Linky Friday: Feed Kill Chain

Will Truman

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

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93 Responses

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Fo5: I’m sure clever employees will figure a way around that. (But yeah: I am allergic to celery and cucumbers, and I have bad teeth so hard crunchy things are not appealing. That said: we don’t really do cakes at my workplace but we do sometimes have cookies or sweet rolls at faculty meetings).

    Though seriously, isn’t it on individual employees to decide? No one’s shoving the cake down your throat. I know when I am trying to reduce if cake shows up I just avoid it. (Unless it’s home-made and looks really good, then I just cut back somewhere else….)

    [Cr7]: Shenanigans like this are why faculty have more administrative tasks asked of them every year. (Already I have to report absences on a monthly basis, and if a student fails, I have to give the last-attended-date if they failed because they stopped coming to class). Lots of people look at that stuff and go “it’s a victimless crime!” but really, it isn’t. (I also knew people, when I was a college student, who lost out/got lower financial aid because there’s a limited pot of it – or they had to take out loans instead of getting grants – so someone fraudulently getting it is a problem)Report

  2. Damon says:

    [Fo1] Let’s assume that Bacon causes cancer–100% guaranteed. So…f’ing what? (I take all kinds of calculated risks each day. I drive to work. I engage in a contact sport. I’ve had unprotected casual sex. I drink alcohol, caffeine, and expose myself to other various risk all the time.) It’s tasty and I enjoy it.

    [Fo2] I support the assertion it is both–tasty and clever.

    [Fo3] Of course there are “moneyed interests” involved. Sugar IS a problem, so is fat. But a greater problem is the amount of consumption and the lack of exercise.

    Fo5] The only acceptable response is a stern “f you”.

    [Cr1] Well, yes, of course. Punishment is supposed to disincentive the crime.

    Wa4] My VAST FB bio clearly indicates I’m a spy. I’m currently seeking Yankee White level clearance info to sell to the Ruskies and the Chicoms. I can pay it bitcoins, gems, or currency of your choice. Contact me at IDIDN’TDOIT@CIA.GOVReport

    • Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

      “So how did the meat industry convince us it was safe?”

      Did they?! I mean, they didn’t advertise the cancer risks but was anyone walking around saying, “Good thing the meat industru reminded us that bacon is so unrelated to cancer!”Report

      • Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

        Frankly, I don’t care if the industry tried to or not. It’s not an issue for me. Even if the industry said “don’t eat our product, you WILL DIE” I’d still eat bacon.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

          Oh, I agree. The article just felt tortured in it’s desire to make this a moral issue somehow.

          It wasn’t trying to educate. It was trying to outrage.Report

  3. Richard Hershberger says:

    Fo1: My philosophy of bacon is that yes, of course it is death in the pan. But it also is one of those things that makes life worth living. How to reconcile these? I only eat bacon occasionally, but when I do I eat really good bacon. Not all bacon is created equal. Far from it. So when I buy it, I get it in slab form from a real meat market. Supermarkets, in my experience, are flatly unwilling to sell good bacon, I assume due to price. My extended family spends a week each summer in a rented house at the beach. My function is to cook breakfast. I bring one and a half full slabs for the week: slice and fry the bacon, then use the grease for the scrambled eggs. I would be astonished if anyone in the family eats this stuff any other time, but none refuse it that one week of the year.

    I treat beer the same way. I don’t drink it often, but when I do I drink the good stuff.Report

  4. Richard Hershberger says:

    Cr2: Just sayin’, this king of stuff hardly ever happens at the symphony, even when they are playing The Rite of Spring.Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    [Fo1] We cure all of our smoked meats without nitrates/ites… they aren’t red like rare meat, but they aren’t some sort of dead grey either… more like rust colored. The flavor argument is even weirder… our bacon is so much more flavorful and umami-ish that store bacon tastes like liquid smoke.

    Bacon is proof, if it were needed, that we cling to old comforts long after they have been proven harmful. The attachment of producers to nitrates in bacon is mostly “cultural”, says Gower. Bacon cured by traditional methods without nitrates and nitrites will lack what Gower calls that “hard-to-define tang, that delicious almost metallic taste” that makes bacon taste of bacon to British consumers. Bacon without nitrates, says Gower, is nothing but “salt pork”.

    That’s the weird line because regular bacon tastes nothing like salt pork (which we also do for soups). And, as I mention above, the flavor of “old-style” bacon is so rich (and sweet if you want to make it that way) that people are astounded at the difference when they try it the first time.

    My understanding is that like all mass production, if you can squeeze 1% here and .5% there it adds up over millions (billions) of units… so they use a much lower salt content and smoke at much lower temperatures for reasons having nothing to do with health, quality, or taste… but because it fits better into a manufacturing process. So it is indeed possible that mass produced bacon is prone to botulism (when made that way), but there’s no particular health reason to make it that way. They’ve basically manufactured the botulism scare into the process.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I thought salt pork WAS cured, it was just wet-cured and bacon was dry-cured?

      Also, the “non nitrate” (in the form of saltpeter) cured commercial meats use “celery juice,” which, womp womp, I cannot eat. (And it contains nitrates anyway, so I assume the cancer risk is the same: it’s not the saltpeter that causes stomach cancer, it’s the nitrate, and similar warnings are given to people in agricultural areas where the drinking water has become contaminated from fertilizers)

      I dunno. I almost never eat bacon any more but I think the whole “You must cut out every last thing that gives you any pleasure because it’s bad for you and you want to live a long time” mindset is stupid. Maybe living for 70 years and being happy is better than living for 100 years and being a deprived ascetic?

      I work on a college campus. I drive on roads with terrible drivers. I drive over crumbling bridges. There’s a non-zero chance I will be taken out before my time by an aggrieved student, faculty, or staff member who shows up with a weapon. There’s a chance some idiot will hit me (a colleague of mine is nursing injuries after he got hit while out on his motorcycle by someone who was apparently driving impaired). There’s a non-zero chance the bridge I’m driving on will fail.

      And yet, people tell me I shouldn’t eat cake or bacon or a rare steak? F that.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Hogs seem to be in a constant state of over-production. I think about ten years ago, the FDA was organizing a hog-kill reminiscent of the Great Depression to rebalence supply and demand. That type of problem, though, makes it seem like taking the additional time to salt the meat would provide some slack to avoid such waste.

      (The article didn’t address the notion that “salting” or anything with the word “salt” in it is healthy and not an attractive consumer product.)Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to PD Shaw says:

        Heh, good point… I didn’t mean to let the cat out of the bag… what I *meant* to say is that our curing process follows ancient artisanal practices using only traditional ingredients.

        The strange thing about bacon is that its not that long of a process anyway… 5-7 day cure plus 1 day smoke… I tried to see what the industrial model might be, and the best I could do was infer from this presentation that the “pumped” bacon [97% of all bacon] with Nitrites cures quite a bit faster only.

        Ah, here we go, according to the USDA: “Pumped” bacon has curing ingredients that are injected directly into the meat to speed up the curing process and add bulk. This type of mass-produced bacon is held for curing for 6 to 24 hours before being heated.”

        There’s your business justification… 1 day vs. 6 days.

        @fillyjonk the way we do salt-pork is dry cured… the biggest difference is that unlike bacon it isn’t smoked.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Marchmaine says:

      It sounds like you agree that bacon without nitrates tastes different, though. That’s a big barrier to a lot of people, who like their breakfast to be comfortable and familiar. No surprises.

      Still, I would think that, given the current focus on local production and gourmet foods at the high end, someone could make nitrate-free bacon into a profitable business, and just accept that the adoption curve will be slow. Turn it into a gourmet thing.Report

      • fillyjonk in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        I would eat bacon without nitrates, but I live in a “fancy foods desert” so I can’t get it. (What I’d REALLY want is Candian bacon without nitrates….crispy bacon is not so possible any more given my weak enamel.)

        I vaguely remember nitrate-free hotdogs from my childhood when my parents (who were not at all hippies except for being concerned about food additives) use to buy them.

        I also wish I could buy “heritage breed” pork here; my mom complains a lot about how pork these days is not as good as the pork she grew up with, probably because it’s not as fresh but also because the pigs have been bred to be leaner. I know a lot of the pork I buy gets awfully dry no matter what I do to cook it. (My mom’s grandparents were small farmers who raised chickens and, I think, pigs, or at least they bartered for pork)Report

  6. LeeEsq says:

    Fo1: Joining Damon and Richard here. Many of the pleasurable foods in life aren’t strictly good for you. Many are quite bad for you. The anti-bacon side would argue that by sacrificing the deliciousness of bacon and eating healthier things, your opening yourself to a different type of pleasure but most people aren’t going to buy that.

    Fo2: The author sounds like he really likes to eat octopus but doesn’t want the guilt of eating something that might be highly intelligent so he decides that the octopus can’t be intelligent.Report

  7. Richard Hershberger says:

    Wa3: I call bullshit. This article suffers heavily from the imperative that any account of any military action must be presented as the Most Important Ever!, upon which the entire war hinged. To wit:

    Potentially, 4,400 pounds of bombs landing on the intended target — the 1,010-foot dock on Pearl Harbor — would have been a seismic setback for America’s ability to wage war.

    That “potentially” is doing some mighty heavy lifting. If absolutely everything had gone right, and 100% of the bombs had hit their target (which happened essentially never), then they would have taken out a dock which the Americans, despite showing a remarkable aptitude for repairing stuff quickly, would have been unable to in this case because, um…, reasons.

    Now jumping forward, after an irrelevant digression about the Dolittle raid, to Midway:

    Had the Japanese kept secret the stealth and reach of the H8Ks, they might very well have learned of the positions of those U.S. carriers, which had left Pearl Harbor only days before June 4.

    Here it is “might very well” doing the heavy lifting. Japanese reconnaissance doctrine sucked. Might a few more planes have spotted something important? Sure, but this is hardly a slam dunk. Japanese information management between different forces was even worse. I suspect that any sighting reports from these planes would have gone through Tokyo before reaching Yamamoto. So while it isn’t impossible that this would have made a difference, the framing of how totally critical this was to the entire war is just silly.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

      Not to mention that the docks were kind of a terrible target compared to the tanks they kept the naval fuel oil in. Honestly, this particular operation feels like a strange parallel to the Doolittle raid – more about symbolism and personal ambition than strategic effectiveness, which is often boring.Report

      • Richard Hershberger in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        Absolutely. This isn’t to say that psychological factors aren’t real. Indeed, the only way Japan could win the war was to convince America that the game wasn’t worth the candle. All this talk of Midway as a critical battle is so much blather, if we stipulate that the US would keep on fighting. At that point, it is only a matter of how long the war would last. If we had lost Midway that would have added a year or so to the war, but it wouldn’t have changed that the Pacific would have been filled with an endless stream of Essex-class carriers, and that once American airfields got within land-based bomber range of the home islands, we would have nuked Tokyo. Even go all-in on the counterfactuals and somehow hand-wave Japan taking Hawaii, and what you have is another year or two of war. We never seem to see counterfactuals about how America could decide to sit things out, even after Pearl Harbor. I’m not sure whether this is because this requires too much handwavium, or because it isn’t sexy.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

          There’s a plausible scenario (to me) where a decisive IJN victory at Midway alters things enough to at least create the conditions for a seperate peace in the Pacific short of total surrender of the Empire of Japan.

          The material resources of the USA were massive but not inexaustible. Moreover, there is evidence that the US govt was about at the limit of its (relatively) easy credit terms as 1944 rolled into 1945.

          A war in the Pacific delayed by a year possibly prompts the US to seek a ceasefire while Allied forces focus on Europe. A delay creates a different set of circumstances and choices for Truman to face when he takes over from FDR. And the US can’t use the atom bomb against the home islands until it has secured the second island chain. Can the US keep a working atom bomb a secret for an entire year?Report

  8. Argle Bargle says:

    Also relevant to food: Coffee sold in California is now subject to Prop 65 warnings, meaning that every cup from Starbucks must have a large-font “THIS BEVERAGE CONTAINS A CHEMICAL KNOWN TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO CAUSE CANCER”.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Argle Bargle says:

      So many punchlines, just hanging there, waiting….Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Argle Bargle says:

      The Prop 65 warnings always make me think of the old joke about the backwoods kid and the thermos: “It keeps hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold. HOW DOES IT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?”

      (As in: how does a chemical know it’s in California, and therefore it can cause cancer? Some of the old warnings were phrased strangely, in the format of “Known to cause cancer in the State of California.”)Report

  9. Doctor Jay says:

    [Ms2] Gotta love those Douglas Adams quotes. I sometimes feel HHGttG is fair-near poetry.

    [Ms3] The thesis seems to be more “we need to figure out how to harness tribal identities”, based on a reading of Pinker’s latest. I don’t hold Pinker in my personal hall of heroes though. He’s interesting, but more speculative than scientific. At the same time, his latest book, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst makes the same argument made in the OP. Sapolsky believes that tribalism, the dividing of the worlds humans into Us and Them is deeply entrenched in our neural organization, and the primary evidence for that is in the action of oxytocin, which has opposing effects on our behavior toward people depending whether we classify them as “Us” or “Them”.

    So yeah, I do think that the OP has a point when he says that liberalism has failed to harness tribalism. Though I might reframe that to note that the internet has made us hypersocial, and put us into contact with a lot more people on a daily basis, and those people are being a lot more open about their own beliefs and preferences, and liberalism hasn’t kept up.

    I think the way to do this is to make more groups – and make sure those groups do not conform to existing divisions between important groups. We already do this. Seattle Mariners fans are a group, and that group includes both liberals and conservatives. And so on. We need more of this, with more constructive engagement.

    And yeah, that has a lot to do with why I’m here.Report

    • North in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I’m still pretty convinced that all this foofaraw is going to pass. I mean look at the turn of the millennium. There was a time that internet spam and internet scams were considered such a big deal that Futurama did a whole episode arc about how scammers were going to take over everything and ruin email and the internet forever. What happened? People became more cynical about the emails they got and spam filters were improved. I expect that within the next few years there’s going to be a combination of people becoming more sensitive to the genuine grievances of minorities along with an enormous drop in the level of seriousness that both people and organizations ascribe to “I’m offended” twitter mobs and internet tempests.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      You can argue that the Intersectionality/Social Justice movements are attempts of liberalism to harness tribalism for the greater good by driving the disadvantaged to unite for their rights and create a more just society. Of course, you can also argue that Intersectionality/Social Justice are tribalism harnessing liberalism for their own gain.Report

      • Will H. in reply to LeeEsq says:

        you can also argue that Intersectionality/Social Justice are tribalism harnessing liberalism for their own gain.

        I believe this is nearer the truth.
        The mission creep of 501(c)(3)’s in indicative.
        The lady that started Mothers Against Drunk Driving left the group in ’85 due to its divergence from its goals. That sort of thing is typical.

        I lay a great deal of blame at the feet of the law schools who actively seek to place graduates in “public service” positions.
        More often than not, the public service ran out a long time ago, and the organization is running on mission creep, concerned more about its longevity than anything else.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

        you can also argue that Intersectionality/Social Justice are tribalism harnessing liberalism for their own gain.

        If someone were to argue this, wouldn’t they need to explain what this “gain” would be, different than the “common good”?

        I mean, I’ve heard plenty of times that gays, for example wanted “special rights”. But no one was ever able to articulate how the right to marry was “special” and not available to everyone, or how employment protections from arbitrary firing diverged from the “common good”.Report

        • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Aww c’mon Chip, we both know that there’re left wing overreaches and excesses. No platforming, trying to drive rural pizza joints that’s won’t cater to theoretical gay marriages out of business, Antifa, trying to get authors blacklisted from publishing because they don’t toe the right line on this cause or another, same with professors. I mean yeah it’s not as common as the right wing nut farmers but we can’t pretend that those overreaches don’t have a thick layer of left wing tribalism to it.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          It depends on what you mean by the common good. Much of current Intersectionality/Social Justice seems designed to go after each and everything deemed problematic rather than the real important issues. The entire debate about Ready Player One is a great illustrative example. Rather than treating the book and the movie as harmless fun for some people, it gets relentless analyzed and politicized to fight against white male nerd privilege or something. Letting people generally live as they want to without too much pushback is an important part of liberalism. Some sections of Intersectionality/Social Justice aren’t having it though.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I’ve heard plenty of times that gays, for example wanted “special rights”. But no one was ever able to articulate how… employment protections from arbitrary firing diverged from the “common good”.

          No Problem. I can be “arbitrarily fired” because I’m not gay, or black, or a member of any protected class. I even have been fired that way at least once (“once” because it’s clear cut, “at least” because after that we need to define “arbitrary”).

          So yes, it is a “special right”.

          There’s an argument that it’s needed because of the level of discrimination, there’s another argument that I’m not going to hire employees I can’t fire, but that’s a different conversation.Report

          • Will H. in reply to Dark Matter says:

            The common good is often not so common.

            I’m still waiting to see the interest groups pop up in support of “white trash rights.”
            Just because you live in a trailer park, like drinking Milwaukee’s Best, drive a pick-up, and have a preference for shirts with the sleeves torn out doesn’t mean that the bank shouldn’t loan you money.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Will H. says:

              I’m still waiting to see the interest groups pop up in support of “white trash rights.”

              There’s a strong argument (which is sometimes even made) that Affirmative Action should be about class and not race. That “White Trash” face far more obstacles than the Black 1% (or 0.01% if we’re talking about Obama’s kids).Report

              • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah personally I think class emphasizing assistance is most likely the what we’re going to end up with. I don’t think race based programs have a very bright future.Report

              • Will H. in reply to North says:

                I don’t think they have a very bright past.
                They did little to address the structural issues; e.g., housing, educational opportunities.
                To actually address those structural issues would require something along the lines of class-consciousness.
                But I don’t see it happening.

                I cam to realize the whole issue of race-based programs is dominated entirely by fear: On the one hand people fearing those structural issues will never be addressed, and on the other people who fear they will.Report

              • North in reply to Will H. says:

                I’d say that’s a pretty good summary of it.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Will H. says:

                Affirmative Action was supposed to address structural issues but suffered to setbacks. One is the Supreme Court said it couldn’t be used to address structural issues. The other was that elite universities didn’t really want that many kids from disadvantaged backgrounds in because they couldn’t get money that way among other reasons.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Minorities make up the majority of Harvard’s Class of 2021 — for the first time in the school’s 380-year history, according to reports.

                The Ivy League school’s incoming freshman class is comprised of 50.8 percent of minorities …. Asian-American students make up 22.2 percent, followed by 14.6 percent of African-Americans, 11.6 percent of Hispanics or Latinos and 2.5 percent of Native American or Pacific Islanders, according to statistics.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

                Someone here or on twitter said the other day something to the effect of: Asian Americans count towards whatever point the person counting them wants to make, and usually to the detriment of Asian Americans.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

                Asian-Americans are like Jews — white when convenient. So, depending on the situation, my kids are between 0, 50, or 100% white.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq says:

                One is the Supreme Court said it couldn’t be used to address structural issues.

                What does this mean?Report

              • Lee can chime in to clarify, but I think he means decisions like Bakke, which (assuming I understand it correctly) says that universities can us affirmative action to promote things like “diversity” but not to redress past discrimination or to create a level playing field.

                Of course, I could be wrong. IANAL, etc.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                That is exactly what I meant. Affirmative Action was original conceived as means to redress past discrimination or create a level playing field. In modern parlance, the goal was to remedy structural discrimination in American life. The Supreme Court said that was impermissible in Bakke but said that using affirmative action to promote diversity on campus was permissible.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                universities can us affirmative action …but not to redress past discrimination or to create a level playing field.

                I’d thought that this was the entire point of AA?

                In the United States, affirmative action tends to emphasize not specific quotas but rather “targeted goals” to address past discrimination in a particular institution or in broader society through “good-faith efforts … to identify, select, and train potentially qualified minorities and women.”[1][10] For example, many higher education institutions have voluntarily adopted policies which seek to increase recruitment of racial minorities.

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I put that up before I read LeeEsq’s statement. I need to read Bakke before saying anything.Report

              • To be sure, I’m not certain I’ve actually read it. I probably have just read other people discuss it.

                I do think AA is very complicated. I suspect that many/most people who adopt the “diversity is always good and an end to itself” point of view probably conceive of what they’re doing as a way to remedy past discrimination or make the playing field more equitable. Some, however, (speaking anecdotally) seem to have really drunk the koolaid about “diversity.”

                I also suspect that what a public entity can legally do differs from what a private entity can do, and that different kinds of public entities/private entities have different kind of restrictions. And as your quoted example points out, sometimes the approach isn’t always something like straight up quota, but “targeted goals,” or sometimes just something like outreach, i.e., making sure that members of certain communities have a chance to apply or know they can apply.

                And of course, much of what people/institutions can or can’t do isn’t set in stone.* It seems that every few years we see a court case “that will redefine affirmative action.”

                *Sorry about the double negative.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                as your quoted example points out, sometimes the approach isn’t always something like straight up quota, but “targeted goals,” or sometimes just something like outreach, i.e., making sure that members of certain communities have a chance to apply or know they can apply.

                I have no issues with “targeted outreach”, imho it clearly passes ethical muster.

                However the people who tend to run these sorts of programs REALLY want quotas, and if they can’t then they’ll try to implement something that functions like a quota with a different name. Yes, they’ll use “race as one of several factors”, but they’ll also increase the weight of race in their formula to absurd levels until they get the results they want.

                I do think AA is very complicated.

                It’s a mess, it’s the whole “multiple priorities” thing combined with “unintended outcomes”.

                If AA is a collective right and we’re going to insist various groups be represented at various levels of society as according to their percentage of population, then quotas are both fine and needed. This also means we’re good with discriminating against Asians because they’re too successful, which brings us back to gov discrimination on the basis of skin color.

                If AA is an individual right and we don’t lower the bar at all then in an age where everyone knows everything (thank the internet), it’s effectiveness will be very limited… and will be mostly captured by people who don’t need it.

                If we get rid of AA entirely (a few states have done this) then we’re preventing people from “doing the right thing” and upset various protesters and so forth. I suspect minority enrollment drops not only below the percentage of population but also below what would otherwise be expected since there are other colleges (etc) with quotas to fill and they’re willing to pay for it.

                IMHO race based AA was useful as a transition tool when there were large pools of talented people who had been excluded from advancement before that point, but it’s less useful for raw social engineering without that context and has suffered from diminishing returns.Report

              • I can respect that. I’m mildly supportive of (some forms of) race-based affirmative action, but I never know where or how to draw the lines. Fortunately, other than as a voter, it’s not directly my responsibility to formulate the policy/ies.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Will H. says:

                To actually address those structural issues would require something along the lines of class-consciousness.

                What does “class-consciousness” mean?

                For that matter, what would a successful gov program do/mean here?Report

              • Will H. in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Class-consciousness means recognizing that President Obama’s kids are less likely to be discriminated against for educational or employment purposes than my neighbor downstairs, regardless of race; and the phenomenon underlying that.
                Central to that is recognizing single-parent households, and households with a stay-at-home parent as distinct segments of society.

                A successful government program is one which attains its stated goals to where it is no longer needed; otherwise, we are simply funding discrimination in perpetuity.

                Single parents and racial minorities are still the most predictive factors in whether the state will remove a child from parental custody. Am I to believe this is a failure on the part of single parent racial minorities, or is this a failure on the part of the state?
                I happen to believe the latter, though I see a great deal of insidiousness in it.

                Several Latin American nations have already dealt with the issue of gender parity in employment, and the field is full of thorns. Costa Rica has a 50% gender parity requirement in employment and governmental representation. Argentina has a 30% requirement for employment purposes.
                I think this fails to recognize the value added to those households where only one spouse works outside the home. This is a benefit which should be encouraged. Such parity targets have as underpinning an express determination of the valuelessness of one spouse remaining in the home. I can either believe that what my grandmother did was worthless, or I can be glad that she was there; but I can’t do both and still be honest with myself.

                The policy of prosecuting non-payment of child support is horribly misguided; at least, in those cases I have seen. The way that works is like this: A guy falls $3000 behind on his child support, goes to prison, comes out with $30,000 in debt from even more missed child support payments. Then, he’s kept on parole, impairing his employability, for a year or two, until he goes back to prison for not being caught up on child support, only to come out another $30,000 to $40,000 in debt; in an endless cycle.
                I saw one guy who was out of work for three months, and had just got a job at a vehicle manufacturing plant. He was arrested for non-payment of child support the day before he was to report for work.
                This isn’t helping anyone, and it’s demonstrable hurting everyone involved.
                And it is definitely a class issue. Those making over $200k/yr are a lot less likely to get behind on child support payments.

                Class-consciousness would entail recognizing that availability of transportation is a major issue in educational and employment opportunities. Some households have two or three vehicles, and they can go anywhere they want to. Other households have none.
                Why is it that the state highway patrol where I live is 80% more likely to pull over Hispanics more than any other race? Is it because they’re Hispanic, or because of the cars that they’re driving?
                Class-consciousness would lead us to the end result, asking “Why?” where race-based affirmative action begins with the Why and tries to guide it through to unclear results.

                I don’t want to go on forever (and I’m on the verge of it, scratching at this next one), but the rate of incarceration for black males is a legitimate human rights catastrophe. This is a state-sponsored genocide against a people, and I see very little in this from Srebrenica on a functional basis.
                The solution isn’t more black prosecutors, or more female prosecutors, but that’s where our efforts lie.
                Prosecutors of any stripe were foremost in achieving this human rights disaster in the first place. We are only adding fuel to the fire.

                A more fundamental change, other than looking to race or gender, is needed if the goals are ever to be realized.

                Affirmative action is a failed program by any reckoning, if it has failed to meet its goals after over 50 years.

                We can say that being hit with a wooden stick is a lot better than being hit with a hammer, and this is the point AA supporters lean on.
                I say we need to get rid of that being hit thing, and then maybe we’ll be alright.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Will H. says:

                Interesting. I agree with a lot of that.

                Thank you.Report

            • North in reply to Will H. says:

              Has there been a rash of white-redlining or something?Report

              • Will H. in reply to North says:

                From my many travels, I would say that depends where you look.Report

              • North in reply to Will H. says:

                Ah Zimbabwe and South Africa? I suppose that is plausible, I was thinking mostly in terms of the US and Canada.Report

              • Will H. in reply to North says:

                I was as well; in particular, areas of South Texas below Victoria, though, thinking about it, I haven’t seen that sort of thing elsewhere.Report

              • North in reply to Will H. says:

                Well I can say with great confidence that any bank or other financial institution in the US and Canada wouldn’t be caught dead rejecting a loan application only because the applicant lived in a trailer park, liked drinking Milwaukee’s Best, drove a pick-up, and had a preference for shirts with the sleeves torn out.Report

              • Will H. in reply to North says:

                Ah, yes.
                The “No NYC police officer would ever possibly commit an unlawful act” argument.
                The “No sheriff in the little border town would ever possibly assist in smuggling guns across the border for the drug cartels” argument.
                The good old-fashioned “No sitting judge would ever sentence juveniles to a correctional institution simply to manipulate returns on his portfolio” argument.
                I could go on, but this is going to get dull after awhile.

                I think you might be overlooking something significant here.

                The way I call it, the main difference between @dark-matter ‘s argument on this particular sub-thread and the one I’ve been making is that, essentially, he describes a net as a thing having many holes, while I describe it as something made of formations of twine.

                This is most likely very true, as you say, that no U.S. bank would reject an application a loan application due to the applicant living in a trailer park, drinking Milwaukee’s Best, driving a pick-up, and having a preference for shirts with the sleeves torn out– nominally, at least, because the paper trail generated is sure to show something else.

                Actually, I believe that was the point DM was trying to make in the first place.

                The assurance of absence of oversight practically ensures the outcome.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Will H. says:

              It’s called the Republican Party. ;).Report

          • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

            Far as I know gays, minorities and women can and are arbitrarily fired routinely. The US is an at will employment country*. I mean if they are arbitrarily fired I supposed they could claim they were fired because of their minority status, but you could equally claim sexual harassment or whatever. Or is there some actual rule you’re thinking about?

            *and I reluctantly suspect that is better than the alternative in terms of employment but meh, nothing to be happy about.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to North says:

              Or is there some actual rule you’re thinking about?

              Only an observation.

              My boss fires someone, if they’re protected is it actually reasonable for him to say “it’s arbitrary”? If so then there is no “protection”… and people involved in that process don’t behave as though that would work. There’s a lengthy process for documenting that he’s being fired for being poisonous (or whatever).

              Certainly there’s an argument for that being a good idea in any case, but needing to document that you had a reason other than race/sex/whatever strongly says “no, you can’t just arbitrarily fire someone in these classes.”Report

              • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                So… no then?

                I mean unless the employer says or puts in writing “We’re terminating you because we don’t like X” or whatever then everyone, minority or not has the same protections against termination which is to say none.

                But lets be real. In the modern day everyone, gay, straight, white black or purple is terminated with some kind reason given and usually a document trail to support that story. The business world knows how it works.Report

              • Will H. in reply to North says:

                The business world knows how it works.

                True enough; which is why many of them can terminate a person without stating a reason within 90 days of employment.
                I believe the accrual is reckoned from the first day of work, rather than acceptance of offer; though this would conflict with other things elsewhere.
                At any rate, 90-day deferments on acceptance of offer have yet to become standard practice.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                But lets be real. In the modern day everyone, gay, straight, white black or purple is terminated with some kind reason given and usually a document trail to support that story. The business world knows how it works.

                Depends on the definition of “business world”. Any company big enough to have an HR department probably does this, but not all companies are that size.

                There are companies which either don’t have a paper trail for anyone or who hand out the same “you’re great” letter to everyone no matter performance.Report

              • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yes, and a straight white guy could gin up some kind of sexual harassment or other wrongful termination nonsense and have exactly the same protection a sexual or racial minority would have in claiming wrongful termination; which is to say a shitty shot in court.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

              Quibble; an at-will firing country. We won’t count as at-will employment unless we get rid of uncompensated non-competes.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to Dark Matter says:

            If you got fired *because* you were white, (and I’m not conceding you were), you are part of a protected class per current US employment law. (ianal)Report

      • gabriel conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I don’t know much about the “Intersectionality/Social Justice movements,” but intersectionality, as an idea, seems to be quite good as a descriptor of how oppression works. Maybe on a normative level (a la “driving the disadvantaged to unite for their rights and create a more just society”), it falters. But it makes a heckuva lot of sense to point out that someone may be disadvantaged in some ways and yet advantaged in others.

        On the other hand, maybe I don’t have a firm grasp of what intersectionality means.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          At its best, intersectionality is a way to help people be mindful that just because you’re good on feminist issues, you’re not necessarily good on race issues. Or just because you’re good on trans issues, you’re not necessarily good on ones dealing with ableism. (There are any number of examples of prominent whateverists who put their feet in their mouths.) Intersectionality helps to keep in mind that while you should fight for the cause you believe in, you should not fight for it in a way that does damage to other marginalized peoples.

          At its worst, intersectionality is a way to derail any given topic. “Oh, you’re talking about race? Why aren’t you talking about queer issues?” And then you’re off to the races because, god forbid, you talk about race without talking about queer issues too. You’re talking about race? What about fatphobia? What about the race issues that disabled people of color must deal with? And now you’re in a proper food fight.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

            Hm. No.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

              Dude, there are many things that make up a person. Race, class, gender, sexual preference (or lack thereof), and all kinds of stuff (yes, including physical abilities and beauty standards and all sorts of weird stuff).

              Intersectionality, at its best, is a philosophy of keeping all these things in mind and helping people remember that just because you’re saying something pro-feminist, you can also be saying something pretty dang racist. (Lena Dunham, for example, is someone who has been criticized for saying things that are pretty feminist but also somewhat spectacularly racially insensitive).

              (And, of course, it’s also a way to play “woker-than-thou”.)

              That’s my take on it.

              You say I’m wrong? Fine.

              Educate me.Report

              • KenB in reply to Jaybird says:

                I believe that originally, “intersectionality” referred to the observation that social programs & schools of thought that looked at only individual axes of oppression were not adequate to address the situation and needs of people who belonged to more than one disadvantaged class.

                For instance, separate affirmative-action programs designed to favor black people and women would tend to leave black women behind, because the benefits of the first one would go more to black men than black women due to sexism, and the benefits of the second one to white women more than black women due to racism.

                But that doesn’t seem to be how it’s mostly used these days — I find it hard to pin down exactly what people mean by it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to KenB says:

                … yeah, I’ll defer to that explanation. Yeah. That’s better than what I said.

                Intersectionality, at its best, is that. Good definition.

                I’ll say that, at it’s middlingest, its what I said was at its best above.

                At its worst, though, it’s still a way to play “woker-than-thou”.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

                Odd that black feminists tend to focus on class issues rather than either race or gender; at least, in comparison to other branches of feminism.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will H. says:

                I don’t want to say that “group X does Y” about any group. Certainly not in an attempt to imply moral superiority of group X.

                That way madness lies.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sounds true enough.
                I really wasn’t thinking in terms of superiority though, moral or otherwise.
                More of a short note on the evolution of the movement.
                More along the lines of those maps of hardiness zones for planting. A “this will grow there” sort of thing.

                But the ability of the movement, writ large, to assimilate other elements appears indicative of some sort of renewal process, if not something tending toward permanence.
                Could be good or bad. Probably both.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          Intersectionality is supposed to mean that all forms of oppression are the same, so African-Americans should not be opposed to LGBT rights because the rights of both groups advance together. The movement tends to struggle with Jews though because anti-Semitism tends to work differently than other hatreds. If racism is normally seen as prejudice plus power, anti-Semitism is prejudice against the Jews plus conspiracy theory. This causes anti-Semitism to look a lot like resistance to the man to people on the Left and they get into a blind spot.Report

          • gabriel conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

            That’s very different from my understanding.Report

          • Will H. in reply to LeeEsq says:

            That appears reasonable on its face, but there are a lot of definitions in there which are assumed, and, as such, the whole thing falls apart on close examination.

            For example:

            all forms of oppression are the same
            Not really. Not under Hohfeldian analysis.
            It really does make a difference if it is claim interests or liberty interests under consideration.

            African-Americans should not be opposed to LGBT rights
            I recognize Ebonics as a valid linguistic phenomenon, albeit a pidginization and not a language. However, the concept that grammatical gender need necessarily follow natural gender, except for when it doesn’t, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the development of the English language from the Frisian.
            I say, the LGBT crowd might as well carp about the subjunctive mood rather than the neutral form of pronouns, but I am perfectly ok with Ebonics.

            anti-Semitism tends to work differently than other hatreds
            I don’t believe so. I believe it’s an extension of the anti-immigrant fervor of the 19th century. At the turn of the 20th century, Jews, Italians, and Irish were all marginalized populations. Jews were subjected to lynching in the late 19th century, unlike those other immigrant populations, but so were pacifists (anti-American to dislike war, I suppose); more likely than not, enough Catholics had entered the country that anti-Catholic was getting a bit stale, and they were grasping at straws to hang on to.

            racism is normally seen as prejudice plus power
            I believe what @dark-matter was trying to point out above is that wielding the power of the state, even by the otherwise powerless, is a valid form of legitimate power. We haven’t yet adjusted for a shifting landscape; perhaps we never will.

            anti-Semitism to look a lot like resistance to the man to people on the Left
            The Jews, as a people, made tremendous strides for civil rights, benefiting all people, some 50 to 60 years ago. Over the last ten years, not so much.

            I thought Intersectionalism was all about pedestrians being able to hold up traffic going both ways in order to walk diagonally across the street.
            As such, I am vehemently opposed to Intersectionalism.
            Who do these pedestrians think they are, anyway?Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    Mass shooting at Youtube Headquarters.

    Female shooter this time. Twitter currently saying that she shot her ex-boyfriend.

    Anyway, she’s dead. He’s in critical condition? I guess? Two other women were also shot.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Getting weirder. It might not be the boyfriend thing.

      She, apparently, posted a bunch of rants about how crappy youtube’s demonetization has gotten in recent years. From the article:

      The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed the identity of the shooter who opened fire on YouTube’s campus in San Bruno Tuesday. Her name is Nasim Aghdam, and she lives in Southern California.

      Aghdam has a robust presence on YouTube. In a video posted in January 2017, she says You Tube “discriminated and filtered” her content. In the video Aghdam says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being filtered by the company, it received fewer views. In a Facebook post from February 2017 Aghdam blasted YouTube saying, “There is not equal growth opportunity on You Tube.”