TSN Open Mic for the week of 1/9/2023

Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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297 Responses

  1. Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Today in the Sixth Extinction:
    1. Household water wells are drying up in record numbers as California drought worsens

    LA Times
    CORNING, Calif. — For almost four decades, water flowed faithfully from Fred and Robin Imfeld’s private well here in rural Tehama County, a region where thirsty orchards of walnuts, almonds, plums and olives stretch across thousands of acres.
    But that reliable supply of household water began to sputter last year and then ceased completely this summer amid California’s driest three-year period on record.

    2. Alaska crab fishery collapse seen as warning about Bering Sea transformation
    Less than five years ago, prospects appeared bright for Bering Sea crab fishers. Stocks were abundant and healthy, federal biologists said, and prices were near all-time highs.

    Now two dominant crab harvests have been canceled for lack of fish. For the first time, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in October canceled the 2022-2023 harvest of Bering Sea snow crab, and it also announced the second consecutive year of closure for another important harvest, that of Bristol Bay red king crab.

    What has happened between then and now? A sustained marine heat wave that prevented ice formation in the Bering Sea for two winters, thus vastly altering ocean conditions and fish health.

    “We lost billions of snow crab in a matter of months,” said Bob Foy, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center, at a public forum held Dec. 12 at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. “We don’t have a smoking gun, if you will. We don’t have one particular event that impacted the snow crab — except the heat wave.”

    https://alaskabeacon.com/2022/12/19/alaska-crab-fishery-collapse-seen-as-warning-about-bering-sea-transformation/

    3. How beetles and warm weather are driving up lumber prices: ‘I’m listening to my trees being killed’
    Thanks to their cold winters, Canadian softwoods grow slower and stronger than those in the southern US, a big reason almost one in every three vertical studs nailed into an American home starts as a pine, spruce or fir north of the border, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
    But while a lodgepole pine can secrete sticky pitch to defend itself against an average beetle attack, they were no match for the nightmare swarms brought on “through a combination of warmer winters and hotter, drier summers,” Cooke said. “We saw those populations not only rise to epidemic levels, but in some areas, what we call a hyperepidemic.”

    Cooke said beetle-kill lodgepole was considered at first to be a high-value wood for cabinetry, because the bugs help spread a fungus that leaves a distinctive blue tint in the grain. But the dead trees can only stand so long before the wood loses strength. To complicate things further, the resin of lodgepole pine is flammable.
    Before they could be salvaged, beetle-kill forests helped accelerate the record-shattering wildfires of recent years. And then freakish coastal storms washed out roads, rails and ports, breaking the supply chain between forest, sawmill and lumberyard.

    “Climate change … it impeded us a lot,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, as he strolled the setup for the organization’s annual conference in Orlando. “It definitely is a contributing factor to the high prices.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/12/us/lumber-prices-climate-change-beetles-weir/index.html

    And so on.
    It doesn’t always make headline news, but the stress being placed on the global ecosystem is not slowing down and isn’t in the future. Its right now, changing our jobs, our consumption and lifestyles.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
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      And thanks to the lumber shortage, this homeowner who would like to build in some shelving in his basement brewery got deterred from doing so by the high cost of the lumber needed to fulfill his plans. It would be cheaper for me to buy prefab steel shelves than to make wooden ones myself out of plywood and 2x4s. But those would be 1) not as much fun to assemble as building the shelves myself, 2) not as good looking when they were done, and 3) more dangerous to people working under them (read: me) should they fall over in the event of a wall-mounting failure (it’s either pretty thin drywall on a hollow core or solid cinderblock I’d need a gunpowder-charged bolt to secure the mounting bracket although yes, if I did that, that thing would be there permanently).

      Don’t get me wrong, there’s still tons and tons of logs out there waiting to be loaded onto barges that I see out on the river. I mean, this is Oregon. We have lots of trees. But I bet those trees are more and more valuable than ever before, judging by the price of what lumber mills turn those trees into.Report

  2. Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Because I am shameless, I will repeat, Hamline University ends up in a massive self-own over terminating an adjunct professor who showed a picture of Mohammad in a class on Islamic Art: https://popehat.substack.com/p/hamline-university-and-cancel-culture

    I think it is important to note that this is the a case where the professor did everything right in terms of warnings.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      I think for it to be a self-own, the University has to notice that something went wrong somewhere.

      As far as I can tell, they’re proud of how they handled it.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
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      The University administration isn’t really going to suffer because of this. A self-own requires some visible harm to the person or institution that does the self-own. They might not end up in a better place but they certainly won’t be in a worse place. I do think this is an object lesson in how illiberal people or groups, especially if they come from the proper demographics, can trip up liberal impulses. For some reason liberals give more deference to Muslim fundamentalists when they would be screaming bloody murder at Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist fundamentalists. Part of it is because Political Islam comes across more as resistance than domination to certain types of liberals and leftists.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Saul Degraw
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      my gut feeling in these cases – and the thing I always ask myself is – for some reason (justified or unjustified) was the university looking for a reason to get rid of the person? I mean, they did their due diligence, warning the students “those of you from a more conservative Muslim background may be offended by depictions of Mohammed” and allowing them to leave or turn away.

      Then again: I have seen on my own campus how one highly-placed person with a bad agenda can lead to all kinds of shenanigans. (Which is why I keep my head down as much as possible, despite the fact that what I teach is *mostly* uncontroversial – well, to some, evolution would be, and also some of the environmental stuff would be as well)Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to fillyjonk
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        Maybe. I think the admin just decided to take the students side because it is easy and the professor was an adjunct without any protections. After all, university admin are generally academics who hate other academics.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw
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      AFAICT “terminating” here means not rehiring. Since she’s an adjunct and there is a sea of potential replacements, this is cheap and easy, and once the next outrage occurs, no one will even remember this one.Report

  3. Saul Degraw
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    How many lawsuits are going to result from this salvo in the culture war? https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/09/opinion/chris-rufo-florida-ron-desantis.html

    On the one hand, DeSantis does have the right to appoint the board of trustees for New College. On the other hand, there are also lots of free speech protections at public colleges and universities and DeSantis has not been successful in his previous attempts to creating Hilsdale south.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      Did you think that “Enlightenment Values” were what was protecting Team Evil from Team Good?Report

    • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      I have no idea how this will go, and generally am skeptical of conservative culture warriors’ ability to actually correct this problem. That said, the issue really is one of administration and administrators, rather than woke professors. The law certainly protects the right of professors to teach low value, low rigor grievance studies, and to say whatever they want in their writing and pedagogy. At the end of the day the only power they have is to fail anyone stupid enough to take their classes.

      However I don’t think that means public universities are required to have sprawling administrative offices adopting enforcement powers and interpreting straightforward civil rights laws in increasingly esoteric and crazy ways. There really is no need for DEI offices and officers and similar programs and personnel. They’re more likely to muck up educational missions than improve them. The roles should simply be eliminated.Report

      • KenB in reply to InMD
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        “generally am skeptical of conservative culture warriors’ ability to actually correct this problem”

        The most frustrating part about this for me is the persistent idea that “cancel culture” is largely a right-vs-left issue. It may have been that early on, but as far as academia is concerned, conservatives have long been routed from the battlefield. Conservative students have largely learned to keep their mouths shut, conservative professors are a rounding error, and “conservative administrator” is an oxymoron. It’s really a debate between largely older and more “moderate” liberals vs the mostly younger and more ideological and IDpol-focused liberals — even mentioning the Right in this context is a distraction, though it’s always more satisfying to fire mortars over the border than it is to resolve in-group conflicts.

        If even someone like Saul is ready to acknowledge the issue, maybe that’s a sign that progress is ready to be made. I’m reminded of a bit from Monty Python’s “Piranha Brothers” skit, where after Dinsdale blows up an airplane hangar with a nuclear missile, the narrator says “Even the police began to sit up and take notice.”Report

        • InMD in reply to KenB
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          I agree, but I don’t know that conservative complete disengagement, or engagement only for culture war ends, is great either. In all but the bluest of the blue states, conservatives (or at least Republicans) have a seat at the table in state legislatures and governor’s offices about how public universities are funded and what their purpose is. The fact that mainstream conservative ideology has evolved in the last 40 years to a place that sees no reason to have something like a public university in the first place is a real problem. It’s part of what opened the door to this situation.

          Now of course the liberals have found themselves in a de facto place of being the sole minders of the institutions, and without allies or anyone they conveniently have no choice but to compromise with, when it comes to controlling ideologies inherently designed to destroy institutions, including those that were already quite liberal. So you’re right, it’s absolutely on liberals to clean it up, but it’s a shame that’s the case and I don’t love the odds of getting it done any time soon.Report

          • Pinky in reply to InMD
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            says:

            I can’t get to the main article – I mean, it’s a NYT opinion piece about DeSantis, so I know what it wants, but not what it says. But this comment of yours would seem to apply only to a situation where the conservative and liberal stances toward private colleges are different than theirs toward public colleges.Report

            • InMD in reply to Pinky
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              The issues at hand are really only about public universities (in this case those in Florida), where the governor’s office has a role in appointing leadership.

              But I do think liberals and conservatives differ in their stances on private versus public. Liberals see public universities as good and important and are all over the map on private schools in theory, but in practice have no interest in battling institutions they mostly own ideologically. I think conservatives would be happy enough to see all public universities disappear but it is super low down their list of priorities and would be a huge loser politically anyway so not something they fight for. Private schools I think they are fine with in principle but fight them because of the mostly accurate perception that they are run by and act as cultural forces for their political opponents.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
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                I think you’d find the dissolution of public colleges very low on the conservative’s educational priorities list, and that largely from the “let it burn” camp. The main concerns are costs and content. Those are the same concerns that conservatives have about private colleges, albeit less legislatively. (It gets fuzzy with publicly-backed student loans.)Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
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                That’s consistent with my perspective on where conservatives are. I don’t think there’s real danger of them dissolving anything, but I do think since the Regan revolution they really have walked away from the table.

                Ideally you’d have conservatives seeing these things as engines of prosperity, with liberals in the humanist tradition checking the propensity of conservatives to turn the places either overtly religious or into publicly funded r&d labs or public-private partnership scams. You’d also have conservatives checking the liberal propensity to lapse from humanism and its ideals into the kind of esoterica it has in too many places. Especially when that results in wasting money to police the sex lives of undergrads or train in deconstructive cultural silliness or even *checks thread* enforce Islamic blasphemy rules in the classroom. But instead the conservatives went home and the liberals lapsed. Everyone of course has their reasons but IMO it isn’t a good outcome.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
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                I wouldn’t say the conservatives “went home”, and actually I wouldn’t say the liberals “lapsed” either. They were both driven from their positions by real-life, academically-trained Marxists who deliberately turned the system into what it is today.Report

          • KenB in reply to InMD
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            says:

            Oh hah, I just realized your original reply was to the DeSantis story, not the Hamline story — the latter is actually what I had in mind with my response. So yeah, I don’t know what to make of this effort really. I’m sympathetic to the extent that I think the cultural drift of the mainstream universities has gone too far to be pulled back anywhere in hailing distance of the center anymore, but it’s hard to see these one-off efforts making much of a dent.

            As for blame — i prefer the “outside view” and explanations around group dynamics vs. pointing fingers, but if I were to point my own fingers, liberals would have the majority of the responsibility, just by following normal liberal analysis methods regarding who does and doesn’t hold power in a given situation. Even back in the 80s when I was an undergrad, when the D-to-R ratio on campus was more like 4-1 than 60-1, the dominant message from prominent liberal voices was not just that conservative ideas were inferior but that they had no place in a university environment. Not sure what conservatives were or are supposed to do in a domain where the very best they can hope for is reluctant disdainful tolerance from the people with authority.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to KenB
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              says:

              Except this is not an effort to pull things “back to the center” whatever the center is. New College is a very small and very progressive public college in Florida. IIRC it started off as experimental college in the 1960s and then merged into the University of South Florida as an honors college. Wikipedia states it did not become fully independent until 2001. It only has 675 students.

              This as Chris notes is more about bringing a liberal institution under heel. DeSantis is not interested in bringing things to the center. He wants as Rufo states to create the public version of Hillsdale.Report

              • KenB in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Deleted my original reply here, i’m having a hard time tracking the discussion while still getting my work done. So really my response is that while this particular effort is not about creating that center (unlike, say, Haidt’s University of Austin project), the overall effect of creating individual right-leaning institutions could move the needle a bit closer to the center. Or else it could contribute to an end state where we have two entirely separate but parallel university systems, I suppose. Institutional drift is hard to correct.Report

              • KenB in reply to KenB
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                says:

                And reading a bit more about the effort — the selection of Rufo is interesting, because what he’s known for specifically is targeting the IDpol/DEI stuff that I was originally referring to. He does it in a purposefully over-the-top polarizing way, but if he’s the main boogeyman being called out here, I wouldn’t even say it’s certain that this won’t be a move to the “center” — I’d guess the median voter is closer to him than to you in this specific area. It’s also interesting that this college is located in a conservative-dominated area and has been struggling lately — why exactly should it be entitled to remain exactly as it was?Report

              • InMD in reply to KenB
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                I used to be more open minded about Rufo until (a) I found out he worked for the same people responsible for the ‘intelligent design’ controversies in the early to mid 2000s and (b) he did an interview with Andrew Sullivan where he admitted to agreeing with the basic principles of his opponents, i.e. that education is an inherently ideological undertaking and his goal is merely to put his ideology in charge via legislation.

                Suffice to say I don’t see that as going well or as fixing the problem. And I’m otherwise pretty on board with the idea that the DEI stuff is bad on the merits and harming education (among other things).Report

              • KenB in reply to InMD
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                Fair enough — I don’t know much about him but that’s consistent with the bits I’d heard. He’s also just one of half a dozen board members… we’ll see what happens but no denying that this is infected with politics.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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                Suffice to say I don’t see that as going well or as fixing the problem.

                What *IS* the problem?Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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                The particulars vary widely based on time, place, and manner. But if I had to boil it all down to the single, foundational, bad idea, it’s that political/ideological considerations are more important than objective, measurable, educational achievement. Everything else is downstream from that, including deconstructing and redefining objective, measurable, and achievement, to mean whatever is necessary to align with political/ideological goals.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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                I was emotionally preparing myself for disagreeing with your answer but I think I agree with this 100%. Like, I don’t even have a quibble with it.

                Yeah. That is pretty much the problem.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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                Do actual academics share your point of view?Report

              • Chris in reply to Chip Daniels
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                I know a few who do in psychology, and let’s say more than a handful who do in philosophy. I don’t know enough people in other disciplines anymore to know about those.

                The ones I know who do tend to be pretty conservative for academia, which generally means their ideological alignment falls somewhere among the IDW folks. Think about a range from Haidt to Peterson, say (sticking with psychology), though the philosophers are weirder still (e.g., some of them were tradcaths before it was cool, and others are similarly anachronistically conservative, if that makes sense).

                That said, the vast majority of academics I still know don’t see the academy that way. Or at least, they don’t see it the way the IDW/”woke mind virus” types see it. Many of them do see it as an inherently ideological place, just in a different, less impoverished (and less silly) sense.

                Frankly, anyone who doesn’t recognize that the academy is inherently ideological is fooling themselves, but they have a good excuse: in popular discourse, “ideological” has come to refer to partisan politics and culture war bullsh*t, which is silly.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chris
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                Do any of the academics who see ideology as a problem think that the solution is for the government to institute ideological controls on professors?Report

              • Chris in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Oh no. They’re more inclined to think we need alternative institutions, e.g., a psych professor I know in Canada — not that one — is a big fan of the University of Austin, in theory at least). I have never heard an academic of any sort suggest the government should intervene to control speech on universities. In fact, I suspect if you ask most faculty who think that universities have become too “woke,” they’ll tell you that the problem with “wokeness” is that it suppresses academic freedom.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chris
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                “Oh no. They’re more inclined to think we need alternative institutions”

                This will probably get lost in the thread, but I agree with Chris’ comments; perhaps tangentially.

                Some of what we’re experiencing is the unexpected(?) success of a more-or-less dominant unifying critical theory at virtually all the top institutions.

                Proponents might suggest a survival of the fittest scenario, but Universities and the University projects aren’t really all-holds-barred Ideological Theory battlegrounds – they are more like shared networks.

                If the dominant unifying theory had, let’s say, conquered Harvard and a rival unifying theory had conquered Yale and we had rival unifying theories duking it out at the top (not to mention also rans like Catholic Unifying theories, or Muslim, or others) we’d (perhaps) have a healthier University ecosystem where steel sharpens steel – but more realistically an ecosystem of competing Networks for promotion, review, and the ever important academic clout.

                I’m simplifying for Combox purposes… but it really can’t be understated how departments and hiring IS POLICY at Universities.

                So I have the curious position of agreeing that there *should* be an ideological or unifying critical theory that impacts how we interpret Milton AND how we ought to employ Code whether it be C++ or AI/ML.

                I was at ND with Marsden after he published his landmark book on the secularization of Harvard and Yale … and watched ND dismantle even token references to the ‘Catholic Mission of a University’ in its hiring practices. The leaders of the dismantling were all faculty and the objective was integration in the Yale/Harvard Network Pipeline to elevate their standing among their peers.

                Honestly, it wasn’t a ‘secret’ objective… it was the primary stated objective of why ND *couldn’t* and *shouldn’t* hire scholars of equal talent, but who agreed with the ‘rival’ Unifying Theory of Harvard/Yale.

                Too long as it is… this is also to say that DeSantis/Rufo project is too symbolic and too little to matter… not that I’d oppose it out of spite; just that it will be a long uphill climb to (re-)build parallel institutions that have different unifying theories to *improve* the landscape of Higher Education and maybe one day ‘win back’ Yale or Harvard (hopefully not Cornell).

                So yeah, let there be ‘Woke’ universities… and for my conservative friends, you can’t flip a switch on a school when the thing that powers the school is a Network of Scholars who self-determine who joins and advances within the network.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                Part of the problem is that, for centuries, the academy was able to mix up its inputs with its outputs and that allowed it to believe things that were not caused but were merely correlated.

                And now the chickens are coming home to roost.

                But if I wanted to improve the academy, I’d go back to a focus on objective, measurable, educational achievement.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                There are a lot of reasons why universities have gotten bad. Ironically, I think, one of the main ones is that their missions and focuses are increasingly aligned with at economic liberalism (that is, they’re increasingly run like businesses). So even as the faculty and maybe even student bodies grow ever more politically liberal, the institutions themselves become, in a sense, more economically conservative. You see this in the struggle and downsizing of the humanities in many universities, and the ever-increasing focus on STEM. When your goal is to churn out workers who can help make people a healthy profit, “educational achievement” is going to take a back seat, or at least be pretty significantly redefined. Though I suppose it might in this sense be more objective and measurable.

                I’d love to hear a causal argument about how reading fewer white authors, or addressing systemic racism both intellectually and within the institutions themselves, have harmed education, but I don’t think we will, because obviously they haven’t harmed education.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                What’s the point of higher education?

                If it’s not to be employable, but something more like Divinity School, they should probably make it cheaper.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                I think higher education does, and always has, served a lot of purposes. One, particularly as the balance has shifted from physical skills to mental ones, is to make people employable. Another is to make people good citizens, in the Enlightenment sense, which entails being able to think about and discuss the complex issues facing society. For much of the last couple centuries, this would have made a college graduate very employable, but it doesn’t necessarily train you for highly and specifically skilled STEM professions. For a few decades there, it was just assumed that even if you wanted to train for a highly and specifically skilled profession, we could do both: that is, give those young people a liberal arts education along side a more specialized education (so college students might both read Paradise Lost and learn C++, if not in the same semester, then at least over the course of earning their degree). This dual focus would also make room for people who were less interested in highly skilled, highly specific STEM careers, and therefore wanted to focus on one or more area of the liberal arts (kids who wanted to study philosophy or history or German or whatever). Increasingly, universities have been moving away from both parts of that (the dual education for the STEM majors, and the possibility of doing more general, less specifically employable majors). This move might be great for Silicon Valley employers. I think it’s significantly less so for universities, their students, and society more generally.

                And yeah, college should be much cheaper (free, even, for students). The cost of a college education now definitely makes it more difficult to justify studying French literature or early medieval history, unless you’re just really, really wealthy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                Well, if we’re hoping for good citizens in the Enlightenment Sense, you’d think that we’d be reading the canon that resulted in Enlightenment Kinda People.

                As it is, we’re getting rid of the canon that created Enlightenment People and wondering why college has turned into a checkbox that you need to get employed and, as such, maybe should provide employability.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                We should definitely read a lot of canon stuff, and a lot of stuff that might have been irrationally, or unfairly excluded form the canon, and a lot of stuff that’s come after that, from a lot of different traditions. It’s not like the Enlightement philophers were only reading each other and the Greeks and Romans. Hell, there’s a book published last year arguing they got a lot of their ideas from Native Americans.Report

              • Chris in reply to Chris
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                The book, by the way. I am sure the author is not a favorite around here, but it’s a really interesting book.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Chris
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                Looks interesting. Never heard of the authors.Report

              • Chris in reply to Philip H
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                Graeber (who died a couple years ago, sadly) was well-known among anthropologists and leftists (he was a staunch anarchist). His book Debt: The First 5000 Years and Bullsh*t Jobs: A Theory are, while not perfect, well worth reading.

                Wengrow is an archeologist. The only other book of his I’ve read is What Makes Civilization?: The Ancient Near East and the Future of the West, which is also a really interesting read if you’re into that sort of thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                As far as I can tell, there isn’t a canon anymore. Like, there’s not even a new canon to replace the old one.

                Required reading being ableist or something like that.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                Well, at least it took us to here in this thread to sink this far.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                Sorry, I’ll rephrase.

                As Liu Shaoqi put it:

                There are some Party members who think it quite enough to have revolutionary firmness and to fight bravely, and that it does not matter much whether they study and undertake self-cultivation in Marxist-Leninist theory. Some comrades even think that a good class origin or a good personal class status is all that is needed to make them vanguard proletarian fighters, thus obviating the need to study Marxism-Leninism. There are other comrades who never study it earnestly in the course of work or struggle, though they generally admit the importance of theory.

                He was very insightful and I think that his insights have only grown more trenchant with the evolution of the university from even as recently as the 1980s.Report

              • KenB in reply to Chris
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                Re your last paragraph — in this particular discussion, it’s partisan political ideology that’s relevant, as that’s the basis of the (alleged) discrimination (or at least major aspects of one’s political ideology). The way in which institutions situated in a particular political/social context are inherently ideological, and what that means in relation to efforts to create “ideologically neutral” spaces would perhaps be an interesting discussion (still very dependent on the exact definition of “ideology”) but a whole separate topic.Report

              • Chris in reply to KenB
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                Sure, and that makes the conversation difficult and ultimately pointless, because it’s not addressing what’s actually happening in universities on any meaningful level. Hell, it’s not really even addressing ideological diversity in universities.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
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                I am not a huge fan of DEI. I think it is mainly designed to make HR and a certain kind of person feel better about themselves while breeding resentment in everyone else.

                That being said, I thought it was revealing when one of DeSantis’ attorneys defined woke as “the belief that there are systematic injustices in United States history and society and those need to be addressed.” Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the most logical follow-up question from the judge (“and what is wrong with that?”) was not asked.

                Rufo is a deeply reactionary person and does not always admit it.Report

              • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Rufo is as much a huckster as a reactionary. I think Conceptual Jimmy is the one who’s stupid enough to be a true believer.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chris
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                Rufo is running an affinity fraud scam. He is a true believer and realizes that there is money in those hills among the stupider.Report

              • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Yea, there are a lot of good reasons to be against it, or at least the manifestations that seem to repeat, but I have never been convinced by anyone on the GOP side that they’re doing anything besides playing their own cynical game. They certainly aren’t in it because they believe in the value of education or the institutions it messes up.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Saul Degraw
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                The concept that we’re supposed to “address” historical injustices is seductive but ignores individual rights, responsibility, and self control.

                It’s drawing a line between one fact, often generations old, to an outcome and ignoring all the other inputs and effects.

                So it’s reverse scientific reasoning where we start with the desired answer and throw out any facts that don’t support it.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to KenB
          Ignored
          says:

          Even conservatives themselves have nothing but scorn for conservative academics.

          They have a roster of conservative colleges and universities, but most conservatives themselves don’t like them very much.

          We know this because when conservatives can afford it, they insist their children go to Ivy League universities instead of conservative universities. They consistently choose “liberal” colleges over conservative ones all the way down to ordinary state universities.

          And when bright conservative researchers and professors themselves have the option, they always choose a “liberal” college over a conservative one.

          No one, anywhere, even in the pages of a conservative magazine or media outlet, brags about some miracle pill developed by a “top researcher at Bob Jones University”.

          Conservatives recognize, even if only implicitly, that the level of intellectual rigor and quality at conservative academia is below par.

          What they want is the respect and status of a Harvard, but with the doctrinaire orthodoxy of a Soviet Union university where the government dictates the curriculum and party apparatchiks carry it out.

          But they will fail for the same reason. If DeSantis succeeds, New College will end up being just another second-rate college cranking out NewsMax hosts and mega preachers.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Sounds like it’ll be self-correcting.

            Imagine! A university that graduates students that are unable to do anything but parrot the dogma they were gavage fed for 4 years!Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              I imagine that the degrees from these conservative schools would be nigh-worthless and we’d see calls from graduates screaming “forgive my student loans! My degree is not worth what I paid for it!”Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                They almost certainly would, which is among the many ironies, and why it’s folly to take what DeSantis is doing seriously.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Why are you speaking in hypotheticals, when there is a half century of data showing the answer?

                And why not take DeSantis and Rufo seriously?
                Do you think they are hampered by the destruction of a colleges reputation?

                From all available evidence, culture warring is paying them handsome rewards.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I meant take them seriously as solving the real problems with ideological capture of education.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that if students started screaming that their college debt needed to be forgiven that it would give away the game for the colleges in question.

                Like, the colleges would have to admit their degrees are not good enough to get their graduates a job that will pay for their degrees.

                I’m sure that if we reached that point, a lot of things would start failing.

                Hypothetically.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve had lots of talks with my girls on not getting stupid degrees. The basic idea that all degrees are equal is nuts.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                (all degrees are equally good at showing you graduated college and for an increasing number of employers that’s the only thing they really care about)Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                There are reports which detail the expected income of majors, they vary wildly in terms of their value.

                I’m not sure who these “employers” are or what jobs we’re talking about when “any degree” qualifies you for them.

                Granted, if you have work experience outside of your field that trumps your degree, but for fresh grads or interns it’s expected to be a thing.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to KenB
          Ignored
          says:

          Every generation forgets that once they were 19 year olds whose rhetoric was more liked a wrecking ball over being a fine point pen. Every generation will argue until they were blue in the face that this is not true and kids these days are really different.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        “The law certainly protects the right of professors to teach…”

        No it doesn’t.

        Perhaps it should, but currently in Florida, teachers are already being forced to silence themselves about their orientation, or drop classes that teach politically incorrect topics for fear of being fired or worse.

        If you are a professor or teacher in Florida, your protected speech is only what the governor says it is.Report

        • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          There has already been a stay in enforcement on the STOP Woke Act and chances of provisions restricting speech of professors at public universities withstanding constitutional scrutiny are very low. So that is not happening at the university level.

          The stuff at k-12 is a different can of worms. Aspects of its enforcement mechanisms will undoubtedly end up being litigated.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            It IS happening.

            Classes have been dropped, teachers have self-silenced. The chilling effect is already happening.Report

            • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Chip, the piece is about public universities in Florida, where the law you’re referencing really been stayed, and DeSantis appointing trustees which he has authority to do and who will very likely be sympathetic to his perspective. The k-12 stuff really is a different matter and the subject of a different law than what Saul posted.Report

  4. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    In what’s sure to fuel the fevered wet dreams of conservative media, lawyers working for the President found a dozen or so classified documents in a locked closet in an Office Biden used between VP and President. Reading the story, its noteworthy that his lawyers found them and turned them over immediately, instead of risking perjury charges by attesting they had done thorough searches.

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/10/politics/classified-documents-joe-biden/index.htmlReport

    • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Everybody makes mistakes. It’s how you handle them that shows what you are.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s also worth pointing out that the classification process is so incredibly overbroad that, for example, the vice president’s _daily schedule_ is classified.

      In fact, everything about the story talks about how what was discovered were ‘Obama-Biden administrative records, including some small amount with classified markings’. ‘Administrative records’ sounds like…nothing.

      By the way, I’ve noticed that no one seems to care about this story having been the result of a leak from apparently the FBI, or someone in the government.

      Meanwhile the right wing was outraged that what happened with Trump was ‘leaked’…via Trump explaining what was happening with him. Even when the FBI raided him because he refuse to turn over documents, we didn’t know why until Trump told us.

      Not a single peep, not even the slightest bit of problem with _this_ information getting out, though, apparently we should immediately know whatever random part of this story we have. (I’m not disagreeing with this, I’m pointing out the inconsistencies of the Trumpist position here.)

      And let’s not worry whether this leak might be incredibly one-sided, because the Biden lawyers, quite correctly, didn’t look at the classified information, so no one can dispute things or even know if outright lies start showing up.Report

  5. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    New language update just dropped:

    Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      This comment is a perfect example of “Trumpism” spotted… in the field.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that describing criticism of empty virtue signaling as “Trumpism” gives Trump too much credit.

        (But surely giving him too much credit won’t backfire *THIS* time!)Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          It isn’t just virtue signaling. It means that actual living breathing people sat and spent time considering this. It means that people trained others to look for fake problems, and spent time being trained to think that this activity was a worthwhile undertaking, and solved a problem, even though the problem didn’t exist. I suspect there were meetings and emails and due consideration, all given to the non-problem, time that is inherently at the expense of solving real problems.

          I have some insight into this, having once maybe hypothetically in the last couple years had it filtered down to me that a DEI committee mandated by the VC backers of a company I might have worked for thought I should reconsider the use of a completely innocuous word in a contract template. It is a very common word that has been used for centuries, and is so common it regularly is part of a contracting acronym. No complaints have ever been made about it, and it is regularly used by all sorts of people on a daily basis without any apparent discomfort. The committee just got to talking and all.

          I may or may not have immediately identified thinking about this request for another second as an unethical use of senior attorney time, and disregarded it. But I may or may not also be aware of the time the committee spends, and other similar incidents of efforts spent in the identification of non-problems, with some attempts to solving the non-problems causing more controversy than others.

          Now, some will chime in and say that the smartest academics in all the land have identified language as the sources of real problems in the world. They have written the most compelling journal articles that lay it all out and that you should totally read, and it totally is worthwhile to pump out people with degrees in spotting non-problems and fill society with them and their skillset. But they are wrong. In practice identifying the problematic nature of the word ‘field’ is just TPS reports for 3rd rate minds with 3rd rate degrees that need paying off. No one is better off for it and the sooner the fat can be cut the happier everyone will be.Report

          • Pinky in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes. Every organization will have incompetent people, and they’re going to find a way to not contribute. That can’t be stopped; we can only hope that they won’t interfere with the rest of us. But this stuff coming out of a university, that means that this kind of thinking is being taught.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            Well this about says it all.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          It is Trumpism because it is just grievance mongering and reactionary conservativsm.

          There isn’t any victim here, no oppression or injustice identified.
          And Mr. Hemmati and you aren’t affected by it in any way.

          But, nonetheless, he was so aggrieved by this that he had to not only post about it, but tag Elon Musk and a talk show host, in order to crowdsource his outrage at this woman and demand her public shaming.
          And of course you obliged him, by posting this here and inviting all of us to weigh in and opine and condemn her.

          Again, this is something that affects no one other than sociologists, commits no injustice or harm to anyone.

          But sulking grievance must be fed and heretics must be punished. Like I mentioned upthread, academics and sociologists haven’t asked the outside world to intervene in their affairs, and no victims or oppressed people have stepped forward asking us for outrage in solidarity.

          Is it possible for you, Mr. Hemmati, and the Trumpists like Ron DeSantis and Chris Rufo to simply allow academics to go about their affairs as they wish? You know, that whole Enlightenment values thing?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Person X engages in Act A.
            Person Y reacts.

            “Person Y is being reactionary and grievance mongering.”

            No discussion of A at all. “Person Y pounces!”

            Anyway, here’s Michigan:

            Report

            • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              What’s the harm in making these changes?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The harm in changing this term to that one? Probably very small.

                Giving the justification for the change being “the implications for black and brown persons”? I could see this being one hell of a microaggression against them.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You could see. That’s rich. Old White guys telling black and brown people what are and aren’t microaggressions is basically the problem. But soldier on bro.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Compared to what? Cheerfully telling them that we’re going to stop saying “out in the field” because of the implications for people like them?

                I mean, do we have any black or brown people telling us that these terms are, ahem, “problematic” or is this something that Team Good is doing without prompting beyond daydreaming about various things that black/brown people might be sensitive to, in theory?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Those in power – those in the majority – have the onus to police ourselves. Expecting the minority who have significantly less power to do it for us is lazy and unethical. And yes, I suspect if you work this back far enough there probably are BIPOC saying such things. You still have made no case as to why it would be bad to listen.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I suppose that it wouldn’t be bad to listen.

                I suspect that it communicates deep unseriousness to explain that you’re listening to what people probably said at some point.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do you think that black and brown people would come to you, a white man who mocks this sort of thing, and present their argument to you?

                I mean, let’s not even get into the question of why it is their job to make sure that white people read what they are talking about in the places they are talking about it… Even if that was their job, why would they pick _you_, this sort of person who immediately dismisses any concerns that anyone might have about this sort of thing?

                Follow-up question: Do you understand that the term ‘stakeholders’in the memo itself almost certainly refers to black and brown people?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do you think that black and brown people would come to you, a white man who mocks this sort of thing, and present their argument to you?

                I’d think that they presented it to *SOMEBODY* in a public enough forum that we could point to it and say “this is their argument”.

                As it is, we’re just looking at this letter explaining that the use of “field” the way we used it yesterday is being obsoleted in service to “stakeholders”.

                Yeah, they’re probably dark-skinned, we assert.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So what? What parade of horribles will happen because f this change? Will all the birds fall out of the sky? Will the global economy crash? Will there be chaos and pandemonium? cats and dogs living together?Report

              • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t want to speak for Jaybird. And I think it’s fair to say that any little change of a word is in itself unlikely to be the end of the world. However I think it’s pretty clear that the type of thinking that leads to those changes taken to its natural conclusion really is bad for organizations. Time spent on these sorts of exercises and any fallout from them is inherently time not spent on the mission.

                There’s also the weird conceit in this very thread that the person or people responsible for the decision are speaking for anyone other than themselves. I have no idea why anyone would automatically conclude that but it’s caused a massive debate, which is exactly what these things are designed to do, even if the people doing them don’t always understand that.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                “What parade of horribles will happen because f this change?”

                I imagine that organizations once thought to be competent will display cracks in their façade.

                Nothing wrong with that.

                I mean if one of the things that the organization relies on is “displayed competence”, it might be bad if something comes up where credibility is important.

                But if nothing does, hey.

                Cats and dogs will continue to not be able to live together.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’ve put your finger on exactly why things like this- things like “Happy Holidays”, choice of pronouns, acceptance of LGBTQ people in institutions like the military- disturb conservatives so deeply.

                What if nothing happens?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Worse than nothing happening:

                What if everything gets better?

                Like our country is better off today than it was 10 years ago and it was better off 10 years ago than it was 10 years before that.

                And 10 years before that? I don’t even want to talk about it.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the counter-question is what if no one listens? Are the advocates of change going to go along with business as usual, or will they try to compel the change they want to see in the world with whatever levers available?Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you hit on something really important here. The advocates of change want to change without regard to the magnitude of the discomfort of the blacks currently or the discomfort of the population in the future. They don’t even have a way to measure the discomfort. So the only people guaranteed to get a payoff are the ones promoting change, by demanding that people fall in line.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                In my (again totally made up hypothetical) personal experience this in corporate land, this kind of stuff is coming from a handful of HR and compliance professionals. There is no reason to believe any of them speak for the great downtrodden masses, or have any special insight.

                It reminds me of a South Park episode a long time ago where the point was made that Jesse Jackson is not the ’emperor of black people.’ That point is taken, though ironically in retrospect, at least one could make the case that Jesse Jackson has some claim to representing the views of a good number of black people involved in civil rights politics and the African American church. But are we really going to argue that Susie in HR and Bob and on the compliance team speak for like.. anyone? Other than maybe their direct supervisors? I certainly wouldn’t.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I have sympathy for the HR people. HR exists entirely for the purpose of protecting against lawsuits. Most every time I’ve seen an HR “mistake”, it’s been due to a clearly-stated policy that poorly addresses a real concern. There’s a tiny chance someone could complain about the word “field”? Protect the organization! I get that. It’s the DEI and Jesse Jacksons who seek out or even cause these dustups. They’re the antagonists.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Ehh my experience is that there is significant variance between theory and practice. Good HR understands that its mission is to protect the company, not really the employees. But depending on the industry and the company ‘HR’ can end up as a vague administrative and corporate culture role not totally consistent with that. In corporate America it can also be the landing spot for a lot of white collar, people-people without a hard skillset, or who grew into the role from junior, purely administrative positions, and have no training on what HR is supposed to be.

                The result is a lot of HR ends up being done poorly, which in contrast to good HR, results in new risks of claims and liability.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to put a finer point on it, virtually all of my conversations in 2020 with other attorneys in in-house roles involved things like how to keep your really gung-ho Robin DeAngelo fan in HR from calling a meeting that gets you sued by a bunch of white people for creating a hostile work environment.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                That happens all the time, and is happening now with Latinx.

                The answer is, “Nothing happens and no one cares.”

                The difference is that conservatives are not willing to accept their status as a minority and throw temper tantrums when the world evolves in a way that makes them uncomfortable.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Nobody is using “LatinX” but people ought to be using it and all of the Hispanics pretending to be offended by it are white-presenting.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Exhibit A to my point.
                It’s only grievance-mongers who are making a big deal of it now.

                The difference is that lefty grievance-mongers are out at the margins and ignored, while righty grievance-mongers get elected to Governor of Missouri.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Were the white people who introduced “LatinX” to be more gender-inclusive “grievance mongering”?

                Were they trying to address historic gender injustice?

                Were they actually engaged in linguistic colonialism?

                Were the people you’re calling “grievance-mongers”, actually anti-colonialist?Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This one feels a bit different because there is a strong split in the Hispanic community over the word including fights among Democratic politicians. Plus the LA Scandal of last year shows the limitations of pan-Hispanic identity in practice and actuality.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the question of whether it goes away is whether or not it is successfully weaponized. LatinX turned out to be too stupid to work, and is now on its way down the memory hole. But it isn’t like it’s hard to figure out the goal, which is why it ends up being fought no matter how seemingly petty.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                “What parade of horribles will happen because f this change?”

                What bad things will happen if we ask teachers to find a book about the Holocaust other than ‘Maus’?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “What’s the harm in making these changes?”

                What’s the harm in requiring school administrators to confine discussions of human sexuality to age-appropriate language?Report

              • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                please provide examples where school administrators – who don’t actually teach – not done this?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                please provide examples where school administrators – who don’t actually teach – not done this?

                Please provide some evidence that someone is offended by the phrase “field worker”.

                My quick google searches find no one. As in zero.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The harm is reinforcing the idea that any perceived or rumored offense is worthy of response. Additional damage is done by treating non-moral decisions as if moral, and implicitly discounting the value of prior works.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The use of language is very much – and always has been – a moral decision. Language is suffused with morality – were it not then describing concepts like good and evil would be well nigh impossible.

                The harm is reinforcing the idea that any perceived or rumored offense is worthy of response.

                Do tell – who decides who has committed an offense? From the cheap left side seats it ought to be those who are offended. Which would not be the old white men generally objecting to these changes.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Not every linguistic decision is a moral one though. This is a substitution of words for, I’m arguing, no moral reason but disguised as a moral decision. Someone is going to go rest this weekend thinking that he did a mitzvah by deleting the word “field” from a document.

                To your second point, I don’t know if any black people were really offended by the word. If they were, they were mistaken to be, because no offense was intended. Field workers weren’t necessarily slaves, and slaves weren’t necessarily field workers. A black person could be equally offended by the word “house”, which is to say, he’d be offended for no good reason. Seeing offense where there is none intended is an act of bullying.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                If they were, they were mistaken to be, because no offense was intended.

                Seeing offense where there is none intended is an act of bullying.

                Wow. That’s just stunning. And perfectly illustrates the problem. None of us can know what someone intended, only what actually was said or done. And responding by saying I’m offended isn’t an act of bullying – its saying this is how the thing you did or said was received by me. You also don’t get to dictate how someone else feels or thinks. To believe that you do – that you Pinky gets to tell these BIPOC they aren’t allowed to be offended and that even if they were they can’t ask for or receive proactively different language because no one intended to offend them – that’s hubris of a scale and scope that is no longer societally acceptable.

                Not that I’m surprised by your response – just deeply disappointed that anyone goes there anymore.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                If I could restate that (although my new formulation may be as unacceptable to you): seeing offense where there is none intended is an act of self-centeredness, and imposing rules on another under the claim of seeing offense where these is none intended is an act of bullying.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “None of us can know what someone intended, only what actually was said or done. ”

                uh

                I thought you were defending these administrative actions…Report

              • Pinky in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                The idea that none of us can know what was intended could be a defense of the administrative action – as in, Pinky was wrong to assume that no offense was intended. The second half of that statement I assumed was a misstatement, and he meant to write that we can only know our reaction to what was said or done. But maybe I was wrong.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t miswrite it. Its wisdom that my wife shares quite regularly actually. Her version is that it doesn’t matter what I as a speaker or writer intend – it matters how that speaking and writing is received. SO I write what I mean.

                Which I grant you is not the norm in human communication.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                DensityDuck is right, and you miswrote it. You said that what matters is the objective. Your wife says that what matters is the subjective (on the part of the receiver). Note that nothing I’m saying is intended as an attack on the missus, only a clarification that what you wrote at 1:11pm is the opposite of your description of your wife’s position at 3:27pm.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                None of us can know what someone intended, only what actually was said or done.

                it doesn’t matter what I as a speaker or writer intend – it matters how that speaking and writing is received.

                Same d@mn thing dude, just with different words. Try to keep up.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Obviously not. We’re talking about three things here: the subjective intention of the speaker, the objective statement said, and the subjective interpretation of the listener. All three are conceptually different.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                NO, you and DD are busy trying to prove that I don’t know what I’m talking about by throwing my words back at me in a context you are constructing that you think makes me guilty of doing that which I object to. I’ve played along with your B rate trolling because of my interest in righting the heinous wrong of racism.

                But to use your construction – this is a case (as are most cases of microaggressions) where the subjective intent of the speaker means nothing when the objective words chosen cause harm to the listener, subjective or not. In that situation, once called out, the speaker has the obligation to change his speech so as to not give further offense, not to tell the listener they don’t know what they are talking about because its wasn’t the speaker’s intention to give offense. That’s just further aggression.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “this is a case (as are most cases of microaggressions) where the subjective intent of the speaker means nothing when the objective words chosen cause harm to the listener, subjective or not.”

                just so we’re clear, you’re saying that for the last hundred and seventy years, every time a white person said the word ‘field’ it was racistReport

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                For what it’s worth, I’m not trying to play those games. It’s too meta for me. It happens that you’re badly communicating in a discussion about communication, but I’m only looking to point out the correct formulation just as I would do if you were badly communicating in a discussion about refrigerators.Report

              • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I am – by pointing out that things that Pinky thinks are innocuous, things that in his view SHOULDN’T offend are not his to decide about. Clearly Pinky is also offended by this action, but I’m fairly certain that we old white men need to offended more if our nation is going to live up to its ideals.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “things that in his view SHOULDN’T offend are not his to decide about. ”

                lol

                “we can’t know what someone meant, only what someone said! Unless they said the word ‘field’ which is clearly a dogwhistle reference to racism that was meant to offend.”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                You can see how you are doing the very thing you condemn?

                You are not harmed by the change in language, but are offended by it.

                And so conservatives have demanded that academic freedom be restricted, to avoid offending you, Jaybird and Mr. Hemmati

                Same question to you as I asked Jaybird- are you capable of allowing academics to settle their own affairs as they see fit without your approval?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                apparently he can’t.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s the harm in making these changes?

                If I haven’t gotten the memo or haven’t internalized it, I’m now a racist if I use the word “field worker”, although it’s been a neutral term forever.

                This has been a neutral term for good reason. “the entire field (of science)” Or doing scientific work outdoors (i.e. in the field) as opposed to the laboratory.

                The Michigan DHS doesn’t have the ability to remove that word from all of society. All of the other fields of science will continue to use it.

                All they’ve done is increased the level of perceived racism in society.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Apparently Person Y has decided that academia cannot be allowed to pursue its affairs freely, but must be given Soviet style political minders.Report

    • KenB in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Meanwhile, House Republicans are replacing the word “Labor” with the phrase “the Workforce” in the name of the committee on education and [work stuff] — apparently it’s a thing flips back and forth along with control of the House.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Would it be a story if the letter only included the 2nd sentence?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Probably not.

        Would they have wanted to write the letter if it only included the 2nd sentence?Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The question is, was it meant for outside circulation? I’m sure the addressees on this memo have no problem with anything written.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s got a “TO” line.

            To: USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck Practicum Education Community, Faculty, Staff, and Students.

            So I suppose you could make the argument that we are looking at a document that we, who are none of those, are looking at a document that was never meant for our eyes.Report

            • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Yup. Let’s save the outrage for bad things that might actually affect us.Report

              • Chris in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Plus a million.

                Interesting, the difference in space on this site used to discuss things like this, where one school at one university has said they’re removing a word from their official stuff (nothing says that people can’t use the word “field” themselves), and how little space on this site is used to discuss, you know, actually banning books (not just in schools, but in public libraries!) and actually trying to ban specific topics and courses in colleges.

                At least we’ve got our priorities right? Down with the woke mind virus!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                We did do that!

                We discussed the pressure on the Seuss estate to cease publication of a handful of books, we discussed curriculum changes in high schools, we have discussed that stuff a lot!

                Should I bother digging up links?Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Sigh. And we’re back to trolling.

                The vacillation between honestly engaging and trolling makes me feel like a fool for engaging in the first place, each time.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, then. I’ll treat your comment more seriously:

                where one school at one university has said they’re removing a word from their official stuff

                This has metastasized to Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services as well. It’s not limited to merely one school at one university.

                And that’s without taking into account the last 20 years of “they’re just silly college students, why do you care?” turning into HR departments at large.

                As for discussions of “actually banning books” and “actually trying to ban specific topics and courses in college”, there has been a lot of discussion of such things.

                You may be shocked to see who defended the active suppression of books, the active removal of topics and courses in colleges, and post-post-post-Enlightenment activities.

                (To be honest, this stuff all ties into the whole issue of what The Enlightenment is evolving into. And the whole “random walk” vs. “teleology” thing that always creeps into discussions of evolution. But, yeah, it’s easier to point out the new appendages and mock the vestigial ones.)Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                This probably merits a post, with cites.Report

              • Grim Peeper in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, we could discuss Original Antigenic Sin…
                Except, WAIT, they successfully hid that evidence from even the FDA advisors…

                I mean, I’d rather discuss the murder of hundreds of thousands of people (and untold numbers of unborn).

                Or we could discuss the Powers that Be’s intentions towards the transsexuals, and their intended use to poison the left.

                Yeah, let’s talk about anything else. Evergrande, maybe?Report

  6. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh. Oh crap.

    Report

  7. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Apparently, the new current thing is gas stoves. You shouldn’t have one! They’re bad!Report

    • KenB in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s a human tendency to react to a specific issue in isolation and forget about all the other issues that might be related. Charles C Cooke has a good article showing how we could just as easily be talking about a ban on electric stoves if we just focus on a different set of studies.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      oh jaybird, jaybird, jaybird, there you go again, talking about something that literally nobody is talking about except for some whackjobs on twitter that have no influence and nobody except for you even pays attention to.

      maybe you should get back to me when someone important is talking about this. like, a member of Congress or something. then this might be worth taking seriously.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      We were in the market for a new (gas) cooktop recently; I’d heard some good things about induction (not electric) and was open to adding it to the configuration. We have one of those big 48″ rangetops that are designed to be somewhat modular — want 8 Burners? 6 and a griddle? 6 and a grill? 4 and a bigger griddle? Whatever you want. As I say, I’d heard induction was great for boiling water (obvs not a flame affinity there) plus a certain amount of ‘cooking’ is closer to reheating, or steps (like, say, melting butter) in a larger project where induction/gas could be a solid combo. With induction providing a great leg-up on everyday ‘simple’ cooking and clean-up. Win/Win, right?

      Except you can’t get Induction with Gas. There was exactly one (1) option from a secondary maker that had Gas plus Induction and a ill-conceived sous vide that killed it for me. But that was it. That was your only option to combine Gas/Induction.

      At the time I wondered if this was a Production thing? Like, you can’t make gas/induction work together – except at least one company did. Or a Marketing thing? No one will want gas/induction because those are two different schools of thought – except as I note above there’s great synergy, especially if you apply some marketing skilz to it. Or was it an ideological thing? It tickled the back of my mind — like, what if marketing balked at selling a combo because it might be *too* popular and while it would *reduce* gas use it wouldn’t eliminate it. Nah.

      Nah, that would be dumb… and nobody cares that much about this issue; must be an oversight. I hope it’s an oversight… Occam’s razor suggested to me that Marketing probably missed the opportunity by surveying their target customers (Me – gas preferring expensive rangetop buyers) and not asking the right questions and getting a classic survivor’s bias type of response.

      But that was before teams formed up. Now? I wonder. A good outcome would be the Combo units I was looking for. A bad outcome? The sort of polarization where People of The Induction can’t abide the People of The Fire and we insist that Govt regulate the bad people out of our space. And companies that built around gas now dig-in against Induction knowing that Induction people will never add Gas and are now the enemy anyway. That seemed preposterous 6 months ago.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      We were in the market for a new (gas) cooktop recently; I’d heard some good things about induction (not electric) and was open to adding it to the configuration. We have one of those big 48″ rangetops that are designed to be somewhat modular — want 8 Burners? 6 and a griddle? 6 and a grill? 4 and a bigger griddle? Whatever you want. As I say, I’d heard induction was great for boiling water (obvs not a flame affinity there) plus a certain amount of ‘cooking’ is closer to reheating, or steps (like, say, melting butter) in a larger project where induction/gas could be a solid combo. With induction providing a great leg-up on everyday ‘simple’ cooking and clean-up. Win/Win, right?

      Except you can’t get Induction with Gas. There was exactly one (1) option from a secondary maker that had Gas plus Induction and a ill-conceived sous vide that killed it for me. But that was it. That was your only option to combine Gas/Induction.

      At the time I wondered if this was a Production thing? Like, you can’t make gas/induction work together – except at least one company did. Or a Marketing thing? No one will want gas/induction because those are two different schools of thought – except as I note above there’s great synergy, especially if you apply some marketing skilz to it. Or was it an ideological thing? It tickled the back of my mind — like, what if marketing balked at selling a combo because it might be *too* popular and while it would *reduce* gas use it wouldn’t eliminate it. Nah.

      Nah, that would be dumb… and nobody cares that much about this issue; must be an oversight. I hope it’s an oversight… Occam’s razor suggested to me that Marketing probably missed the opportunity by surveying their target customers (Me – gas preferring expensive rangetop buyers) and not asking the right questions and getting a classic survivor’s bias type of response.

      But that was before teams formed up. Now? I wonder. A good outcome would be the Combo units I was looking for. A bad outcome? The sort of polarization where People of The Induction can’t abide the People of The Fire and we insist that Govt regulate the bad people out of our space. And companies that built around gas now dig-in against Induction knowing that Induction people will never add Gas and are now the enemy anyway. That seemed preposterous 6 months ago.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        You may be overthinking this a tad.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Hopefully.

          I have at least laid out several paths/trajectories this could follow and will be able to recall which path we went down after some time.

          Mostly I had this queued up because I really did expend energy trying to find a hybrid and couldn’t begin to understand why it didn’t exist within a framework that is essentially modular and bespoke. Didn’t make sense 6 months ago… hopefully it makes sense 6 months hence.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            So, I honestly read this while expecting you to get to the point about what it just happened with gas stoves, but apparently that wasn’t where that was going?

            So just in case people are confused, no you won’t be able to buy a hybrid gas induction thing 6 months from now, you won’t be able to buy a gas stove 6 months from now.

            Because it turns out that gas stoves (and furnaces and pretty much any use of the gas within the house) are actually incredibly bad to operate, they increase the risk of asthma in children by like 12%, and it also turns out we’ve apparently known this for like a decade? And we might now just get around to banning new sales of them or houses with them installed… Eventually, you know after the market has had a chance to argue with the government for 20 years.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              Oh, and it turns out apparently what’s doing it is high levels of nitrous oxide, a thing that we don’t generally install detectors for in houses… We do require every house with gas to install a carbon monoxide detector, (we might require carbon monoxide detectors in all houses now?), but that’s not actually the problem.

              It actually is taking us, as a species, a startlingly long time to realize that burning things, any things at all, in an enclosed space that we live in is actually bad for our lungs, and there’s probably not any way to do that safely.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                “what’s doing it is high levels of nitrous oxide, a thing that we don’t generally install detectors for in houses”

                mostly because you can mitigate high levels of nitrous oxide by turning on a fan

                “oh but they did a study that showed range hoods weren’t effective!”

                yeah so if you read that study you learn that they counted bathroom fans as “fans” (and didn’t actually require reporting of whether or not the fan was turned on while cooking)

                and if you want to come back with “well maybe people just need to do more to ventilate their houses and get fresh air” you’re right but that’s not the same thing as “ban all residential gas”

                PS be careful now because if you go too far down this road you’ll start saying things like “we didn’t need to isolate and lockdown, we just needed better ventilation and we would’ve been OK”Report

              • KenB in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                But we’ve also known for a long time that electric stoves present 2.5x the fire risk of gas stoves — so you’re on board with more families losing their homes and even their lives to fire??

                Or we could try to be mature adults and understand that *good* decisions often involve balancing cost/benefit/risk calculations, not just reacting to the latest bit of information we got.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              Heh… so you’re totally bought-in on eliminate Gas to save the children? The ‘science’ is airtight… man the regulatory state and full steam ahead?

              Might be fastest ever: Not Happening to And-its-right-and-just

              And here *I* thought Twitter was stupid for working out Policy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Part of the point of propaganda is to make it easier to sort out the people who aren’t on board with stuff.

                The guy who immediately stands up and screams “THE SKY IS GREEN!” can be trusted.

                The guy who says “let’s look outside?” is saying “I’m not on board.”

                “Dude, just say that the sky is green!” is something that a friendly on-board kinda guy might say. “It’s not a big deal!”

                And the fundamental argument is about whether it’s a bigger deal about the trivial issue of sky color or whether it’s a bigger deal that you’re screaming “LOOK AT ME I AM NOT ON BOARD”.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, it’s just bizarre to me how the teams pick sides when no sides need to be picked.

                Pretty obvious that it’s mostly a desire to eliminate uses for fossil fuels and a statistical malapropriation of data misdirecting the discussion to Children Harm Reduction.

                Which is why the (desired) solution won’t be Hybrid cooktops or better ventilation, but the elimination of gas hookups in new construction.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the conspiracy-minded folks I follow on twitter, bless him, explained that this was going to be an attempt to explain why kids in *THIS* school district test well and kids in *THAT* school district don’t.

                While there were many who did their part and stood up to Big Gas Stove, unfortunately, not enough did and the press secretary is disavowing this sort of thing.

                Expect an about-face, why are you still talking about that, and nobody was seriously arguing that gas stoves were problematic.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If you guys are going to go this nuts with the topic I demand a prediction thread. Here is mine:

                18 months from now freedom loving conservatives will post videos of themselves cooking meat on sticks over a flame generated by a butane lighter and an intricately sliced hole in their home’s gas line. Meanwhile good progressives will demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to cook a healthy, sustainable meal with nothing but a small electric hot plate last used in a high school chemistry class circa 1991.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think so. They ran the numbers and the majority of the South (aka “Jesusland”) is already on electric stoves and the majority of gas stoves are in the NorthEast (aka “Team Good”).

                This is one of those changes that kicks the NorthEast in the junk without really kicking the South in the junk.

                Why in the hell would you do that in the runup to the most important election in recent history?Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey it’s purple America. There’s all kinds in every state and region.

                But I guess if this really isn’t conducive to unleashing a bunch of performative culture war antics I don’t see the point of the story. Maybe we should defund the CPSC.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, and I never gave numbers or a source for that claim… here’s where I got it:

                Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Predictions:

                Cons: Building wood fires on top of electric ranges because you can.

                Libs: magnetizing the iron grates on their gas cooktops and claiming the magnetic field kills the bacteria in the raw food they are eating.Report

              • KenB in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I know the point of this game is to come up with fun scenarios, but I’m just going to provide the right answer, which is that 18 months from now, no one will even remember this particular issue, because in the meantime there will have been 100 others just like it. The only time you’ll see it even referenced is when someone has dug up someone else’s old post or tweet about it to try to show that they’re being a hypocrite about the latest issue.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to KenB
                Ignored
                says:

                Matt Bruenig points out the following:

                There is literally no downside to going after gas.Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              “it turns out that gas stoves (and furnaces and pretty much any use of the gas within the house) are actually incredibly bad to operate, they increase the risk of asthma in children by like 12%”

              in 2020, 5.8% of children had asthma

              a “12% increase in the rate” implies that without residential gas usage we’d see a rate of 5.1%

              meaning that the absolute best possible max-effort societal-upheaval total ban on all residental gas usage of any kind for any purpose would, at best, reduce the rate of asthma by three-quarters of a percentage point

              hardly a transformation into the Garden of Eden

              “well I thought you assholes CARED about CHILDREN”

              brother if that’s where you want to go then there are far more important topics than a three-quarters-of-a-percentage-point change in the rate of asthmaReport

      • Burt Likko in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        I can think of no reason you couldn’t have a device with a gas burner and an induction top. Might be expensive or not as efficient to build. But this is a fine example of proof that there are very few engineering problems that a sufficient amount of money can’t solve.

        I can think of no reason such a device couldn’t be made attractive, either.

        I’m not sure about incorporating a sous vide into it as well, though.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        If one induction. unit is good, and N induction units being good implies that N+1 induction units are good …Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Wait, wait, wait. Polls came in.

      Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Right-wingers POUNCE!

      Report

  8. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Kids say the darndest things-

    Olentangy Schools official cuts off reading of Dr. Seuss book during NPR podcast
    https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/education/2023/01/09/olentangy-schools-halts-reading-of-dr-seuss-book-during-npr-podcast/69791362007/

    The assistant director of communications for Olentangy Local School District abruptly stopped the reading of the Dr. Seuss book “The Sneetches” to a third-grade classroom during an NPR podcast after students asked about race.

    Shale Meadows Elementary School third grade teacher Mandy Robek was reading “The Sneetches” to her class as part of NPR’s latest episode of “Planet Money” about the economic lessons in children’s books. During the podcast, which aired Friday, Amanda Beeman, the assistant director of communications for the school district, stopped the reading part way through the book.

    “It’s almost like what happened back then, how people were treated … Like, disrespected … Like, white people disrespected Black people…,” a third grade student is heard saying on the podcast.

    Robek keeps on reading, but it’s shortly after this student’s comment is made on the podcast that Beeman interrupts the reading.
    “I just don’t think that this is going to be the discussion that we wanted around economics,” Beeman said on the podcast. “So I’m sorry. We’re going to cut this one off.”

    Beras tried to tell Beeman that “The Sneetches” is about preferences, open markets and economic loss, but Beeman replied, “I just don’t think it might be appropriate for the third-grade class and for them to have a discussion around it.”

    And this, children, is why the Party has blessed us with government minders, so as to prevent children from raising dangerous ideas and leading others into Wrongthink.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      “And this, children, is why the Party has blessed us with government minders, so as to prevent children from raising dangerous ideas and leading others into Wrongthink.”

      (you forgot to quote the part where Beeman said that the kids should read the book at home with their parents)

      And I’m not a bit surprised that a school administrator wouldn’t want a discussion of racism with no Approved Guidance present and the media recording it.

      Far better to take a dive on “they were too scared to let them talk about DOCTOR SEUSS” than risk the teacher accidentally saying something like “and the moral of this story is that what’s outside doesn’t matter, we’re all the same inside” and three days later there’s a hundred people with signs outside the front door chanting “hey hey, ho ho, racist teacher gotta go!”Report

  9. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    DiFi, who is nearly 90 years old is up for reelection in 2024. She has been playing coy on whether she is going to retire or run for reelection. This is not stopping Democrats from throwing their hat in the ring. So far House stars Katie Porter and Barbara Lee have announced they will seek the nomination. I believe Adam Sciff is also mulling a run. This could be very interesting.

    1. If DiFi chooses to run, does she have the institutional name power to win reelection? Kevin DeLeon was not so well known in 2018.

    2. If she retires or dies before her term expires, Newsome is going to have a hell of an opportunity in appointing her successor.

    3. If she retires, a jungle primary could produce two top-level Democrats for the general in November which is a really interesting dynamic.Report

  10. Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Jeff Beck passes away, aged 78. One of the greats.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmO0OZC6IfkReport

  11. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Still doing these, I guess:

    Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Admitted sex pest Matt Taibbi continues to be a lickspittle lakey for a man who thinks it is fun to baselessly accuse people of being pedophiles. Why you keep dying on this hill but thinking of yourself as a guardian of truth and light is something.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Note: This standard shall be applied to Matt Taibbi until further notice. Any change of standard applied to any other individual, living or dead, shall not be construed as a change of standard to Matt Taibbi unless explicitly stated.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s weird. Your arguments are not of the form “he’s lying” but “he’s a bad person in the first place”.

        You know what else takes that form?

        Disinformation.

        RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION.Report

  12. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Garland has already appointed a special prosector in the Biden document story: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/01/12/us/biden-classified-documents

    Some things to notice:

    1. Special prosecutors always seem to be Republican;

    2. Why was Garland so quick here but so slow with Trump and appointing a special prosecutor?Report

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d assume timing. Garland waited until the Jan 6 committee tagged out to go after Trump, but wants the Biden thing finished asap.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Special prosecutors always seem to be Republican

      Because Liberals become Public Defenders.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      1. When it’s Democrats doing the appointing and especially when it’s also a Democrat being investigated, a Republican prosecutor is a better choice. Saves some political headaches later. The question here is really “When Republicans held the executive branch, why didn’t they appoint special prosecutors at all, much less do the politically deft thing and appoint Democrats?” and the response is “Maybe there wasn’t enough evidence of wrongdoing to justify even that?”

      2. Going slow with an ex-President is defensible, if only to avoid setting dangerous precedents that will turn around and bite you in the ass the moment the other guys are in power. That doesn’t mean “never,” it means “It’s going to have to be really bad and we’re going to need a metric shit-ton of evidence.”Report

  13. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    A good essay from Cornell law professor Joseph Margulies on the Hamline University situation and why unforgiveness always wins: https://verdict.justia.com/2023/01/12/why-unforgiveness-always-wins

    “If the Times account is correct—and I have not seen anything to indicate otherwise—the Hamline episode shows the apparently irresistible seduction of punitiveness. Hamline imposed the most severe punishment it could. It not only terminated the professor, which is the most any employer can do, but it branded her behavior “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic,” which implies a venality that seems particularly gratuitous on these facts. As importantly, the university does not even seem to have considered the possibility that the episode could have been a learning experience for all concerned. Borrowing a page from the campaigns for restorative justice, for instance, the university could have brought the professor and the students together to share their perspectives in a constructive, properly facilitated setting. Instead, they cast the professor out. This is the ugly face of the unforgiving society, turning reflexively to punishment and eschewing compassionate understanding that seeks to create a diverse community bound by shared values.”Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Prof. Margulies writes, towards the end of his essay:

      And here’s the ultimate irony of all this: I suspect that when it comes to other aspects of national life, the relevant actors at Hamline object vigorously to the operation of the unforgiving society. Hamline, for instance, has an Office of Exclusive Excellence, which makes it abundantly clear that the University is opposed to the labeling and exclusion that is the calling card of the unforgiving society: “We are committed to the pursuit of excellence by being inclusive of individuals without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, national origin, marital status, familial status, disability, age, or protected veteran status in any activity administered by the university.” Likewise, the Office opposes the closedmindedness that so often accompanies unforgiveness: “The University embraces the examination of all ideas, some of which will potentially be unpopular and unsettling, as an integral and robust component of intellectual inquiry.”

      LOL. I use employer’s mission statements and expressions of generalized good intent against them too. Can be helpful in a deposition or potentially in front of a jury. But in the practical world of what people practically think and do, I think we all understand that these sorts of statements are only very rarely actual expressions of actually shared values bought into, believed, and implemented by institutions. Let’s call them “aspirational,” that way we can still praise them.

      Intellectual freedom and nondiscrimination are all well and good, but the real imperative governing institutional behavior is diminish risk. If HR doesn’t understand that, counsel will soon educate them. Figuring out where the risks are in the Hamline situation is not hard, and the institution complied thoroughly with the imperative. Prof. Margulies, a lawyer himself, should understand this, but that gets in the way of making a grander point about our culture. My response? If we want to create a society where forgiveness and grace are afforded people, make affording that grace a less risky path than imposing judgment.Report

    • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t understand what the professor at Hamline even has to be forgiven for. She did nothing wrong.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I think he is stating that the unforgiving action is firing the professorReport

      • Burt Likko in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        She projected an artistic rendition of Mohammed. This offended a Muslim student for reasons that are not clearly stated in the article. Perhaps not out of sensitivity to her own religious sensibilities, but rather out of apprehension that the professor was doing it to mock Islam and thus create a hostile educational environment in violation of 42 U.S.C. §2000d. As described, that seems to not have been the professor’s intent, but we only know the professor’s version of events and not the student’s, and what really counts is what the university was on notice of and when it was on notice of it.Report

        • InMD in reply to Burt Likko
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s what counts? Not that it was in the context of a fine arts class, that the student signed up for, where there was a warning about the picture, which itself was painted by a Muslim in the 14th century?

          Because I gotta tell ya, based on where you’re going with this I’m not sure how any number of topics could be taught or discussed without incurring liability.Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            I neither endorse nor condemn the events based on what I know. Not enough info. We’ve little means to assess the veracity of the professor’s inclusion of those details in an obviously self-serving retelling of the story. Having had a lot of one-sided stories told to me recently that turned out not to be precisely “true” so much as “misleading,” my guard is up here. Don’t necessarily believe everything that you read.

            Saul’s comment below is useful to consider.

            And, all of that might be true and maybe it’s STILL a bum deal for the prof.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko
          Ignored
          says:

          The whole thing seems to be a perfect confluence of a whole bunch of factors:

          1. Hamline University is a meddling regional school with a mediocre endowment combined with declining or soon to be declining enrollment.

          2. Black Muslim students are subject to taunts, harassment, and other incidents of bullying at Hamline. The twin cities have a large population of Somalian Muslim refugees.

          3. Because of number 1, the admins were desperate to do something about # 2 but without alienating other students because of # 1.

          4. Professor Lopez was one of the many adjunct professors that fill the halls of modern academia because of admin glut and the death of tenure.

          5. Professor Lopez ended up offending a black muslim student who claimed she did not read the syllabus because of other traumas.

          6. Since Professor Lopez lacked labor protections, Professor Lopez was a perfect scapegoat and could have bus driven over her for good measure by the admin.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Oooh, “I didn’t read the syllabus because of trauma.”

            That’s a great one.Report

            • InMD in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Yea, I just don’t understand how we ever got to a place where such a statement is indulged or taken seriously. The correct response is, and always has been, I am very sorry to hear that, but if your mental state prevents you from doing basic course work then college probably just isn’t the place for you. My guess is that more than 90% would suddenly find it in them to look at the painting of Muhammed or read Ovid or whatever and move on. The others would be rightly redirected to seek the help they need or to more suitable paths in life. It’s not just the professors who get put in impossible positions with this stuff, it’s the well-adjusted students there to learn being screwed, which I suspect constitutes the vast majority of them, contra the conservative talking points.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                if your mental state prevents you from doing basic course work then college probably just isn’t the place for you

                Fundamental Premise: College is for everyone

                Therefore: Any premise that is able to conclude “College is not for a particular someone” is absurd and false.

                Q.E.D.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, everyone except those who can see a picture or read a book without experiencing acute psychosis I guess.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I too hunger for simple, bright-line rules. They’re not always available.

                In disability discrimination law (and religious discrimination too), we often address concepts of “reasonable accommodations” and “undue burdens.” And there’s all sorts of problems because no one can define where one ends and the other begins in advance and out of context.

                There are some basic core ideas, and one of them is that a “reasonable accommodation” does not require the employer to alter the quality and quantity tasks that must be accomplished.

                In theory, these ideas also extend out of the workplace and into the realms of housing and academia. Concepts from employment law get borrowed into those arenas, because employment is where the most robust caselaw has developed.

                I think the basic idea of “you need to learn X and do Y, and that’s just what college is, dude,” is harmonious with your point, which is that there is a corpus of knowledge and skills that are fundamental to what college is supposed to provide. Please understand, I agree with you about that. You are right. This is a valid and indeed important interest to articulate.

                In academia, we also don’t and can’t know exactly just what constitutes the core corpus of knowledge X and just what the core corpus of skills Y actually are. We do know that the institution has been given a mandate by law to provide each and every student with an educational environment free from harassment on the basis of a laundry list of suspect classes, so that those particular characteristics of a person do not obstruct educational opportunities. (Note also that a hostile environment requires the existence of an unreasonable condition, something that is severe or pervasive, oriented around that classification.)

                There’s that word again. “Reasonable.”

                It’s really hard to hash out what’s reasonable and what isn’t outside of the particular facts and context of a particular situation.

                There isn’t, and can’t be, a uniform bright-line rule about what constitutes a reasonable environment and what institutional concessions are unreasonable.

                I’m only (weakly, provisionally) articulating things that might weigh on behalf of the student because it’s not a discussion about weighing and balancing and hopefully integrating different interests unless someone is articulating what the other interests are. I’m shying away from saying “competing” interests because that gerund might not necessarily be true. If we only consider the institution’s interests, the concept of an individual who doesn’t fit neatly into the cookie cutter having at least an opportunity to participate in the institution stops being a discussion, and becomes instead an edict.

                Maybe the result is what you say: turns out, college just isn’t the right path for this particular person. Maybe it turns out that trigger warnings, however well-intentioned, aren’t a particularly good accommodation for a situation like this. Maybe it turns out that the student wasn’t acting in good faith and this is a big political stunt. Maybe it turns out that we haven’t been told the truth, or at least the entire truth, and one or both of the principal actors in this drama has been deceptive in the way things have been framed. Maybe it turns out that this is a situation where everyone is acting in good faith and there was irreconcilable conflict anyway.

                My original point was the institution behaved in a risk-averse way and that is hardly a surprise. As to the core issue of what’s reasonable, we’ve only been given one side of the story. It’s possible the institution didn’t address the core issue correctly. We don’t and can’t know without getting a lot more context and other perspectives; and even then we, presumably reasonable people all, might still disagree about what constitutes the boundaries of “reasonability” in that context.Report

              • InMD in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                I hear you. An in-house career at small to mid sized company has given me some experience overseeing this kind of litigation. I get how fact specific this stuff can get. Though knowing your practice area I also might be a bit of a jerk, being on the other side of these cases and all, and say that the plaintiff side alllllways has a story about how complicated and nuanced it all is. The more complicated the better to start forcing internal investigations and eventually discovery and annoy and/or bleed the defendant into a settlement for economic reasons, regardless of the merits.

                (For real I’m teasing, nothing personal meant here, just trying to articulate the other side.)

                So when I look at something like this I’m not necessarily looking for a bright line. I’m looking at it from the perspective of someone who wants to have a fine arts class that covers the medieval Islamic world, and for such classes to exist and generally be possible. My question is, can one teach that class, if it’s all a legal morass of ‘it depends’? Now I’m not saying no rules mind you. But I am saying something like ‘the class was voluntary, the content was known, and (as long as) there was no discrimination against protected classes in admission to or administration of the class itself’ then the inquiry should be over.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            For certain people on the liberal-left side of the political aisle, trauma has become the go to word for describing anything mildly unpleasant to anybody, especially a sympathetic group. There is a sort of feeling that if the most vulnerable/under-privileged can not enjoy something than nobody should. Or as the Vox article about this demonstrated, a woman got piled on for tweeting about how much she enjoys having coffee in the garden with her husband every morning. It seems that a world where everybody loses and nobody wins is a goal to some people.Report

  14. Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Scientists employed by ExxonMobil accurately predicted climate change by not later than 2003:

    Exxon oil company has known since the late 1970s that its fossil fuel products could lead to global warming with “dramatic environmental effects before the year 2050.” Additional documents then emerged showing that the US oil and gas industry’s largest trade association had likewise known since at least the 1950s, as had the coal industry since at least the 1960s, and electric utilities, Total oil company, and GM and Ford motor companies since at least the 1970s. … ExxonMobil’s average projected warming was 0.20° ± 0.04°C per decade, which is, within uncertainty, the same as that of independent academic and government projections published between 1970 and 2007. … Exxon scientists have been warning their executives about “potentially catastrophic” anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming since at least 1977.

    Yet, in a surprisingly clear echo of behavior of tobacco companies in for the last half of the twentieth century, ExxonMobil and several other fossil fuel dependent industrial leaders have gone to extraordinary efforts to publish scientific-looking reports and publicity confusing an issue of which they had ample internal notice:

    The findings clash with an enormously successful campaign that Exxon spearheaded and funded for more than 30 years that cast doubt on human-driven climate change and the science underpinning it. That narrative helped delay federal and international action on climate change, even as the impacts of climate change worsened. … The company faces more than 20 lawsuits brought by states and local governments for damages caused by climate change. Baltimore was among the first. And last year, cities in Puerto Rico filed a racketeering lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, industry groups and others claiming they conspired to mislead the public about climate change.

    These seem to be securities fraud lawsuits, so the legal theory would be that ExxonMobil and its predecessor component entities knowingly published false information in shareholder reports about the effects its products and business activities would have on the environment and thus reciprocally on its own financial performance projections. An interesting theory, one which I think has to come back to whether and how those statements and projections influence decisions of individuals and institutions to buy or sell stock.

    ExxonMobil denies the claims, both in the media and in court, and insists its scientists operate independent of corporate influence and in an atmosphere of intellectual rigor and honesty.

    Ah, but how about this? Let’s say someone at GEICO were to say, “You know, Hurricane Ian caused $112.9 billion in damages. We insured 10% of those losses and only recovered half of that from reinsurance. That’s six and a half billion dollars of loss we got caught with, caused by climate change. And it’s not an ‘act of God,’ God didn’t pump that oil out of the ground and refine it. ExxonMobil supplied 22.58% of global petrochemical market share. ExxonMobil therefore caused $1.27 billion of our losses in Hurricane Ian. Let’s file a subrogation lawsuit against them in, oh, I don’t know, Tampa.”

    EDITED TO ADD: Wait, I think if GEICO had a 50% reinsurance recovery rate, they’d have to sue ExxonMobil for $2.54 billion and then split the proceeds 50-50 with its reinsurers. After recouping attorney’s fees and other costs of suit, of course.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      How many scientists work for ExxonMobil?

      In the 1970s we were worried about global cooling. In 1991 Carl Sagan predicted a “nuclear winter” caused by the massive oil well fires in Kuwait.

      During the civil war the nickname for a cigarette was “coffin nail” because it was understood even then that smoking wasn’t healthy.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Sometimes prevailing scientific ideas turn out to be wrong, and better or more refined ideas take their place. Stomach ulcers used to be thought to be physical manifestations of psychological conditions like anxiety and stress. Turns out, no, they’re caused by bacteria. This is not new.

        Carl Sagan was a hero of mine. He was wrong about “nuclear winter,” along with a lot of other scientists. I don’t have to stop admiring him just because he was (very publicly) wrong about this, in no small part because he acknowledged that he had been wrong and adapted his world view to the better interpretation of available information.

        That’s very different than saying “Sagan knew the world would heat, not cool, but intentionally lied about it because he was personally profiting from scaring people into believing in nuclear winter.”

        ExxonMobil employs lots and lots of scientists, in many different disciplines. I don’t know the number, it’s surely in the thousands. I’d be willing to bet a bottle of decent-but-not-extravagant wine that ExxonMobil is among the top ten employers of both chemists and geologists globally, including not only corporations but also universities and governments. And of course it employs scientists with expertise in environmental arenas; it needs them precisely because governments all over the world regulate its activities in that arena, and have since at least the 1960’s.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Burt Likko
          Ignored
          says:

          “That’s very different than saying “Sagan knew the world would heat, not cool, but intentionally lied about it because he was personally profiting from scaring people into believing in nuclear winter.””

          If it’s personal profit that renders something haram then it’s probably worth pointing out that the study describing the Terrible Danger To Children From Gas-Burning Stoves was funded by a solar-and-wind-generation concern.

          “I’d be willing to bet a bottle of decent-but-not-extravagant wine that ExxonMobil is among the top ten employers of both chemists and geologists globally, ”

          This just in: chemical-processing company whose feedstock comes from underground employs many specialists in chemistry and underground-y. After the break: dog bites man, women and minorities hardest hit.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      On behalf of my climate science colleagues – We will take our written apology in large gold leaf letters on fine parchment.Report

  15. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Guess who wanted mused about nuking North Korea and blaming it on the other country: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-discussed-using-nuclear-weapon-north-korea-2017-blaming-someone-rcna65120Report

  16. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    35 Star Trek Actors Who Died In 2022
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2foX2jRey8

    So… so many people have worked on Trek that this is expected?Report

  17. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Two mutually exclusive conspiracy theories about the alleged “Classified” documents found in areas controlled by Biden:

    1. Biden released this information deliberately. He knows that it will effectively scuttle any punishments coming down toward Trump and Trump is Biden’s preferred opponent in 2024.

    2. Biden’s enemies within the Liberal Caucus released this information deliberately. They know that it will effectively scuttle his 2024 chances and allow Biden to be replaced with someone like Elizabeth Warren.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Biden released this information because he didn’t have any damn choice. It was going to get released by someone else if he didn’t do it first.

      His messaging on the issue has been terrible ever since. (Good Gods in Asgard Above, why are Democrats so bad at this stuff?) But that very ineptitude ought to be proof enough that there’s no 4-D chess going on here. Real-life politics is not “House of Cards.” It’s “Veep.”Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Purely for Plot purposes, I hope the writers are forced write in a press conference where the DOJ are backed in to having to describe the type of Secret materials each had:

        Trump: Well, mostly pictures, and salacious stuff about foreign leaders; I dunno sort of a mash-up of Top-Secret People/Playboy magazine.

        Biden: Um, airplanes. Lots and lots of pictures of airplanes… but Top Secret ones. Oh and the coordinates of where we dumped Bin Laden’s body.

        I’d be greedy if I asked for ‘Old Nuclear Launch Codes in a souvenir frame’ in the Biden stash – just to enjoy the explainers about how nuclear launch codes are useless and shouldn’t be classified anyway… and besides no one ever suggested that Trump’s docs were Nuclear Launch codes or anything. That would be just plain greedy.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          Looks like they found some more!

          I would like to know the nature of the docs…

          I mean, if they’re classified because they’re the doctor’s reports about Biden’s health, then that’s one thing.

          If he was selling nuclear codes to the Ukrainians, that’s quite another.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The third theory is that Biden’s supporters released that these documents were found, as part of prep for the announcement this Friday that he’s Stepping Down For Health Reasons and ceding the office to Kamala Harris (who, as her first term will be “less than two full years”, will be eligible to run for President twice.)Report

  18. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The 1980’s “This is your brain on drugs” PSA uses a gas stove.

    Report

  19. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    further proving that they do want to control women’s bodies, Alabama’s Attorney General says women doing legal things with legal drugs should still be prosecuted:

    Alabama’s Republican attorney general said this week that women in the state who use prescription medication to terminate their pregnancies could be prosecuted under a chemical-endangerment law, even though Alabama’s anti-abortion law does not intend to punish women who receive abortions.

    Steve Marshall made the comments in the wake of a decision earlier this month by the US Food and Drug Administration to allow certified pharmacies to dispense the abortion medication mifepristone to people who have a prescription.

    “The Human Life Protection Act targets abortion providers, exempting women ‘upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed’ from liability under the law,” Marshall said in a statement to AL.com on Tuesday. “It does not provide an across-the-board exemption from all criminal laws, including the chemical-endangerment law—which the Alabama Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed protects unborn children.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/12/politics/alabama-abortion-women-prosecution/index.htmlReport

  20. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Suppressing the Black Vote. And Bragging About It.
    “We can be especially proud of the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem Vote) casting 37,000 less votes than cast in the 2018 election with the major reduction happening in the overwhelming Black and Hispanic areas.”
    Wisconsin Republican official Robert Spindell

    https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/suppressing-the-black-vote-and-braggingReport

    • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Population is down about 20k.

      His big method of “voter suppression” seems to have been “Radio Negative Commercials run last few weeks of the election cycle straight at Dem Candidates…”.Report

  21. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Apparently BSDI:

    Seems to be recurring theme with politicians……

    I did chuckle at the title:

    “Santos must have learned from Biden how to make up details about his past”

    https://archive.ph/9rUgqReport

  22. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Chris Rufo has the SHOCKING DETAILS of how homosexuals are using queer bubbles to TURN YOUR CHILDREN GAY!

    https://mobile.twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1613583974399643649Report

  23. Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh the disappointment of buying several packaged salads for lunch one day, and then finding the next day that the lettuce had turned whilst in the office fridge overnight.

    Phooey.Report

  24. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    If Libs of Tik Tok posted something like this, we’d say that they were nuts.

    Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, at least it’s a high school named after Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr., and not a junior high school named after Dr. Henry A. Wise.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Why would anyone find this nuts?

      Oh right. It was NOT a religious school, I guess that’s what makes it strange.

      I can tell you right now, sex scandals concerning minors is NOT a topic that will lead to good places for conservatives.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The news has been consistently characterizing this as ‘inadvertent’ and they’ve said no charges will be filed. Which certainly doesn’t mean this person should not be relieved of his or her position. Pure speculation but it could be that the email was intended for another adult. Which isn’t to say it isn’t totally inappropriate (not to mention stupid) to be doing on a work computer, particularly if one works at a school, but no allegations of any inappropriate intent towards children so far.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not sure of how much “intent” needs to be weighed here.

        I mean, I can see an argument over “a little” versus “none” but I don’t see the argument between “a medium amount” and “a little”.Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I think the person should be fired no matter what the intent was. This is in ‘can’t happen’ territory. I’m just saying all indications so far are that it wasn’t an attempt at molestation. One can be a total dumbass deserving of losing one’s job without being an abuser.Report

  25. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Dr. Leana Wen has an op-ed in the WaPo titled: We are overcounting Covid deaths and hospitalizations. That’s a problem.

    She’s, like, making a distinction between “dying *OF* covid” and “dying *WITH* covid”. If hospitals are, in fact, doing this sort of thing, why hasn’t anyone pointed it out until now?Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I imagine it’s true that no one’s pointed that out in the Washington Post before.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      ARE they, in fact, doing this sort of thing?

      Serious question.
      How can you, or I or anyone reading this blog know if this is true, or just Dr. Leana Wen making a mistake?

      The point I’m actually making of course, is after all our discussions about trust in institutions, what good is it to post something by a DOCTOR in a MAJOR MEDIA outlet? If I scrounged up another doctor, in another media outlet, that said exactly the opposite, who here would argue, and on what basis?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Do we have enough certainty to set policy?

        Do we have enough certainty in the policies we might set to set up punishments for those who do not follow them?Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s what I’m asking.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            I think that if we cannot know whether the doctors are right or wrong, we probably shouldn’t punish them for not following what the doctors are saying.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              If “we cannot know whether the doctors are right or wrong”, then doesn’t it logically follow that we shouldn’t require polio vaccinations, or punish people for dumping fecal matter into the city reservoir? Doctors don’t need to wash their hands before surgery or cooks after visiting the bathroom?

              See, this is my point, that attacking the trustworthiness of institutions carries implications far, far beyond what you probably mean. It destroys the ability to determine ANY truth, in any realm.

              Which makes it a trope, something not meant to be taken literally.

              You don’t ACTUALLY think that “we cannot know whether the doctors are right or wrong”. You can’t possibly.

              What if we said this, that there is a vast territory between “The CDC occasionally makes mistakes” and “The CDC cannot be trusted.”

              This gives you room to say “The CDC isn’t trustworthy on THIS issue, but when it says we should wash our hands after visiting the bathroom, yeah, they’re probably right.”Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Given the nature of the subject, reasonable people, even medical people, can disagree on exactly where to draw the line between “dying with Covid” and “dying of Covid”.

                At the moment policy is set super aggressive, i.e. anyone who dies with Covid is assumed to have died of Covid. There are advantages and disadvantages on this approach.(*)

                There are doctors who disagree with this approach however the larger medical powers that govern mostly feel the advantages are greater than the disads.

                This should be viewed as a minor internal disagreement inside the medical community. This should NOT be viewed as “medical doctors disagree about core things.”

                Most people don’t involved in this because most people don’t like to think about death in general much less how to fine tune measuring death.

                (*) One of the big advantages is it’s possible and easy to define it. Take every corpse and test it for Covid. The alternative is way less easy to define and way more subjective.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If “we cannot know whether the doctors are right or wrong”, then doesn’t it logically follow that we shouldn’t require polio vaccinations, or punish people for dumping fecal matter into the city reservoir?

                See, where you and I seem to differ is that I believe that we do know whether doctors are right or wrong on those issues.

                Doctors don’t need to wash their hands before surgery or cooks after visiting the bathroom?

                Yeah, we seem to know whether the doctors are right or wrong on these too.

                Let me quote your question:

                How can you, or I or anyone reading this blog know if this is true, or just Dr. Leana Wen making a mistake?

                Let me repeat my questions:

                Do we have enough certainty to set policy?

                Do we have enough certainty in the policies we might set to set up punishments for those who do not follow them?

                Well?

                Do we?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Good question.
                What do you think?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that, if anything, the last 3 years have demonstrated that we don’t have enough certainty to punish people who do not follow the policies we grasp around for via trial and error, no.

                Perhaps if the Covid vaccine were as effective against Covid as the polio vaccine is against polio…Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps if the Covid vaccine were as effective against Covid as the polio vaccine is against polio…

                Two doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) are 90% effective or more against paralytic polio; three doses are 99% to 100% effective.(Google)

                https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison

                With the Polio vaccinations, the bar seems to be set at getting paralyzed. With Covid presumably the bar should be set at dying (as opposed to getting it at all).Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I have four vaccinations (the last one being bivalent).

                Granted, I’ve (somehow) managed to dodge the ‘vid this far… but I’m not under the impression that we’re at 99%+ for the vaccination.

                With Covid presumably the bar should be set at dying (as opposed to getting it at all).

                Ah. Well then. I have CDC numbers for hospitalization following the bivalent booster, but not death.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What do you think those numbers show? We are averaging about 10k new covid cases a day in the US.

                Over about 90 days we had a few hundred people who weren’t vaccinated end up in the hospital. That’s out of something like a million new infections.

                The bulk of those will have multiple additional underlying medical conditions.

                The first big polio “epidemic” in the USA had 27k cases (1917). In the epidemic of 1949 there were 42k.

                You need to add 3 zeros to 42k to somewhat match what we’ve seen now, but if we do that then we need to put three zeros on the post vaccination polio numbers and they look terrible compared to covid’s now.

                The problem isn’t the vaccine.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                What do you think those numbers show?

                I think it’s discussing percentages in the second paragraph under “discussion” rather than raw numbers.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Still not sure what point you’re making. We’re 3(?) years into the vaccine creation + roll out. My expectation is we’re doing better than we did with Polio if we adjust for size of the pandemic.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s been a thing for a long time. It’s why “comorbidities” is mentioned so often.

      You have three serious diseases/conditions and then also get Covid. You die. Which of them “is the cause” when you’d still be alive without any one of them? Covid deaths average three comorbidities.

      It’s similar to how Brady was shot in 1981, died in 2014, and it was ruled a homicide because he was wounded in Hinckley’s assassination attempt on Reagan.Report

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