Linky Friday #197: The Next Level

Will Truman

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

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63 Responses

  1. Kolohe says:

    E1 – probably because India still has a population in rural poverty that is at least equal to the entire population of the United States, which brings the average down. (And the numbers in the survey would be even worse a generation ago)Report

  2. Kolohe says:

    Ec1 – darn, I missed the bingo because he never actually used the word ‘neo-liberal’, just all the rest of them.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:

      I give him credit for at least saying what mechanism he thinks is causing all this harm (trade agreements), but he talks about lobbyists in these meetings like they are holding guns to the heads of politicians to force them to build bad things into trade agreements.

      If anything, the politicians are to blame for either being too stupid, or too complicit, to catch such things and not give up power. Politicians have the power, it is theirs to surrender, not corporations to take.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Also, McD’s is the worst example of multinational capitalism for his point, in that the capital structure of the enterprise is split between the holding corporation and the franchisees (which are usually regional moderate sized businesses based in their own country). Even the ostensible and somewhat real cultural hegemony of McD’s is not quite as complete as generally considered. (“You know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in France?”. And the Pacific rim menu has even more variation).Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    Ec2 – Asimov, iirc, long advocated for underground cities with the surface being public green space.

    Eta – is this vertical segregation by income actually ‘new’, though? Isn’t it celebrated in the theme song for “The Jeffersons”? (I.e. ‘Deluxe apartment in the sky’?)Report

    • El Muneco in reply to Kolohe says:

      And Diane Duane’s Rihannsu (Romulan) homeworld, to the extent that factories had to have zero waste products, including heat. Although this wasn’t for aesthetic reasons, it was so their populatuon centers wouldn’t be visible from space…Report

  4. Brandon Berg says:

    Ec4: Obligatory note that people who are poor in countries where almost everybody is poor are different from people who are poor in countries where most people are rich (globally speaking). The latter is a more highly self-selected group.

    H6: There’s been a lot of talk in the media today about a study in which scientists “reversed aging” in mice. Reason (apparently his actual given name, because the 70s) at Fight Aging! cuts through the hype.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


      Re: Ec4

      What do you mean “people are different”? Do you mean their experiences are different? The contributing factors to their poverty are different? Or that they are different on some fundamental level?

      When you say the “latter is a more highly self-selected group”, this seems to play into the idea that poverty is a moral failing. That people who are poor in wealthy nations are that way because they’ve chosen to be or because they’ve failed to choose not to be poor. While that criticism might apply to some, the research on intergenerational poverty and the way our American system tends to perpetuate people staying within the economic class they were born into doesn’t really support this idea. Perhaps this is true in other countries, but in America, few people “self-select” into poverty.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

        You’re challenging a foundational myth of America there. Two, actually.

        Poverty as a result of sin in general (Thanks Puritans and Calvinists!) and poverty as a choice (thanks rags to riches stories, popular during the Great Depression for obvious reasons).

        America is the land of opportunity. If you’re poor here, it’s because you’re lazy and shiftless — or your hard work hasn’t quite paid off yet. We’re all a bunch of temporarily embarrassed millionaires, assuming we work hard and live clean!

        Of course, if you want that really on the nose — there’s the prosperity gospel. Which I wish to god was a parody of Christianity and not actual Christians. The theology is just so painful, my Lutheran upbringing is screaming….Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

        I don’t necessarily agree with Brandon’s assertion of ‘self-selected’ group, but inter-nation extrapolation of the population in poverty from one to another can be erroneous, due to the relative prices of the basket of goods between each. I’m also not saying it is in this case, but it can be.

        Specifically, for example, talking about food – food tends to be a big portion of what poor people in poor countries need to spend money on, but comparatively small portion of what poor people in rich countries need to spend money on. Housing is usually the reverse. So the incentives may be different for each populations, and it further may depend on the size of the cash grant.Report

        • J_A in reply to Kolohe says:

          One of the reason housing is so much affordable for poor people in poor countries is weather (thanks, Jared Diamond). The cost of staying warm is orders of magnitude higher than that of staying dry. Completely different social and economic dynamics appearReport

  5. LeeEsq says:

    Ec1: Its the usual leftist critique that international corporations hinder democracy by being more powerful than states and governments. I’m actually sympathetic towards this critique.

    Ec2: I thought was about to be pushed into a segregated neighborhood for short men.

    B2: Globalization at its finest.

    H2: Typical.

    H5: This tradition seems to be maintained out of spite, “I had to go through this, so you do to.” I really don’t think having life and death matters in the hands of somebody operating on very little sleep and than putting them on the busy highway home and back to work is really a good idea.

    Ed1: The answer for “What’s going on with Hindus” is “India’s government and poverty.” The survey was based on global averages and most Hindus live in India, a developing country with a rather chaotic administration and lively politics. Not exactly a good formula for keeping people in school for a long time.

    Ed4: The other answer is that the Examiners are grading the California Bar much harder than they need to. I took the July 2016 California Attorney’s Bar Exam. I failed along with most other lawyers. My grade was 1403, thats 37 points needed to pass. I was at the high end on the people who failed the Bar Exam but still failed. With slightly more generous grading, I would have passed.

    R5: This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism is based on the idea that the mitzvoth in the Torah are obligatory on all Jews. When it says don’t masturbate or don’t sleep with a man like you would with a woman, they think that God really means it.Report

  6. Kazzy says:

    Re: Ed3

    Two thoughts specific to your situation…

    1.) I doubt Lain qualifies as an “at risk child” for any reason.
    2.) If I remember correctly, she is still home full-time with you? If so, the gap between hard and soft skills is likely given that many of the soft skills are best (if not only able to be) taught in social settings, ideally with a same-age cohort. I teach 3-year-olds now and almost all of my energies (like, 99%) are aimed towards what would likely be considered “soft skills” (though I’d be curious to talk more about what goes into which bucket and would probably argue that the buckets share a lot of overlap). I do some of this at home with Mayo (3.5) and LMA’s (1.5) presence helps but nothing like what I can do in a classroom full of 3-year-olds. So if Lain isn’t in school yet, I think you’ll probably see those skills start to tick up once she does… which is another argument in favor of quality early childhood education (though not at all a criticism of stay-at-home parenting in the early years).

    TL;DR: I wouldn’t stress it right now if I was you.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy says:

      The teaching of soft skills is something Bug’s school does well, & one of the reasons why I send him there.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

      She does attend pre-school. It was four hours a week last year, nine hours this year. The former was cause for consternation as she did not get along particularly well (a day I arrived and there was some kid crying that wasn’t her was a good day) and we were worried she might not be invited back. This year things have gone a lot better. They say she gets along with the other kids well. She’s just not communicating conversationally/socially (asking questions, telling us how she feels), just transactionally (“I would like some milk, please”) or descriptively (“Bubble goes pop, doggy is scared.”)Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:


        I’m assuming last year was 2hours/day 2x/week and this year is 3hours/day 3x/week?

        I’m glad to hear things are going better. Transitioning to school and separating from parents is a tricky process. I’m sorry to hear you feared she’d be kicked out… did the school itself actually threaten or even imply that? If so… UGH!

        While the inherent diversity of humanity means certain folks will be naturally better or more inclined towards certain things, soft skills are just that: skills. They can be taught, developed, enhanced, refined, etc. And an ideal early childhood program is really focusing on social and emotional development above all else.

        Whether because of nature or nurture (and the answer to that ‘question’ is almost always “Both”), Lain may always be stronger with the “hard skills”. But that doesn’t mean, at 3, you need to be concerned about her “soft skills”. Sounds like she is now in an environment where she can really goto work on developing them.

        People assume childhood is easy for children. Which is to say they think kids just naturally know how to do things like play. And some do. But most don’t. They need some form of teacher to develop play skills and the like. This may seem whacky but, well, childhood is a whacky (and amazing!) process.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

          Yeah, 2/2 then 3/3. They just started offering a third day this year, which worked out really well.

          They didn’t make any threats or anything. They’re great. It was just clear that she was causing them a lot of problems, draining resources from the other kids, and I was half-expecting them to tell us that she might need a place where they can offer her more devoted attention (or something like that).

          We were very presently surprised that things improved so much over the summer. Especially since her speech seemed to regress (or at least didn’t seem to improve). We’re definitely going to have to do something more formal over next summer to keep her around other kids.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

            Was speech a concern?

            Mayo needed speech therapy to address delays which have since resolved. He continues to receive services to address articulation errors, though if he wasn’t already in the program he likely wouldn’t qualify. We got our services publicly (first through Early Intervention and then through the school district) and it is always easier to maintain services than to start. Have you gotten any services, publicly or otherwise? Systems vary state-to-state but I’m pretty sure every state has some equivalent form of EI and services available through local school districts even for kids who are not school-age (I believe this is all part of the ADA… but don’t quote me on that).

            If you need any help with, well, anything kid-related, don’t hesitate to reach out here or behind the scenes. I am now firmly entrenched in the world of 3-year-olds both at home and in the work place.

            ETA: And glad to hear you are in a great center!Report

  7. Chip Daniels says:

    At tyhe risk of incurring a fatwa from the deadly Clinton forces, I am going to go all Wikileaks on y’all and release the Super Secret Progressive Plan to combat Trump.

    Seriously, it is a document written by progressive staffers that discusses a lot of the things we have been talking about here.
    About the difference between defensive measures and promoting a positive agenda, between gamesmanship and building coalitions.
    Which is all really just Political Organizing 101 stuff, but is not visible to most apolitical folk.

    Read it quickly, before Commandante Soros puts it down the memory hole.Report

    • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      That’s great stuff.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I looked for it specifically talking about making sure that People of Color had prominent positions in the local leadership, I looked for it talking about LGBTQQIIAA issues.

      It didn’t mention those things.Report

      • LTL FTC in reply to Jaybird says:

        Nope, no centering QTPOC bodies either. It’s almost like they’re not intentionally looking for the smallest, most already Democratic, interest groups possible to direct their attention to.

        Something else that’s missing is anything at all on state-level politics. That’s where the gerrymandering happens and where the rubber hits the road with regard to a lot of safety net programs. State legislatures are where rising Congressmen come from. A large percentage of these seats are uncontested by Democrats. The document does note how Tea Party organizations were local and small in size, but immediately shifts the focus to Congress.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to LTL FTC says:

          LTL FTC:
          Something else that’s missing is anything at all on state-level politics.

          To be fair, their claim to expertise is within the chambers of US Congress. Without giving an opinion on whether the tactics described really do work on Members of Congress, I could easily see that successful tactics against members of the US Congress may not work against state legislative members, due to scale and time issues. (e.g. state leg’s are often part time gigs, and almost never can create the press interest that a Congressional member can)

          Plus, they’re specific stated goal is resisting Trump, (with emphasis on resisting his federal appointments and federal legislative agenda) which in the short term, state legislatures aren’t the primary focus. (but they should be in 2020 or whenever the state elections happen after that for all interested parties).Report

          • LTL FTC in reply to Kolohe says:

            One very good way to resist Trump would be to make sure the potential block-granting of many federal programs that aren’t already structured as block-grants are implemented in a progressive manner at the state level.

            State-level massive resistance is one of the things that made Obamacare so difficult to make a success.

            There is a self-defeating attitude among Democrats that states will only use increased discretion in ways that are regressive and discriminatory. It’s true if you cede state government to the GOP, but history shows that its not an iron law of government.Report

    • Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Ha! “if your reading this…you are the resistance”Report

    • Kim in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Bah. Not impressed.
      When the “resistance” starts creating organizations designed to burn, Then i’ll be impressed.
      When the “resistance” starts reorganizing (and starts booting the liars and narcissists out of positions of power), then I’ll be impressed.

      The left is currently being infiltrated by deliberately designed thought patterns, that are designed to poison the left’s capability for independent thought.

      The left leaked Clinton’s e-mails, after all. Better the knife in the gut than in the back.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      The two main underlying assumptions – that Tea Party was and is

      1) actually grassroots and
      2) actually successful,

      may not be true.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kolohe says:

        Tea Party isn’t grassroots. Grassroots is something that starts from individuals, and builds to be a movement.
        Revolutions aren’t televized, and Santelli wasn’t acting of his own volition.

        Plus, the tea party is currently in shambles. Time for a new rightist movement, the grifters have entirely taken this one over.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Kolohe says:

        My liberal self wants to take comfort in the idea that the Tea Party was a manufactured entity and it certainly is undeniable they had enormous help right from the get-go from a sympathetic media, and wealthy backers.

        But it also had widespread support from a lot of people. And almost all political movements have some backers somewhere, some sympathetic media somewhere.

        As for successful, they did damage and harm to Obama’s cause, even if only by forcing progressives onto the defensive and expending political capital that could have been used elsewhere.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          The Tea Party’s “success” is overshadowed by the fact that Obama got a second term. Also, by failing to win the Senate for the GOP in 2010.

          You want Trump to get a second term? You want McConnell to still be majority leader in 2019?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Millions of dollars were sent to Jill Stein to get a recount going. I don’t know what percentage of this money was in increments larger than $100 but, and I’m guessing here, the majority of it was people sending in $10, $20, $25 donations.

          If that thought of mine is accurate: THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN BE THE EQUIVALENT OF THE TEA PARTY.

          They care, they are passionate, and they are willing to do what they see as the only thing within their power to do (in this case, send $10, $20, $25.)

          This is what a grass root looks like.

          The Democratic leadership needs to buy Jill Stein’s donation list (yes, even if she asks for waaaay too much for it) and then get the people on this list into some sort of regular fellowship with each other.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird says:

            Or buy the list, treat them like suckers, and milk them for a little more cash until they’re disillusioned and all used up.

            It makes me want to start a nonprofit…Report

  8. PD Shaw says:

    R4: The term “evangelical” is a pet peeve of mine. If you’re surprised when polls show that one-third of evangelicals are pro-choice, you might also be surprised that about a quarter of Catholics identify as evangelical.

    If the poll is based on self-identification, its not clear who evangelicals are. There will be Catholics, there will be African-Americans, but not most Mormons. It appears that some embrace the term who wear their religion on their sleeve. Mormons appear to be self-conscience that they are allied with some group that identifies as “evangelical,” which includes a lots of members who pass out flyers complaining that they are a Satanic cult.

    Pew likes to classify evangelicals by its made-up list of denominations that keeps Catholics and blacks out. Pew also excludes mainstream Protestant churches, like the Methodists, which in religious terms are the epitome of American evangelicalism. IOW, a person attending a non-denominational church with the same socio-economic background and religious views as someone attending the United Methodist Church will be labeled evangelical.

    In any event, the problem as I see it is that a lot of the people professing themselves to be leaders in the evangelical movement, are actually Christian fundamentalists, a movement that arose in opposition to evangelicalism, claiming support from the largest definition of evangelical, and expressing shock and surprise when the broad definition shows a lot of political variation.Report

    • Pinky in reply to PD Shaw says:

      Protestant Christianity is practically defined by its lack of definition. The term “evangelical” in the US is a general category of similar beliefs and practices, but it’s not defined by any single act, structure, or creed. They’ve coalesced because it’s advantageous, but they’ve never joined into an organization. Now they’re experiencing the downside of coalescence.Report

    • Kim in reply to PD Shaw says:

      PD Shaw,
      It’s not right, it isn’t, leaving folks like Rev. Wright out of the whole evangelical movement.
      Thanks for pointing out what Pew is doing.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to PD Shaw says:

      The problem is that you are disagreeing about what sort of category is “Evangelical” and how (or whether) the meaning of the word has changed over the years.

      The author of the linked piece takes it to be theological: there is a list of doctrines, and those who subscribe to the entire list are “Evangelicals.” The standard list was composed several decades ago as an attempt by a scholar studying Evangelicalism to describe the group. It may or may not have been an accurate description at the time, but it isn’t now. In the meantime some people have taken the list to be normative. Wackiness ensues.

      You make the distinction between Evangelical and Fundamentalist. This was certainly the case a century, or even a half century, ago. You are not alone in forming a rear guard action, but this is not how the words are used by most people today. It is certainly true that the Methodists were the epitome of American evangelicalism in the 19th century, but it does not necessarily follow either than the United Methodist Church of today is the same as before or that “evangelical” means the same thing it did then.

      The Pew categories treat “Evangelical” as a cultural category. I’m not saying the implementation is perfect, but I think this is the right approach. Modern American Evangelism is an extension of some, but not all, earlier evangelical strands as run through the Jesus Freak movement, which in turn was the Christian branch of the 1960s counterculture movement, which combination resulted in the Church Growth movement of the 1980s. There isn’t a whole lot of theological coherence to the result, as shown by its including both the Southern Baptists and the charismatics.

      As for why the Methodists weren’t caught up in this, if you want a theological explanation, I would posit that it is because they run to postmillennialism. The Hal Lindsay crowd are premillennialists. A prefix can make a lot of difference in how things play out in practice.

      If you want to stick to an unchanging definition of “evangelical” then I will point out that four hundred years ago the “Evangelical church” meant the Lutherans, as contrasted with the Reformed church. Hence the modern Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. It is, somewhat redundantly, using the word in that older sense.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        I’m not arguing for my preferred definition here. Will just linked to an article that describes evangelicals differently than he does, and I’ve pointed out that polls tend to use two very different approaches to the term, and I probably should have added a third, which asks a magic question, such as are you born again? A lot of people don’t experience religion with a high detail to some distinctions, so this has its ambiguities as well.

        A word without accepted meaning is not a useful communication tool. And some of the people using the word in a political context are leveraging the various meanings as a tool of misinformation.

        Pew could get to the distinctions it wishes to study without forcing denominations into mainstream and non-mainstream categories, particularly given that a lot of Protestant denominations differ from location to location anyway. A church might be “high church” here, but “low church” there, and what are high and low church distinctions other than proxies for education and income levels?Report

  9. Pinky says:

    T2 – There’s a difference between privacy and anonymity. If you’re walking down the street, you don’t have privacy. You’re in public. If someone wants to approach you, he can do it right there. If he wants to track you, he can follow you home. There’s a non-zero possibility of being recognized any time you step outside.Report

  10. Dan says:

    So glad the hear the catholic fascists of France in 1940-45, who are responsible for a few tens of thousands of preventable Jewish deaths, were in no way silent about nazism.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Dan says:

      It is true that there were many bad deeds committed by Catholics (including high-level Catholics) during the fascist era. It is also true that the Catholic Church was a vocal critic and opponent of Nazism.Report

  11. Saul Degraw says:

    Ec1 and Ec3: I think a lot of this stuff is related and the big problem seems to be (based on watching on-line debates) is that everyone has made up their conclusions and is not willing any compromise. Democracy especially in the American system requires some form of comity. Meaning that everyone needs to get something of their philosophy to make them happy and keep the wheels spinning. We have seemingly reached a point where no one is willing to do this for many matters anymore. The GOP fanatics in the House want to gut the entirety of the welfare state and have seemingly never learned to make peace with the existence of social security and the welfare state. Likewise, everyone seems unwilling to make any concessions towards the existence of chains and/or the importance of local businesses.

    Chains are not going away but a lot of libertarian leaning people seem to like to sneer at liberals for caring about local businesses shutting down or deciding that it is important to spend a bit more money and shop at local businesses instead of buying cheaply on Amazon. There seems to be an unbridgable chasm between liberals and libertarians on the nature of wealth and what it means for society to be more wealthy. Libertarians often seem to take a very transactional version of wealth and jump up and down when people are not convinced that “More Ipods and devices=Wealth.”

    Ec5: What is Trump doing that does not contain a healthy dose of irony?

    Ed1: Most Hindus live in India which is still a very poor country where children are probably seen as more useful if they work and work early.

    Ed4: Probably a combination of both but I don’t know how you would prove that the Bar Examiners made the July 2016 exam much harder than previous exams and/or graded harder. However, there is a lot of evidence that shows that law schools have decreased their admission standards to keep enrollment up in the face of declining applications. When I graduated law school in 2011, 70-75 percent of us passed the July 2011 California Bar. In 2014, the bar passage rate from my alma mater was 61 percent. In 2015, it was 40-something percent, and now it dropped to a shocking 36 percent for the July 2016 bar. Most of the examinees are people who were taking the bar exam for the first time.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I think the biggest evidence that California Bar exam graded tougher this year was that Attorney pass rate was only 36%. That’s a you have to be kidding me number. Most attorneys who took the California Bar exam would have passed with a realistic grader.Report

  12. Will Truman says:

    Re: Hindus. I should have specified, but the data is on Americans.Report

  13. dragonfrog says:

    [Ec3] Not having been to either city, I’m just repeating what I’ve read and heard here.

    I’ve gotten the impression that there is more business activity in higher-tax Portland, OR than in far lower-tax Vancouver, WA just across the river. A Portland business address is more prestigious, while a Vancouver address has connotes bit of a “what is this a used car lot” vibe.

    Home prices are also much higher in Portland, so there’s some kind of premium associated with a Portland home address, despite the higher taxes (or, perhaps, specifically because of the nice things that have been paid for over the years with those higher taxes).Report

  14. dragonfrog says:

    [R1] The title of the paper is “Happily Religious: The Surprising Sources of Happiness Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adults”

    The first sentence of the abstract is “This article analyzes the impact of religion on reported levels of subjective well-being (general happiness) among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults.”

    As far as I can tell, (only the abstract and first page is available), they only deal with US American LGBT adults. No indication of recognition that their findings may not be generalizable outside the USA.Report

  15. notme says:

    Germany Avoids Attack After 12-Year-Old Boy’s Explosive Fails to Detonate at Christmas Market

    • This is where the distinction between the following two things becomes relevant:

      1) “The worst thing about Donald Trump is that he is a terrible person who is manifestly unfit to be president in a way that Mike Pence isn’t.”

      2) “The worst thing about Donald Trump is that he is a Republican and will carry out the conservatives’ agenda.”

      If #2, then Schumer’s plan makes sense. There’s a non-trivial chance that Trump can be coopted. It’s looking less likely than it did a month ago, but I can still see it happening. Trying to work him through his daughter and son-in-law to tick off items on the Democratic agenda would help get items on the Democratic agenda done (infrastructure, child care, etc). If successful, it will also drive a substantial wedge between the presidential and congressional wings of the party, which is good from a partisan standpoint. And there’s a non-trivial possibility that the outcome would be moving the GOP towards the center on a number of issues.

      If it’s #1, it’s not a good idea. You’d be collaborating with someone dangerous. You’re running the same risk of doing the same thing that the GOP did when they made him a star and Cruz did when he gave him help in New Hampshire and Clinton did when they tried to elevate him. Thinking that he’s a useful tool and you are the user instead of the used.

      I think it’s #1. But a lot of people think it’s #2.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


        Schumer is a fundamentally a deal maker and probably a vague but not particularly strong ideological liberal. In a more reasonable era, he would probably be a great minority leader because of his deal making attitudes.

        I think even without Trump, we are in a very different era than the 1980s when Schumer entered Congress or even 1999 when he entered the Senate.

        #1 is becoming more and more true every day.Report