Morning Ed: World {2017.06.26.M}


Will Truman

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

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135 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Jewish LGBT groups carrying Rainbow Star of David Flags were asked to leave the Chicago Dyke Parade. The grounds were that their “Zionist” advocacy upset people. The entire Intersectional/Social Justice Left continues to be horrible when it comes to Jewish issues.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      No worries, they’ll eat their own soon enough.Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      LGBT pride parades have also turned away gay Trump supporters. Clearly you have to belong to the right ideology in order to join the parade. Also the rainbow flag is being updated to included black and brown but not white.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’m not sure that calling them “horrible” is an argument sufficient to change minds.

      It might have been during the 2nd Intifada when there was a lot of overlap between Palestinian Terrorism and 9/11 was fresh in everyone’s mind…

      Today at work, I’m giving a speech on Security Theory to a couple of interns. One was 1 year old when 9/11 happened. One was born juuuuust before.

      They’re both going to be in college in a couple of years. They won’t make the visceral connections between the two things that we have. They’re just going to be confused as to why it’s “horrible” to oppose racist ethnostates with official policies of having 2nd Class Citizens.

      “Horrible” won’t work as well as it used to.

      Buckle up.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        We need to also remember that large factions of the Far Left have basically hated Israel since Israel declared independence in 1948 or at least since Stalin gave orders to hate Israel. They might not remember the intense Soviet anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism but its an established part of Far Left thought. After 1967, this anti-Zionism sipped very slowly into the Center Left and became full blown after the I/P crisis was adopted as a magic bullet solution to all our problems with that part of the world.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I kinda think that the tide turned with the Six Day War.

          We went from Jews/Israelis being obvious underdogs (look at WWII! Look at the Holocaust!) to being “Hey, these guys just kicked the asses of everybody else in the Middle East in less than a week. They’re not underdogs at all!”

          The Palestinians are the underdogs now.

          And if you are someone who roots for underdogs, you’re going to root for the Palestinians rather than the country that defeated the rest of the Middle East in a meager six days.

          Pride parades are, to some extent, parades celebrating underdogs. Palestinian flags welcome. Jewish flags? Well, some people will be made to feel uncomfortable.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            A lot of the Far Left likes to blame a lot of the ills of the world on colonialism and settler colonialism in particular. To them Israel really does look like South African and trying to explain why a bunch of Jews decided that the Jewish people needed a country gets their eyes to go blank. They never really accepted Jews as one of the persecuted people of the world to be with because of the weird dynamics of Intersectionality.

            From what I understand is that homosexual men tend to be a lot friendlier towards Israel than homosexual women. This is from an article about fights over Israel in LGBT synagogues. I’m not sure how it translates among gentile LGBT people. It seems that gay Jewish men see Israel as the Jews standing up for themselves in a hostile world like gay people stood up for themselves while gay Jewish women see Israel as a patriarchal capitalist white dude punching the oppressed down. I have no idea why this split occurs.Report

            • Avatar gregiank says:

              Well it’s not like colonialism hasn’t had a bit of checkered history. But to many people can’t seem to wrap their heads around both Israel/jews and Palestine both being historically sporked over. The founding of Israel and the making of the modern mid east was cluster of epic proportions.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Many people have built a very dualistic system that the Jews really don’t fit well in. Most Jews aren’t people of color by visible appearance but our history makes classifying Jews as white oppressors ridiculous. Zionism did involve Jews moving from one place to another but it isn’t settler colonialism either because Israel/Palestine is where Jews are from by most reliable historical and scientific evidence and had a small but sizable Jewish presence even after the Bar Kochba Rebellion. Plus, Jewish nationalism made sense as a solution in thought at least at the time.

                A lot of people deal with the fact that Jews don’t fit tidily into their ideology by simply classifying the Jews as white and privileged rather than modify their thought.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Yeah, all those things defy simplistic explanations which is why most people fail on them. Lots of gray on all parties in that region. Trade offs were made with some people having no say.Report

        • Avatar Francis says:

          Those “large factions of the Far Left”, you’re talking about how many people now? A few thousand? Come now, if you’re reduced to complaining about a 1,500-person parade run by Chicago lesbians, you’ve really achieved triviality.

          Two more points:

          First, a regular complaint about liberal action is that the organizers allow far too many individuals to hijack the larger action for their own message. Free Mumia posters at anti-war rallies etc. I seem to recall that you are in favor of message discipline. If so, you should support the right of the organizers to insist that marchers not raise issues that are both (a) not germane to the purpose of the march and (b) likely to raise conflict within their community.

          Second, the State of Israel receives billions in aid and an ironclad security guaranty from the US. It also holds itself out as a liberal democracy in a region where monarchies and autocracies are common. That’s a dangerous path for a country which insists that it’s someone else’s responsibility to deal with the descendants of the residents of land seized militarily and functionally annexed. The state’s conduct invites criticism that it is turning into an apartheid state.

          There is plenty of time and space to review how Israel got where it did and what possible futures it faces. But to assert on a blanket basis that the Social Justice Left is ‘horrible’ on Jewish issues based on this parade is, well, extraordinarily short-sighted. Nobody much likes being told that they are horrible, especially on a complex and hotly-contested issue.

          “Your intolerance is intolerable.” Who’s speaking there? The Chicago Dykes? You?Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Hijacking would be a straight Israel flag or a Palestinian one.

            A Star of David or a crescent on a rainbow flag doesn’t really, because it’s tying the group to gay pride in a direct way. It’s identifying a subgroup of gay pride more than trying to bundle another issue with it altogether.

            A ban on all national flags would be okay, but they allegedly singled out Israel (and the USA) as especially “unsafe.” perhaps (though not necessarily and possibly unintentionally) bundling gay pride with a particular position on Israel/Palestine.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


              It’s not even the Israeli flag, it is the Star of David. A symbol that existed for hundreds of years before the modern State of Israel was founded.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            But to assert on a blanket basis that the Social Justice Left is ‘horrible’ on Jewish issues based on this parade is, well, extraordinarily short-sighted.

            You are right that to assert the former based on the later is poor reasoning. However, you can just cut that sentence after the word “issues” and you have a verifiably true statement. The same people that will loudly argue that there is “no such thing as an illegal” in regards to Latin American migrants to the U.S. will then contend that it was an unjust act of colonialism for Ashkenazi Jews to migrate to uninhabited parts of the Levant, because it was “Arab land.”

            In fact, we can just go ahead and cut that sentence off after “horrible” and it is just as true. And what makes it so horrible is its ability to take complex and hotly-contested issues and reduce them to a very silly and counterproductive game of who is the most woke.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            Let me refer you to the Joy Karega scandal. The Intersectional Left has adopted the pose that Jews are not a group that really faced persecution in the way that other disadvantaged groups have despite all evidence for the contrary. Many of them treat us as a weird type of white person at best or the most dangerous white colonialist patriarchal capitalist at worse. This is deliberate. They do this to maintain maximum dualism in their cosmology.Report

            • Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

              Is it possible that perhaps she’s just a conspiracy nut and not representative of everyone else’s views?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                Except that stuff like the Karega scandal is not new and seems to happen again and again. There was also the time that CUNY students protested against high tuition as being a Zionist conspiracy. Here is what the journalist Yair Rosenberg said about the affair on twitter:

                Over the weekend, Jews were ejected from Dyke March Chicago, a far-left alternative to the main pride parade. Their crime? Carrying Jewish pride flags, which feature a star of David on a rainbow background. The march claimed that the Jewish star was actually “Zionist” and thus “threatening” and “triggering” to their group. This is a classic example of anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Here’s how:

                1. The star of David is one of Judaism’s basic symbols. It dates back many centuries before the founding of the state of Israel. It is worn by all Jewish chaplains in the U.S. army, and Nazis forced Jews across Europe to wear it to identify themselves. If one of Judaism’s classic symbols makes you feel “threatened,” the problem is with you, not the symbol.

                2. Jews are not collectively accountable for the actions of all other Jews, any more than Muslims, blacks, or immigrants are. If you feel the need to interrogate every Jew and demand they denounce Israel (or any other Jews or Jewish actions) before allowing them into your space, you are a racist.

                3. Medieval Christian Europe persecuted its Jews because it considered them responsible for the alleged acts of completely different Jews in the Middle East. The Chicago Dyke March just did the exact same thing to American Jews. While these people present themselves as the farthest thing from medieval theocracy, they are actually reenacting its worst pathologies. Being progressive does not insulate you from falling prey to bigotry anymore than being conservative does.

                4. During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump shared an anti-Semitic meme on Twitter featuring a Jewish star. When confronted, he insisted it was not a Jewish star, but a sheriff’s star. Similarly, in the face of the obvious, the Chicago Dyke March insists that the Jewish star is actually an Israeli star. When you find yourself in the same Jewsplaining rabbit hole as Donald Trump, it’s time to rethink your life choices.


              • Avatar Francis says:

                Saul and Lee:

                The rhetoric you use here is the reason that I no longer give either of you any credibility re Israel and Jewish issues.


                Equating the expulsion of three Jews from a march of 1500 Chicago lesbians with the treatment of Jews in Medieval Christian Europe is just absurd. It’s precisely the same thing as Justice Thomas did when he complained that his confirmation hearing was a hi-tech lynching.

                The actual crime was, of course, no crime at all. Please direct your attention to the First Amendment of the US Constitution and specifically the freedom of association clause. If you wish to make the argument that this clause should be stricken or that courts should be applying the clause much more narrowly, please do so.

                Of course, if you wish to go down that road, I expect you to recognize that your argument applies with equal force to those who wish to sew a swastika onto a rainbow flag.

                Lee: you wrote: To them Israel really does look like South African and trying to explain why a bunch of Jews decided that the Jewish people needed a country gets their eyes to go blank

                Right. And when moderate liberals try to explain to pro-settlement Jews why the apartheid argument resonates, their eyes go blank too.

                Or not. Instead of presuming that people who disagree with you are unthinking morons, you might try to apply the principle of charitable reading.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Please direct your attention to the First Amendment of the US Constitution and specifically the freedom of association clause.

                Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

                Anyway, Saul and Lee, this is the sort of thing that the Israel debate is evolving into.

                Calling opponents “horrible” won’t work.

                Attempts to escalate into a purity spiral is not likely to end up with supporters of Israel getting in the last word.

                Buckle up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And here’s how one of the opinion columns in the NYT today is handling it: I’m Glad the Dyke March Banned Jewish Stars

                (Short version. The writer is running with “Antisemitism”. I imagine that this is not going to work… for reasons related to observations about how “racism” doesn’t work as well as it used to but also because the Progressive Left won’t feel the sting of the accusation, like, at all. They aren’t Anti-Semitic. It’s About Apartheid, Some Of Their Best Friends, etc.)Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                On the other hand more push back against the silly excesses of the intersectional left is a good thing. The more oxes(free range, non GMO, vegan friendly tofu oxes of course) the better for burning away the worst of it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                more push back against the silly excesses of the intersectional left is a good thing.

                As opposed to using that energy to fight against the literal Nazis trying to destroy the country?


              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Ummm…..yeah. Just insert whatever answer makes you feel better.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                I hate grammar Nazis and will fight them wherever they spew their blatantly obvious corrections.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                How did you feel about gays being excluded from the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the 1990s?

                Your statement is basically anti-Semitic No True Scotsmanning. Anything a Jew claims as anti-Semitic is washed or explained away and done so in a way that I highly doubt you would do for any other minority group.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                Were all Jews banned?

                Were the Jews with the Jew Pride flags banned?

                Were the flagged banned?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                I think the last two.

                The point is a lot of people are fine telling Jews that X isn’t anti-Semitic in ways that they would not tell a black or Asian Y isn’t racist.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Jews don’t fit cleanly into intersectionalism Saul. Yer people are both oppressors and oppressed. Both in and out. Particle and wave. On the upside, you may be experiencing a new form oppression which intersectionalists will diagnose and dissertate upon: being oppressed because of the quantuum-like status inherent in your intersecting identity aspects.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                My cousin was executed at Nuremberg, another victim of Allied oppression and victor’s justice. By extension, that makes me a victim, too. Doubly so because he was executed for executing Greeks, and I have Greek family members who lost relatives during the Nazi occupation.

                But that’s not enough, so I’m also transitioning into a black lesbian Jewish breast cancer victim and domestic abuse survivor who herself is transitioning into an undocumented Latino Palestinian Vegan Wiccan who survived Hiroshima.

                That means I can get any size fountain drink for just 99 cents, which is an amazing deal if you think about it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                You think? Might it not be better to know the details.

                All three possible scenarios are concerning. But depending on what actually happened, it is hard to know if is concerning in the “Overly-woke do-gooder did bad” kinda way or in the “The organizers and therefore the march itself has some serious ‘splaining to do regarding what seems like some real anti-semetic shit.”

                ETA: And, yes, I would (and do) advocate this level of thoughtfulness were we discussing potential anti-black racism. I’ve learned that being knee-jerk or unquestioning of other’s knee-jerkiness is very often counterproductive. Especially with someone (you) with a tendency towards knee-jerking and borderline proactice defensiveness.Report

              • Avatar Francis says:

                okay, now I’m truly pissed off.

                This assertion of yours about me: Anything a Jew claims as anti-Semitic is washed .. away is flat bigotry. Instead of making the slightest effort to engage in anything that I wrote, you make an absolutely disgusting accusation.

                Go Fish Yourself, asshole. How dare you presume to know me?

                In more detail:

                To reiterate a point I made above, you approvingly cited a column in which the actions of 1500 Chicago lesbians were “reenacting [Medieval Christian Europe’s] worst pathologies.”

                Really? Being thrown out of a parade by a non-state actor (in the US, where we have the First Amendment) is equivalent to being forced by a state actor to live in a ghetto, not to practice certain professions, to convert to another religion, to face torture?

                Instead of accusing me of antisemitism, how about you actually defend that comparison? Of course, you can’t. But since you can never back down, you resort to the cheap shot. Your mom would be so proud. So would your Con Law professor.

                Yes, at first I was on the side of the gay marchers. (hooray for the underprivileged!) Then my con law professor (Erwin Chemerinsky, if anyone’s curious) explained the importance of the First Amendment’s protection of free association rights and how critical it is to protect minorities (like Jews) and minority viewpoints.

                Let’s see if you have the courage to answer this: Are you OK with neo-Nazis wielding rainbow flags with swastikas sewn onto them marching in the Dyke March? Or, to be even more blunt about it, for people to wave a Third Reich flag while participating in Yom Hashoah remembrance held in a public park?

                Neither Jews nor the State of Israel are immune from criticism, at least not in this country. Throwing around cheap unsupported accusations of anti-Semitism is precisely the sort of conduct on your part that reaffirms my view that you have no credibility on these issue.

                ps: If even my mild criticisms are anti-Semitic, then congratulations (!) are owed — you’ve completely devalued an important word.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Anyway, Saul and Lee, this is the sort of thing that the Israel debate is evolving into.

                Calling opponents “horrible” won’t work.

                Attempts to escalate into a purity spiral is not likely to end up with supporters of Israel getting in the last word.

                Buckle up.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                I remember the time they strung up a guy for being way too Jewish and wanting to restore home rule to Jerusalem. People still debate that cock up during Easter holiday, one of the few holidays that never falls on a workweek, which itself is evidence of antisemitism.

                Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, MLK Jr, Rosa Parks, St Patrick, Ganesh, and even a groundhog get to have a weekday, but not Jesus, because he was Jewish.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Stop the dada and be helpful JaybirdReport

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                He is being helpful. Jaybird is saying we should go for the jugular and call a spade a spade.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m saying that calling a spade a spade won’t work.

                Certainly not if you rely heavily on everybody knowing that a spade is *OBVIOUSLY* something like a spade.

                You’re going to have to go back a bit and discuss the traits of spades and then point out an object and point out how its traits have similar traits to the traits of spades.

                The antisemetism card is not the card you need right now.

                The card you need is the traits of spades.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Saul, I swear. You don’t know what dada is.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                I thought that calling the organizers of the Dyke March Jew-haters would spread more heat than light. Turned out I was wrong.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Good fucking grief people, this was obviously antisemitic. Debating this is stupid and pointless. It was manifestly antisemitic as much as displaying nooses, wearing white hoods, and shouting the n-word is anti-black.

                Good fucking god let us make a slight effort not to be blisteringly stupid. The CDM folks made an antisemitic decision. It is entirely justified for jewish people to be upset.

                This subthread is an embarrassment to the forum, not to mention humanity in general.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Go fish yourself back.If you do a google search you will find a lot of people criticizing the decision of the Chicago Dyke March. These people are not just Jews and Lee and I are not the only Jews criticizing this. Yet you just discount, discount, and discount.

                You can google Marc Joseph Stern discussing anti-Semitism in the LBGT community on Slate in 2016. He is gay and Jewish. Do you discount him?Report

              • Avatar Francis says:

                really Burt? purged without the courtesy of an email? I can be accused of antisemitism without the right of response?Report

              • Avatar KenB says:

                It really sucks when you firmly believe you don’t feel animus towards a class of people but utter strangers insist that you do.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      All due respect, I think the BDS is a perfect response to apartheid.
      Obviously you side with the supreme court justice who thinks that it is traitorous to oppose via peaceful boycott folks who won’t let you vote.

      How much blood before you recognize sin? Murder? Deliberate allowance of crimes against Jews?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        Unless I’m mistaken, the Star of David has somewhat broader symbolism than support for Israeli government policy. Freaking out when you see it seems like an indicator of something broader than some narrow foreign policy disagreements.

        I liked this:

        One member of the Dyke March collective said those carrying the rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,”…

        The new hotness is “feeling unsafe” the same way police officers do. Like there’s a history of people with showing up with Star of David rainbow flags and harming people.

        Whatever you need to say to justify pulling the trigger, I guess.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Exactly. The Star of David has been a symbol of the Jewish people for centuries. That’s why the Zionists adopted it. The organizers of Chicago’s Dyke Parade would argue that they are merely anti-Zionist/Israeli and not anti-Semitic but they are blocking LGBT Jews from using Jewish symbols and have not been asked about their position on Israel.Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            I think the star has been a symbol of the Jewish people since 900 BC, when King David’s copyright would have expired. For the 70 years prior to that his family would have collected royalties. It’s a Jewish thing.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    W1: Brexit seems to be going swimmingly at this point. I guess if your just into resentment and want to punish other people rather than do well yourself, your getting what you want.

    W5: Can somebody summarize. I’ve run out of my free Washington Post articles for a month.

    W6: Slovenia can go back to its old name under the Habsburgs, Carniola.

    W8: Lawyers are technically stuck because of licensing rules and that most states tend to have one very big legal market with the exception of California and Texas.

    W9: This seems exceedingly sexist and the chants about doing it for the leader were creepy.Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal says:

      (This is the note it ends on, so maybe it will give you the flavor of it.)

      “In economic extremis for years, we have now gone to extremes.

      Perhaps what many have been mistaking for growing progressivism among millennials in Britain and the United States is merely the lefty flavor of the populism to which the young, even more than the old, are increasingly drawn.

      Arguably, the most salient characteristic of the lefty candidates whom millennials idolize is not so much their leftiness, but their anti-establishment, at times barn-burning populism. During the U.S. presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders railed against globalization nearly as much as Donald Trump did. His millennial-beloved British analogue, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, espouses far nuttier and more troubling beliefs (including past praise of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and Moammar Gaddafi).

      As Mounk has suggested, the proper way we should perhaps think about political divides going forward is not so much left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative. Rather, it’s something more akin to belief in a closed society vs. an open one, nationalism vs. internationalism.

      The jury is out on where my generation’s views will land, but defenders of the West might want to start working on Plan B.”Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “As Mounk has suggested, the proper way we should perhaps think about political divides going forward is not so much left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative. Rather, it’s something more akin to belief in a closed society vs. an open one, nationalism vs. internationalism.”

        Or maybe: “When something bad happens to you, is it A) probably your fault B) probably someone else’s fault?”Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal says:

          I was just quoting an article.

          I do find it interesting that there may be an eventual grade break between the authoritarian, and anti-authoritarians.
          If that y-axis shift ever shows up, things will change in a big way.Report

          • Avatar James K says:


            I think what a lot of people get wrong about left and right is that they don’t reflect some eternal fundamental divide between two sides of a political binary, but rather for any given polity there is some major political divide, and one of those sides gets called ‘Left’ and the other ‘Right’. What counts as left and right changes over time, and it can be different between countries too. The standard left and right-wing position int he US don’t map terribly well onto New Zealand’s left and right once you get pass the high-level generalities.

            In Revolutionary France, where the left-right divide was first articulated, the divide was republicanism vs. monarchism. Then we got either liberalism vs. socialism or fascism vs. socialism for about a century, but since the 1990s that divide started to break down. Socialism failed too badly as an ideology, and what little it had worth keeping got integrated into liberalism. Since then our politics has been a debate between liberalism with slightly more socialism vs. slightly less. The grand clash of ideas that typified the 20th Century was mortally wounded by the 1980s and died with the Soviet Union.

            I think this is why so many people feel modern politics (up to about 18 months ago) was so bloodless and managerial – without a real political dichotomy it was all just fiddling at the margins. There was more life in US politics because of the Culture War, but to me it seems like even that was running out of steam by the end of Obama’s second term.

            But now we may be witnessing our politics repolarising. Trump and Sanders in the US, along with the Brexit faction in the UK and LePen in France all represent one of those poles. Macron, who doesn’t fit the previous French political breakdown well at all, might be the sign of the other pole developing.

            The we count things now, we think of Corbyn and Trump as being on opposite side of the political spectrum, but in 20 years I think there’s a decent chance that we’ll look back and think of them as being on the same side of the political spectrum.Report

            • Avatar Joe Sal says:

              I agree with maybe some or most of what you are saying. Knowledge attempts to inform the future and a breakthrough in political modeling has been the political compass.

              I agree that in the past left and right are terms that have drifted. Most political modeling/understanding was attempted on a single axis. With both the x and y axis, the compass models in two spectrums, a far superior model. It can now be shown the dynamics of collectivism to individualism. From the desires of freedom, to the desires of control.

              I agree that the past was a mess, very few times were the meanings clear, and as you point out, variations among countries abound.

              Society has for the most of history been shielded against itself. Communications were confined locally. With slow knowledge transfer rates people thought much of the world matched their local preferences-ideology-theology. The reports of wildly different cultures could be dismissed as isolated novelties. As communications become more wide spread people are exposed to the diversity of a larger view. As each locality finds it is not the dominate faction, it strikes fear in the forming factions.

              America was unique for a time because of duality. The founders attempted to put common law in the Bill of Rights. Which in and of itself isn’t special. What is interesting about the BOR is that it can be read by collectivists, who read ‘we the people’ as collective, and the individualists can read ‘we the people’ as a group of aggregated individuals. This worked pretty well up until the point the collectivists made the claim that ‘we the people’ was in fact a socialist-collective endeavor. Then the duality no longer works. There could be a individual republic and a democracy under the same flag, but the democratic yearnings began to exclude the individual republic. No nation survives the long term after turning it’s back to the individual republic. It is a terminal destiny, it is asking individuals to ignore their self-ownership.

              Socialism will always be reached for. As parents have provided for their children the thought of an entity providing all the needs of life is comforting. A shield against the reality of having to strive for a existence. The pursuit of chasing a need, and not developing an ability. Where are the limits to the needs of men? The trends to socialism will be strong, forever strong, hidden in plain sight if necessary.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      If you can’t get around the Washington Post’s paywall, you’re not trying. Last time I checked, there are multiple ways to get them to serve up an unlimited number of articles.Report

      • Avatar Joe Sal says:

        I guess that raises the question of whether WaPo is worth trying an end run. I tried much harder to get google to eliminate WaPo from it’s news feed, yet it continues faithfully to link to it.

        Not saying it’s a gold digger but…..Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

      yeah, I wanted to read the W5 article because I thought it was Gen X (like me) that were supposed to be the saviors of the world (I presume by giving up our retirement funds or something)Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Geek-babble ahead…

        Let us count approaches to defeat the paywall, in roughly order of complexity. All of these have worked at one time or another.

        Cookie management [1]. Like most newspapers, the Washington Post stores the article count information in a cookie on your computer, and checks its values using Javascript included with each article. One way to disrupt the check is to make cookies unavailable. The easiest way is anonymous browsing, which hides the cookies. Eg, in Firefox, right-click and choose “Open Link in New Private Window”.

        Cookie management [2]. Delete the cookies the Washington Post has stored on your computer. Contemporary browsers provide some sort of cookie management tool. Eg, in Firefox, Preferences –> Privacy –> Show Cookies gets you to a place where you can find and delete the WaPo cookies. This has other effects, though. If you are a registered user — so you can contribute to the noise that is the WaPo comment sections — deleting cookies means you’ll have to provide your user id and password again in order to make comments.

        Social media [1]. Certain social media are privileged, and if the link is embedded in such media, the Washington Post disables article counting. Facebook is one of the privileged media. Copy the link location and paste it into a draft Facebook post, click on that link, and the Washington Post will serve it up without the count check. Twitter is another often-privileged medium.

        Social media [2]. The Washington Post knows you came to it from a social media link because the browser includes a Referer: value (the field name is misspelled in the standards document). Most browsers support add-ons that will replace the Referer: value with one of your choosing. If you specify “”, the WaPo will treat it as privileged. Same goes for “”.

        Control Javascript execution. As adblocker scripts have come into common usage (29% of German users now run an adblocker), sites have countered with anti-adblocker scripts that detect the adblocker and deny access to the content. In turn, we are now seeing anti-anti-adblocker software that prevents known anti-adblocker scripts from running. As it turns out, sites tend to use a single script to implement both article count limits and anti-adblocker. Installing a combination of an adblocker and an anti-anti-adblocker often has the side effect of removing the limit on number of articles you can read.

        If you use a mobile device, none of this may apply. Browsers on mobile devices are limited in lots of ways.

        Is this legal? The only country where I know the question has been litigated is Germany. The German courts have held that which cookies you show, and which scripts you allow to run, is entirely up to you.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        It’s very important that generations younger than the boomers take cuts to the social safety net to balance the budget seriously as long as it doesn’t involve any cuts to the benefits for boomers.

        They paid into the system, you know.Report

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

          Actually, I suspect a lot of the collapse will come once the Boomers fully retire because Gen X is (demographically) a pretty thin table leg to support the weight of the Boom. (And I know, I know: Millennials, but we’re told that they’re all too busy driving Uber and doing gig-economy jobs to pay into the system).

          I don’t expect there to be social security when I retire around 2039. There not being Medicare is potentially a bigger problem. I also don’t expect my state’s university-employee pension system to still be there in any kind of recognizable form. I fully expect to be thrown onto my own devices to survive once I’m too old to work.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      I guess if your just into resentment and want to punish other people rather than do well yourself, your getting what you want.

      That’s modern policy making in a nutshell. Are you triggered, snowflake?Report

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    [W1] Brain Drain: Sounds like a sellers market!

    [W3]: Hell, just read Todos Santos. That was very similar, just on land.

    W5: No they won’t. Generations don’t do things, individuals do. And based upon what little I’ve seen, millennials are more interesting is whining then doing the hard work. Go eat your avocado toast.

    W8: ““The attempted stunt was unsuccessful, which resulted in the demise of Mr. Jones,” the park police said in a news release.” Let me translate: Dumbass

    [W9] Cute asian girls in good looking uniforms! This has cosplay written all over it.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      Generations don’t do things, individuals do. And based upon what little I’ve seen, millennials are more interesting is whining then doing the hard work.

      This combination of sentences is delightful.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        I know funny huh. And I based my opinion of millennials on what I’ve read in Slate and other such internet sites. So I must be fully informed on the situation! 🙂Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    W3 – slow news day at New Republic, time to trot out some libertarian bashing.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      But honestly tho, I want someone to actually spin up one of these things, just to watch the drama unfold. Cuz like, can you imagine a whole bevy of techbro libertarians trying to figure out how to govern themselves!

      For one thing, just imagine the gender issues. Just imagine. No seriously.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Totally fewer gender issues than the Startup which took the “Women Who Are Sheltered will Make Better Leaders” principle and put it to the test.

        … totally.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Oh, I think they should too, but not because of Schadenfreude. I’m still a firm believer that someday we will be leaving this blue-green marble for places out there, and having people field test these kinds of ideas inside atmo will probably be cheaper, and safer, than doing it in hard vacuum.

        And remember, for as much as SeaSteading is a techno-libertarian dream, the idea isn’t limited to that. A SeaStead could just as easily be a Progressive or Theocratic utopia.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          @oscar-gordon — Yeah, the tech doesn’t bother me. And I am certainly fine with “deliberate community.” So yeah. But still, the techbro libertarian set is (well) they’re a precious bunch with a (shall we say) particular set of pathologies..

          I’m just picturing the “meeting” they hold trying to figure out how to deal with their 80/20 gender imbalance. I mean, “incentives,” right? Except like, after they’ve imported all the “sugar daddy seekers,” who then realize they’re literally stuck on an artificial island with a gaggle of weird social misfits with entitlement issues

          Oh my stars! Oh my, oh my. I want to watch!

          And then when the dudes realize their “employee wives” are secretly forming cool bisexual polyamorous sex circles (cuz they need to get love somehow), instead of dedicating their lives to having smart babies for their genius “husbands”…

          Again, to be a fly on the wall for that fight.

          (Yes, I’m being very mean here. Indeed, very very mean. Practically cruel. But am I wrong?)Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Honestly, as I look over the history of splinter communities around the world… No, you aren’t, most either devolve into some manner of cult of personality, or utterly fail as they realize that interpersonal relationships are hard.

            Although there have been some moderately successful ones that mostly came apart due to outside pressure rather than internal strife, or because the leader was the glue keeping it all together.

            Societing is hard, who knew? But then, most societies fail, it’s really just a question of how long it takes. The successful ones, or rather, the enduring ones, endure because like all living things, they evolve. So if SeaSteads happen, 95% will be shipwrecks. But that 5% could prove quite enlightening.Report

            • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

              The Hutterites are my go-to example of a group that has managed to sustain it for centuries: a non-celibate religious community that takes Acts 2:44-45 to be normative, and is mostly successful at it. But only mostly, even for them. Read writings by former Hutterites and there are stories about colonies that went bad, captured by a cult of personality with predictable results.Report

            • Avatar George Turner says:

              All a society needs to sustain itself is profits, profits, profits. If the SeaStead is started as “a society” of people just looking to be different, it will probably lose money and fail. Maintaining such sea structures costs money, and the money has to keep coming in. Instead, the trick is to figure out how to make money out on the ocean. The “society” will be the people who show up for the jobs. Offshore oil rigs are short-stay SeaSteads. A small island community is a long stay one.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                That is the trick. A SeaStead is not a patch of dirt & some timber frame shelters (despite the representations of bad Kevin Costner movies), it has to be a working community, probably doing some kind of aquaculture or energy production or mining.

                So the genesis would be some kind of cooperative business model and a healthy chunk of capital investment. This way you can organize your government via the cooperative rules/by-laws/charter/etc. and the cooperative pays dividends, etc. to the initial investors.

                Now someone just needs to find a way to monetize the seas enough to attract that kind of capital investment. Aside from oil rigs, factory fishing ships, and pie in the sky ideas of floating cities of wealthy retirees, I haven’t seen one yet.Report

              • Avatar Francis says:

                As far as I’m concerned, the best current exemplar of SeaSteading is Pitcairn Island. No one much cared about the people living there until stories of rampant child sex abuse surfaced. At which point New Zealand sent in a frigate and arrested the accused. Claims of sovereignty failed in front of big guns.

                The only economic advantage I can see to seasteading is money-laundering, pharma manufacture and other forms of activity (child sex) that would be illegal just about anywhere. The only real question is how long the nearest naval power tolerates this nonsense before they blow the place to smithereens.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Pitcairn claimed sovereignty, but they never had a very strong claim of sovereignty. The Brits had a leg to stand on in that one and their actions weren’t sovereign.

                The same applies to Sealand, which is the closest thing to a seastead, which is in Brit’s territorial waters.

                If there were something outside territorial waters, without any sort of claim, it would be interesting to see what would happen, and with what justification.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                A SeaStead would most likely fall under Admirality law, unless it was flying a flag, or until the UN recognized it as an island nation. And Admirality law is a very interesting bag of oddities.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                And Admirality law is a very interesting bag of oddities.

                Indeed, I often see very odd people indeed shouting about golden fringes on flag’s and Admiralty law.

                (Just your regular reminder that Sovereign Citizens exist and they are crazy).Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I am curious about the implied claim, but in the back of my mind is a klaxon sounding, the one that sounds when I really don’t want to dive into that pile of crazy.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Everything Sovereign Citizens do is, in fact, bug-f*ck crazy. I’m not talking around the bend, I mean around the bend, down the highway, over several hills and possibly past the moon.

                But IIRC that bit of lunacy, there is a common belief that gold fringes on flags in a court signify that the court is an Admiralty court. Which cannot hear things like, say, speeding tickets or tax fraud cases. Or that it signifies martial law.

                And despite it never actually working ever they will then claim they are not subject to an Admiralty Court, or the US is not under martial law, or the case cannot be tried by an Admiralty court, and then get very confused as to why the case isn’t dismissed.

                Basically, Sovereign Citizens view the court like magic. With the right incantation, you can work your will on reality. I mean some of them like to talk about Ohio and income tax and stuff, but for the most part — it really is “I’ve said the magic words, why hasn’t this worked” because they think Courts run on magic, not what amounts to a lot of arguing about things using technical jargon.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I’m probably going to regret this, given the number of lawyers hereabouts…

                But there is your next bit of Urban Fantasy, where legalese isn’t just annoying, but actually capable of performing magic and bending the universe to the attorney’s will.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Ah, the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone.

                About the cutthroat world of international necromancy: wizards in pinstriped suits and gods with shareholders’ committees.

                Or as he puts it on Scalzi’s blog

                Do you remember the day the gods died?

                You must. I mean, five years or so back this grand cataclysm tore through an immaterial plane of existence adjacent to our own. Every few days, it seemed, another ostensibly immortal being that took sustenance from the faith and work of its followers and priests died. Those that survived starved themselves lean. Afterward, as the world sunk into recession, the surviving immortals withdrew to Olympus, hoarding the remnants of their power and licking their wounds. To this day we fault them for their retreat from Earth.

                Oh, and let’s not forget the part where a bunch of hardworking folks who communicate in arcane jargon derived from ancient languages spent thousands of billable hours raising fallen deities from the dead.

                At least that’s how the 2008 recession and its aftermath looked to yours truly, a half-crazed fantasy novelist recently back in the US from a few years teaching in the Chinese countryside. That bit of extra distance meant that on returning I read America like a genre book—trying to make sense of the world from clues I was given as I went along.


              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Holy crap, you are right! I remember reading the first one some time ago. Quite good, if a little hard to follow at first.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @oscar-gordon — I read somewhere [1] that there was a real sociological thing, where the common folks would get screwed over by contract language, as courts and “rule of law” emerged as major social forces in Europe, and in turn this fueled a lot of the “contracts with demons that backfire” type stories that became popular during the early modern period.

                It’s not that this was the first time the “words have power” idea came about (frex the Gospel of John), but the danger of words misconstrued came to have a deep social impact.

                Anyway, it’s a thing.

                [1] Perhaps it was this.

                (I’m not sure how the whole “a genie takes your wish hyper literally” thing emerged. Is that in Thousand and One Nights? I don’t recall. Anyhow, culture is fun.)Report

              • Avatar James K says:


                There’s a steampunk skirmish wargame called Malifaux, where there are lawyers with legal magic. When they defend you they can stop bullets and they can tie you up in red tape in ways that are more literal then is usual.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I just re-upped my judge pro tem training and the judge teaching the class spent a bit of time talking about sovereign citizens and the sorts of nonsense they spew at, say, a traffic ticket arraignment.

                “When you start hearing complaints about the fringe on the court’s flag or demands about what kind of criminal jurisdiction you’re proceeding under, give the defendant one last chance to enter a plea, and if he won’t do it, enter a plea of not guilty for him, give him a return date, and move on.”

                That’s because in traffic court, a temporary judge will have between 150 to 180 minutes to process a 100-150 arraignment calendar. You simply don’t have time to listen to someone expound upon the national bankruptcy of 1933 or Congress’ unlawful adjournment of 1861.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                I have a few.

                One of the more impractical is to develop the Atlantis Massif, a ten-mile wide peak which sits pretty much in the middle of the Atlantic between Florida and Spain. Unfortunately the top is still 2,300 feet below the surface, so the investment would be massive.

                But the utility might also be quite large, as both a fishing base and a major airport that could support non-aerial refueled transatlantic flights of military aircraft, especially on routes to the Med and Middle East, along with being a stop-over for shorter range business jets.

                A similar, but cheaper idea is to build such artificial islands in the North Atlantic continental shelves. There are many areas where the water is only tens of meters deep yet hundreds of miles from the nearest land.

                Oil drilling. Airport. Fishing harbor. Fishing harbor putting fish on planes at the airport.

                Going much larger, the Hess Rise between Japan and Hawaii could be developed into a state the size of Oregon.

                It’s fun to browse the ocean floor with ArcGIS viewerReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                The shallow places would also be good for aquaculture. I could also totally see an open water fish farm in the North Pacific raising salmon or cod. The deep cold water would help eliminate the problems near shore farms have. I have read about quite a few companies developing large, predator resistant, easy to maintain enclosures for just such an enterprise.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I can also envision places raising algaes for oil production, or whatever else we can program algae to make for us.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Here’s another idea.

                World precipitation map

                Southern California has lots of money, but very little rainfall. About a thousand miles due south of southern California is a band of ocean with no territorial claims on it that gets over 11 feet of annual rainfall. That rain falls pointlessly on the ocean, where it turns back into salt water. But as fresh water it would be worth a lot of money – if it was transported to places that needed water, like California, Nevada, and Arizona.

                At around 140 inches a year, the whole band is wetter than the wettest spot in northern California, and as wet as the wettest bits of Oregon and Washington. The band, by area, gets three to four times more rainfall than the Eastern US, and it all goes to waste.

                US precipitation map

                So if you could build a 1 mile square floating structure in the Pacific rain band, with a submerged plastic tube acting as a pipe to bring the fresh water north to the California coast, you would double the amount of water for 10 square miles of California (adding 14 inches of rainfall). How big could such structures be? How many of them could you build? How cheap could you make them? How would they be anchored?

                If you could make one ten by ten miles square, the 100 square mile area could irrigate about a thousand square miles of the Southwest. That’s a lot of crops. And halfway along the pipe route you could hit Baja California and turn it into another major agricultural area.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Yeah! Cool! Or, how about this? Let’s bring the rain to the land!

                We create a series of large mirrored vinyl sheets in geostationary orbit a little bit above the Southern California coastline, each one, say, one acre large. We configure many of these mirrors into slightly curved formations. While it’s not common to create that large a sheet of vinyl, it’s easily possible. Aluminum rigging to keep the vinyl stretched can easily be linked together on by spacewalking astronauts.

                The mirrors reflect and focus sunlight into the ocean’s surface. Enough mirrors on one place will create a column of heat powerful enough to boil the water on the surface. Enough of those boil-sites on the surface will release a large amount of water vapor into the air, creating low-altitude clouds that will convert to rain during episodes of low barometric pressure.

                Boom. It rains at least once a week, every week, in Southern California. The deserts will bloom and the people will thrive.

                I see no technical or environmental problems with this plan whatsoever.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            “(Yes, I’m being very mean here. Indeed, very very mean. Practically cruel. But am I wrong?)”

            It’s very interesting to read this post and remember all the yak about how A) we needed to attract more women to write here because it was such a boring old sausagefest, and B) how it was really important that people write posts in a civil and cordial manner and not come off too strong because that sort of thing makes women go elsewhere.Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            “And then when the dudes realize their “employee wives” are secretly forming cool bisexual polyamorous sex circles (cuz they need to get love somehow), instead of dedicating their lives to having smart babies for their genius “husbands”…”

            Not allowed by the terms of the marriage contract that they signed. Result-divorce-not alimony, dude keeps the kids if he wants them. No child support either. Banishment from the seastead. That’s how I’d write the contract 🙂Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              @damon — We indeed know how insecure men can be, how controlling. My point is, I think it would work out quite poorly in practice. After all, most nerd guys aren’t actually the “dark triad” sociopaths they secretly wish they were. In fact, they’re remarkably emotionally needy.

              Their weird fetishization of sociopaths is in its own way a reflection of these insecurities. It’s blatant wish fulfillment. So yeah, they’d seek maximal control, based on some fever dreams from r/theredpill (or rooshv or whatever).

              But in practice — oh wow. Oh golly.

              “Why can’t she see how alpha I am?????”

              The outrage! The cries of pain!Report

      • Avatar James K says:


        I imagine it will go horribly wrong, if for no other reason that almost every attempt to create new political systems goes horribly wrong. It turn out political engineering is really hard.

        I’m glad the Seasteading movement exists, because I think we could do with more experiments in political theory (and this way, all the test subjects will be volunteers, which is a welcome novelty). But I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go near one of those things myself.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    W8: Zic used to comment about the problem of brain drain in rural Maine from what she thought was probably a liberal prospective. She would moan every now and then about how media made it hard for kids to see that it is okay to raise no higher than assistant manager at Wal-Mart.

    This is going to be a tough sell especially if you best and the brightest get the tar kicked out of them by the stay-behinds. Of course they want to get our of dodge. A lot of places just don’t have opportunities for the intellectually curious or much room for growth. Plus cities are filled with people who were beat up in their hometowns for being different.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      The main driver, I suspect, is simply opportunity (followed by lifestyle followed by a bunch of other things followed by physical assault). That’s why those most likely to leave are those with the most opportunity elsewhere. Leaving where you are for places of greater opportunity being, of course, the most American of things!Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I largely agree but how to address the opportunity thing is the killer. There is no good answer.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi says:

          Payday lenders rehired to stripmine the rural areas to Profit and Beyond!

          … no, really. We let the fucking ghost towns dry up and blow away.

          Economics is a cruel bitch, but she gets her way in the end, one way or another. Better to bend (or move) than to break under her weight.Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      The rationale for the policy change given by Kelly and the TSA is that the imposition of growing fees for checked baggage by the airlines has prompted passengers to more densely pack their carry-ons, and that this has made it harder for screeners to identify particular items amid the jumble of images appearing on their screens.

      From your article. It certainly sounds rationally based and has nothing to do with the content of the reading material. So it’s more faux liberal outrage.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        It’s difficult for them to keep their failure rate below 90% or so, so I guess they need all the help they can get. Are they still talking about pushing the “arrive early” time to 3 hours before your flight, or have they settled in at 2+ hours?

        I’d be more upset about the reading material aspect of this if we hadn’t already crossed that line long ago. There are plenty of stories of people having trouble simply because of papers or books they have. I’m more interested in the fact that an organization that fails to effectively screen and is having trouble with increasing wait times thinks that their next best step is, “Have people dump all their shit out on the conveyor belt.”

        As I’ve said before, the TSA appears to be run by people who would be writing rules and regulations for dunking witches if they had the good fortune to be born in a more appropriate era.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

      I propose someone design printable paper book covers (in different sizes) bearing the text of the Fourth Amendment.

      Of course, that might mean you get a free pelvic exam for showing up with that, I don’t know, but crikey.

      (The alternate idea: buy the cheapest, trashiest, dumbest book you can find and use its cover to re-cover what you really want to read)

      I know the “real” reason given is that it’s “people cram stuff in their carry on and we can’t tell if it’s a book or a block of C4” but I could also imagine the TSA taking a glim at the title of the book (or the language it’s written in) and using it as basis for a snap decision on who gets a more intrusive screening.

      (I don’t fly, but considering that I pretty much only read mystery novels while traveling, I’d probably be safe. Probably.)Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Just keep a copy of US Army Explosives & Demolitions Handbook in your bag.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        …I could also imagine the TSA taking a glim at the title of the book (or the language it’s written in) and using it as basis for a snap decision on who gets a more intrusive screening.

        I don’t think there’s any reason to have to imagine that. Or other stuff as well.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Popehat told a funny story about that sort of thing on the twitters here.

          If you are too lazy to click, it’s a story about how he was an attorney for a guy charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun. He happened to be flying with exhibits which included a diagram of a machine gun. The TSA guys saw the drawing of the machine gun and freaked out. He tried to explain that he was an attorney but the TSA people were still freaked out.

          Though, granted, they did eventually decide that a drawing of a machine gun is not, technically, a machine gun and so they let him fly and they didn’t confiscate the diagrams or anything. White privilege, I guess.

          All that to say that I love and agree with the idea in theory, I know how it will play out in practice and how it plays out in practice is *NOTHING* even *CLOSE* to how it played out in theory and this will end up making everybody’s lives worse while, at the same time, not accomplishing anything.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      The actual proposal is that TSA wants people to remove paper from the bags because it’s blocking the scanner, right? Not that TSA actually wants to look at what’s written down on those papers, correct?Report

      • Avatar gregiank says:

        The ACLU link says that TSA may be keeping notes of controversial writing they find and a case where a guy was detained for 5 hours due to having arabic flash cards and book critical of US foreign policy. So in general this seems anodyne, though irritating, but could be an actual privacy issue.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        That’s what they’re saying, though I bet if a darkish-skinned guy with a beard pulled an Arabic-language magazine out of his bag he’d get looked at more closely then my fat female Irish self with her Agatha Christie.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Surely you don’t believe that what you’re reading is a matter of taste, Saul…Report

  6. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    W3: It seems weird to critique the timeliness of an article written in response to a book published two months earlier. If we are to wait until the idea is likely to be a practical reality, this will probably be never. Which would be fine, except that if people are going to be pushing the idea, it seems reasonable to talk about it.

    As for the idea itself, the notion of a floating city run by people who go into hysterics at the idea of having to pay to fix potholes seems questionable. Then there is this: “Any set of rules is OK,” the organization’s FAQ page emphasizes, “as long as the residents consent to it voluntarily and can leave whenever they choose.” Give me a moment to get over my giggling fit.Report

  7. Avatar aaron david says:

    W1 dovetails …interestingly… with a Slate Star piece from last year, talking about the then current brain drain from the NHS, among other things.

    W5 is kinda silly. People get more conservative as they get older, thus creating tension with liberal youth. There isn’t anything to “save” so much as things change at a greater or lesser speed.

    I just saw a cottontail rabbit in my back yard.Report

  8. W3 – I was under the impression that seasteading is moving along steadily, with settlements in micronesia about to take off.Report

  9. Avatar j r says:

    It’s honestly a weird time to be writing about the danger of seasteading…

    It’s not that weird. Political partisans always need to create bogeyman.

    It’s funny how much time some folks on the left spend alternating between contending that libertarians are numerically tiny, politically unimportant minority and that libertarians and their attempts to peacefully engage in alternatives to government monopolies are a threat to “democracy.” I am completely turned off by the idea of socialism, but if a bunch of people want to go try to set up a socialist paradise on a platform in the middle of the ocean, I could honestly not care less.Report

    • Avatar Jesse says:

      My argument is that there are a lot of very rich libertarians who push the Republican Party to advance far-right economic policies that have no actual support outside of libertarians (for ideological reasons) and very rich people (for selfish reasons), but are still able to get those laws passed because of various culture war issues.

      So, yes, there aren’t a lot of libertarians. But, they do effect policy.

      I guess my example would be that if despite polls showing that 75% of people opposed nationalization of an industry, including most of their own party, the Democratic Party was pushing forward with said nationalization and pushing it as a core port of liberalism because of a small core of socialists controlling the purse strings of the party and the think tanks that create policy.

      In that case, yes, I would think there would be a lot of stories in the NRO or Federalist about the socialists. I mean, even more than there are now.Report

      • Avatar Joe Sal says:

        There are likely a lot more non rich small business owners that favor the republican party, compared to a very small libertarian percentage:
        2014 survey (pdf)

        Something I recently found in trying to compare ‘macro-tycoonism’ to ‘micro-tycoonism’Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        “My argument is that there are a lot of very rich libertarians who push the Republican Party to advance far-right economic policies that have no actual support outside of libertarians (for ideological reasons) and very rich people (for selfish reasons), but are still able to get those laws passed because of various culture war issues.”

        You could swap out “libertarians” for “republicans” and “democrats” and swap out the party names and it’d still be true.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Wait?! There are libertarian economic policies in place? Pure, unfiltered economic policies? Or the watered down and bastardized policies that Republicans and Democrats actually manage to get passed through the legislature when they find a nugget of an idea they like and they run with it?

        I mean, I like your idea that there is this grand cabal of libertarian power brokers working tirelessly behind the scenes in the halls of power to pretty much fail to get any real significant libertarian policy in place.

        But seriously, please tell me about the libertarian economic policies that are now ruining our country. And be sure to draw nice bright lines from a libertarian luminary to the policy.Report

        • Avatar Jesse says:

          The two main goals of the GOP since they’ve regained the trifecta in January been gutting of regulations (which the vast majority of libertarians support) and a massive tax cut while cutting social welfare spending (which the vast majority of libertarians support).

          Those are two of the stated goals of various rich libertarians who donate to the GOP. Now, those same rich libertarians also say they support gay marriage and believe in climate change, but their actions have shown they don’t actually care about getting advocates in the political arena for those issues when you look at their actual donations and PAC spending, since the people who support gay marriage and tackling climate change also believe in yucky things like raising taxes and a welfare state.

          Now, I know, “they aren’t real libertarians!”

          Well, they’re the only libertarians actually effecting any political change in the United States and it’s been towards the goals of shredding the state where ever they can get a like minded person in power – see Kansas for Exhibit’s A-L.

          So, honestly, libertarians can talk about how they really care about civil rights or whatever, but the only actual movement by libertarians with any power has been to make sure rich people pay as little tax as humanly possible.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            And how long has the GOP been beating the lower taxes, less welfare spending drum?

            Republican positions on gay rights, police & prison reform, and yes, even regulatory reform, etc. doesn’t result in False Scotsmen, it shows that libertarians are not as influential as you wish them to be.

            As I said, the parties pick and choose and bastardize. I wish libertarians were as influential as you like to pretend they are, so when you need another boogeyman to kick around because the GOP isn’t being nice, we could actually deserve the ire.Report

          • Avatar j r says:


            Now, I know, “they aren’t real libertarians!”

            Well, they’re the only libertarians actually effecting any political change in the United States and it’s been towards the goals of shredding the state where ever they can get a like minded person in power – see Kansas for Exhibit’s A-L.

            So, honestly, libertarians can talk about how they really care about civil rights or whatever, but the only actual movement by libertarians with any power has been to make sure rich people pay as little tax as humanly possible.

            I could take your comments more seriously if it didn’t take me 10 seconds of Googling to find this article:

            Cliff Asness

            Asness joined forces with four other wealthy Republicans, providing a pivotal $1.5 million donation to the “Win More States Fund” of the New York-based Freedom to Marry. The five wealthy libertarian Republicans are considered to be the major financiers of the successful effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York state.

            Jeff Bezos

            As Benzinga reported in our list of Top Libertarian CEOs in Business Today, the Amazon CEO made his biggest splash in activism to-date with a record $2.5 million contribution to defend Washington state’s same-sex marriage law in 2012.

            Steven Cohen

            A billionaire Republican and former federal prosecutor who served as New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s right-hand man, The New York Times credits Cohen with “direct[ing] the administration’s effort to legalize same-sex marriage.”

            I am sure that you’ll find a reason why this doesn’t count. But that’s the whole point. You arguments are made to fit what you want to believe in the first place.Report

  10. Avatar Stillwater says:

    So, the BCRA/AHCA 4.0 debate is ramping up as a Death Match between Death Party R vs Death Party D. Since just about the entire attack on BCRA is centered around Medicaid funding, I’ve got questions for anyone better informed than I am.

    The BCRA rolls back the ACA Medicaid expansion, but does it also roll back the otherwise applicable pre-ACA Medicaid funding? I read somewhere that the GOP bill still increases funds for Medicaid over time but pegs those increases to CPI rather than medical inflation rate (or whatever mechanism the ACA used)? Is that correct? Also, what mechanism determined the federal matching numbers prior to the ACA?Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There is a professional wrestler in one of the dinkier territories who wrestles under the moniker “The Progressive Liberal“.

    Every day, God’s light. Etc.Report

  12. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Trump wants an apology from… someone… because Obama didn’t pursue the Russian interference during the election cycle, saying he colluded with… someone.

    The same Russian interference Trump insists is fake news.

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      It’s like he’s all-in on the “if you’re explaining you’re losing” principle of politics. Rationality, coherence, evidence, factual accuracy don’t matter if you can get your opponents on their heels. That’s the Trump MO. The truth is for losers, bullshit wins. And right now bullshit is winning.Report

  13. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    W8: I’m skeptical that “lacks the resources to move” is actually a real thing. Chinese peasants manage to migrate to the cities. Americans, as well, migrated across the country during a much poorer time, when it took more resources (longer trip) and was more dangerous. So why can’t people do it now? I think it’s less a matter of lacking the resources to move, as having enough resources, thanks to government assistance, to stay put.Report

  14. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    For those who missed it, a study about the effects of the Seattle minimum wage hike.

    (It’s WaPo, set your browsers to incognito)Report