect”, isn’t it? Not “perpetrator” or “criminal” but simple “suspect” as in “I suspect this person might be involved”.

                They didn’t want to deal with a rape kit, they don’t want to so much as interview any of the people she identified.

                So far, they haven’t. I don’t know when the rape kit will be processed (I have no idea how long this sort of thing takes). I don’t know if they’ll do anything even then, given how incredibly passive-aggressive they’ve been so far.

                Maybe they’re just burned out. Maybe they’re cynical. Maybe they’ve just gotten to the point where they’re numb to human atrocity. I dunno.

                I just find it…disheartening..that their immediate reaction was to try to convince her that pursuing it wasn’t worth it, with what my sister-in-law (who was there with her when it was reported) said was a clear implication of “It didn’t actually happen”. I suppose it was nice that they were polite enough not to say that aloud.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                The suspect isn’t a collegiate athlete or something along those lines, is he?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Nope. None of them are particularly noteworthy.

                I wasn’t there for any of this, so I have only my sister-in-law’s descriptions of the process, but she said the cops seemed to shut down entirely when the girl said the one who drugged her (and started a very horrible weekend) was her long-time friend, and it started with them hanging out at his place.

                She said it clearly got mentally filed as “Drunken regrets”, despite quite a bit of damage, and the cops pretty much seemed to write it off.

                I have no idea if any of her labs (or even if they were done) would show any drugs in her system by the time she got seen.

                Nobody’s really optimistic on the outcome.

                Worst thing is, her family’s not the “therapy” sort. (My sister-in-law is, but…she’s married into that family, not part of it). Odds of her getting any professional support are pretty nil.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to LTL FTC says:

                LTL,
                Here you have viable wounds. I’m not saying mr. daterapist needs to be picked up, unless he’s using drugs. But this is physical damage, that she might have the idea might happen to her again. Either get her into protective custody, or take the men out of general circulation.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

                I’m not even asking for that. I’m literally wondering why the police haven’t even talked to the guy, asked questions like “Where were you that weekend”?

                Not “picked him up and thrown him into jail”. Not “charged him with crimes even before the kit was back”.

                Literally “Why haven’t they so much as asked around”?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                morat20,
                Hate to do this, but I’m going to give you the game theory perspective on this.
                1) Few rape cases actually go to court. Thus it’s more of a waste of time getting statements out of everyone.
                2) DNA Evidence is probably enough to lock up the bastards. Getting statements from them is probably not going to help with the conviction (or, at least, I’m damn hoping this is the case, because otherwise they’re being criminally negligent in their duties).Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                My guess? If they did question him, he’d say he was there, they had sex, she liked it rough, etc., turning it into a he said/she said contest, so perhaps they are waiting for the rape kit to return in the hopes that it will have something they can use to poke a hole in that kind of claim.

                Resignation & disinterest can present awfully similar…Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Quite possibly.

                The entire story is…very ugly. It is not helped by the fact that the accused are also well known.

                I suspect, in a strange way, it’d be a lot easier to process if it had been some stranger.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Morat20 says:

                It would be easier if he were an unknown lurker in a dark parking lot. Then there would be no doubts

                Right now, the police needs to find evidence that this was not indeed your relative regretting a night of fun with friends. Because he (they) also gets to tell his story.

                And that’s proving a negative. It’s tough.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to LTL FTC says:

            “Is that an argument against the concept that people are innocent until proven guilty?”

            Yes, I think that’s exactly what he’s saying.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck says:

              Except the part where I specifically said that’s not what I was saying at all.

              But I suppose it’s easier to argue with imaginary points.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20 says:

                I think maybe you need to unpack the reason behind throwing that particular anecdote in as a reply to that particular comment.

                Like, I think we’re all pretty sure that wasn’t just some random thing that happened to go in the comment box, right?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Honestly? It’s been on my mind the last week or so, for obvious reasons.

                And the thought of false rape accusations, coupled with the total disinterest of the police in investigating (because she knew the guy, it was clearly ‘drunken sex regret’), brought it forth.

                Sometimes there doesn’t need to be an argument. Sometimes it’s just “This thing sucks, and this other thing make it suck more”.

                I mean, bigger picture? There really IS a problem with the way police process rapes. Starting with the weird, but common, insistence that it probably wasn’t really rape unless there was a gun or knife or something. (You know all the excuses people use — “what were you wearing” and “did you have anything to drink” and “did you lead him on” — police aren’t immune to that mindset at all.).

                Which is pretty much what she’s dealing with, on top of physical and mental trauma. Trying to get the police to even pretend to investigate. Not “convince a DA” not “convince a jury” not even “believe me that it happened”. But a huge fight to get them to even do their jobs and check.

                I call the cops and claim a guy broke my window? I expect them to at least come take a look. If I got a broken window and said Bob did it, I expect them to at least go talk to Bob and see if he was around my neighborhood.

                Even if they think I’m full of it, I expect them to at least put in the minimum effort to show I AM full of it, rather than just coming to a gut conclusion and faffing off.Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to Morat20 says:

          Well that disgusts me too. And we might even have a useful conversation about what to do about cases where a rapist goes scot free even though it cannot be reasonably doubted that the rapist did the deed. Of course this is a nearly impossible conversation to have. Because while an individual anecdote or case study might indeed show that this is indeed what happened, gross data is singularly uninformative. Looking at the number of reports which do not make it to trial is not a good proxy for this as there legitimately can be details in the case that make it less likely to succeed, and prosecutors don’t want to have a low record of successes. If juries are systematically unreasonable and continue to doubt even when it is unreasonable to do so, then there is something to be said about the public culture or about replacing jury trials with something consisting of maybe a more rational process. But, it is extremely difficult to measure this stuff. We don’t have a measure for “what the evidence actually supported” that we can check against police, prosecutoral or court decisions.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Murali says:

            What I find disgusting is the pretense that rape is some kind of heinous crime.
            The fact is that rape is one of those things Americans love best.
            Rape is one of the most singularly patriotic and peace-loving of all institutions.
            Rape preserves families, extends our freedoms, and provides a loving environment where our children can grow up.
            Were it not for rape, bad things might happen.

            We know this is true, because, in the United States, rape is, by far, a male-on-male crime.
            Rape has little to do with females, except in maybe 25% of all cases.
            What makes rape so wonderful is that it is the incarcerated who are raped, mainly.
            Only those people who have been found guilty of a crime, whatever that means, in light of years of numerous prominent DNA exonerations.

            The consideration of who gets raped may make it bad, or not, but rape all by itself is one of the most wonderful things on earth.
            We know that according to our public policy.

            Now, tell me how bad torture is.
            When I see actions that coincide with the speech, I will believe it.Report

  2. Avatar fillyjonk says:

    The car dealership one – how did she think/know they had nude photos? That’s really weird. (That said: given that the story was published, I bet they lose a LOT of business. It was a dumb move on that manager’s part. Couldn’t they just have called the couple and tried to re-negotiate the thing about the seats, or maybe just eaten the cost?)

    I think this is going to increasingly be an issue with the possibility of online reviews; I have also heard of restaurants wanting to sue people over bad Yelp! reviews.

    (I get these surveys from my dealership when I have service done. I never fill them out because it’s implied if I rate everything less than “excellent” they will sent an employee to sit on my lawn and cry until I change my ratings. My opinion is this: if I get acceptable service, no one hears. If I get outstanding service, I will tell them. If I get really poor service, I will tell them. I’ve never gotten poor or outstanding service…)Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Reason seems unusually invested in the idea of their being no post-Trump hate crime waive for some reason. There have been many instances of hate crime inspired vandalism or displays of hate symbols in the wake of Trump victories. The KKK announced its plans for a victory parade in North Carolina. It seems weird that Reason would spend so much time debunking Trump’s appeal to white supremacy.

    The child porn thing: Who knows these days? It might be best to expect the worst.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LeeEsq says:

      If you read the comments at Reason in general, you can quickly pick up why they might be invested that way.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Morat20 says:

        I suspected as much. The Reason staff might be getting more liberal and cosmopolitan on non-economic issues but much of their readership still comes from the Rothbard/Rockwell Paleo-conservative branch of libertarianism.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Well, as I mentioned the other day, it has already happened to me. Now, it was just some douchebags yelling at me from a car — which honestly that shit would happen from time to time even before the elections. That said, there is definitely some ugly stuff going down. White power is energized. They’re starting shit with people. A few of my friends have racist notes left on their doors or people harassing them on transit. Little stuff, but it’ll get bigger.

      So anyway, the guys who yelled and me and my g/f — I told them to fuck off and ran toward their car. They sped away.

      I entirely plan to fight the first dickpimple in a “MAGA” hat who gets in my face.

      I might not win, but I’m gonna make the fuckers choke on me.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        Bigger than the morons that decided to hunt black men in philly? (Seriously, this was years ago under Obama).
        Douchebags will be douchebags, and I’m not sure Trump changes the amount of “we must segregate ourselves!” (other than to perhaps decrease it, if some soulsearching happens) so much as he changes who feels happy about shouting it at other people.
        Everyone who decided that anyone who votes for Trump is a racist redneck monster — and loudly shouted this at people they know…. They’re the ones at fault for the Shy Trump Voter phenom.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kim says:

          @kim — I kinda don’t give a shit about the “shy trump voter” thing. After all, one is either stupid and venal enough to vote for him, or not. Whether you announce that is kinda not the point.

          I mean, I guess maybe it fucked up the polling some. So whatever.

          I expect most Trump voters are as empty as most non-Trump voters. Again, whatever. He’s in control now. He will do bad things. If nothing else, there will be no federal advances for trans rights in my lifetime.

          So it goes.

          Honestly I think our nation is gone. But it was gone before the election, we just didn’t realize it yet.

          Which is not to say the American empire is gone, nor its power, nor its tools of enforcement. If he orders a drone strike, there will be drone strike. That is as certain as if a mobster calls in a hit.

          I’ll keep voting, cuz it might do some good. I’ll keep going to work, cuz I gotta pay my bills. I’m getting my passport renewed, cuz obvi. I’m still a “US Citizen,” cuz that’s a material fact. But beyond that — resist, direct face-to-face. This ain’t “big picture.” This is about stomping that one fascist in front of me.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    Car Dealership: How the frick could there be nude photos? If you’ve never had nudies taken and posted online, you really don’t have a problem do you?

    @fillyjonk Dealership ratings/surveys. I actually fill them out. Generally I give C or B ratings. Once when I gave a lower rank, I got an immediate email addressing the issue. These guys get incentives on this and it effects their pay.

    Slain Cop: That’s some stand up quality PR right there! Jeebus.

    FBI: So they seized a server hosting child porn sites and threw up malware to collect IP data. So, the server is still on, and under the FBI’s control. Everything on that server is still on that server, but the server is displaying “error” pages. Ergo, server is still communicating to the outside world, server is under the control of the FBI. FBI is running a child porn hosting server. Fits my definition of “running”. Now, if that server was powered off, then no.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

      I’ve had a few interactions with car dealerships recently. They’ve said I may get a follow up survey from corporate. Anything less than “excellent” is considered a failure. They’ve said if I feel I might need to give less-than-excellent ratings, they’d like me to contact them first so that they can hopefully address the issue and earn that excellent. It is an interesting structure.Report

      • Avatar fillyjonk in reply to Kazzy says:

        That’s why I won’t fill out the surveys. My time is worth too much to me to spend it talking to ‘corporate’ about why the dealership wasn’t “perfect.” It’s flipping grade inflation – the expectation is you rank it as “excellent” all the time or face the “punishment” of having to do more surveys.

        Look, for my dealer, in my little town? The only way they could get an “excellent” from me is:

        a. Have loaner cars (they don’t, claiming it’s for “insurance” reasons. So if your car is stuck there for a couple days and you have but one car, like me, you’re on shank’s mare or stuck begging friends for rides – we don’t have Uber here and really don’t have a taxi service. I did rent a car once – a hundred dollars or so – just to cope when mine was in the shop for a while because of a recall issue)

        b. Have Saturday hours (they have late-in-the-day Tuesday and Thursday hours, but still: I don’t want to go to the dealer at 5 pm after a day at work)

        c. Have a nicer waiting room than they do, ideally a separate tv-free room for those of us who bring grading or something to work on while we’re waiting.

        My dealer is fine. If they were less than fine, I’d let them know. But I’m not going to claim they are “excellent” because my bar for “excellent” customer service is apparently higher than what they think it should be.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’ve had this from rental cars…when I gave the service a 3 out of 5. “how can we make it a 5”? I had no idea. I got a “rental” paid by the dealership. I came in, they processed the paperwork quickly, did the walk-through, and I was out the door in 15 minutes. I got what was expected. That’s not outstanding. Now, if I’d gotten a free upgrade? Maybe. Sheeze. I’m routinely told that 3 is a satisfactory ranking by my every employer I’ve ever had. You get a 5 when you go to extraordinary lengths. Getting what you expect in the time you expect isn’t extraordinary.Report

        • Avatar fillyjonk in reply to Damon says:

          this, exactly this.

          “When everyone is super, no one will be.”

          Good enough should be good enough. (I also see this creeping into the job review process in academia, and it has caused me a lot of stress: we have post-tenure review now and it’s not at all clear how “excellent” you have to be to dodge your status coming under review: I have no student complaints, high evaluations, have published a couple papers, have done everything required of me and then some, and I still worry it won’t be enough because it’s like we’re on a conveyor belt to see how much MORE we can do every year)Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to fillyjonk says:

            @fillyjonk

            So here’s what I was told, work wise. Every year more is expected from you. Therefore, if you got a 3 out of 5 the prior year, you have to work HARDER than last year to get the same 3 rating. I don’t have a problem with that, but you should at least know that the goal posts are moving.Report

            • Avatar fillyjonk in reply to Damon says:

              I figured that out this year but now it’s too late to dial back and slack a little, and slacking is against my nature.

              I am bad at playing games like this because I am far too literal-minded for my own good.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to fillyjonk says:

                Yah,

                That’s why I’m not cut out for mngt. I’m too “rules lawyer” and passive aggressive. If my boss cut me off at the knees in front of his boss for doing exactly what I was instructed me to do, I’d wouldn’t have rolled over. I’d gone for the throat.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

        Why they want all five-stars:

        https://xkcd.com/1098/Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Damon says:

      Why yes.

      And if you don’t have a credit card, you can’t be victim of credit card fraud.
      And if you’re not black, you can’t be victim of anti-black racism.
      And if you don’t own a store, you can’t be victim of store looting.

      Like your statement about “if you’ve never had nudies taken and posted online” those are trivially true, but also, when you look at it a moment, truly trivial.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    On 1 Trip, John Kerry Producing As Much CO2 as Average American Does in 1 Year

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/

    So why exactly did he need to go to Antarctica?Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to notme says:

      That’s roughly equivalent to 0.0000002402% of the CO2 produced by the US in 2014.

      Outrageous.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

        Guess I shouldn’t bother trying to reduce my CO2 usage, because John Kerry produced as much CO2 in one trip as I do in one entire year and even that was only two billionths of the total amount.Report

        • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to DensityDuck says:

          It would require collective action to make enough of a difference.

          It’s like the typical BS argument about taxes, “If Warren Buffet wants higher taxes, why doesn’t he just pay more?!” Even with Buffet’s massive wealth, he could only make a very tiny dent for a single year. Yet raising the taxes of everyone could produce a larger and more sustainable change.

          But of course it’s all a moot point if half the country doesn’t even acknowledge there’s a problem. Perhaps, though, that’s liberals’ fault for not listening enough to deniers.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

        Your smug answer didn’t really address the question why he needed to go there in the first place. Why go there and generate the co2 if you don’t really need to? Isnt that the first step in reducing our footprint or is that just for the commoners?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

      “The goal was to see firsthand the place that perhaps more than any other has climate scientists worried about melting ice and rising sea levels.”

      “More gravely, he got briefed on just how bad the situation is with the West Antarctic ice sheet…”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/14/here-are-pictures-of-john-kerry-in-antarctica-to-remind-you-global-warming-is-still-happening/Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

        Rephrased that’s “photo op”.

        And it wasn’t necessary. He could have been briefed via skype.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

        “The goal was to see firsthand the place that perhaps more than any other has climate scientists worried about melting ice and rising sea levels.”

        which I don’t think is correct, people are far more concerned about the Greenland ice sheets accelerated melting and their potential interruption in the Gulf Stream due to the salinity gradient.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

          (whose most vulnerable regions are far away from McMurdo station and not something he could visit on the trip)

          And he didn’t actually see the places the scientists are most worried about even on Antartica itself.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:

            It’s like politicians who journey to see first hand the devastation of a war* or natural disaster. It isn’t about actually seeing X first hand, it’s about being seen caring about X. Which, sure, can have a positive public effect for such events, but let’s be honest here, aside from good PR, the value of such trips is very limited with regard to the politician/official.

            But global warming doesn’t really care if Kerry took a look at Antarctica; and really, most activists won’t care either. I was either an ego trip for Kerry, or he had a sick new parka he wanted to stress test.

            *Speaking of which, who remembers HRC getting shot at on the tarmac in Bosnia? Good times that! I’m honestly surprised that one didn’t get dragged out during the campaigns.Report

  6. Avatar notme says:

    IRS denies tea party groups after long wait (almost 7 years) for decision on tax-exempt status.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/13/irs-denies-tea-party-groups-after-long-wait-for-de/Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Okay, the story about King County sending licensing letters to people who bought dog food at the local grocery store?

    This is why we will never have a gun registry.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

      A gun registry in my state.

      Today, I learned…
      That, in 2011, the county where I now reside* passed a measure requiring house pets to be registered. Neutered/Spayed dogs & cats get the $9 special, while unaltered animals have a fee of $39.
      That’s right: Dog balls are taxed at the rate of $15 per testicle.

      * Steering clear of the issue of domicile for a moment.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Cancelling the invite was wrong but that Tweet was misleading. It includes a quoted phrase (“shocking election results” that are not present anywhere in the email she was sent.Report

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