Ordinary World: Torpedo the Thermal Exhaust Port Edition

Andrew Donaldson

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 and his food writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast. Subscribe to Andrew's Heard Tell SubStack for free here:

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45 Responses

  1. Chip Daniels says:

    I think this is what is called “vice signalling”.Report

    • OW4: On Tuesday just past, my county health authorities (Jefferson County, Colorado) made masks mandatory in interior public places, and exterior unless six-foot social distancing was being maintained, with fines up to $1,000 for non-compliance. Exemptions are made for children under age two, people with medical conditions that preclude wearing a mask, and people who are unable to remove the mask themselves. While I was out running necessary errands yesterday, the two big retailers I visited had posters about the mandate up, but were not stopping people who weren’t wearing masks.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Our Walmart has closed down all but one entrance and put up a big banner about them being required (which they are as of last Thursday in our county by order of the Governor). I saw one guy walk in without one and he was being called out by Radio from the door staff to someone.

        I also have a friend who is a cop in Louisiana who said his parish won’t enforce the order of the governor. and there is a news report of a guy who hit a deputy sheriff twice with his car after begin run off from another Walmart for not wearing a mask.

        This is going to get ugly.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    One point I’ve seen over and over again with regards to the twitter/bitcoin thing is that there is precious little overlap between the “savvy enough to use bitcoin” and “unable to see that Joe Biden promising 2X bitcoin returns if you just send him 1X bitcoin is a scam” circles on the Venn Diagram.

    Another point I’ve seen multiple times is “they got Snowden. Did the Twitter insider think they wouldn’t get the Twitter insider?!?!?”

    Maybe he thought he’d get enough money to leave for someplace that doesn’t have an extradition treaty…Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    OW10: Cautious optimism is always best in politics but there are a few things to point out here:

    1. Despite the most fierce wish-thinking from internet contrarians, hot takers, or just straight up “I hate the libs” types, Donald Trump was never a popular President.

    2. Democrats have performed solidly to really well in nearly every election and special election since 2016. I remember back in (checks notes) 2018 when everyone thought the Democrats would get crushed because the laziest cliche in journalism and punditry is Democrats in disarray and always missing it up. Plus Nancy Pelosi is a woman and has cooties and you can’t give her credit as political operator because of that.

    3. Donald Trump’s campaign tricks might not work against Biden. They might only work against a woman who was vilified by the media for decades and still beat him in the popular vote (insert George Turner rantings about land and vague things against how “those people” in the coasts and cities do not count).

    4. A Pandemic coupled with a big recession/depression is one of the things Trump and the GOP can probably not bullshit or culture war out of. The majority of posting so far shows that people trust Dr. Fauci more than Trump on the Pandemic. Another poll from yesterday showed that 62 percent of respondents felt it was unsafe to send kids back to school in the fall. But Trump and crew are just trying to “reopen” and think it means everything will go back to being like it was pre-pandemic.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      On your point 4 – lots of business owners what that too because it means they get to return to pre-covid profits. Just look at the bath Delta Airlines took last quarter. Magical thinking is not limited to badly spray tanned reality politicians.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

        One would hope that business would conclude that effective governance based on science and expertise would be the most sure way to keep the economy running and consumers shopping.

        But alas.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Not out here in the real world. Those same folks talk about “the economy” as if its not a human construct made up of humans doing human actions. The now internet infamous Lt. Governor of Texas is a great example of this.

          Hell, had the Administration locked down the economy, donned masks as soon as it became clear they worked, expanded testing and gotten enough money in real people’s hands so they didn’t have to work for a few months but could pay rent and eat said Administration would be a shoe in for reelection . . . .Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Remember, those super smart and super talented business leaders only have MBAs. Very few have actual science degrees, and those few get over-ruled by the majority with MBAs.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

        Someone who owns a restaurant told me that they started losing a lot of business in February, this was when COVID was a curiosity on a cruise ship and long before anyone was talking about SAH.Report

    • jason in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I want to buy this as a good sign; I really do. However, literally none of my MAGA friends on FB have changed their minds. In fact, I just had an argument (it was civil) with one of my oldest friends and he basically thinks that any opposition to Trump is liberal lies. That’s the thing to remember: for many of the GOP supporters, this is a matter of faith–facts don’t matter and any expertise that contradicts their opinions doesn’t matter. I’ve seen many GOP folks oppose someone’s education by saying, “but they’re all idiots (my dad’s word is dolts–which conservative pundit uses that term?), so your education doesn’t mean shit.” The next time I get that, I’m going to ask them to name one of my profs.
      But I digress, most of the GOP and most conservatives are like kids closing their eyes and placing their hands on their ears while screaming, “nyah, nyah, nyah, I can’t hear you.” The 2020 election is still going to be close; don’t let the polls fool you.Report

      • Jesse in reply to jason says:

        Both of these things can be true at the same time –

        1.)The vast majority of Trump’s supporters still support him
        2.) Donald Trump will lose the election in a landslide.

        A 55-44-1 election means Trump keep 97% of his support…and still lost in a historic landslide.Report

  4. greginak says:

    OW6 It’s funny i’ve never read anyone say one positive thing about White Fragility yet it’s apparently a best seller. You think someone would have something good to say about it. I mean, it’s sounds terrible to me, but someone is buying the book i guess. Is it all HR depts in big corps? I’m serious that could be the answer and explain a lot. But it also seems like a lot of pixels being spent on something so weak.Report

    • Philip H in reply to greginak says:

      One of the big critiques of that book is that the author has not used her platform to actually empower people of color. As in she does interviews without directing audiences to works by people of color and never has POC invited to sit with her and answer questions.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

        I Googled the picture of Convincing John from Fraggle Rock. I made a meme that said “White Fragglety”.

        Too afraid to post it. Didn’t want to get cancelled.Report

    • ozzzy! in reply to greginak says:

      Are you more surprised that a book titled White Fragility is a bestseller or surprised that a book (like a printed book of words) somehow has authority and power in the current world we live in?

      Honestly curious, I am probably in the #2 camp, as it is such a blatant appeal to authority to say: well I read this and you should agree because that is vetted by virtue of being published!Report

      • greginak in reply to ozzzy! says:

        Just noting i’ve never heard a good word about something that is supposed to be ubiquitous and powerful. Someone must be reading it, but does anybody actually like it. Does it have any authority or is just the thing people like to hate so they keep talking about it since it easy to do.Report

    • North in reply to greginak says:

      Well the conserve-o-sphere claims it’s the bible of the identarian left so it’s probably appropriate that the real left take it to the woodshed. It does appear to be an absolutely horrible book.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to North says:

        Well, it appeals to the NPR set (or, I assume it does, given NPR’s coverage of it).Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to North says:

        How do we know it’s terrible? A whole bunch of privileged white people love it!


      • Brandon Berg in reply to North says:

        John McWhorter isn’t really “the real left.” He’s center-left, and has a history of pushing back against idpol and other leftist excesses. There’s also a divide on the far left between idpol and anti-idpol socialists (many Bernie Sanders supporters are in the latter group), so I wouldn’t be surprised to see pushback from people much further left than McWhorter, but that doesn’t mean it’s not popular on the left. The left, like the right but probably a bit more so, is a diverse coalition, not an ideological monoculture.

        Anyway, Wikipedia has a list of high-profile reviews. The article leads off with some criticism, so keep reading to the end. I didn’t count, but it seemed more positive than negative to me.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to greginak says:

      I met someone who raved about WF. Hearing her summarize it, it all sounded very familiar and similar to diversity work I did 15 years ago. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. But does mean it won’t gain much traction with folks who’ve been doing this work for decades and if it is introducing new ideas to you… where have you been?Report

      • greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        Maybe there is something in it. I just haven’t heard it. However i’ve been in social services/ mental health/court work for 30+ years so lots of things seem common place and old hat to me.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to greginak says:

          Yea, so I doubt terms like “institutional racism” are going to sound new or moving to you.

          A major problem I have with books like this is when reading (or simply buying) the book becomes the action step itself. “I own WF! I did my part to combat racism.” No. No.

          Some books unfairly end up as such virtue tokens. Others seem to intentionally seek out this niche. I haven’t read or watched anything from the author so I can’t speak to that for them. Though Phillip’s criticism makes me worry it may be the latter.

          I think about the feeling of guilt alot. I’m not a psychologist by any means, but I tend to see two reactions to folks feeling guilty:
          1. Those who are so troubled with the emotion that they are motivated to act in ways to avoid feeling such again. E.g., I felt really guilty when I spilled my coffee, didn’t wipe it up, and someone slipped and got hurt. Going forward, I’ll always wipe up my spills.
          2. Those who think the mere act of feeling — or even wallowing — in guilt is itself the corrective act. E.g., I felt really guilty when I spilled my coffee, didn’t wipe it up, and someone slipped and got hurt. Welp, I did my part!

          I don’t think #2 is how it’s supposed to work. Taking pride in the fact that you felt guilty and thus accomplished something seems… wrong.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            In that vein:


            • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

              “Oh snap, we found white guy wearing a noose around his neck in a video game, we’ll take that out right away!”
              “When did you release this videogame?”
              “Four years ago.”
              “Why do you think this hel–”
              “Actually it’s not even the first time we’ve shown that we’ll change the assets because we’re sensitive to representation, early in development one of the female characters had a pose where she stuck her butt out and some people thought this was demeaning to women so we changed it and now she sticks her butt out in a slightly different way, so, see how responsive we are? Please don’t say you’ll never play our game again, advertisers will stop giving us money if they hear stuff like that!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Eh, in the case of video games, it’s closer to “We removed the morse code reference to June Fourth and have fired the graphical designer who put bullet holes and scorch marks referencing it. There is no need for us to mention this in the latest patch update. Assets change all the time. It’s a quality of life feature.”Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    My brother and I went to high school with Nick Grossman. He was a year below us.

    The entire thing with this debate is that it is taking place at the chattering class level. If you ask the average person on the street anything about this or Barry Weiss is, you would get a blank stare. If any side wins the debate, it isn’t going to effect the ordinary person at all. They are much more independent in their thoughts than either side wants to admit.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Barry Weiss, the lead singer of the Love Unlimited Klezmer Orchestra.Report

    • Philip H in reply to LeeEsq says:

      OW 7:

      Because the hard part isn’t telling other people to be more open to ideas they don’t like. It’s drawing the lines of socially acceptable expression and determining appropriate responses to transgressing those norms.

      I don’t think this is true at all. The lines are easy, and public censure and shaming have always worked. But so many more people make a living this way these days on so many more platforms that its tough to track where and how the policing is occurring,much less whether it’s “appropriate.”

      The attempts to cancel critics of Israel is a prime example. Israel is a nation – it does things nations do (and with U.S. financial backing) and thus places itself into the world where it can expect and should receive criticism for its actions, just as the U.S. should. But a segment of the commentariate has decided that such speech is out of bounds because Israel was created out of European guilt over the Holocaust and thus the state is sacrosanct. Like Weiss, those commentators go to lengths matching the state behavior that Israel is criticized for to keep the criticism from happening, rather then engage the criticism. But she hasn’t been deplatformed or canceled because she speaks – she has moved form one platform to another because her last platform didn’t shield her from the discomfort criticism brings.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

      “nobody knows who that is” cuts both ways, though. Like, if I said “a lady’s coworkers were making a lot of nasty wisecracks about how she was a Jew”, most people would probably expect the end of the story to be “they all got fired”, not “everyone agreed that she deserved it, and when she quit they celebrated”…Report

  6. North says:

    There is a reason that email and phone spam is such a massive plague (though filters are helping a lot with the former). If you can cast your net wide enough then you can find enough of those thin margin of idiots in the population and grift some serious money.Report

  7. [OW7] Does Devin Nunes suing people that criticize him count as cancel culture?

    Asking for a cow.Report

  8. [OW4] Will Republicans at some point either

    1. Stop sabotaging efforts to contain the virus, or
    2. Pay a price for what they’ve done?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The correct answers are:

      No, and


    • greginak in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Well they are muzzling the CDC to hide COVID data so you know things are just going fooking great. The only sporking thing they know how to do is cover up and bs. The idea of trying to competently manage a crisis isn’t even a memory in their took kit.

      So No to 1. There will still be plenty of money to made by R’s so they will be paying each other to rip each other off.Report

      • They’re muzzling the CDC by withholding anti-COVID medications from hospitals that report data to them. So the answer to Joseph Welch’s question (“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”) isn’t even “No”, it’s “Decency? What’s that?”Report