Morning Ed: United States {2016.12.12.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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208 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Upward mobility: Danger, danger in the comments section. Its filled with a lot of alt-right nonsense.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      I’m not certain that pointing out that the opposition is odious will work forever.

      We may wish to start assuming that pointing out that the opposition is odious will be seen as a lack of any sufficient argument against the points they are making.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Do you have a better strategy for arguing against people who believe in pseudo-science? The liberal answer for the lack of upward mobility among African-Americans is that it is a result of slavery and the long standing American system of discrimination against African-Americans. We believe we have a lot of evidence for this and marshal this evidence all the time to make our point. Our opponents routinely dismiss us as ignoring the “scientific reality” as they see it. If arguing against them with facts does not work and if calling them odious does not work than what will work?Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          And the non-liberal answer starts with: “Who the fuck do you think the slaves were? Not the smart ones, obviously. The smart ones won the wars in Africa.”

          But this is what happens when you listen to the factbased reality, rather than BellCurve idiots who think that “oooh! America makes a wonderful place to judge races together!” Selection bias all over the place in terms of who came here.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          Do you have a better strategy for arguing against people who believe in pseudo-science?

          I would resort primarily to science.

          Point the science out, point out how it works, point out what possibilities are excluded.

          It’s difficult, yes. More difficult than using the equivalent of memetic antibiotics.
          But there is the equivalent of memetic antibiotic resistance out there.

          Use science.
          Science will help you.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            You can’t reason people out of positions they didn’t get to by reason in the first place.

            You can appeal to emotion and gut-level thinking, although such blatant manipulations are distasteful. THOSE might work.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              If we use enough antibiotics, we can overcome antibiotic resistance?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                It’s more you’re trying to prescribe antivirals to a bacterial infection.

                If the problem were viral, you’d be onto something.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Well, for all our sakes’, I hope you’re right.

                From here, though, it seems to me like yelling about “racism” doesn’t work as well as it used to.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Ignoring the random subject change from pseudoscience to racism:

                There have been multiple studies showing that combating pseudoscience (anti-vaxxers for instance) with facts and studies to the contrary makes them double down on their original beliefs, not reassess it.

                I mean you can ignore that information if you want and double down on insisting your way will work…..but that’d kind of be proving my point, wouldn’t it?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Random subject change?

                Go back to the original article that was filled with the comments that we don’t like because they’re teeming with the alt-right.

                The alt-right comments that you didn’t bother reading are filled with the concept of “Human Biodiversity”.

                This is a concept that you will be wrestling with more and more and arguing against more and more and the people who will be arguing against you will experience the exhilaration of screaming that you are anti-science because you are denying the numbers that they are more than happy enough to wave around.

                There have been multiple studies showing that combating pseudoscience (anti-vaxxers for instance) with facts and studies to the contrary makes them double down on their original beliefs, not reassess it.

                You’re not worried about the HBd (that’s their acronym, for in case you see it again) doubling down.

                You’re worried about people who don’t know enough to pick a side between the people screaming “racist” and the people waving charts and screaming “science!”

                Choose wisely. The Global Climate Change argument was merely the warmup.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Random subject change?

                Yes. Lee talked about pseudoscience in general. Race was an example, but it’s by far the only one.

                And in that, the Tobacco industry continues to deliver. No one has really managed a method to deal with that type of PR blitz. The same playbook was used for Climate Change, anti-vaccination, and a host of other things.

                All it takes is an impressive name, a list of “scientists” and enough blather to kick in the “both sides” reflexes of journalists.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Remember the sweet innocent days of debating health care reform. Some people pointed out all the countries with uni HCR and the good results they had. That really swayed the argument for sooooooo many people. Gosh golly, just showing how well UniHC works just won the day. Oh sweet days of my dewy youth.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Jay, I understand what you’re saying here, but it’s just not the right case. I spent years engaging with HBD folks. Some are smart. Some are dumb. None of them are movable. None of them are moved in either direction by being called odious. None of them are representative of the median nor marginal Trump supporter. While throwing labels at them may not help, it’s unlikely to hurt. The playbook may generally need to be revisited, but not in this particular instance.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                Not to mention that, bluntly, engaging with them as if they had a reasonable point makes them more reasonable to the viewer.

                It hits a nasty trap in the human brain that says “If two people are arguing on different sides, the truth is probably in the middle”.

                It’s one of the real problems with the “get a quote from both sides” style of journalism.

                Anti-vaxers is a good example. It’s….the entire medical community versus one disbarred Doctor. You can even express it in math (the total immune challenge of the entire infant vaccination schedule is less than that of a fraction of those vaccinations in the 50s. We’re stressing infants immune systems a fraction as much as we did decades ago, not more!. You literally have “16 is less than 150” as a valid argument on one side and it doesn’t matter).

                But we get news that’s a quote on both sides, as if it was a puzzling problem wherein the data wasn’t in yet. As if both sides had equal points and equal support.

                And hey, you can’t really say “Yeah, anti-vaxxers are a bunch of whackjobs buying into a discredited bunch of crap” and expect to sway them. But give them all the data and rational reasons they’re wrong, and they’ll actually double down on their beliefs.

                I don’t know if the mushy middle can be swayed by “Anti-vaccination stuff is, bluntly, a load of faux science crap”. Probably not. But if you offer dueling white papers, you’re going to be showing them “Both sides have good points and are very equal, this is a legitimate controversy where no one has the answers” in a very visceral way.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                From here, it seems like we’ve just had an earthquake game-changer.

                More importantly, it seems like the alt-right is currently ascendant. Like, they’re getting bigger, they’re getting more of a platform, and people who, once upon a time, would never have encountered them are now encountering them.

                While I’m not sure that they’ve hit mainstream yet, they’re fixing to.

                And there is a lot of memetic antibiotic resistance in the general populace.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                OK so the invisible Persuadable Man, who is no longer being swayed by our charges of “racism” is actually a Neo Nazi white supremacist?Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              All positions are arrived at by reason.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Fun story: You can plug a guy into the right equipment, and watch neurons fire in real time.

                Even funner? You can watch real-time as a brain makes a decision before the neurons in the area of the brain responsible for ‘conscious thought’ react.

                Fun read, right?.

                Of course, that doesn’t even get into how nebulous a concept “reason” is. It often conjures up logical thought, but can also encompass emotional decision making with after-the-fact rationalization.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Morat20
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                So everything is just power and emotions and our side has the power now except… wait that’s wrong. Liberals are not in power now. The people you have in power are among the least liberal in the past 40 years. So either people nobody really knows anything as everything is just post hoc rationalisation (including the conclusion that everything is post hoc rationalisation from the experimental evidence) including the thought that all people are equal (post hoc rationalisation of an egalitarian prejudice!) Or it is possible to reason about some things. And rationality is something that we can actually aspire to and perhaps with great difficulty eventually achieve. We can write down our arguments. We can check our premises. We can even check whether the premises entail the conclusion. And when we are moved by such considerations we can count as being rational in at least that instance.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Murali
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                says:

                But Hillary Clinton won the popular vote!Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                @jaybird

                You know how you think we are heading for a divorce?

                Suppose you are right on this? What side are going to? The blue states or the red states?

                You have these options. None others.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                I’ll go where Maribou tells me to go. That likely depends on whether Colorado is blue or not. (Went blue in the last election, but who knows what happens to Denver/Boulder after a divorce.)

                If Colorado isn’t blue, looks like I’m moving to Canada.

                Hope they need tech support.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                They do and they’d be lucky to have you. Hell I’d probably ship me and Shawn back there too. We could all share a house in Toronto or something.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to North
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                says:

                @north That’d be a lot of fun, though longterm I couldn’t live in Toronto. I’m relatively easy though: anywhere but the Southern Ontario Urban Expanse, Vancouver, or Yellowknife. Other than that, post-national-divorce, just say the word.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                Okay it’s cool. Sj and I would just need an urban setting and if the US goes bugnuts Vancouver will have all of the UW west coast trying to cram itself into one over regulated little housing market.
                Still if it comes to it we’ll be in touch. We’ll make up a code phrase or something.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I’m doing my best to keep you both here, okay?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                “[T]hat doesn’t even get into how nebulous a concept “reason” is. It often conjures up logical thought, but can also encompass emotional decision making with after-the-fact rationalization.”

                I love it when you make posts like this, where you tell me “NO YOU ARE WRONG” and then agree with what I just said (but somehow I’m still wrong because it’s me saying it and not you.)Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                If that’s how you want to read it.

                After all, if your definition of “reason” includes emotion-based decision making, unconscious decision making, and impulse decisions, you’re certainly correct in that human beings make all their decisions by “reason”.

                It’s a bit of a tautology, as you’ve defined “reason” as “all mechanisms by which humans make a decision” which was, of course, not the definition in use at the time.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                “After all, if your definition of “reason” includes emotion-based decision making, unconscious decision making, and impulse decisions”

                Yes.

                That you don’t like the reasoning does not mean that there wasn’t reasoning.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            @jaybird — The other night two guys on the train were calling me “faggot” really loudly. How much responsibility did I have to try to engage them constructively?

            “Don’t read the comments, they’re full of alt-right shit-weasels” is good advice.

            You saw this link I posted the other day: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/29/her-partner-committed-suicide-then-trump-trolls-showed-up.html

            As I pointed out at the time, Elizabeth was Facebook friend. I actually saw that thread unfold. So… how much should I have engaged? Or else, can I just declare that those posting in that thread were human garbage, people with less than zero dignity, unworthy of any consideration beyond inexpressible contempt?

            Or should I rationally discuss how my friend’s suicide was hilarious?Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d
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              says:

              Let me add, people did try to engage with the people storming that thread, including Elizabeth’s family and close friends. The results were — well you all know exactly what the results were.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
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              says:

              Well, we’re not exactly talking about “Trump Trolls” here.

              We’re talking about the alt-right that has recently discovered the concept of “Human Biodiversity” and enough scientific jargon to weaponize some pseudo-scientific concepts.

              We’re not dealing with people making statements about how the world ought to be morally.

              We’re dealing with people who are using pseudoscience to explain how the world actually is and responding to this sort of thing with moral language rather than scientific language will fail.

              Even if you feel very, very strongly that you’re right and the alt-right is self-evidently offensive.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Jaybird: responding to this sort of thing with moral language rather than scientific language will fail.

                I don’t think so. I don’t have more than a gut feeling that scare quote scientific arguments can actually be beat by moral arguments, but I think that’s the case.

                For instance, the original wave of eugenics was mostly beat by moral arguments rather than just better science.

                The various victories in civil rights, from racism thru feminism to sexual identity were almost entirely based on morality, not science.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                Hrm. I’ll have to meditate on that.

                I think that one of the reasons that it worked in the past was an assumed shared moral common ground.

                But then I wonder whether the overlap between the eugenicist progressives and the eugenicist Nazis tainted the eugenicist movement as a whole… no science necessary.

                Maybe you’re right.
                I hope you’re right.
                It doesn’t feel like you’re right, though.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                The other issue is that most political decisions are not scientific decisions.

                I’ve seen that Morat20 mentioned the healthcare debate. That was an issue that had (some) facts, but there is no science that says HEALTHCARE POLICY SHOULD BE X.

                The winner of those debates are the parties that have the most compelling narratives for why their way is the preferable one. That should lean heavily on facts, or you’re more likely to get bad policy.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                No there was no science that said the policy should be X. However the anti- HCR said was saying things like Uni HC doesn’t remotely work in any country and all the outcomes are worse. Not just differing political ideas but completely wrong facts. That was the point. Having data was ignored or annihilated with anti-data. Admitting that Uni HC was even possible was anathema. So it’s nice to say blind them with science but many people, not all though, don’t’ want to hear it.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to greginak
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                says:

                The phrase “You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts” is currently under some debate.

                It shouldn’t be under debate, but it is. We’ve entered the post-fact Twilight Zone, and the people happily inventing their own facts have a huge advantage: Their facts can be anything, anything at all. They never have to be unpopular, unpleasant, or difficult.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Ok now, it wasn’t that long ago you would call someone spouting post-fact Twilight Zone nonsense proper fitted, tin foil hat conspiracy nut.

                What the hell happened man.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Joe Sal
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                says:

                I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

                We’ve had a problem with, well, people cheerfully ignoring (or inventing “facts”) for awhile. It goes back to, oh, the tobacco/cancer link thing at least. Probably further.

                With the internet, it’s exploded. We’re not debating common facts we all agree on. Now we’re forced to debate people who literally invent facts to suit their opinions, and demand they be treated as actual facts and not something they literally just made up.

                So the phrase “you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts” might be true — except today, people are trying really hard to be entitled to their own facts.

                Which, as noted, once you can invent any facts you want, you’re going to win a lot of arguments. Invented facts rarely have any downside. Real facts often do.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                … and the whole bus clapped.
                Don’t mansplain the truth, brother!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                The winner of those debates are the parties that have the most compelling narratives for why their way is the preferable one. That should lean heavily on facts, or you’re more likely to get bad policy.

                That thing that makes this narrative more compelling than that one?

                We’ve just had a tipping point of some kind when it comes to that thing.

                We really need to figure out what that thing is.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I’m not certain that pointing out that the opposition is odious will work forever.

        Work with whom?
        You, or the Invisible Man in your pocket?
        Can we meet this guy, and let him speak in his own words?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Work with whom?

          Persuadables who notice that “offensive” and “incorrect” mean different things.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Man, is this Persuadable man doing all the goal post shifting on his own, or are you helping him?

            I mean, at first it sounds like this invisible guy is some moderate David Frum type of conservative, then it turns out he is actually a Alt-Right Neo Nazi, then some sort of cross between a Holocaust denier and a anti-vaxxer.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Maybe you should just keep running with what you’ve been doing.

              Couldn’t hurt!Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                That was totally, absolutely, incredibly non-responsive to what he said. It had nothing to do with what he said.

                It wasn’t even beside the point, it was not even in within a light-year of his point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Well, my point is something like this:

                “Holy cow. The whole calling people ‘racists’ thing is not working right around the time that there is a new set of players showing up with racialist science. Arguing against this new set of players by calling them ‘racist’ is going to fail. Not because they aren’t racist, but there are a lot of people who are going to be persuadable on this science point because of the various groundwork that has already been laid in other arguments where one side was the science side and the other side decidedly wasn’t.”

                His response was to make associations between these theoretical persuadables and nazis and, effectively, rely heavily on the whole “RACISM” claim.

                Which is the argument style that was relied upon up to this point and resulted in, among other things, PEOTUS Trump.

                For the record: if you guys keep doing what you’ve been doing?

                You’re going to fail.

                Again.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Its a shame liberals/ POC’s don’t have you on our side against the racists.

                Saying the word racist is overused is quite different from saying people should argue science with HBD types. Very different points. One is good the other is a silly.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                If the main way that you can tell whether someone is on “your” side is how loudly they chant “racist” with you, you’ve already lost.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Wow that is epically off the point of what i said. Solid work.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                For the record: if you guys keep doing what you’ve been doing?
                You’re going to fail.

                You seem quite concerned.
                But not enough to offer an alternative.

                Because your point, as you put it, is that we shouldn’t call racists racists, because that pisses them off.

                Instead we should…

                ???Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Lee asked me this earlier in the thread.

                I’ll copy and paste my answer to him:

                Do you have a better strategy for arguing against people who believe in pseudo-science?

                I would resort primarily to science.

                Point the science out, point out how it works, point out what possibilities are excluded.

                It’s difficult, yes. More difficult than using the equivalent of memetic antibiotics.
                But there is the equivalent of memetic antibiotic resistance out there.

                Use science.
                Science will help you.

                Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Except that doesn’t work. We’ve pointed out various studies that show that using science and reason causes people to double down on the beliefs you’ve just throw into doubt, not change them.

                Which, ironically, is what you’re doing here. Told that your preferred solution not only doesn’t work, it often makes the problem worse, you’ve ignored that in favor of reiterating your preferred solution.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Told that your preferred solution not only doesn’t work

                Let me point out the comment that I was responding to:

                You seem quite concerned.
                But not enough to offer an alternative.

                I was not responding to arguments that said that my preferred solution doesn’t work.

                I was responding to an argument that said that I did not offer a preferred solution.

                Now the argument that my preferred solution doesn’t work is an interesting one and, I agree, a depressing one.

                I can only point out that it sure as hell looks from here like your preferred solution has stopped working and won’t work in the future and will, indeed, make the problem worse.

                If you think “that’s not true!”, hey. Awesome.

                Maybe you should just keep running with what you’ve been doing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well yeah, “science” works.
                For a certain set of people.

                “Racism” works.
                For a certain set of people.

                Shame, mockery, gentle cajoling…they all work for certain sets of people.

                There isn’t some magical argument that works always everywhere.

                Which is why there is so much pushback against the Invisible Everyman, in whom you put so much authority.

                He doesn’t exist.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Well, then, if I’m wrong then I am wrong and you should not change at all and, indeed, you’re doing what will inevitably turn out to be what worked.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                You always return to that dodge.

                Always. Someone pushes back on your pet solution, even one you’ve admitted might have problems, and you come back to “Well then JUST KEEPING DOING THAT OTHER THING THEN”.

                It’s bullshit on many levels. First, like you switch from Jaybird to Everyman when convenient to you, you switch between the person you’re talking to and “Generic Opposition Group As Imagined By Jaybird” — here you’re basically using Chip as a proxy for any liberal or Democratic approach by anyone you dislike, even if he’s never advocated it.

                It is, as I’ve mentioned before, pointless to discuss things with you. You won’t own your own opinions, swapping between your voice and an imaginary everyman. You won’t address other people’s opinions, switching from what they’ve said or endorsed to an argument that may or may not have been used by a group he may or may not be associated with.

                You freely mix and match your own opinions and accusations between individuals, imaginary people, groups, imaginary groups, and use whatever you can to make whatever point you’ve got in your head* — regardless of whether it has a flipping thing to do with anyone or anything actually said.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                He didn’t change my mind.
                I’m pretty certain that I’m not going to change his.

                I’ve realized that we’re in a place much like with the election where these things will play out the way that they’re going to play out and then we will be on the other side saying “what the hell happened?”

                If you guys are right, hey. No problem. You’ll call this new-fangled “alt-right” a bunch of racists and they’ll wither and be shamed and hide.

                And I’ll be wrong.

                No problem.

                I don’t think I’m wrong on this, though.

                But I also think that I won’t change your mind.

                That’s not a “dodge”. It’s acknowledging things.

                We’ll see how this plays out.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                It might be useful here to consider what we mean by and argument that “works”.

                For me, this is not an abstract intellectual debate. I have several family members and friends who are Trump supporters. Its up close and personal.

                No, calling someone “racist” doesn’t change minds, if you imagine them slapping their head and exclaiming “By God you’re right!”.

                But it “works” to express to them how painful and ugly their sentiments are, how ugly and horrific Trump is.

                We aren’t talking about rational things here, that science will clarify. No one studied biological and neurological data and concluded they should vote Trump.

                Trump, and his supporters are expressing ugly, dark and horrific things. When I, and millions of others, look at his message, his rallies, the Facebook memes and tweets, what we see is anger, seething rage against entire groups, races and nationalities.

                There isn’t a smooth sly sophisticated Debate Club argument that will shut this down.

                That sort of search for the Perfect Argument Against Which There Can Be No Response is adolescent and naive.
                It desires a world in which one side holds all the agency, and the other is helpless but to submit to the superior firepower of logic.

                How my family members and friends listen to our expressions of horror and respond is not my choice to make; its theirs. Its their choice to listen or not, search their souls or not, and see beyond their own fears and anxieties, or not.

                In the end, all we have is the truth, the truth of our own pain.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Chip,
                Like Clinton wasn’t expressing dark and hateful things.
                Right.
                Beating the drum of war towards Russia, of all people — to protect against some motherfucking e-mails?

                http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/i-know-who-leaked-dnc-emails-russian-involvement-utter-bullst-says-assange-confidante-1596053Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                It might be useful here to consider what we mean by and argument that “works”.

                An argument that gets people to change their mind to the point where they will vote the correct way.

                If an argument gets people to shut up long enough to get to the voting booth and then vote the wrong way, then this argument did not “work” even though it presented identically to an argument that “worked” in the days coming up to the election.

                The election demonstrates to me that the previous form of argumentation did not “work”.

                They failed.

                And my hot take is that if you continue to use them, they will continue to fail.

                Now if you’re using a different definition of “work” then perhaps this is something so simple as us talking past each other.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I don’t believe that arguments work that way, that people hear them and promptly change their minds. Science or not, logic or not, sly marketing persuasion or not.

                Again, this seems more like a search for the “One Weird Trick” that will totally devastate Trump supporters. Such an argument doesn’t exist, and can’t possibly exist.

                Trumpism is the result of years, even decades, of dedicated hard work by millions of people. It is the product of many different agendas and interests that found their moment in this one man.
                When it is defeated, it won’t be an argument, singular, but many different ones from many different angles and perspectives.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, my original point was that avoiding the comments because they’re filled with the alt-right was a bad choice.

                Arguing against the alt-right using arguments based on the alt-right being odious rather than the alt-right being wrong is also a bad choice.

                My suggestions involve arguing dispassionately and not personalizing the argument.

                Because the stuff that was being done was not working.

                I am arguing that the tactics that were being used were failing and that they needed to be changed.

                Unless, of course, you don’t see the election as a failure, but merely a miscalibration that would have worked under different circumstances and the only thing that needs to change is the precise calibration of what has been going on for a while.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                My suggestions involve arguing dispassionately and not personalizing the argument.

                Which, you know, doesn’t work either.

                You have two assumptions built into your statements there.

                1. That there are only two approaches: Cry racism, or argue dispassionately.
                2. That there exists a winning stratagem at all.

                The first is, of course, trivially untrue. There are any number of potential approaches (the number of approaches that might work at all is, of course, much smaller. The second is at least potentially untrue — there are any number of no-win scenarios in general, any number of times when the best you can do is mitigate a loss as much as possible.

                Just because we’re arguing with modern Nazi’s doesn’t mean there’s a winning solution. (I mean you’d THINK, since they’re pretty much modern Nazi’s, but life ain’t ideal).

                You’ve locked yourself into a very tiny box, and are slotting anyone who disagrees with you at all into one of them — no matter how poorly the fit.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird – I note that the point you seem to be making is, if your tactics aren’t working, try something else. DON’T KEEP DOING THE SAME THING.

                Then I note that how well your tactics have been working since you started making this argument right around November 9. MAybe Im missing something, but they haven’t worked well, have they? Then I note your tactical rigidity in the face of such failure. And then I start to wonder how strongly you actually believe all the things you keep saying.

                Because there is a bit of a disconnect there, no? Which is fine. Happens to all of us. But it may be a useful data point that helps you realize, when you really believe something, you kind of just have to roll with it, sometimes tactics be damned. And once you get that, you can get to, “If Im so willing to cut myself some slack on this, maybe I oughta cut [MORAT/Chip/etc.,] the same slack.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to switters
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird – I note that the point you seem to be making is, if your tactics aren’t working, try something else. DON’T KEEP DOING THE SAME THING.

                Well, my point is also that we need to swing away from emotive arguments that rely heavily on personalizing and instead focus on stuff like science and measurables.

                I’d like to think that any given average joe who reads these comments walks away thinking that the guy arguing in the service of dispassion came off better than the folks arguing about the importance of putting emphasis on the moral status of those against whom they were arguing.

                Then I note that how well your tactics have been working since you started making this argument right around November 9. MAybe Im missing something, but they haven’t worked well, have they?

                I’d also point out that going back 34 days is not going back a particularly long distance at all in my view.

                At the very least, we’re not going to be able to measure much of anything until either some sort of social/cultural seismic event (think 1929 stock market crash levels) or 2018 elections (and there are reasons to believe that the 2018 elections won’t be a particularly good measure).

                Because there is a bit of a disconnect there, no?

                It depends on your time horizon. Mine is somewhat longer than what you seem to think my time horizon would be.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, my point is also that we need to swing away from emotive arguments that rely heavily on personalizing and instead focus on stuff like science and measurables.

                Yes, and as I’ve pointed out several times — that doesn’t actually work either. People do studies on them, on all sorts of issues. Anti-vaxxers and Climate Change, to name two.

                And what they find is that faced with contradictory evidence, people double down harder on the issue. At least in the context of a non-personal interaction. It doesn’t even work that well in the context of a one-on-one between two people with high trust.

                Which means your ‘preferred method’ is doesn’t work either. It sounds great on paper, though. I’d prefer a world where that worked too.

                I’d like to think that any given average joe who reads these comments walks away thinking that the guy arguing in the service of dispassion came off better than the folks arguing about the importance of putting emphasis on the moral status of those against whom they were arguing.

                That’s an optics argument now. We’ve moved from facts to appearances.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, and as I’ve pointed out several times — that doesn’t actually work either. People do studies on them, on all sorts of issues. Anti-vaxxers and Climate Change, to name two.

                And my counter-argument is that the point of arguing dispassionately against anti-vaxxers/anti-GCCers is not to change the minds of the anti-vaxxers/anti-GCCers but to change the minds of the people who come to the argument and just don’t know.

                The thing that you do *NOT* want is to turn this into a red tribe/blue tribe thing if you want it to be resolved.

                As a matter of fact, I think that the absolute *WORST* thing that could possibly happen would be to turn the Vax thing, for example, into a red/blue thing. “Vaccine makers just want to make money off of patents and inject you with mercury and if you trusted Mother Nature you would let your children get chicken pox! DON’T GIVE MONEY TO TRUMP’S VACCINE COMPANIES!”

                That’s an optics argument now. We’ve moved from facts to appearances.

                Do you want to win elections?
                I submit: caring enough about optics to look at Hillary Clinton without blinders would have benefited the Democratic Party two years ago.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And my counter-argument is that the point of arguing dispassionately against anti-vaxxers/anti-GCCers is not to change the minds of the anti-vaxxers/anti-GCCers but to change the minds of the people who come to the argument and just don’t know.

                I know. I’ve responded to that argument at least twice now. Here’s the third: Argument to moderation is a standard fallacy, and one that hits doubly hard given the modern media, and triply hard now that we’re making up facts.

                If that approach worked, half of America wouldn’t think Climate Change is a Chinese hoax.

                It’s a real flaw in your solution, and one you ignore in favor of sneering “Well then go back to your election winning previous way” as if that had a dang thing to do with the fitness of your proposed solution.

                Lastly, for the love of God — people have actually BEEN trying your solution. Witness, as I noted, their glorious success on Climate Change, as just one example.

                Do you want to win elections?
                I submit: caring enough about optics to look at Hillary Clinton without blinders would have benefited the Democratic Party two years ago.

                Not caring about optics won the GOP the whole shebang.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                I know. I’ve responded to that argument at least twice now. Here’s the third: Argument to moderation is a standard fallacy, and one that hits doubly hard given the modern media, and triply hard now that we’re making up facts.

                I’m not saying that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

                I’m saying that the truth exists and arguing in service to the truth is a better argument than arguing that people who are members of the other tribe are bad.

                Arguing in service to “well, the science says *THIS*” is not arguing that we ought to be “moderate”. We ought to be slavishly devoted to being correct to the point where we see appeals to emotion as being incorrect.

                If that approach worked, half of America wouldn’t think Climate Change is a Chinese hoax.

                I actually think that half of America argues that Climate Change is a Chinese hoax because it was turned into a red tribe/blue tribe argument instead of an engineering problem.

                Not caring about optics won the GOP the whole shebang.

                This strikes me as incorrect. But it would require what we mean when we talk about caring, optics, the GOP, and what the shebang was.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, anything more complicated than “What shall we have for dinner” will end up a red/blue thing, because politics is how we make large decisions.

                There’s no avoiding “politicizing” anything once it hits, oh, state level at the latest.

                It becomes politicized automatically.

                I’m saying that the truth exists and arguing in service to the truth is a better argument than arguing that people who are members of the other tribe are bad.

                Yes, I also agree the truth exists and that arguing based on facts is objectively a better thing. But we don’t live in that society anymore. We’re post-truth. One side cheerfully makes up their own facts. Did you know Donald Trump won in a landslide? Both popular vote and EC?

                That’s a fact now, to a large number of people.

                That’s the world we live in, and you need to face the fact that arguing on facts right now? It’s pointless. Spitting into the win. You’re trying to argue facts in a world where the President-elect makes them up daily.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, anything more complicated than “What shall we have for dinner” will end up a red/blue thing

                “What shall we have for dinner is defnitely” included in the red/blue thing in the era of arugula reactionaries and yogurt decolonists.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Arugala is an old battle. Kale is the front lines and Pumpkin Spice is apparently either Santa’s greatest gift or the Devil’s favorite smoothie flavor.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure I’ll never accidentally eat arugula or kake, although tonight I seered up a yummy steak. Pumpkin spice, on the other hand, is passably tasty. For example, our local gentrified gay watering hole is, for the season, serving a lovely pumpkin spice martini. It does what you want a frou frou martini to do.

                Oh and fuck Trump and the Russian strongman dictator he rode in on.

                What were we discussing again?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird: and what the shebang was.

                Trump attracting the spotlight was exactly Willam Hung attracting the spotlight.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “I actually think that half of America argues that Climate Change is a Chinese hoax because it was turned …”

                At this point, I thing that you should have stopped and asked yourself why you used the passive voice.

                All models are wrong; some are useful. Who among us has the training and the patience to build a useful climate model? (Experts.)

                Who among us can analyze the model and estimate the point at which the increase in global average temperature constitutes an unacceptable risk to our civilization? (No one, really. We’ve never done this before. It may be the case that utterly destructive sea level rise, crop failure and collapse of fisheries is already unavoidable. But in the absence of relevant historical examples, the only other alternative is to ask experts to build yet more models.)

                But there’s no need to ask why expertise has been demonized and how it is that the issue became politicized. It just happened.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Francis
                Ignored
                says:

                But there’s no need to ask why expertise has been demonized and how it is that the issue became politicized. It just happened.

                The debate has been a moral debate for as long as I’ve been politically aware. Debates that ranged from the acid rain arguments to the ozone hole to VHEMT/deep ecology debates to the science wars were around prior to An Inconvenient Truth and arguments over how Exxon was paying for scientists to call the scientific consensus into question.

                If you’d like me to point out that energy companies are deliberately lying in the exact same way that tobacco companies lied about the risks of “coffin nails”, consider it done.

                The moral debates, though, go back a looooong way. They were certainly here when I got here.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But of course the debates are moral debates! They are about the planet we choose to live on!

                Quite seriously, what’s wrong with acid rain? The coal source for a bunch of power plants is high in sulfur. They burn it and downwind some trees die (plus other environmental impacts), allegedly because of the sulfur content in the rain.

                So what? Why should anybody care? Why should the power plants have to install expensive scrubbers, driving up the cost of power (which, I’ll note, disproportionately impacts poor people who are least capable of absorbing the regulatory tax associated with cleaner power)?

                The industrial era killed and maimed people too. Why care about them? Why should capitalists be forced to obey complex safety regulations, thereby raising the cost of the goods and services that they provide?

                We only get to the technical question of how to solve a problem once there’s enough votes that says that a problem exists. Otherwise it’s just another externality that’s someone else’s problem.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Well, my point is also that we need to swing away from emotive arguments that rely heavily on personalizing and instead focus on stuff like science and measurables.” This is great. I don’t necessarily agree, but I don’t strongly disagree with it either. But it sounds like a position you hold, rather than an argument against a position no one holds. And “swing away from” strikes me as a fair bit more measured than your typical pronouncements. My guess is in response to such a statement, you’re likely to get a more dispassionate response than some of your other comments have elicited. And to the extent I do disagree, its really only because I suspect, probably based on your other comments, that you think calling someone a racist is incompatible with this approach. I don’t think it is. Using the term too much is incompatible, but I can “swing away from” without taking the “call out a racist” tool out of my box.

                Its weird to me that you think “I’d like to think that any given average joe who reads these comments walks away thinking that the guy arguing in the service of dispassion came off better than the folks arguing about the importance of putting emphasis on the moral status of those against whom they were arguing.”, given the effect you think liberals’ smugness had on the election and how effective Trump was at stirring the passions. I mean I hope your right. But the only reason I think there is a chance you are right is that the average joe here aint the average joe everywhere else.

                “I’d also point out that going back 34 days is not going back a particularly long distance at all in my view.” Fair enough. But I have to wonder, when the undetermined timeframe is announced, what will success look like? I also note that over any sufficiently long time period during the last 200 years, recent setbacks notwithstanding, calling out racists has been a pretty effective strategy. So what timeline are you working on, and why is that the correct one?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to switters
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think it is. Using the term too much is incompatible, but I can “swing away from” without taking the “call out a racist” tool out of my box.

                You know what? Fair enough. I do think that it proved so very effective in recent years that it got used more than it should have because it proved so effective… and, much like with antibiotic resistance, we’re finding ourselves with variants that aren’t particularly affected by it.

                I can see why it’s a useful tool to use against those people.

                I just don’t think that it ought to be the tool of first resort. Dismantle the HBd science and *THEN* use it.

                But the only reason I think there is a chance you are right is that the average joe here aint the average joe everywhere else.

                The average joe here is a joe who will occasionally venture to argue politics with people in real life, I reckon. I would hope that these average joes get good tools here that work very well against real life people.

                But I have to wonder, when the undetermined timeframe is announced, what will success look like?

                Once upon a time, I would have said “Like EPCOT multiculturalism”. At this point, I’d say “keeping the Union intact without violence and returning to a more stable equilibrium of trust/collaboration”. What *THAT* would look like? I dunno. More jobs/employment and something that looks vaguely like détente in the culture war.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “keeping the Union intact without violence and returning to a more stable equilibrium of trust/collaboration”” –

                Spoiler Alert – we never actually have had a more stable equilibrium of trust/collaboration. What we had was a more stable equilibrium of trust/collaboration among white people that was possible because white people were united in keeping non-white people in a lower level of society.

                And again, what you call “détente” in the culture war means “liberals agree that some minorities rights will have to be limited for the fear of reactionary white folks.”

                The Union will stay intact because all those old white folks who hate the government love their Social Security checks.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                Jesse Ewiak: The Union will stay intact because all those old white folks who hate the government love their Social Security checks.

                BAH GAWD JESSE, THAT’S PAUL RYAN’S MUSIC!!Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve been an average joe reading comments on this site for a very long time.

                You typically don’t come accross as a dispassionate guy providing rational analysis. You typically come accross as a irritatingly vague guy who is attempting to do the Socratic method but not getting even to a stones throw of success.

                The sad thing is that when you actually bother to explain your ideas in detail, they are usually pretty persuasive and jib with a lot of what I think are the flaws in stereotypical liberal bubble thinking.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Brent F
                Ignored
                says:

                For the record, I keep engaging with Jaybird for the times that “Jaybird actually says what he thinks”.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                This:

                It is, as I’ve mentioned before, pointless to discuss things with you. You won’t own your own opinions, swapping between your voice and an imaginary everyman. You won’t address other people’s opinions, switching from what they’ve said or endorsed to an argument that may or may not have been used by a group he may or may not be associated with.

                This is new-ish behavior, and certainly there are a number of people on this forum not worth talking to, but @jaybird was previously not among them. Something has changed. He’s become flimsiest of flim-flam men, zero integrity. It’s sad.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                As best I can tell? He dislikes the results of the election, a lot.

                But he knows conservatives and GOP voters won’t listen, so he hectors anyone looking suspiciously liberal to “FIX IT FOR GOD’S SAKE FIX IT” and demands they make any change he feels might work, regardless of how it fits to (or does not) their ideology.

                He’s not responsible for fixing it himself, of course (he tends to like to play wise teacher/above the fray. He’s not part of the problem, you see). And if you point out any idea he’s tossed off is unworkable, he shrieks “THEN KEEP CALLING THEM RACIST” even if you were talking about, I dunno, the best home rules for a game of Spades.

                Because he is very desperate that things get better and literally only one side will listen, so by god they’ll change something because he’s not going to live like this.

                Coincidentally, this also means the side that will listen to and engage him must be to blame (if they weren’t, changing wouldn’t fix anything).

                I admit, I’m getting heartily sick of being told “KEEP CALLING THEM RACIST THEN” no matter what the freakin’ subject. He’s getting close to getting on the Kim list (you know, people it’s not worth responding to because it’s just going to be a waste of everyone’s time. I mean he’s not crazy, it’s just…trying to talk to him is such a waste of time. It’s like pulling teeth to even get his own opinion out of him).Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Bullets fix things. Liberals Have Bullets.
                I suggest we use bullets on the people not worth saving.

                Unless you really think that the people playing games instead of answering the phone at the suicide hotline, and then Fundraising off the dead guy, actually are worth saving. [PickUp rate for one suicide hotline: less than 3%. $end Money$!$]Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                My opinions are not interesting. Not even to me.

                My observations, however, are either right or they are wrong.

                And if they’re right then one of the things that needs to happen is for people to prepare themselves for racial science discussions in the next few years because the alt-right is going to experience a bubble and the HBd folks are going to have a bunch of major platforms.

                If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong! Nothing to worry about! Go back to sleep! Try to figure out how to get this “fake news” thing to work out and get the right 51% of the country to show up at the polling booths again.

                I don’t think that I’m wrong, though. I think that something has broken and something very, very bad is going to happen in the next 10 years. Divorce or War.

                And you guys, my fam, need to prepare yourselves for this coming whatever-it-is.

                If I’m wrong, though… no problem. Keep doing what you’re doing.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jay,
                Take all the chips or go home.
                The powers that be are starting to play for keepsies.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, you need to understand there is a clear difference between the following statements:

                1) I think nothing is wrong and needs to be addressed.
                2) I think something is wrong and needs to be addressed, but I think your proposed solution will not work/address the problem.

                You keep acting like people relentlessly choosing the 2nd are actually choosing the 1st.

                That’s what keeps exasperating people. Disagreeing with your proposed solution is not saying “There’s no problem”. It’s not even saying “let’s keep the status quo”. It’s simply saying “That won’t work either“.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                I think something is wrong and needs to be addressed, but I think your proposed solution will not work/address the problem.

                Hey, then we’re halfway there, if that’s what people are saying.

                I was more under the impression that instead of talking about the something that was wrong and needed to be addressed, they were talking about me personally.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well yes, in that you keep responding to positions no one is holding.

                Saying “your solution won’t work, this is why” is not a vote for the status quo — and especially not a vote for a possible status quo maybe held by a nebulous mass of faceless people.

                It’s simply a statement of “This is the problem with your proposed solution”.

                That doesn’t even get into a further issue: There may BE no solution. It may be that, indeed, pointing at racists and saying “Racist” (to use your favorite hobbyhorse) might actually be the most effective strategy, but still be a losing one.

                You can be morally and factually correct, and find that it not sufficient to win an election.

                Something I wonder about more and more, because the media is in it to sell your eyeballs to advertisers. A sensational lie (or one people simply wish to believe for any reason) or even just sensational, but baseless, speculation will always generate more coverage than a boring truth.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “It may be that, indeed, pointing at racists and saying “Racist” (to use your favorite hobbyhorse) might actually be the most effective strategy, but still be a losing one.”

                Welp

                that’s what Jaybird is saying.

                So that’s pretty cool how in the comments on this post you’ve said that both I and he were wrong and in the same comment you’ve presented the positions we held as being yours.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, that’s…not what either of us are saying.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                I think it’s interesting to note the pro-Trump arguments are not arguments at all, but are mostly expressions of pain and anxiety by the white middle class, of rage against Muslims, Mexicans and the “global elite”.

                Expressions of pain are actually a form of argument, a way of saying “STOP!”

                People like us, white college educated professionals are most often detached from the immediate impact of politics, to where it becomes a dispassionate affair of the intellect.
                So we are uncomfortable with raw unfiltered rage and fear.

                I recall reading that MLK’S biggest frustration was with moderates who saw him as too angry, too confrontational and who searched for a civil rights movement that didn’t create rage and hostility. But we know now that such a thing never could have existed because it’s mere existence generated rage.

                Saying “Black Lives Matter” does that today. It doesn’t matter if liberals use the word “racist” or not.
                “Immigrants deserve a path to citizenship”; “Refugees deserve sanctuary” ; “Muslims are peaceful Americans”; “Transgendered people deserve respect and acceptance”.

                These statements, by themselves induce rage and hostility among Trump followers.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                For what it’s worth, Jaybird, you’re making great points clearly, and I don’t know why people aren’t seeing that. Maybe there’s history here that I don’t know about.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m a mean drunk.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “I tryed a sip of altruism once, worst beating I ever took.”Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky, you have to understand that it feels so, so lovely to say things like “I swear he would stand over the dead body of Gwen Araujo and lecture us about how smugness led to this” to someone who actually hangs around to see you say it.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I betcha that felt great to say, didn’t it?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                ” you need to understand there is a clear difference between the following statements:

                1) I think nothing is wrong and needs to be addressed.
                2) I think something is wrong and needs to be addressed, but I think your proposed solution will not work/address the problem.”

                You need to understand that there is a clear difference between the following statements:

                1) I think something is wrong and needs to be addressed.
                2) This all happened because of racists.

                You keep acting like people relentlessly choosing the 2nd are actually choosing the 1st.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s because Jaybird has taken to randomly bombing threads with “Keep calling them racists, maybe it’ll work this time” or variants thereof.

                Even when people are just picking through his suggestions and finding problems. Where literally no one is saying “We should just keep calling them racists”.

                I mean maybe he’s doing that invisible everyman thing.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “Jaybird has taken to randomly bombing threads…”

                So did you not actually read this whole thread, or did you just see that Jaybird was posting in it and since Jaybird is always wrong he must be wrong this time too?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                @morat20 — I swear he would stand over the dead body of Gwen Araujo and lecture us about how smugness led to this.Report

      • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Work well for whom? It seems like it has worked incredibly well for the R’s.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Odious is odious, and sometimes you have to point it out as such.

        This should not, however, be confused with strategy. Or, at least, with a strategy that hasn’t just failed to an utterly staggering degree.

        As Charlie Sheen might say, “Winning!”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          The fact that “odious” is orthogonal to “wrong” is something that should really, really trouble people who want to rely on “odious” to argue against a team that is currently winning the “we ought to abandon political correctness” argument.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Odious in not orthogonal to wrong. To be odious is to be wrong. But being right isn’t a plan.

            Being right didn’t defeat the Nazis or the Confederates – a multi year military and political fight did.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not entirely certain of that in our post-truth reality.

              Maybe “To be odious is to be wrong” would have been true once.

              I’m not sure it is anymore.

              It’s not enough to point out that a thing is odious. It needs to be pointed out that it is odious *AND* wrong. Not assumed that, hey, we just have to do the heavy lifting for odious and the rest takes care of itself.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kolohe
              Ignored
              says:

              Homosexuality was odious. Gay marriage was odious. Paying taxes proportional to income was odious. Moving away from the gold standard was odious. Allowing women to vote was odious (so much so, in fact, that the first thing they used their voting power to do was overturned a few years afterward.)Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
              Ignored
              says:

              Okay, I’ve thought about this some more.

              “Odious” is one of those things that is very much rooted in a local culture.

              Right/Wrong (in the sense of “correct/incorrect” and accuracy and whatnot) is rooted in Enlightenment culture (among other cultures, of course) to some extent but, where it’s rooted in stuff like “testability” and the like, it’s rooted in something that will transcend culture.

              We know things today are not odious that our ancestors thought were odious (and vice-versa) and we think things are/are not odious that will come across to our descendants the way we look at people 100, 200, 400 years ago.

              When it comes to correct/incorrect, we can look back on our ancestors and say that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

              When it comes to odious? Not so much. And its worse when we try to extrapolate how our descendants will judge our ability to measure odium.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Black Gay Privilege: This was straight out harassment, maybe even sexual harassment.

    Relocating Gov’t: Interesting idea…but what about the current employees? Most aren’t going to want to relocate, especially if they have kids or are young. Cleveland? Well, I was often in Dayton and once or twice in Cleveland. Meh. Of course, you don’t need everyone. You can move the important people and hire locally, which would be even better for the local economy. I’ve seen this work in the city where I grew up in. The public school faced enormous pressure to step up the education quality as all these new parents expected their kids to go to college. The economic activity increased the property tax base providing more funding and such.

    Sinkhole: This wasn’t nature striking back. This was likely man caused between the fitting of the old and new pipe.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      Agreed. I don’t see how this talks about black gay anything, it talks about how anyone can have a dipshit boss.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        @north — I don’t think that is quite fair. Yeah, anyone can have a dipshit boss, just as anyone can be denied housing, anyone can be denied shelter, anyone might get shot by a cop, anyone-anyone-anyone. But there are certain trends.

        I lived over forty years in the skin of a white male. During that time I was sexually assaulted once. I’ve been presenting as a woman for a bit over four years now. I’ve been sexually assaulted about six to ten times, depending on how you count. This difference is not an accident.

        When black people talk about their psychological reality, living in a white-dominant society, it is easy to say, “Well those things can happen to anyone,” and indeed they can, but that misses the point.

        #####

        I was once sexually assaulted by an attractive, popular lesbian woman at a queer dance party. I said nothing. The reason I said nothing is very simple: I did not believe for a second that anyone there would take my side, a relatively unknown trans woman calling out a pretty lesbian. I would be socially doomed. So I sucked it up, went into the bathroom and cried for a while, and then came out and continued my night. It was the easier choice.

        Did you read the article? Can you imagine being a black man, dealing with a white woman, with all the cultural baggage that comes with that?

        Good grief man.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          Veronica, I read the whole thing of course but I still am not intensely moved. It’s a fine feel piece and there’s surely some use to that but I confess it’s outside my more bloodless policy oriented mindset.

          I mean sure, I’m interested in the welfare of gay black men. I’ve been married to a gay black man for years (14 in spirit, 4 legally) so obviously their welfare and feelings mean much to me but this article is written in a universalist tone and it doesn’t match my own lived or observed experience so that’s probably why I don’t connect.Report

          • Avatar Gaelen in reply to North
            Ignored
            says:

            I read it and felt exactly the same way. Part of it is that it is written in ‘social justice’ese,’ as Veronica says, while I prefer my writing much less hyperbolic and more precise.

            But passages like this just set my teeth on edge.

            Put simply, BlaQueerness is about surviving racial-sexual circumcisions, a two-step of terror-evasion.

            When we are coerced to perform, mask, and other our personal performances of black “maleness”—not unlike my interaction with my supervisor—we enable ourselves to climb socioeconomic ladders, however frail, to financial stability. However, in doing so, we endorse the work and will of white supremacy and heterosexism/patriarchy through our assent. We compromise ourselves, as well as our rights and abilities, to simply be us—alive.

            It’s all declarative sentences with no qualifiers. I.e. Anytime someone is ‘coerced’ into not performing their ‘authentic’ black maleness they endorse (no qualifier here) white supremacy and heterosexism/patriarchy.

            The black gay privilege piece also falls into the trap of discussing non-discrimination as a privilege, which I think makes it much harder to talk about with people not versed in social justice.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        If I had to choose between Ron Pau and Rand Paul, I’d choose RuPaul.Report

  3. fillyjonk fillyjonk
    Ignored
    says:

    Exactly what Damon said: my first reaction on reading that article was “Wow, he had a horrible boss who way overstepped what she should have done.”Report

  4. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    Exclusive: DHS Says Georgia Hack May Have Been Rogue Employee

    http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/exclusive-dhs-admits-georgia-hack-may-inside-job/

    Another case of the gov’t employees being there to help you, especially after the state refused their help.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    Vox media should be able to work out of Racine as well as anywhere else, and their 30k annual stipend they give their interns would go a lot further.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      But, again, it’s like Yglesias has never heard of Robert Byrd.

      (Or that fed agencies moved to the burbs in the 50s because of noo-cleer war concerns)Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m worried that the only place on the planet that Vox could do what Vox does is somewhere within 20 miles of institutional power.

      Put Vox in Branson and, suddenly, Vox can’t do anything.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Washington DC offers a pool of expertise that you can’t find anywhere else. For example, a labor lawyer who works at the NLRB is a potential good hire for the Department of Labor or the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. You can make an argument for moving federal agencies, but you should think about the labor pool first.

      For defense-related agencies, it makes sense to keep them close to the Pentagon (although prudence mandates redundancies around the country). Something like the SEC should probably be located near New York City. Are there any good match-ups for the Midwest? Maybe Chicago or Penn State for Agriculture agencies. I can’t think of any others.

      We have the CDC in Atlanta as noted, and the Lawrence Livermore labs are in California. There are a bunch of Energy facilities in Nevada, I think. I’m sure that those locations have limited native labor pools. It might make more sense to move a slew of related agencies into the same area.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        There are a bunch of Energy facilities in Nevada, I think. I’m sure that those locations have limited native labor pools. It might make more sense to move a slew of related agencies into the same area.

        DOE has 17 national laboratories (none in Nevada). Some of them were sited to take advantage of local resources — eg, the Fermi accelerator lab in Illinois depended heavily on the U of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi succeeded at building the world’s first man-made nuclear reactor. The National Renewable Energy Labs is in Golden, CO because it puts it close to decent wind and solar resources and multiple engineering graduate schools. Several of the Labs are out in the sticks because of their tendency to spill nasty stuff — Hanford in Washington, INL in Idaho, Savannah River in South Carolina. Most of them draw on national and international labor because they offer the opportunity to work with nearly unique (and very expensive) facilities.

        For many of them, DOE provides the funding but a private company is hired to provide management skills and staff.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m proud of myself for putting the “I think” qualifier on a bit of wrong information that I was too lazy to look up, thereby not adding to the total of false claims on the internet. And thanks for the correct information.

          That’s the big thing: there may be reasons for the current locations of facilities. Vox, which claims to have higher standards than some random dude with a keyboard, didn’t bother to dig into the details either. Instead, they said, gosh, something in the Midwest would be nice.

          That said, while I know that regulatory agencies are mostly just doing what Congress tells them to, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we moved all the various American Indian agencies to Utah.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Ten of BIA’s twelve regions are west of the line down the eastern border of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. That’s not surprising — most of their day-to-day concerns are also west of that line. Forest Service staffing is overwhelmingly in the West. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) also. The power marketing administrations, with lots of federal employees, are almost exclusively in the South, the Great Plains, and the West. If you look at USGS job openings, the single location with the largest number of openings is in Lakewood, CO — that’s the Denver Federal Center and the USGS has a large presence there. According to Governing magazine, California/Oregon/Washington combined have more than a third-of-a-million federal civilian employees.

            When I was staff for a state legislature, the concerns that I heard were not about the number of federal employees located here. The complaint was that the decision makers weren’t here, they were in DC (plus Maryland and Virginia). That they were often career bureaucrats that had spent decades in DC. That the people who had their ear were DC lobbyists, who were imperfect filters of information. That the courts where final decisions were made (DC Circuit, SCOTUS) were in DC and were very heavily loaded with judges from the NE urban corridor.

            That’s a problem that’s hard to fix. The executive branch decision makers (and opinion shapers) almost certainly need to be in close proximity to Congress and those two courts. As near as I can tell, Reagan was the last President who even attempted to make nominations for the SCOTUS that reflected there were areas outside of the urban corridor (although Trump’s public list seems to include a bunch of “outsider” names).Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        As has been said elsewhere on the thread, a lot of we see is path dependence based on whereever fed agencies happen to be located.

        You move the bureaucracy from point a to point b, the labor pool will follow.

        You have made me consider that the regulatory agencies that are frequently interacting with the court system need to be in specific places (mostly in DC) – or at least the lawyers do.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          My thought is, if you move, say, the NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement to Indiana, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement to Maine, there’s going to be less chance of exchange of personnel. That might have disadvantages down the road.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The opening to the “Gay Black Privilege” essay:

    There has been much ado about the newfound notion of “black gay privilege.”

    And, suddenly, I find myself thinking “there has?”

    Next line:

    In numerous tweets, blogs, and a certain Huffington Post article, it has been articulated as a special benefit enjoyed by black gay men.

    And then I realized: The Hot Take is reaching the point where it is microtargeting people and hurting individuals *PERSONALLY*.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Another reaction of mine: “Wow, I must really be out of the loop because I never heard that gay Black men enjoyed any form of special privilege.”

      I dunno. I wonder how much of what people interpret as “this individual is biased against the group I am part of” is actually “this individual is a horrible person who doesn’t know how to act around other people.”

      I knew someone that everyone told me was a total misogynist, but when I watched him in action, I decided he was actually just a horrible person – he was equally rude to my male colleagues (dismissive of some, pulled another one’s beard (!) asking if it was “real,” and so on)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
        Ignored
        says:

        My immediate first thought about “gay black privilege” was that some cis-het white male was complaining that someone else gets to yell “Bingo!” on their Oppression Olympics card in any given argument while the cis-het white guy has to work twice as hard to get into the college of his choice.

        Nope.

        It was a gay black guy who wrote an essay that he *NEVER* would have even friggin *DREAMED* about writing until he read a hot take on the internet that explained that people like him are able to hack into cis-het whiteworld with one weird trick!

        “Content” will be the death of us all.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          In the future, “How people hacked into X with one weird trick!” is gonna be the hot-take description of our era.

          As well as the subject of an infinite number of (economically useless) PhD dissertations.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to fillyjonk
        Ignored
        says:

        I had a conversation once over that exact point. She was talking about a guy with a real doll, and how his viewpoints were horribly misogynist.

        Maybe they were, but I noted that while he (in the article) was focused on his inability to talk to women and form relationships with them (hence the real doll) with a lot of finger-pointing and blaming, he also occasionally referred to having the same problems with ANY relationship (including friendship) outside his immediate family.

        Honestly, it read like the guy had a real serious problem forming attachments and socializing period. The article was about him and his doll, so it focused on his relationships with women. And indeed, he did blame women pretty heavily for his problems, but there was enough there that I wish the interviewer had asked about his attempts at making friends. I’d give it even money he’d have blamed other people for his inability to form connections platonically as well.

        I tried to point all that out — that it looked like he had a crippling social problem in general, and that I thought his misogyny was literally half the story, and more of a symptom than anything.

        The discussion….did not go well. I’m happy to admit I may have been wrong, but honestly it didn’t look like he hated women in general. He hated everyone because he was constantly rejected socially.

        The article just happened to focus on his hatred of women in specific because “Hey, guy with expensive prosthetic girlfriend”.

        (Which doesn’t mean misogynists don’t exist. They do.)Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          One of my friends is so difficult to work with that one company hired a guy who liked to look at pornography during work hours (to be fair: is a cinematographer) rather than hire him again.

          This after they tried to trade a blow up doll for his red pen. His response, “What would I need that for?” Their rejoinder: “To keep you company after you give us your red pen.”Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          @morat20 — I dunno. Is the point of misogyny that someone hates women in a way they don’t hate men, or is it merely their hatred of women as women? If someone looks at women as subhuman sex objects, then the fact that this person also is shitty to men is perhaps not so relevant to me. I need to know if I’m safe around them.

          So anyway.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m not sure it’s the best idea to default to “I’m safe around people.”
            Me: “Your coworker just drew a knife and tried to stab you?”
            My Friend: “Yeah, and for no discernable reason, either.”Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
            Ignored
            says:

            If someone hates everyone equally, but you happen to just ask him about women — is he a misogynist?

            I suppose it’s how you define it. He hates women, so maybe yes. On the other hand, he hates everyone, so perhaps “misogynist” is merely a symptom.

            If you’re terrified by clowns, you have coulrophobia. If you’re terrified by strangers you have xenophobia, and the stranger you get terrified by today is a clown, do you have both? Or just one?

            Is coulrophobia a subset of xenophobia?

            Same with the guy in question — if I was reading between the lines right, he has the exact same issues (and problems with) men as well as women. But he was only being asked about women. Is he misogynist? Or is his misogyny a subset of a greater problem? Or both?

            Frankly, the guy seemed screwed up — absolutely massive, crippling social anxiety. Literally could not talk to or relate with anyone outside his family. If he’d been gay, he’d have had a different gendered doll and the same problem. Is it women he had a problem with? Or the opposite sex? Or people in general?

            I dunno. I thought “he’s a misogynist” honestly downplayed his problem. it wasn’t only fear and hatred of women. Accurate, but…lacking I suppose.Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
              Ignored
              says:

              @morat20 —

              Same with the guy in question — if I was reading between the lines right, he has the exact same issues (and problems with) men as well as women.

              The question is, did he? The exact same?

              I haven’t read the article, but I bet he wasn’t buying male real dolls. I bet the porn he watched presents men and women differently. I bet his role models skewed a certain way.

              I bet the manner in which he expressed contempt was gendered. After all, it usually is.

              Put it this way, if I hate a guy cuz he’s a “chad” and I hate a woman cuz she’s a “gold-digging slut,” then I’m being sexist, inasmuch as I frame the situation in a sexist way.

              For an easy example, there is no doubt that Elliot Rogers hated men as well as women. After all, he actually killed more men than women. That said, there is no doubt he was deeply misogynistic, and that his hatred for both sexes existed entirely in a gendered frame. He hated women because they didn’t want him. He hated men because they got the women he could not. Calling this misogyny is pretty basic.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                If he expresses his contempt in a gendered framework — that is, he calls the women he hates and fears different terms than the men he hates and fears, is he both a misanthrope and a misogynist?

                Is his contempt towards women a deviation from his contempt towards men, or does he hold both contemptible and merely uses a gendered framework to describe each? (Is there even a non-gendered framework of contempt? Or do we consider his contempt towards men a default he then moves away from when it comes to women?)

                Is he a misanthrope and a misogynist? I mean those would both be correct, in isolation. Together they paint a more bleak picture.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s the payoff for a correct classification?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Among other things, the term still meaning something the next time you have to use it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Smugness?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I have no idea. I actually thought it was kind of require to answer questions like “What the heck is wrong with that guy?” or at least to fully flesh out definitions and meanings.

                I don’t know what correct is or even if there is a correct, I just kinda like to know what people mean when they say it.

                If a man kicks his dog, punches any man that irritates him and slaps any woman he sees — does the difference in the form the violence takes matter? Do we claim he’s a dog-kicking AND man-punching AND woman-slapping jerk?

                Or just a violent jerk? Or just a woman abuser?

                I mean they’re all accurate. I guess it just depends on how you define the default violence and how you box in the behavior.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “What’s the payoff for a correct classification?”

                There’s a different correction for “I hate women because women are inherently inferior to men and therefore deserve hatred” than there is for “I hate everyone, myah”.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      This is what happens when identity politics takes over. Everyone has to distinguish himself not by what he does or the qualities he has, but by the social labels he can apply to himself. That’s what makes it very difficult to take any of his accusations against his boss seriously. Is his boss terrible and abusive? Sure, if the description of her behaviour is accurate. But this guy seems incapable of seeing anything as it is. If she’s aggressive it’s because he’s gay, if she’s passive it’s because he’s black. Further: he sees the world through the labels he can apply to others. Women act a certain way, heteros act a certain way, whites act a certain way. In other words, he’s a bigot.

      Speaking of which, the Jesmyn Ward article about the South was also disappointing. It was so parochial. I can’t imagine she’s a good writer if all she looks for is expressions of her own experience.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Thought: maybe it’s easier to shoehorn out a bad boss if you can claim they are prejudiced than if you can claim they’re just generally terrible to everyone. Kind of a depressing thought but now that I think of it – the two really bad higher-ups I’ve had in my life were just generally nasty to everyone. “Equal opportunity offenders” as the joke used to go.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Over the years I’ve read a few pieces contrasting the experience of black trans men versus black trans women, with a baseline comparing white trans men versus white trans women.

      The upshot: white trans men typically get a boost in status and salary over what they had before, although they often begin transition with fewer material resources than white trans women. Correspondingly, white trans women usually experience a drop in salary (often due to the loss of employment), along with the expected effects of institutional sexism.

      With black trans folks there are differences. Many black trans men report that suddenly they face the stigma of black men, namely they are assumed to be violent and predatory in a way they were not when presenting as black women. Contrastingly, black trans women find they are no longer assumed to be violent and dangerous — at least among those who pass reasonably well. Some black trans women find that their social status markedly improves.

      So, this is kinda unsurprising if you think through how black men are regarded in our society.

      I wouldn’t go so far to call it “black gay privilege,” cuz obvi. But it is a thing worth talking about.

      Myself, I expect it is highly situational, and greatly influenced on the specifics of one’s physical appearance.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Can I add, I understand that this article is written in “social-justice-ese,” and the language might be a bit off-putting. That said, I’d recommend you read it carefully, and try to “read between the lines” to find the social and psychological reality the author is describing. It will require some work, and also that you flex your empathy muscle, but you might learn something.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        Toxicity in thought ought not to be rewarded, as it is corrosive to the reader just as much as it is to the writer. Links that are more rational would be appreciated.

        There is, after all, at least some privilege related to black gays. It may not be much, but countercultures create privilege just as much as the mainstream does, if they can enforce it less.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        Meh. My empathy muscles don’t work.

        I’m more struck by how this is the experience of a gay black man in one (let’s call it a “rural”) situation responding to a fairly privileged gay black man in another (exceptionally cosmopolitan) situation.

        The latter is saying “hey, I have privilege because of the following dynamics!” and the essay was written by a guy who said “damn, dude… out here in my part of the world they just treat me like crap because not only am I gay/black, I’m black/gay.”Report

  7. Avatar Mo
    Ignored
    says:

    If you really want to make federal jobs and spending more immortal than now, spread those jobs out all over the country.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mo
      Ignored
      says:

      The Pentagon has been doing this for decades and it does seem to work wonders.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
        Ignored
        says:

        Speaking of sinkholes, DJT took on the F-35 today. A program about which I have heard *NOTHING* good… until today.Report

        • Avatar notme in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Hopefully, he will go after the navy’s littoral combat ship next.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to notme
            Ignored
            says:

            Given the dearth of admirals in the proposed appointees, something from the Navy must be next. I’d bet on some number of the planned Ford class carriers disappearing first.Report

            • Avatar notme in reply to Michael Cain
              Ignored
              says:

              I think the LCS is much easier to justify canceling than the Fords. They may not produce the full 10 originally slated especially since the Navy needs to get on the ball with a replacement for the Ohio class SSBNs.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                The Nimitz and Ohio classes will never be replaced on a 1:1 basis — the new platforms are simply too expensive. I have a bet with Kolohe that by 2040 the US will no longer be a conventional global superpower — it will lack the platforms and personnel to conduct an Iraq-like adventure outside the Western Hemisphere.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                MC,

                Do you mean “the” or “a” globalsuperpower? You’re always precise in language so I assume you meant what you said. So it’s a shocking prediction. Personally, I can’t imagine such a radical reduction in capability occurring in that short of a time frame.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Paradoxically, Republicans sweeping control of the US govt right now may be what puts me on the losing side of that bet.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                @michael-cain — Out of curiosity, with this bet with @kolohe do you believe we won’t be that kind of superpower because another power(s) will have supplanted us, or that there really own’t be that kind of superpower any longer?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                The latter — a variety of regional powers, but none with the conventional military, logistical, economic, and political capability to execute an Iraq-scale beat down and occupation on its own at arbitrary global locations.

                Arguably, the US lacks the political will already. If Iraq had had to be sold as “We’ll have to put three carrier groups in the Persian Gulf in order to suppress the Iranians and Saudis, and we may lose one of the carriers if Iran has more ground-to-ship missiles than we think, plus the casualty cost of a marine assault through Kuwait in order to secure a staging area before we take on Iraq…”

                The US will still be able to hammer an Iraq into rubble if they are willing to ignore the Geneva Conventions on shared infrastructure. If the goal is, to pick an example, push a Chinese puppet government out of Myanmar, starting with amphibious landings on the coast? Not a chance.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m just wondering how the changing economy will affect our ability to field a military of current size.

                Assuming current trends hold for a while, that the younger generations will not be able to earn as much as us Boomers, which results in lower tax revenue, while at the same time carrying the burden of aging parents with soaring medical bills, where does the future USA get the trillions to have so many carriers and keep them cruising around?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, we don’t, you see.

                We buy fewer aircraft, commission fewer ships, do less R&D. Our military gradually moves in the direction of one with regional rather than a global projection capabilities, although not all the way.

                We become what Britain or China are now. And when our military is revealed to have limits to its power not known by our voters since more than a century ago, we’ll throw out the President then in office for being “weak,” although it won’t really be her fault.

                In that world, we will need friends more than ever. Because our allies aren’t going to start paying us money to be their proxy military, nor do we really want them to.

                Doesn’t sound like an America Made Great Again, but that is our future, along the path we’re currently on.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Hrmph, only if the GOP doesn’t cut taxes, boost military spending then chickenshit out of spending cuts and end up wrecking the national fisc.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Actually Britain post-WWII offers a good example of how to gracefully wind down an empire.
                .
                Should we choose to emulate it.
                .
                Current trends are not hopeful.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The Suez Canal crisis of 1956 puts into serious question the graceful characterization.

                Eta – also, finally letting go of Canada? Graceful. Letting go of the Raj? Not so much.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Not to be a pendant but Canada wasn’t so much let go as allowed to graduate from child to adult family member.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Except the US doesn’t have an empire like the Brits did.Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                From what I’ve heard from people who know way more about the subject than I do, the amphib option has been pretty much dead against a real state actor for at least a generation. The problem isn’t kicking the door down (although that is pretty difficult against a decently funded foe), its the logistics without a friendly government to base from are horrific.

                This is a big reason why China conquering Taiwan is unfeasible for the forseeable immediate future. They don’t have the logistical ability to hold a foothold against a modern opponent. The have pontential ability to flatten the island and might get the power to starve them by blockade, but they can’t put boots on the ground in Taipai.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Don Zeko
        Ignored
        says:

        Most other agencies have most of their employees in other states. The difference would be placing highly paid management instead of just the field workers.Report

  8. Avatar LTL FTC
    Ignored
    says:

    Re: Hispanics and economics.

    The argument that leftists won’t have to listen to white people in a few decades because whites will be in the minority is predicated on Hispanic immigrants voting like immigrants long after they no longer have immigration-related concerns.

    Mark my words – by 2050, your average voter of Mexican heritage will vote more like the Italians than African-Americans.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LTL FTC
      Ignored
      says:

      American Jews still vote like we are immigrants even though most of us are the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of immigrants at best by this point. The old saw that American Jews “live like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans” is still true. Every election of my life was supposed to be the one where American Jews started voting for the Republicans and three-fourths of us still support the Democratic Party three-fourths of the time.

      The idea that Hispanic Americans will start voting more like Italian-Americans is based on the idea that there will be a great expansion of the definition of white sometime in the future like there was after World War II. There is evidence for this and against this. The previous great expansion of whiteness occurred in part because the various ethnic whites came from Europe and were white even if though they were not stalwart Nordic Protestants. Some Hispanic Americans show more of their European heritage but many do not look white at all. Physical appearance is not the only determining factor of whiteness in the United States but it still counts a lot.Report

      • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        I’m a Jew who votes like a Puerto Rican, but that’s 50% voting a straight-D ticket and 50% reading the names of the candidates to myself in a Rosie Perez voice.

        Jewish voting patterns are a good counter-example, but I don’t think it explains everything. First off, we’re talking about Jews on the more secular end of the spectrum – the kind of Jews you see in popular culture. If you look at a presidential election map of Brooklyn broken down by neighborhood, you’ll see that the Hasids vote Trump.

        Second, I’m not just a Jew. I’m a city-dweller who wants all the other things city folks want: good public transportation, arts and culture, and support of local (knowledge-based) industry. I don’t see how a Hispanic kid who lives in a small town on the Great Plains gets those sorts of messages.

        As for looks, a quarter of Hispanics intermarry, more than any other group besides Asians. That should change things pretty quickly as well.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LTL FTC
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          says:

          The Hasidim vote Democratic in local and state elections though. They are masters of bloc voting. The Democratic Party usually gets somewhere between seventy to seventy five percent of the Jewish vote. The Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox might vote Republican more frequently but that isn’t anywhere close to a majority of the Jewish population or even a plurality yet.

          You raise good points about the Hispanic raised in a small town on the Great Plains but it still depends on whether the definition of white will expand again to include them. There isn’t a lot of evidence for that.Report

          • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to LeeEsq
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            says:

            I think there is evidence that Hispanic people are identifying as white.

            This is just census forms, which I think underestimates the day-to-day story:

            http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/05/05/millions-of-americans-changed-their-racial-or-ethnic-identity-from-one-census-to-the-next/

            Most of the pushback from this (from a very quick search) comes from white supremacists and “Latinx activists” whose sinecures come from exploring and performing oppression. It’s all very self-interested.

            Between that, and intermarriage, and a decline in connection to the culture of origin as language skills are lost over generations, all add up. Besides, Americans have been predicting that this or that immigrant group could never assimilate since before the Declaration of Independence, with a 0% rate of accuracy.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to LTL FTC
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              says:

              There is a relatively recent paper on this: THE COMPLEXITY OF IMMIGRANT GENERATIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASSESSING THE SOCIOECONOMIC INTEGRATION OF HISPANICS AND ASIANS (pdf)

              By the second generation, however, non-negligible rates of ethnic attrition emerge (7 percent for Hispanics and 21 percent for Asians), with particularly high rates for Salvadorans (28 percent), Indians (24 percent), and Japanese (32 percent). Attrition rates are much higher for third-generation children (18 for Hispanics and 42 percent for Asians), with rates for specific national origin groups ranging from 12 percent for Mexicans, 19 percent for Dominicans, and 24 percent for Puerto Ricans to 35 percent or more for the remaining groups (including rates exceeding 50 percent for Salvadorans and Japanese and well over 60 percent for Indians.

              Attrition rate largely comes from intermarriage, but education is significant, though probably because it impacts marriage. Part of the significance of this is that there are studies showing poor education / English language skills among second and third generation immigrants, particularly Latinos in Southern California, but that fails to take into account that successful immigrants tend to stop identifying as Latino or Asian.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for this.

                I’ve been browsing around a bit, and most of the counterarguments seem to be rather weak. The idea that the “coalition of the ascendant” will swamp right-wing whites is just so ingrained in some academics and race-beat pundits that it simply can’t not be true.

                I think that has something to do with how the “Oppression Olympics”/”centering”/”It’s not my job to educate you” framework has been so ingrained in identity politics circles. It violates every impulse and taboo against actually listening to or considering white people in order to reach a working political majority. Making that unnecessary is an easy out.

                I don’t say this with any sense of glee. After every wave of immigration, the racial makeup of the country reverts to mostly black and white, with the two groups defined in opposition to the other. Hispanics and Asians may come under the tent of whiteness, but the black/white divide is almost definitional for the makeup of the nation. To the extent blacks have made political process, it has been either at the local level post-white flight or at the national level when whites have felt economically secure enough to put their embarrassment about how the country treats its black citizens over pure self-interest.

                It’s tempting to see the only way break the logjam is a numbers game advanced by a concept of pan-minority solidarity that lives mostly in academia and not in the real world.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq
            Ignored
            says:

            Lee,
            In Tennessee and Kentucky, there’s tons of evidence that the definition of “white” will happily extend to black people.eventually.Report

  9. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    Orlando police launch ‘safe place’ initiative for LGBT residents, visitors.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/pulse-orlando-nightclub-shooting/os-opd-safe-place-20161209-story.html

    I appreciate the sentiment but it seems more like a gimick. Will every minority group get their own sticker? How will this protect folks from an active shooter?Report

    • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to notme
      Ignored
      says:

      This is not crazy. Growing up in NYC in the ’80s, there was a similar program for kids. I was taught to look for a certain logo decal on store doors in case I was lost, sick or being bullied/followed. Those stores agreed that they would call home on kids’ behalf or call the police if necessary.

      There was something similar for LGBT kids in high school – some teachers had a sticker on their classroom doors for basically the same reasons.

      Notice how these initiatives were entirely about personal safety. The campus safe spaces… that’s something else entirely.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to LTL FTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Do you really think that a store without a sticker would refuse to help someone in need? If I were in that situation I’m going to the nearest store whether it has one of these gimmick stickers or not. Besides will every group get their own sticker so they know they they are welcome? Where is the safe space for blacks sticker? Doesn’t the Orlando pd believe that black lives matter?Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to notme
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah. You ain’t never seen a store with an 88 on it, nor have any fucking clue what that means.
          You iz an idiot, and so are the people putting up the signs.

          The point oughtn’t to be “flag me as a good person” — it ought to be “learn where you ain’t wanted” (now, what you gonna do about that? That’s up to you. But know, because some folks take discouragement more serious than the rest of us)Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to notme
          Ignored
          says:

          Do you really think that a store without a sticker would refuse to help someone in need?

          Probably not, but it make someone who needed help more likely to go in and seek it out.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    Loosely tying the socioeconomic borders and relocation of the federal personnel together…

    When I play with cluster analysis for grouping states and counties together based on the IRS relocation data, I have to drop Washington DC. My “distance” measure is a function of the percent of population moving between pairs of states/counties. DC being close to Maryland and Virginia is no surprise. DC and California being quite close using this measure is.Report

  11. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    Bolivia has two capital cities.
    One is an administrative capital, which is located more toward the center of the country.Report

  12. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    I would think the story about the electors demanding a briefing on Russian hacking would make the cut for a United States linky day.Report

  13. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    One other thing to keep in mind is that DC wasn’t a particularly high cost of living area until the late 80s early 90s (and started to really take off around 2000)

    Moving agencies to the Rust Belt is (a good thing, but) it’s still going to take decades to show substantial macroeconomic and political effects, and something else is going to rust in the meantime.Report

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