Morning Ed: History {2016.12.06.T}


Will Truman

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

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42 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Louisiana started out as a French colony and the nature of French and Spanish settlement in the Americas resulted in some very elaborate racial categories because relatively few French and Spanish women came over to the New World. More English women settled in British North America and this allowed for the simpler division into whites and blacks because more white men could mate with a white woman.

    Victoria Woodhull was a fascinating character. She ran a fowl of Anthony Comstock, who managed to become the national censor during the mid to late 19th century. Free love was mainly concerned with liberalizing divorce laws at the time.Report

  2. Avatar J_A says:

    @leeesq already said it

    The race nomenclature is taken almost verbatim from French ( 1682-1763 top table) and Spanish (1763-1803 bottom table) colonial law. The bottom (Spanish) one is missing the mixtures between mixed races, which also had their own peculiar names.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Friedersdork wrote another defeatist essay. Here’s the opener:

    Defending the liberal project is a Sisyphean task in part because successfully inculcating liberal norms leads to habits that weaken the ability to sustain them.


  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    “If you want to be rich, just hope that the government accidentally drops a nuke on your house.”

    They didn’t have to worry about the asbestos after that, did they? Mission accomplished.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    My understanding is that back in the day, Greenland had a high unemployment rate which led residents to take unsavory jobs overseas.Report

  6. Avatar Pinky says:

    I am so angry that someone wrote an article entitled “Eight Secret Societies You Might Not Know”. If they’re secret, then you shouldn’t know about them unless you’re a member. So the article should be “Eight Secret Societies You Might Not Be A Member Of”. But then, the author would have no way of knowing who’s a member of what secret society, because they’re secret. So we’re down to “Eight Secret Societies”. But if they’re being publicly discussed, they’re no longer secret. So “Eight Societies”. But no one’s ever going to click on that. So we’ll have to punch it up: how about “Eight Societies (You’ll Never Believe Number 4!)”? But properly, that should be “Eight Societies (You May Believe Number 4 Or May Not)”. My work is done here.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      You’ll never believe who is a member of #5!


    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      Back in the day, city directories (what they had before telephone books) typically included in the front section a page or two listing the city’s “secret societies” complete with contact information. Local newspapers frequently reported on the doings of the local secret societies.

      But seriously, I think the idea is not that the existence of these societies was secret, or even their membership, but rather that that had secrets hidden from anyone not initiated. Given that they frequently made blatantly implausible claims to antiquity, my guess is that these secrets were largely bullshit.

      On a related note, I was surprised to see the Odd Fellows included on that list. I don’t think of them as all that obscure, though they aren’t as widespread as, say, the Elks, much less the Masons. It probably depends on what part of the country you are in.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        I know a researcher who infiltrated (also known as joined) the Masons in order to learn about the Illuminati (no, they aren’t the same organization).Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

          A nice illustration of the difficulty finding non-bullshit information on the subject. Many non-bullshit researchers are put off the topic because they don’t want to be associated with the bullshit. Fortunately, here is a good exception to the general rule.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Researching for a video game. Ya can put up with a lot more nonsense if you’re willing to take yourself less than seriously.Report

      • The main animals inhabiting the African veldt are the elks, the moose, and the Knights of Pythias.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I don’t know what this means but I think it means that things are changing.

    And if things changing presents similarly to things being bad, then this looks bad.

    Almost all the jobs created since 2005 are temporary

    “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.


    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Hmmm… maybe I need to read the whole article (duh!) but I don’t see the connection between “not traditional” and “temporary”.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I will need smart people to correct me on this if I am wrong but I think that “temporary” is being used here as a term of art.

        It’s a government term. Not the way we use it in casual conversation.

        (Smart people? Did I get that right?)Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          @jaybird @kazzy

          The term “temporary” seems to be used in the colloquial sense.

          Here is the issue with being an independent contractor and/or temporary employee, the work is incredibly unsteady. I’ve worked as a freelancer or contract attorney in one way or another since graduating from law school. I’ve been in positions that lasted for over a year and on projects that lasted as little as two days. You also don’t know when a project is going to end. I’ve been let go of projects suddenly on the basis of a bad decision from a judge or the case settling. If I were a normal associate, I would still have a place to work the next day. As a contractor who works one case at a time, these sudden actions mean “unto the next gig.”

          Finally, a lot of positions can be labeled as sort of “perma-temp” things where you are acting like a full-time employee but still employed through an agency so they don’t have to pay you benefits or give you raises. More progressive states try and fight this. So someone could theoretically be a temp but has been working at the same place for two years.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Got it. But that may just be our new reality. At least until a new-new reality emerges.Report

    • Funny how when liberals complain about the “gig economy” we’re being clueless about economics.Report

  8. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    On the Secret Society front, I have been researching the Klan and have discovered that my understanding of its origins have been incorrect. I have always been taught that the Klan was started as a way to suppress blacks after the Civil War. And that’s certainly what it quickly became, but that wasn’t its original purpose.

    The Klan was started by a group of Confeds who were partially imitating/partially mocking the fashion among the upper classes at the time to start secret societies with made up mythologies and byzantine meeting rules. The name Ku Klux Klan is itself a bad pun, and all of the Grand Dragon/Cyclops/etc were all done on a lark. But then it was up and running, and they kept performing all the ceremonies, and when needing a cause to focus on chose the blacks, and before long the very people who started it as a farce bought into their own made-up mythologies. And then they got really ugly.

    When I read this, it so reminded me of the alt-right and the 4channers.Report

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