Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition

The old man down in the Quarter
Slowly turns his head
Takes a drink from his whiskey bottle
And this is what he said
I was born in the rain on the Pontchartrain
Underneath the Louisiana moon
I don’t mind the strain of a hurricane
They come around every June
High black water, a devil’s daughter
She’s hard, she’s cold and she’s mean
But nobody taught her, it takes a lot of water
To wash away New Orleans
– Band of Heathens, Hurricane

Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition

Ordinary Times updating thread of Hurricane Florence and comments can be found here and a piece on preparing for the storm can be found here.

History of Carolina Hurricanes

[Hu1] Hurricane Matthew, October 2016

[Hu2] Hurricane Floyd, September 1999

[Hu3] Hurricane Fran, September 1996

[Hu4] Hurricane Bertha, July 1996

[Hu5] Hurricane Hugo, September 1989

[Hu6] Hurricane Hazel, October 1954

Blow

[Bl1] The financial blow for Hurricane Florence will be absorbed by insurers.

[Bl2] Not what they mean by “blow”: Woman claims cocaine found in purse blew in there by the wind.

[Bl3] Agriculture is always hit hard in these storms, especially farmers and live stock owners.

[Bl4] Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s a good idea: using a blow up mattress to move between islands.

[Bl5] Among enthusiasm for the endlessly promised “blue wave,” some whisperse of concern from Democrats worried that some of their party could still blow it.

Storm

[St1] Florence isn’t the only storm in the Atlantic.

[St2] The Weather Channel has been earning raves for its graphics during the storm; here is how they do it.

[St3] It was already a tough year for fishermen in the Chesapeake, and that’s before hurricane season threatens them.

[St4] The proud, the stubborn, the crazy: Hurricane Holdouts who will not leave no matter what.

Technicalities

[Te1] Scientist have discovered a sort of “nervous system” inside plants that reacts to, of all things, gravity.

[Te2] The fore-runner to the modern food truck was an ornate, very upscale “food wagon.”

[Te3] A look back at when tobacco companies used doctors in advertising cigarettes.

[Te4] Want better schools, improve not just the teachers and students, but the architecture of the buildings themselves.

[Te5] “The small Spanish town using art to tackle mental health stigmas

[Te6] Manipulating the rental housing market is hard, even for a dictatorship.

[Te7] Not exactly reassuring: Federal Judge hears oral arguments over election security.


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Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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72 thoughts on “Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition

  1. Bl4: I really have no idea about what sort of thought process goes through people’s heads when they do something like this.

    Bl5: The Democrats in Disarray meme strikes again. The real threat to a Democratic landslide isn’t the protestors turning people off. Its that the Republicans have so thoroughly gerrymandered the United States that even if the Democratic party receives the majority of the vote, they won’t receive the majority of the seats in legislatures.

    Te6: The easiest way for government’s to provide affordable housing in ways that do not require just letting builders do whatever is to build the housing themselves.

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    • I really have no idea about what sort of thought process goes through people’s heads when they do something like this.

      Lots of people are just really bad at answering the question, “What could possibly go wrong?” Even smart people, nominally trained in the matter. I have often said that in my experience, average engineers think about how something works, but good engineers think about how things could fail.

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      • I think it might be more than not being able to answer “What can possibly go wrong?”

        A lot of people probably know something can go wrong or is an issue that they need to deal with but they don’t want to until they absolutely need to. This is usually once something blows up in their face. It happens in personal life, it happens at work, it happens with everyone.

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  2. I think the Democrats could regain the House and Senate and White House by 2020 and manage to pass universal healthcare, expand immigration, and rollback Trump’s judicial nominess and the press would still write Democrats in Disarray articles at a pace of about 1000 a day.

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        • Since the party is, and remains, more centrist down to its bones (see Cumo for instance) I think it’s more likely we’ll get another Obama like President and frankly that’s pretty good (though I hope this new one is a bit more politically oriented).

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          • The party is moving to the left Nortj. Maybe not full AOC but progressive challengers have been knocking out moderates all over the country. The much hated IDC lost six primary races for NY State Senate seats.

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            • I don’t deny that the party has moved to the left as it indubitably is. Just two points:
              -Right wing media and politicians have been calling the Dems loony left for decades so how can it move even further left?
              -While the party has moved left I don’t think it’s moved that far yet. There’ve been a scant handful of left wing upsets but not very many. Thankfully the further left seems to not even be approaching a shadow of, say, the tea party’s influence (yet anyhow).

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              • Thankfully the further left seems to not even be approaching a shadow of, say, the tea party’s influence (yet anyhow).

                Exactly. The furthest left folks in the Dem coalition are still *within* that group whereas the furthest right folks in the GOP coalition are/were effectively radicals. Of course, if you think the Dems are fundamentally radical then all bets are off. Same for people like me who thing conservatives have lost their damn minds become radicalized.

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              • Cuomo is running as a more liberal candidate than he initially did in his first run for governorship. This is because of pressure from the Democratic base for more New Deal/Great Society direct policies rather than Bill Clinton style policies. I also think that the Democratic Party is moving in a more liberal direction because they simply aren’t having it with the Republicans anymore or trying to do that tough but fair bit that to attract voters when it comes to issues like crime or immigration. There is no more appetite or audience for triangulation.

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                • Cuomo (as a politician) is disgusting. That he won the primary on the backs of unions is disgusting. Ergo, unions are disgusting*. (???)

                  *not sure of the logic but that just *feels* like the right conclusion here…

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                • Yes, and Cuomo moving a bit to the left to protect himself from a left wing challenger pleases me right down to my boot tips. That’s called politics functioning properly and the Democratic Party is slowly chugging along in what is to my mind a correct slow process of adjusting to the current environment. Power to Cuomo and good for Ocasio-Cortez too, I don’t see a problem with the party having some young firebrands in the wings and I don’t think it’s gotten out of hand so far.

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          • What evidence supports this?
            Who came after FDR?
            Who came after Reagan?

            Sometimes the political center of gravity changes, permanently.

            For example, its possible that the ACA will be wiped out but its more likely it is now a permanent fixture in American life, like Social Security and Medicare.

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            • After FDR, Truman. After Truman, Eisenhower. After Eisenhower, Kennedy. After Kennedy, LBJ, after LBJ, Nixon. After Nixon, Ford. After Ford, Carter. After Carter, Reagan. After Reagan, Bush. After Bush, Clinton. After Clinton, Bush. After Bush, Obama. After Obama, Trump.

              And after Trump… AOC? (Well, in 2024, anyway?)

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          • I don’t think this is correct, even tho I get what you’re saying. An iterated game means the same participants play by the same rules repeatedly until (presumably) some equilibrium is established. Or not. (“The.only.way.to.win.is.not.to.play”)

            Politics is not only dynamic, but candidates (the players) are operating with incomplete information which can change from cycle to cycle.

            I mean, I get what you’re saying here. I just don’t think projecting future scenarios based on current dynamics is an iteration of the current game. It’ll be a different game.

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          • The game is iterated. But it’s also influenced by foreign policy shocks, which can’t be modeled. It’s also affected by economics, which is often associated with technological shifts, which can’t be predicted. It’s also very dependent on the primaries and on voter information. And the pool of possible voters is changing, as are the people within the pool who actually vote. And every one of those variables is at least partially dependent on the results of each election.

            So if the point of saying “the game is iterated” is to emphasize that things change, fine. But if the point is to characterize things as predictable (symmetrical, or diverging, or converging), then I don’t see it.

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            • But if the point is to characterize things as predictable (symmetrical, or diverging, or converging), then I don’t see it.

              It’s more to establish that there is no end point.

              Like, when Obama won? That wasn’t the end of the game.
              Neither when Trump won.
              Neither when AOC wins.

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              • {{Still hilarious to me that “concerned people” continue to think of AOC as the standard bearer of “the left” even tho she’s never held an elected office. I mean, you’ve elevated her to the level of an actual President!! Nothing remotely like this happens when critiquing the right.}}

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                    • I do not recall elevating her to president before… I mean, I’m pretty sure that I would have gotten hung up on the whole “she’s not constitutionally eligible until 2028” thing.

                      I mean, if we want to talk about me personally instead of talking about the topic at hand.

                      If we’re doing that, I’ll have to join in later. I’ve got ingredients to pick up. (We’re making spaghetti!)

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                      • No, you’ve elevated her as the sign-post of Dem politics, the standard bearer of Dem ideas, even tho she’s never been elected to an actual office.

                        I mean, I get it. You don’t like liberals, and Dems are the party of liberals, so you attack “rising stars” in the Dem party. But speaking as a liberal, I’m not nearly as interested in AOC’s ascendancy as getting Chuck Schumer ousted as minority Leader. :)

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                        • “. You don’t like liberals, and …”

                          Is the part where I point out that Jaybird is married to a liberal and has a disproportionate-for-Colorado-Springs percentage of liberal friends and caucuses Democratic? And, for that matter, spends most of his time online arguing with liberals instead of, I dunno, playing more video games?

                          I mean, it never seems to sink in that he does, actually, like liberals, so maybe I should stop bothering.

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                          • has he changed?

                            Not too long ago Jaybird effectively conceded that he holds a liberal decoder ring by which he can *interpret* the phrases liberals express into the laws they want to pass. Some sort of device to glean folks deeper intentions.

                            I’m not making that up. Ask him! (Heck, you remember it too.)

                            I’m pleased to hear that you think JB isn’t a rabid anti-liberal in thought and practice. That’s wonderful! For my part, I’ll remain skeptical of that view until I see it *expressed* in thought and practice. :)

                            Add: tho I admit I have noticed a change in tenor since he rejected libertarianism. So…

                            Add2: I also thing you’re confusing the phrase “liking liberals” with “liking libralism”.

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                            • What I said was he likes liberals. It’s *obvious* that he likes them because he chooses to consort with them (us) in various and sundry ways. That’s a behavioral observation, that he chooses to affiliate himself with liberals. If “liking” means anything, voluntary association has got to be all the way up there on the measurement scale. It doesn’t have anything to do with his accuracy about their (our) political beliefs. And liking is affective, not intellectual.

                              I was quibbling with your word choice, mostly.

                              Though if you’d like to see it expressed in practice – I make no guarantees about thought – I believe we still have a standing offer to take you out to Rasta Pasta and buy you ice cream any time you might make it down to the Springs (schedules permitting).

                              Then at least you’ll know his liberal wife is not a figment of the wires.

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                              • Well, shoot. Now you’re making it real.

                                I’d love to meet up with you guys over pasta and ice cream. I’ve often thought that you and my wife would have *lots* to talk about. As would you and I. JB too, tho I think the ice breaker might be something like how Kant has influenced our personal ethics and lifestyle choices. Which is important stuff. :) At least for folks with the philosophy gene.

                                I’ll let you know when I’m down that way again.

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                            • Thanks for reminding me that I *really* need to get around to reading those books.

                              To the best of my knowledge, Jaybird has not yet taken up a profession where he gets to kill liberals. He’s actually been directly responsible (albeit for other reasons) for bringing two liberals into his work teams, that I can think of (maybe more!).

                              Should he switch professions in that direction, I’ll be willing to reconsider my opinion.

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                        • No, you’ve elevated her as the sign-post of Dem politics, the standard bearer of Dem ideas, even tho she’s never been elected to an actual office.

                          No. She *IS*, however, a sign of post-Dem politics.

                          Behold. Tremble.

                          Remember the Tea Party? This is that. This is that.

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      • This is the “heighten the contradictions” take. As a silver lining to find in the cluster fuck cloud that is the current administration, I agree. Where this becomes problematic is when it is used as an electoral argument by the more-purist-than-thou third-party candidate set. They are dismissing with a wave of the hand three thousand dead Puerto Ricans.

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        • This is the “heighten the contradictions” take.

          Yes. It is.

          You’ve, like, noticed that the contradictions have been heightening, right?

          Where this becomes problematic is when it is used as an electoral argument by the more-purist-than-thou third-party candidate set. They are dismissing with a wave of the hand three thousand dead Puerto Ricans.

          Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not using it as an argument that you (or anybody!) should (or shouldn’t!) vote for anybody.

          (I’m sure we’ll be waving away more dead than that at some point in the next decade or so.)

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              • There is a part of me that sees our current moment as radically different than anything before.
                But I also think maybe it is the distortion of only ever living in placid times of superpower comfort.
                American history is filled with episodes of authoritarianism and political violence. But not so much within Baby Boomer memory.

                Having said that, there isn’t some magic spell that makes us immune from the horrors other nations have faced.

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              • I suppose that everybody knows that this will end in divorce or war so I should stop bringing it up like everybody doesn’t already know that.

                I think political war is a solid Yes. I think threats of divorce are a solid Yes. I don’t think that folks have the guts and determination to engage revolution as a tactic to achieve their goals. At the end of the day, Americans are lazy, fat and happy. Overall, they know life is good. They’ll keep working within the existing political system to enact change.

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                  • I think the lesson of Trump is that the dominance of “lazy, fat and happy” is easily overthrown by a tiny minority of the electorate singularly focused on overturning that status quo. In the short term, anyway. I’m pretty sure that the staying-power of the alt-right is measured in half-lifes rather than whole ones. The GOP is shrinking, support for Trump is evaporating. For the True Believers, the window thru which they gained access to power is closing very quickly and they increasingly *do not* have the political leverage to sustain their agenda.

                    That doesn’t mean our politics and governance will return to Obama/Bush era of quiet acquiesence. It’ll be crazy and in flux for a while yet. Trump broke Institutionalism as a popular conception in the electorate’s mind, but he hasn’t broken the institutions (yet, for all his efforts to do so).

                    Trumpism is on the wane. What comes next is anyone’s guess.

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                  • I think deep in the American psyche is an acceptance of the conservative principle that destroying institutions creates a vacuum which the most cynically ambitious folks will fill. And that awareness tempers the impulse towards Revolution. Right now we’re teetering on that edge, but the institutions and the electorate seem to be walking away from it.

                    I dunno, obvs. But the polling seems to suggest a walk-away. Or at least a step-back.

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                • Agree with Stillwater. We have barely seen anything that consequentially suggests that a divorce or a war is looming. For one thing three quarters of one side will simply shuffle off this mortal coil in the next decade or two- not exactly the set to take to the streets. Fulminations on the internet and the crap hole of twitter aren’t significant. The noise is so loud and shrill because the stakes are so low.

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                  • The noise is so loud and shrill because the stakes are so low.

                    I think that’s right. I can’t *argue* for that view, since the proof is yet to be revealed, but I do truly believe that all the rage from the right is more concerned with an academic point than anything substantive. It’s mostly – not entirely – signaling behavior.

                    eta: of course, the problem is that the GOP is hiding behind the noise to enact legislation perfectly consistent with their long term ideological and political goals. what Ryan and McConnell are doing functionally benefits from Trumpism, but isn’t altered or affected by Trump being in office. They’d pursue that stuff come what may.

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                    • Absolutely, and that sucks, it has had the salutary effect of exposing Trump for the vacuous substance-less fraud we knew he was and most likely November will put a stop to Ryan and McConnell’s further shenanigans. So far the amount that the GOP has gotten away with amounts to a big tax cut but they haven’t truly gotten away with it unless they manage to stick the middle class and poor with the bill and that they haven’t gotten close to doing yet.

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                  • I believe that this claim (3/4 of one side will die within 20 years) is both wrong and more than a little offensive.

                    And even if the supposition is correct, seems to me that would only INCREASE the chances of there being violence, not decrease it. Cornered snakes bite.

                    I think the best we all can hope for is a continuation of the status quo, imperfect and irritating as it may be.

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                      • I reject the idea that small government conservativism appeals only to old white men. In fact, I believe that’s what is referred to so frequently by the people on this site as a straw man.

                        I further reject the idea that the opinions of young people are set in stone, invariably unchanging. How often is it even true that what anyone believes passionately at 21 will still be their belief at 31, 41, 51? So even the Bernie-bro-iest of the Bernie Bros may end up becoming more conservative over the course of time.

                        This doesn’t mean pro-Trump, mind you. I certainly hope the Trump train will crash into a ravine. But I really do doubt that conservatism is going away any time soon. It may not look like what it looked like in 1991 but it will still be there.

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                        • I reject the idea that small government conservativism appeals only to old white men.

                          Well, you’re going to have provide some evidence for the constituency which *does* believe in that, since the GOP, pretty much since the time of Reagan but you can go back before that, has enacted policies entirely contrary to that principle.

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                        • “How often is it even true that what anyone believes passionately at 21 will still be their belief at 31, 41, 51?”

                          Actually, it is pretty true. The shift in old peoples votes is in part, things like FOX News and such. But, it’s also that old people are no longer FDR voters, but Nixon and to a lesser extent, Reagan voters.

                          The youth voted for Reagan and Bush I. They split between Bush/Gore 50/50. The actual “super liberal youth” only have existed in reality, since 2008.

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                        • How often is it even true that what anyone believes passionately at 21 will still be their belief at 31, 41, 51? So even the Bernie-bro-iest of the Bernie Bros may end up becoming more conservative over the course of time..

                          They won’t. What’ll happen — what has always happened — is that they’ll come a point where they just don’t keep up with where things are moving. They’ll fall behind. They’ll become “conservative” not because they went backwards, or made changes — but because they stopped changing.

                          I mean think about it — most of America is in favor of gay marriage. You think 20 years from now, a bunch of 50 year olds are going to suddenly be against gay marriage?

                          People don’t really alter long-held believes very often, which inherently makes you “more conservative” as you age just because you’re further behind whatever the moving wavefront of the younger and more fluid is.

                          But it’s a critical mistake to equate conservative now with what conservative twenty years from now will be.

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                    • I will cop to it being a crass point because it is a crass point but that doesn’t make it any less correct. Revolutions, dissolution of sovereign states, those are young peoples activities. Old people don’t do it. And the right wing and Trump supporters skew disproportionately old.

                      As for cornered snakes biting? Well yes they do, and we’re feeling those bites right now. But as for Jaybirds thesis that it’ll end in war or divorce? I just don’t see it. One side is too old and both sides are too comfortable.

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                      • It’s not so much that it is a crass point, it’s that it’s an unnecessary point. I mean, how do you think it reads? The subtext? Aren’t you basically broadcasting to anyone on the right who happens to read your comment, “It’s foolish to worry your silly heads about America-destroying violence and upheaval, because your side will be dead in 10 years and my side will win and that will be the end of that?” (and I don’t even know your side, north, I’m just saying how it comes off to me)

                        Even if you are 110% accurate is this in any way beneficial to the cause of peace or civil discourse? If you’re so convinced you’re correct, then just keep your mouth shut and bide your time, because people are scared out here. I am scared.

                        Everyone loves to talk about how Trump has normalized inflammatory rhetoric but the fact is everybody normalized inflammatory rhetoric first and then Trump reaped the rewards. People saying things like this again and again for years long before 2016 made Trump possible. Trump is the consequences for telling people that you think they’d be better off dead and it’s actually great news that they will be dead soon, yippee.

                        Thanks. Thanks for Trump. And now he’s my responsibility or something I guess because I’m conservative? Sigh.

                        The fact is that I would personally rather lose than have a civil war but not everyone feels the way I do. When people (and of
                        course it’s not just you) frame predictions about shifting demographics as being conservatism’s “last days”, well, people do pretty crazy things when they think it’s last days. And people do pretty crazy things to people they think would be better off dead, too. So either way, really, it doesn’t seem to lead to a good place, and either way, I see a lot of paths to violence and really very few leading to peace.

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                        • See to me, from my framing of things, North’s comment, while not put kindly, basically reads “there’s no point getting violent with people who are mostly old and slow anyway. you just have to be patient and change will come in due time.”

                          which is the sort of truism that has kept the world safe and kept the youth from rising in the streets many, many, many times. (I think it’s a big factor in pretty much every time the youth don’t rise in the streets, which is most of the time, historically speaking.)

                          So as attitudes go, as someone who deeply desires peace on both a micro and a macro level, I find it reassuring.

                          When I am old and slow, whatever the youth believe, I hope not being able to be bothered to violently overthrow me, instead of simply waiting me out, is part of their plan. (Unless everyone is immortal by then in which case none of this will apply in the same ways, but that seems pretty vanishingly unlikely.)

                          Given that I’m 41, which I believe is about your age and also about North’s, I don’t assume that stuff like what he said means “I wish they were all dead”.

                          I will personally be heartbroken when most of my elderly folks move on to the here-after. Months and years of grief heartbroken. I am *also* aware that them doing so will, when averaged, hasten demographic changes that I think are good. (Changes I don’t *personally* see as either especially political, or particularly in conflict with small government conservatism, though the vast majority of the GOP appears to disagree with me.)

                          Stating such isn’t an attack or an attempt to inflame [quite frankly, of course I’m comfortable enough in my life that I’d rather put up with my aunt being stupid about certain things for another 100 years than lose her as I inevitably will], it’s just an attempt to be honest about expectations. And if anything, to slow the rolls of the young folks on my own side.

                          “I wish all Trump voters would just DIE,” (which is frankly a hugely minority opinion as far as I can tell and one held mainly by the young)… that’s a sentiment that tends to wilt in the face of “A lot of them are maybe 20 years away from that anyway, what’s your hurry?”

                          As for paths that lead to violence or peace, violence is what we are *in* and what we have been in for a very long time. I sometimes feel like the only person around these parts who remembers that the US has been at war for the last 18+ years… so paths that lead to violence are, unfortunately, maintaining the status quo. Paths that lead to greater violence seem, to me, most days, less likely than paths that lead to less violence. Given that part of the reason people are so angry and fed up (if you look past the inflamed rhetoric) is that they’re tired of being so collectively violent all the time.

                          And as for who started it and who were the first to be enthusiastic about people on “the other side” dying, there were many many people who were definitely NOT on my side, back in the 90s, driving around with bumper stickers that said “AIDS is God’s punishment for sin,” and worse. “Faggots should kill themselves and save God the trouble.” BUMPER STICKERS. I’m not kidding. In Canada and the States. I saw them on the road, not at a safe distance on the internet. There are plenty of other examples of that kind of violent homophobia, and plenty of equivalents for other marginalized groups.

                          So I personally feel like being okay with just waiting for those folks – the ones who were perfectly nice neighbors to me because they didn’t realize I was among the people they hated, btw – waiting for them to die off or get a clue, rather than engaging on a violent crusade against them, is pretty darn peaceful of me.

                          And has been for a really long time.

                          When conservatives react to offhand comments like North’s, which I cannot help but read in the context I just described since I know he must’ve had similar experiences in the 90s…. when the reaction to that is to accuse *him* of inflaming people, inciting violence, agitating, poisonous subtext, being among the people who brought Trump upon us all, etc…..

                          I really wonder what world those conservatives are remembering and if maybe they were in a slightly alternative dimension in the 80s and 90s.

                          ‘Cause over here, the reaction of “enh, eventually they’re mostly going to die off anyway,” seems like a pretty darn mild-mannered one.

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                      • I’m old, but still completely, totally down for some full on Antifa revolution action.
                        But only on condition that I be able to get home in time to watch some Netflix and relax with a glass of wine, because I gotta get up early for work.

                        Oh, and also I don’t want it to be so loud- Jeez, I hate those loud boomboxes, man they totally freak my dogs out.

                        But other than those few stipulations, hey, off The Man, man.

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      • Honestly, that was my impression starting at about 6 months after the election – once I recovered from the shock.

        Still, it’s not the scenario I preferred. I was figuring on one term for Clinton, then a R president, then we’d see a big surge toward blue again.

        To say this is better is to place no weight on the suffering that has happened under Trump.

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  3. OT and Hat Tip to Paul Campos but here is a fascinating thread on hiring for tenure track law professors and debate over whether sending thank you notes to your interviewers is good practice or not:

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2018/08/law-school-hiring-spreadsheet-and-clearinghouse-for-questions-2018-2019.html

    On LGM they are debating about whether this is a social more/norm used by elites to maintain the barriers of privilege. Some thoughts:

    1. I recently interviewed for paralegal positions. A few people followed up with a post interview e-mail but others did not. One of the people who followed up was my first choice for other reasons but ended up being too expensive in their salary demand.

    2. There is a strong debate about whether sending thank you notes is a class privilege more or not. A lot of posters are saying “My mom and dad were only a high school graduates and she told me this. I grew up working class. I can’t believe people who graduated from top-law schools need to be told this.” Other people are saying that they grew up in households that were working class or a loved one did and sending thank you notes was just not a thing done.

    3. I remember thank you notes being a thing from when I was in elementary school and going to birthday parties. I received thank you notes for gifts and sent them out.

    I am mixed here. I do think that there can be a lot of social norms that are used to keep out the “wrong sort” but something like thank you notes seems more like it should be in the common sense category than anything else.

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    • I think there is a big debate among liberal and left circles on how much of what we might call upper-middle class social norms are necessary to build the type of society we want; that is relatively egalitarian without much in the way of inequality. The anti-side simply hates bourgeois social norms because the bourgeois has been the big bugbear of the Left since Marx. There are also many people who have problems conforming to these norms and tend to be eccentric to say the least in their behavior. They want to destroy bourgeois social norms for that reason.

      The liberal side that wants to basically universally upper-middle class social norms believes that an egalitarian, welfare state needs a sort of unified code of behavior to exist. Upper middle class social norms seems to be the best at building a stable prosperous society. Everything else leads to some problem or the other because people are going to shirk their duties and do what they want.

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